Dear Friends of the International Affairs Council,
After nearly 40 years of proudly serving the Research Triangle region with valuable programming, the International Affairs Council is making a transition. Increased costs and reduced funding have rendered our current business structure unsustainable and after extraordinary efforts to persist, we will discontinue operations at the end of November. We are particularly grateful to friends of the IAC, including North State Bank, for helping us through this difficult period and supporting us as we worked to transfer our international visitor programming to a partner organization. For our members who renewed membership on October 1, 2013 or later a refund will be made in the coming weeks.
I am very pleased to announce that on November 25, 2013, our dedicated staff members Leila Bekri, Director of International Visitor Leadership Programs, and Maria Adoskina, Director of Special Projects, transferred to International Focus Inc., an outstanding 27-year-old institution that serves as a leading proponent of cultural understanding in the Triangle. International Focus is particularly well-known for its flagship annual event, the International Festival of Raleigh. Under the leadership of Executive Director Melissa Driver Beard, International Focus will undergo an expedited application process with the U.S. Department of State to continue our signature international visitor programming in the Triangle. We are confident that International Focus will be a good steward of this programming and the relationships we have built over many years with local members and partners, DC-based funders, and international visitors. International Focus is committed to honoring the membership benefits current IAC members enjoy and will contact these members in the very near future.
As we wind down operations, on behalf of the Board of Directors I offer sincere thanks to the many supporters of the International Affairs Council and its mission. Your gifts of financial support, partnership, colleagueship, and friendship are deeply appreciated. I thank our executive director, Joe Mosnier, and staff – Leila Bekri, Wanda Capps, Maria Adoskina and Matt Leatherman – and the many volunteers including Sam Lasris, Emily Bowden, Beth Streight, Nestor Avila, Zachary Adams, Jami Benson, Daniela Archibold, Lisa Toledo, Janet Felts, Momoca Nishimoto, and host families for their commitment to and professional execution of our many important programs. And I thank my board colleagues, past and present, for their diligent work and creative ideas in our attempts to sustain the International Affairs Council. Finally, we are all grateful for the countless international visitors, guests, and dignitaries we have had the privilege to introduce to North Carolina over the years. They have enriched our communities and our lives in many important ways.
Chair of the Board
July 2013: Youth Leadership Program with Central Europe Arrives
In 2013, the IAC will coordinate a second year of the Youth Leadership Program with Central Europe (YLPCE), a program funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Meridian International Center. YLPCE brings high school-aged young adults from Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia to meet peers in the U.S. to build cultural bridges and work together to enhance their leadership skills to solve community problems. Each year, a delegation of thirty-six youth and adults makes an extended visit to the U.S. in July; half of this group visits the Research Triangle region, the other half Kansas City. In turn, North Carolina and Kansas City each sends a group of four young adults and one adult mentor on a reciprocal visit to Central Europe in August. Through carefully tailored experiences, all participants gain leadership skills and plan specific action plans to implement in their home communities.
IAC recently hosted a delegation of lawyers from Ukraine. The group had many different interests but some common themes included human rights and comparison of the US and Ukrainian justice systems. The delegates stayed with host families and had a full agenda which included meetings with appellate judges, the attorney general of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, US Representative Brad Miller, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, as well as visits to Duke Law School, the North Carolina Justice Center, the Wake County Courthouse, and the North Carolina Bar.
2013 Summer Interns
IAC welcomes its summer 2013 interns!
October 26: "Not My Life" Documentary Screening
Join us and director Robert Bilheimer in October for a screening of "Not My Life", a feature-length documentary film about global human trafficking.
IAC Planning for 2013
IAC is planning for its international visitor programming for the upcoming year. We anticipate more than 60 international visitor delegations through programs including the International Visitor Leadership Program (funded through the Department of State), Open World (funded through the United States Agency for International Development), and others. We are also planning the regional WorldQuest competition for February and are looking to expand our home hospitality programs.