IRC Announces New Executive Director
Share |

July 27, 2016 – The International Relations Council is pleased to announce Matthew Hughes as its new executive director.

We are excited that Matthew has joined the International Relations Council,” said Bob Rebori, president of the IRC Board of Directors. His experiences in education, international initiatives, and the nonprofit sector and his enthusiasm for Kansas City make him a great fit for this organization. We welcome his leadership and support in carrying out the IRCs mission.

Hughes’ professional experience bridges the education and nonprofit sectors. A K-12 teacher for six years and fluent in Spanish, Hughes has worked with students ranging from age 4 through adult learners. He has developed curricula for schools and nonprofits, is a dynamic trainer and presenter, and has served on the board of several organizations, including the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City. Matthew relishes the chance to travel and has experience living internationally, including in South America and on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Most recently, Hughes managed Global Education Programs for People to People International. In this role, he developed a Global Student Fair – attended in its first year by more than 600 elementary students, 350 high-schoolers, and 70 local organizations – to show students just how global Kansas City is. He admires the initiatives, diversity, and enthusiasm of the many international organizations and communities in Kansas City and values opportunities for collaboration.

Hughes holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Arts degree in Global & International Studies from the University of Kansas. His thesis discusses “Opportunities for Global-Competence Education in Secondary Extracurricular Programs.” He recently completed a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management & Innovation from the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

“I am honored to have been selected to support the work of an organization whose mission – to lead essential conversations around foreign affairs and their connection to Kansas City – is just as relevant now as when Eliot Berkley founded the IRC more than 60 years ago,” Hughes said. “I look forward to sustaining this legacy by working with individuals and groups around the metro and region to build community, engage critical issues, and enhance global understanding.”

The International Relations Council works in partnership with businesses, universities, community organizations, and K-12 schools to bring a global perspective to the Kansas City community. Hughes joins the IRC as the organization is preparing its Eliot S. Berkley Annual Dinner, which this September will honor Zahner for contributions to the community and feature special guest James Carville. He can be reached at