Global Honors Evening
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About the Global Honors Evening

Each year since the early 1980s, the IRC has recognized individuals and organizations for contributions to foreign policy and global affairs, international commerce, or the Kansas City community. In 2019, we are pleased once again to celebrate a range of individuals and groups that make Kansas City a shining global community. The celebration will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dessert, live entertainment, special recognitions, and the chance to meet some of Kansas City's most notable and beloved global citizens. This year’s Global Honors Evening will recognize efforts and achievement in the space of global health.

Global health is a field with broad reach and important local implications, including in our Kansas City area. Millions of lives have been positively impacted as access to health and healthcare has expanded thanks to the coordinated efforts of national governments, local communities, and international organizations. Still, significant work remains in our own communities and around the world to combat health disparities and challenges around infant and maternal mortality, chronic and infectious diseases, and the health of immigrant and refugee populations. New, innovative approaches and collaborative efforts in research, health system delivery strategies, and community-based health are essential to equalize access to health for everyone everywhere.

The 2019 Global Honors Evening will be held on Thursday, November 21,
at the Little Theatre at the Kansas City Convention Center.

2019 Awardees

Distinguished Service Award for International Statesmanship – Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D.
Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy

Academic Leadership – Dr. Sarah Finocchario Kessler, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center

Contributions to the Community – Swope Health

Past Awardees
Awards have been presented in a variety of categories since 1984:

  • The IRC has been honored to confer the Distinguished Service Award for International Statesmanship on dignitaries and thought leaders who have made outstanding contributions in international commerce, diplomacy, and education, including Richard Myers (2017), Janet Napolitano (2014), Madeleine Albright (2006), John Danforth (2005), Robert M. Gates (2003), Alan Mulally (2001), Robert J. Eaton (1993), and William G. Hyland (1984).
  • The Award for Contributions to the Community is given to local individuals, organizations, or companies who have contributed to economic growth in the area and have shown exemplary service to their community. Past recipients have included the Consular Corps of Greater Kansas City (2017), Julián Zugazagoitia (2014), R. Crosby Kemper III (2013), Sporting Kansas City (2012), Seaboard Corporation (2010), and John P. McMeel (1998). 
  •  The Award for Academic Leadership is given to local individuals or educational institutions that contribute to global education in the Midwest. Past recipients have included the University of Missouri–Kansas City (2017), the Stowers Institute (2009), the KU Confucius Institute (2008), KCPT Public Television (1999), and Dr. E. Grey Dimond (1989).

Please click here to learn more about past awardees.