The IRC offers a range of programs to grow a global perspective and highlight international connections within our community. We warmly welcome your involvement; please check out the different sections of our website and feel free to contact Matthew Hughes, executive director, for more information.

Expert Speakers and Discussion Groups

  • IRC Lecture Series: We bring together dignitaries, foreign-policy experts, and regional leaders to discuss, debate, and engage the local community in issues of international scope and local relevance.
  • Great Decisions: Groups meet around the metro area and online for conversations on critical international topics.
  • Global Affairs Book Club, A Novel Experience, and International Film Club: Participants read a book or screen an international film in advance of a facilitated conversation that explores international issues and connects the community.
  • News & Views: We host community conversations on the latest international news in a respectful, informal setting, both in-person and online.

Explore the World

  • Global Experience Series: Participants of all ages, interests, and backgrounds explore how international Kansas City is while answering two questions: What’s your global story? Do you get the chance to share it?
  • Lexicon: Bite-Size Language Intros: Each week, participants are introduced to the history, context, and basics of one of the world’s 6500 languages.
  • International Career Series: Each week, an IRC member shares their work in an international field, offering insight into the educational background, career paths, and intricacies of the field.
  • IRC Speakers Bureau: International subject-matter experts are available to speak free of charge at community events, K-12 schools, and universities.

Student Programs

  • Academic WorldQuest: Each year since 2006, the IRC has offered high-school students the chance to showcase their knowledge of world affairs, geography, history, and world events; the winning team receives an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national tournament.
  • Eliot S. Berkley Award: Each year, in memory of our founder and longtime executive director, Eliot S. Berkley, the International Relations Council presents this award to an exceptional high-school junior or senior who has demonstrated superior academic interest and competence in international studies. The award includes a $500 scholarship.
  • Your Global Future: This unique college and career fair brings together dozens of international businesses, organizations, and colleges and universities to show hundreds of area high-school students just how global their future can be.

IRC Signature Programs

  • Berkley Lecture: Founded in 1996, this lecture brings an expert in foreign policy and global affairs to the Kansas City area to provide a platform for engaging community members in understanding critical global issues.
  • WorldQuest: We host a global trivia night for 200+ business professionals, academic faculty, students, and community members.
  • Global Honors Evening: For more than 30 years, the IRC has recognized individuals or organizations for a variety of contributions – to foreign policy and global affairs, to international commerce, or to the Kansas City community.