- Japan " Innovation & Entrepreneurship"
- South & Central Asia " Women's Entrepreneurship"
- Belarus " Stimulating Entrepreneurship"
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What We Do
The International Affairs Council (IAC) is a community-based organization that champions knowledge and understanding of world affairs and culture in the Research Triangle region. We plan strategic itineraries for international leaders to meet with local leaders and exchange ideas and best practices, host thought-provoking programs to inform North Carolina citizens about global affairs, and support K - 12 international education activities.
We are proud of the work we began in 1973. Our success is due to a groundswell of community involvement from more than 2,000 local professional resources, 400 organization members, and dozens of interns and volunteers. The Triangle community has embraced our mission to increase knowledge and understanding of world affairs and culture in an era of fewer boundaries and greater opportunities. We believe in the power of people when they connect and find areas of common interests and experiences.
The "Research Triangle International Visitors Center" had its beginnings in 1973 as a service of the office of Duke University's then-President Terry Sanford. President Sanford had previously served as governor of North Carolina and, following his tenure at Duke, went on to become a U.S. Senator representing North Carolina.
The organization was incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization under NC law on July 30, 1975, and became independent of Duke University.
In 1981, Dr. William Friday, president of the University of North Carolina system, became an important friend and ally, placing his name and influence behind the organization. In 1982, the organization was accepted for full membership in the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV), becoming one of more than 100 such organizations around the country. In 1986, the name of the organization was changed to "International Visitors Council."
Since the 1980s, the organization has nearly quadrupled the number of visitors we host annually to more than 400. In 2002, the board of directors approved a motion to merge with the Triangle World Affairs Council, a local organization with an outstanding reputation for hosting high quality events related to world affairs. The name of the organization was changed to the "International Visitors Council / World Affairs Council" to reflect the merger and the expanded program opportunities.
In 2005, the board of directors appointed a special committee to consider a permanent name for the organization, which resulted in its present name: International Affairs Council.