Last Month: International Women’s Day, Chinese Chamber of Commerce & More

International Women’s Day

As Executive Director, Michelle Harpenau is committed to making this region the most prominent location for international understanding and cultural awareness for students, families, and professionals to succeed. For International Women’s Day we are celebrating her and all her accomplishments through our nonprofit organization.

Read the Q&A with Michelle Harpenau.

STIR! Multicultural Networking Reception

Seven regional Chambers joined together for this networking event to elevate and celebrate the many cultures in our region. Two members of our staff, James McManus and Ciarra Wooten attended this event to enjoy drinks, appetizers, and grow our network across cultures and communities at this multicultural networking reception.

The next event will take place on June 14 | More Information

Board Member of the Month: Chris Huntington

Chris first got involved with the Council when an international delegation from Indonesia visited Nexigen to discuss Smart Cities, as his wife is from this country he was able to identify well with the group.

He has become more involved with the World Affairs Council ever since this chance opportunity. Chris has spoken at many security and non-security conferences on several aspects of cyber security – including the Council’s 11th International Education Summit, where he spoke to over 200 local high school students.

Check out his latest blog | A Global Guide to Hacking


All About the International Education Summit

The International Education Summit (IES) is a program designed to raise student awareness about global careers in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Professional representative diverse expertise from governmental, community, business, and nonprofit organizations. Representatives of local universities are in attendance as well to inform students of study abroad opportunities.

Each year a different topic is chosen and experts in that field discuss their role in approaching the issue. This year we had Board Member, Chris Huntington of Nexigen discuss hacking, the economics of data security, and lean startup methodology.

Implications of China’s 2018 Constitutional Changes

L to R: Leo Chan, Rich Lauf, Tom Chung, Catalan Macarie, Bill Sena, Joe Dehner

On Friday, March 30 the Chinese Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel to discuss the impact of the recent changes in the Chinese Constitution. Our Board Chair, Rich Lauf and Board of Director, Bill Sena participated as panelists on behalf of the Council. The discussion covered several important changes largely overlooked by the news coverage, which has mainly focused on removal of Presidential and Vice-Presidential term limits. “I probably learned more than I contributed, since fellow panel members included some deep experts on China,” said Rich Lauf.  To learn more about the panel discussion visit these links listed below.



President, Xi Jinping’s speech to the Congress.

President of the Asia Society, Kevin Rudd’s, speech to the cadets and the US Military Academy.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies panel on the topic.

World Leaders Visit Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

In the month of March, the Council hosted three International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLP), and one Fee-For-Service Program through FH160, a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions.

Five international delegates from Italy arrived early in the month to discuss Anti-Corruption – Judicial, Law Enforcement, and Societal Issues. During their time here, the delegates spoke with and took tours of many organizations in our local area. Thank you to GE, Dr. Michael Benson at the University of Cincinnati, Cintas Center for Business Ethics at Xavier University, DHL, City of Cincinnati Internal Audit Division, P&G. At the end of their stay they had the opportunity to take part in one of Cincinnati’s famous Lenten fish fries at Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Through our Fee-For-Service Program, eight English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers arrived in Cincinnati this month from Cameroon, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Senegal, South Africa, Russia, South Sudan, and Tajikistan. During their visit they met with the Academy of World Languages, Xavier University, ELS Cincinnati at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Public Library ESOL Programmers, Winton Woods High School, and National Freedom Center. They were able to volunteer with the Council staff at Matthew 25 Ministries – where our delegate from Tajikistan, Saidabror Jalolov, admired the scope of volunteer outreach and he hopes to share this information with his family and friends at home.

Six international delegates from Lithuania visited Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to discuss Transportation and Safety Regulation. During their time here, they visited with the City of Cincinnati Department of Transportation, SORTA, Butler County Regional Transit Authority, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, City of Florence, Cincinnati Bulk Terminals, and Cincinnati Barge and Rail Terminal. On Sunday they had the day to themselves, where they took the time to see Chicago! The Musical.


Six international delegates from Brazil arrived later in the month to discuss Legislation and Regulation in the Digital Age. During their time here, they were able to meet and tour local organizations in our community. Thank you to Worldpay, IBM, U.S. Bank, Northern Kentucky University, Tech solve, Nexigen, and the City of Cincinnati.

A special thank you to our local hosts and volunteers, without you these memorable experiences couldn’t be possible. Your generosity in opening your homes to these international visitors will be fond memories of our area for years to come.

“Hosting international visitors is a unique benefit offered to members-first. Visitors are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and have been recognized as leaders effecting real change in their home communities. Connect with these leading individuals from around the world by hosting them for dinner in your home.”


Meet Our Global Guide | Vikram Seshadri

We are excited to introduce Vikram Seshadri as one of our awesome Global Guides. We are looking forward to having him visit classrooms this spring.

Vikram is from Chennai, India and earned his bachelor’s degree from Amrita University. Currently, he is pursuing his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati on scholarship. He is fluent in four languages and counting! He enjoys playing basketball and flute, but his favorite hobbies are traveling and photography. For Vikram, photography helps him understand perspectives that he has never explored.

As a real globe-trotter, Vikram is eager to share his extensive travel experience around India, Dubai, Singapore and throughout the United States.


Join the Global Ed Network TODAY!

In partnership with school districts, global community partners, and collaborating businesses, the World Affairs Council champions global education efforts through innovative, interactive, and experiential approaches. For our Global Ed Network, we design yearlong academic enrichment and leadership opportunities for students and teachers to focus on cross-cultural experiences, global careers, and knowledge activities.

Bring the world to your district today! We’ll partner with you to create a program that fits your needs.

Learn More  

Our Upcoming Events

April 26 | The Future of Failed, Failing, and Fragile States with Carla Koppell, VP, Applied Conflict Transformation, United States Institute of Peace – SAVE THE DATE

May 22 | The Future of China’s Maritime Aspirations with Lyle Goldstein, Associate Professor & Director, China Maritime Studies Institute at Naval War College – SAVE THE DATE

Upcoming International Events

April 7 | 4:30 PM to 9 PM | A Night at the Golden Globes – International Dinner and Talent Show at Northern Kentucky University – Purchase Tickets

April 16 | 7 PM to 9 PM | What in the World: Global Hot Spots and U.S. Foreign Policy featuring Martha Raddatz at Memorial Hall – Purchase Tickets

April 23 | 7 PM to 9 PM | Benefit Concert for the Munich Sister City Association at St. Mary’s Church in OTR – Purchase Tickets

April 25 | 5 PM to 8 PM | NKYEC Excellence in Education Dinner in Erlanger, Kentucky – Purchase Tickets


Local Resources

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