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U.S.-Taiwan Relations and India in April

Tuesday, March 19, 2019  
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Dear friends,

As our Brexit speaker last week foretold, the road ahead for the UK still isn't any clearer. Thanks to everyone who joined us last Wednesday to meet Amanda Sloat from Brookings, and special thanks to CBIZ and Burns & McDonnell for their generous support. Our thanks, also, to IRC member Mike Wood for leading Thursday's News & Views conversation on animal conservation in southern Africa – the group learned a lot!

Ambassador Thomas Pickering will be with us next Wednesday, March 27, for an insightful presentation on Iran and the larger Middle East. Just this week, a senior U.S. arms control official said » that Iran's missile program is continuing to destabilize the region, and, as with Brexit, the way forward seems unclear. Ambassador Pickering will share lessons from decades of international diplomacy as he analyzes U.S.-Iran relations in a regional context. Please join us if you're able; details are available below.

We've been so glad to see the excitement that's building for this year's WorldQuest trivia night on Thursday, April 4! It'll be a great time of fun, food, and global knowledge. Registration went fast, so we've had to close online signups. We do have a very limited number of individual seats remaining (including some together), so please reach out to April at 816-423-2632 or » to inquire.

Director General Jerry Chang from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver is getting ready for the Wednesday, April 10, program that will mark the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. We'll be looking at the current status of U.S.-Taiwan relations with the help of Professors Jeffrey Pickering (K-State) and Virginia Harper Ho (KU). The program is free and open to the public, but your registration will help us with planning. Please find more information below.

We're working with JCCC to put on the next Closing the Global Gap program on India on Wednesday, April 17. Two speakers from India – one from the north and the other from the south – who now make their home in Kansas City will be with us to share insights into the Subcontinent. This program is free with registration.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a 
reflection on populism in Europe ». If you are interested in writing a blog post, please review some frequently asked questions », where you'll also find out how to submit your post.


IRC Member Benefit 
Cover to Cover: Featuring Amb. Bill Burns 
– Thursday, March 21– 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
Over the course of more than three decades as an American diplomat, William J. Burns played a central role in the most consequential diplomatic episodes of his time. In The Back Channel, Burns recounts, with novelistic detail and incisive analysis, some of the seminal moments of his career. The IRC is pleased to be able to offer this opportunity as a benefit for IRC members. To check your membership status or register for the call, please contact contact Matthew ».

Registration Closing
A U.S. Perspective on Iran and the Larger Middle East 
– Wednesday, March 27 – 5:45-8 p.m. – Polsinelli
Iran remains an enigma to many in the West over concerns about their nuclear weapons program, domestic governance issues, and destabilizing behavior in neighboring countries. The United States has recently changed course in its Iran policy, withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal and implementing crippling new sanctions to constrain the Iranian regime. Ambassador Thomas Pickering will explore 2019 realities in Iran, the Middle East, and U.S. strategy in the region. He will discuss the role diplomacy can play at a time of change and escalating tensions in the Middle East.
 Read more and register »

IRC Member Benefit 
KNOW NOW Conference Call 
– Thursday, March 28 – 2-2:30 p.m. – via conference call
Her Excellency Lolwah R M Al-Khater, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar was appointed by His Excellency Mohammad Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Before her appointment as the Spokesperson, H.E. Lolwah joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Minister Plenipotentiary. She also served as the Director of Planning and Quality at Qatar Tourism Authority and as a Research Project Manager at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. Her Excellency will provide an update on the U.S.-Qatar strategic dialogue and Qatar's foreign policy. The IRC is pleased to be able to offer this opportunity as a benefit for IRC members. To check your membership status or register for the call, please contact Matthew ».

Limited Seats Available
WorldQuest 2019 – Thursday, April 4 – 6-9 p.m. – UMKC's Pierson Auditorium
Spring will soon arrive and, with it, WorldQuest, the IRC's much-anticipated annual trivia night! Join fellow world enthusiasts on Thursday, April 4, for friendly competition and fabulous prizes – all to support a worthy cause. Your ticket covers parking, dinner, drinks, and trivia. Additional contributions (in advance or that evening) are most welcome and will support the IRC's global-education efforts. Read more »

Registration Open
U.S.-Taiwan Relations as the Taiwan Relations Act Turns 40  – 
Wednesday, April 10 – 5:45-8 p.m.  – Helzberg Auditorium

Signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on April 10, 1979, and reaffirmed several times since, the Taiwan Relations Act is the primary guiding document for bilateral relations between the United States and Taiwan. 40 years later to the day, in light of continuing developments on Taiwan, it is worth examining the state of relations with the United States' 11th largest trading partner (3rd largest import partner for Kansas, 6th largest for Missouri). Read more and register »

Registration Open
Closing the Global Gap: India – Wednesday, April 17 – 12-1 p.m. – Johnson County Community College
"Closing the Global Gap" is a series of conversations designed to address perceptions and realities of working and living across culture and language. The series is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by Johnson County Community College and International Relations Council. The series should stimulate meaningful conversations based on personal experiences in foreign countries from academic and business points of view. Each program will feature a JCCC faculty member or student as well as a professional from the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Closing the Global Gap: India will look at the role of women in responding to social and environmental issues in India, as well as the day-to-day struggles and experiences of people living in this diverse country. 
Read more and register »

Registration Open
News and Views: Community Conversations on the Latest International News – Wednesday, April 24 – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Downtown Overland Park TBD
Today, international news stories can change from minute to minute, and lectures and panel discussions can’t always dive in to the latest developments. News & Views, a new conversation-based series from the International Relations Council, brings together a small group of community members for respectful, substantive discussion around one of that week’s top international new stories. We'll announce the timely topic, facilitator, and suggested articles earlier that week to give everyone a chance to prepare for the conversation. Read more and register »

Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. The program involves reading the Great Decisions briefing book » and meeting to discuss the most critical international issues facing the United States and the global community.

Below is a listing of some of the upcoming groups that are open to the public. Feel free to drop in to any groups of interest to you! Questions regarding these groups? Please email April » for help.

Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future? »  – Thursday, March 21 – 6-8 p.m. – Overland Park Group
Johnson County Library - Oak Park (9500 Bluejacket St., Overland Park, KS 66214)
The Middle East: Regional Disorder » – Thursday, March 21 – 12-1:15 p.m. – Waldo Group (Thursdays)
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)
Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future? » – Thursday, March 28 – 12-1 p.m. – Downtown Group
Stinson Leonard Street Law Firm (1201 Walnut St., Suite 2900, Kansas City, MO 64106)
Refugees and Global Migration » – Thursday, March 28 – 2-3:30 p.m. – JCCC Group
Johnson County Community College, CoLab, OCB 107 (12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS 66210) 
For a full listing of 2019 group meetings, visit the IRC website ».


Does your business or organization have an upcoming event that could be of interest to IRC members? To have your event considered for inclusion in futureIRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes »

Ireland, Brexit, and the EU, presented by KU Center for Global & International Studies 
Monday, March 18 – 1:30-2:30 – Centennial Room, Kansas Union

Discussion Group Series: International Trade in the 21st Century », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Wednesday, March 20 – 4-5:30 p.m. – Dole Institute, Lawrence

German Film Festival: Gerhard Richter Painting, presented by the Hannover Committee
Thursday, March 21  6 p.m

3rd Annual Diversity & Inclusion Symposium - Health Literacy: From Patient to Practitioner, presented by KUMC
Tuesday, March 26 – 7:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. – Ad Astra Room, HEB 5th Floor

Renegotiating NAFTA, presented by KU Global Business Studies
Wednesday, March 27 – 3-5 p.m. – Capitol Federal Hall, Room 1020

Discussion Group Series: International Trade in the 21st Century », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Wednesday, March 27 – 4-5:30 p.m. – Dole Institute, Lawrence

14th Annual Dialogue & Friendship Dinner », presented by the Dialogue Institute Southwest
Thursday, March 28 – 6-8:30 p.m. – UMKC Student Union

 Leaders of Tomorrow », presented by the Command and General Staff College Foundation
Friday, March 29  –  9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Underground Annex, Park University

 7th Annual Open House, presented by KC Area Peace Corps Association 
Saturday, March 30  6-9 p.m. – Nonprofit Village

Discussion Group Series: International Trade in the 21st Century », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Wednesday, March 27 – 4-5:30 p.m. – Dole Institute, Lawrence

14th Annual Dialogue & Friendship Dinner », presented by the Dialogue Institute Southwest
Thursday, March 28 – 6-8:30 p.m. – UMKC Student Union

Discussion Group Series: International Trade in the 21st Century », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Wednesday, April 3 – 4-5:30 p.m. – Dole Institute, Lawrence

Multicultural Business Coalition Tour Week », presented by the Multicultural Business Coalition
Monday, April 8 – 2 p.m. 

Help Wanted? Immigration and Work (Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series) », presented by the Kansas City Public Library
Monday, April 8 – 6:30 p.m. – KCPL Central Library

The French Art of Tea with Emilie Jackson », presented by Centered Spirit 
Wednesday, April 10 – 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. – Central Exchange Downtown

North America Nabka Tour », presented by Avila University
Tuesday, April 16 – 6 p.m. – Avila University

Earth Day Festival, presented by Global and Multicultural Education
April 19 – 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – UMKC Pierson Hall

For a complete listing of events, please see the KC Community Calendar »


U.S. Commercial Service Internships
The U.S. Commercial Service-Kansas City is a federal government office focused enabling Missouri and Kansas companies to export their goods and services. The agency is looking for interns with an interest in international trade to conduct market research, work on marketing and events, assist with business counseling, complete administrative tasks such as social media, and other special projects.  These positions are unpaid and are open to U.S. citizens in undergraduate or graduate programs. For more information contact

WACA Essay/Video Contest on Qatar
Open to high school students across the country, the challenge is to submit an 800-word Memorandum OR a 5-minute Video to “Advise the Secretary of State: Measures to Strengthen the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Partnership.” A panel of educators and experts in student exchange programs will judge the entries. The top 10 contestants will win an all-expenses-paid Doha Study Tour on June 21-27, 2019. Contest winners will also be eligible for scholarships to attend the WACA 2019 National Conference in Washington, DC on November 6-8, 2019. The 10 high school student winners will be joined by the 4-member champion team of the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018-2019 Academic WorldQuest National Competition, the team's teacher, and two WACA chaperones. Please submit your original essays and videos to Liz Brailsford The deadline for submissions is March 29, 2019.

Do you know of a volunteer opportunity that would allow IRC members to work with individuals from a variety of countries and cultures or that focuses on international topics or global issues? To have the opportunity considered for inclusion in the Volunteer Center or future IRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes ».

These are just a sampling of international volunteer opportunities in Kansas City. Visit the Volunteer Center » for more one-time and ongoing opportunities to support international initiatives.

2019 Comida KC Volunteers
Comida KC (Thursday, April 25, 2019), is an event created by Eric Negrete Design, as the first Latin American event of Culinary Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, showing a cultural variety of different countries through its dance, music and unique dishes. It is noteworthy that the proceeds from the event will be used for educational, civic and business development offered by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and its sister organization nonprofit, Kansas City Hispanic Collaborative programs. Please arrive 15- 20 minutes to your shift, so that you can check in and be briefed on your expectations. Volunteers interested in the registration spots must attend a training a week prior to the event. 
Click here to sign up ».

Rotary Youth Exchange Seeks Host Families
Rotary Youth Exchange is seeking host families for high school age foreign exchange students for the 2019 - 2020 school year starting August 1, 2019. Student applicants currently seeking placement come from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, Peru, and Taiwan. RYE likes to have at least two and preferably three host families for each student, so a host family doesn’t have to commit to a full year of hosting. Contact David Beck (785) 817-0144, or Stephen Wheatley for more information about hosting a student. More information about Rotary Youth Exchange is available at