IRC Speakers: 2015-19
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Roy Norton, Consul General of Canada in Chicago
Topic: Truman, Canada, and U.S. Global Engagement

Damien Levie, Head of Section, Trade & Agriculture, Delegation of the European Union to the U.S.
Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Principal, Summit Strategies International
Marjorie Chorlins, Vice President for European Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Topic: Envisioning Transatlantic Partnership for the 21st Century

Hon. James Clad, Senior Advisor, Center for Naval Analyses & Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia
Topic: Fueling the World: Geopolitical Economy of Oil

James H. Williams, Ph.D., Executive Director, National Churchill Museum and Sandra and Monroe Trout Professor of Churchill Studies, Westminster College
Michael Eaton, Executive Director, National Model UN Conference and Council of Chapters and Regions of the UNA-USA
Topic: Is the United Nations Still Relevant?

H.E. Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu, South African Ambassador to the U.S.

Raj Bhala, Associate Dean and Rice Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas School of Law
Michael Makara, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Central Missouri
Goran Ghafour, doctoral student, William Allen White School of Journalism, University of Kansas
Topic: War with ISIS, Alliances with Iran: Examining U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Governor Bob Holden, chairman of the Midwest US-China Association and founder of the Holden Public Policy Forum and professor at Webster University; former Governor of Missouri
Topic: Chinese Investment in the U.S.

Dr. Carleen Maitland, Associate Professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University
Topic: Technology: Empowering Refugees & Changing Refugee Camps

Deana Arsenian, Vice President of the International Program at Carnegie Corporation of New York
Topic: The World According to Putin


Vincent Floreani, French Consul General in Chicago
Topic: Future of the EU-U.S. Relationship: Global Trade and Cooperation

Shudong Chen, Professor of Humanities, Johnson County Community College
Steve Duxbury, Vice President and Director of Regional Project Support, Black & Veatch
Topic: Closing the Global Gap Between US and Them: China

Santiago Corcuera, Member and Vice Chairperson of the UN Committee Against Forced Disappearances
Heith Janke, Supervisory Special Agent, Public Corruption/Civil Rights Squad, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kansas City Division
Ellen Y. Suni, Dean of UMKC School of Law
Topic: Human Trafficking in Central and North America

Ambassador Dina Kawar, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations
Topic: International Response to Conflict in a Changing World

Aaron Mann, Partner, Husch Blackwell
Felix Sturmer, Professor of Hospitality Management, Johnson County Community College
Topic: Closing the Global Gap Between US and Them: European Union

Kate Mellor, International Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce
Christina Sevilla, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, Office of the President
Raj Bhala, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law, University of Kansas School of Law
Topic: Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Bob Rebori, President of Bio-Microbics, Inc.
Luz María Álvarez, Spanish language instructor, Johnson County Community College; native of Mexico
Topic: Closing the Global Gap Between US and Them: Mexico

Lawrence J. Haas, Senior Fellow for U. S. Foreign Policy at the American Foreign Policy Council
Topic: Harry and Arthur: Truman, Vandenberg, and the Partnership that Created the Free World

Ton Akkerman, DVM, Agricultural Counselor U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, Office of Economic Affairs, Agriculture, and Innovation, Netherlands Embassy
Dr. Keith Hamilton, Executive Director of International Programs, College of Veterinary Medicine, K-State University
Joe R. Thompson, Partner, Husch Blackwell
Daryl Pint, CEO, CEVA Biomune – Biomune Company
Topic: At the Crossroads: Agribusiness and National Security in EU-U.S. Relations

James Carville, American political commentator and media personality

Anna Ashton, Director of Business Advisory Services at the U.S.-China Business Council

Kazuyo Rumbach, instructor, Johnson County Community College
Haruko Shukla, Partner, Shukla and Associates
Topic: Closing the Global Gap: Japan

James C. Harrington, human rights attorney, founder and director emeritus of the Texas Civil Rights Project
Topic: Perspectives on the Crisis in Turkey

Sarah Finocchario Kessler, Ph.D., MPH, Associate Professor at University of Kansas Medical Center’s Department of Family Medicine
James P. Mitchum, CEO, Heart to Heart International
Lee Norman, MD, MHS, MBA, State Surgeon of Kansas
Dr. Sudeep Ross, Chief Health Officer, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center
Topic: The Local Impact of Global Epidemics

Dr. Sofia Khan, physician and founder of KC for Refugees
Surhan Fatima Memon, visiting professor at Johnson County Community College
Topic: Closing the Global Gap: Pakistan

Ambassador Laura Kennedy, U.S. career diplomat

Johnmary Kirangwa, master's student at Rockhurst University from Uganda
Lacy Gordon, Program Director, HALO Foundation
Topic: Closing the Global Gap: Uganda

Col. Nicolas Auboin, French liaison officer for the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Topic: The Role of the Military in a 21st Century World


A. Cooper Drury, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Science and Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri
Topic: The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy

Evans Revere, former U.S. diplomat and former CEO of the Korea Society
Topic: Ten Things You Need to Know About North Korea

Hong Lei, Chinese Consul General in Chicago

Brigadier General (ret.) Peter Zwack, former senior defense official and attaché to the Russian Federation
Topic: Russia in 2017: Perspectives & Challenges

Ambassador Ross Wilson, Distinguished Senior Fellow, the Atlantic Council; former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan

Maria Adele Carrai, Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program; Visiting Scholar, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University
Topic: One Belt, One Road

H.E. Gerónimo Gutiérrez, Mexican Ambassador to the U.S.

General Richard Myers, former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Ivo Daalder, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, 2009-2013
Nina Jankowicz, George F. Kennan Fellow, Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Barry R. Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science, MIT
Stephen Walt, Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard
Topic: NATO: Truman to Trump

Ambassador William B. Taylor, Executive Vice President, U.S. Institute of Peace
Topic: Practical Peacebuilding for National Security


Katherine Charlet, Program Director, Technology and International Affairs, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Topic: The Future of Cyber Conflict

Dr. Christopher W. Anderson, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at the KU School of Business
Dr. Mona Lyne, Associate Professor and former Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City
Dr. Luciano Tosta, Associate Professor of Brazilian Literature and Culture, University of Kansas
Dr. Monica Mingucci, Program Director, UMKC Applied Language Institute
Topic: Um Retrato Atual: Economic, Political, and Cultural Perspectives on Brazil in 2018

Ambassador Patrick Moon, former U.S. Ambassador/Chief of Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Topic: NATO-Russia Relations: From the Cold War to Current Challenges

Alfonso Navarro-Bernachi, Head Consul of Mexico in Kansas City
Dr. Robynn Kuhlmann, Associate Professor, Department of Government, International Studies and Languages, University of Central Missouri
Topic: Democracy and the Mexican and U.S. Electoral Systems

H.E. Hynek Kmoníček, Czech Ambassador to the U.S.
Hon. Ladislava Begeç, Consul General of Slovakia in New York
Topic: The 100th Anniversary of the Pittsburgh Agreement

Ji Li, Professor of Law, Rutgers University School of Law
Edward (Trip) Frizell, Partner, Polsinelli
Chris Gutierrez, President of KC SmartPort
Jeff Zhao, Vice President of Human Resources and Legal Affairs, BWI Group (Dayton, Ohio); Director, China General Chamber of Commerce
Virginia Harper Ho, Associate Dean for International & Comparative Law, Professor of Law, University of Kansas School of Law, NCUSCR Public Intellectuals Program Fellow
Topic: The Opportunities and Challenges of Chinese Investment in the U.S.: A Public Forum

Dan Mahanty, U.S. Program Director, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
Col. Juan K. Ulloa, Director of the Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
Topic: Decisions: U.S. Global Engagement and the Military

Sarah Margon, Washington Director, Human Rights Watch
Topic: Human Rights Around the World

Ronnie Russell, Vice President, Missouri Soybean Association Board of Directors
Fang Shen, Partner, Husch Blackwell; President, Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City
John Stevens, international commercial banker, J.P. Morgan
Virginia Harper Ho, Associate Dean for International & Comparative Law, Professor of Law, a past Docking Faculty Scholar, and the inaugural Co-Director of the Polsinelli Transactional Law Center
Topic: Tariffs and Trade with China

Ambassador Bill Burns, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Dr. Steve Ellner
Topic: Maduro's Venezuela: Challenges and Implications


Ron Achelpohl, Director, Transportation and Environment Department, Mid-America Regional Council
Drew Thompson, Director, Data Center/Mission Critical Facility Solutions, Black & Veatch
Dr. Bradley W. Lane, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, School of Public Affairs and Administration, University of Kansas
Topic: Megaregions and the Future of Transportation

Dr. Jack MacLennan, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Park University
Suzanne Maheu, Homestay and Community Services Coordinator, International and Immigrant Student Services, Johnson County Community College
Topic: Closing the Global Gap: Canada

Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, foreign policy expert and former diplomat
Topic: National Security Challenges in the Next Decade: Implications for the U.S.

Amanda Sloat, Ph.D., Robert Bosch Senior Fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings
Topic: Brexit and the Future of Europe

Ambassador Thomas Pickering, career diplomat
Topic: A U.S. Perspective on Iran and the Larger Middle East

Director General Jerry Chang, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver
Virginia Harper Ho, Associate Dean for International & Comparative Law, Professor of Law, a past Docking Faculty Scholar, and the inaugural Co-Director of the Polsinelli Transactional Law Center
Dr. Jeffrey Pickering, professor of Political Science, Kansas State University
Topic: U.S.-Taiwan Relations as the Taiwan Relations Act Turns 40

Pritha Hariharan, International Program Director for Asia and Africa, Unbound
Gurbhushan Singh, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Johnson County Community College
Topic: Closing the Global Gap: India

Marc Chandler, Chief Market Strategist, Bannockburn Global Forex
H.E. Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to the U.S.
Topic: The Impact of Foreign Policy on the Value of the Dollar

Nazanin Ash, Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy, International Rescue Committee
Abdul Bakar, Director, Refugee Resettlement Program, Della Lamb Community Services
Dr. Matthew Naylor, President and CEO, National WWI Museum and Memorial
Topic: Great Decisions: Refugees & Global Migration

Uzra Zeya, President and CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding
Topic: An Update on Peacebuilding for the World Affairs Councils of America 2019 Leadership Meeting

Ambassador Jose Vicente Pimentel, former Brazilian Ambassador to South Africa, India, and Canada

Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
Topic: The Status of Peacebuilding Between India and Pakistan

Stefan Schlüter, career German diplomat
Topic: Populism & Nationalism on the Rise: A German Perspective

H.E. Dr. Asad Majeed Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the U.S.

Ambassador Deborah Birx, Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy

David Smolansky, former mayor of El Hatillo, Venezuela
Topic: Where Does Venezuela Go from Here?