Russians: The People Behind the Power

Thursday, May 29th  | 7:00pm

Distinguished Speakers ProgramfeiferV1
“Russians: The People Behind the Power”

This event is free of charge and open to the public. 

Featuring author Gregory Fiefer

When:  Thursday, May 29th 7:00pm

Where: Dell Brown Room, Turner Hall, University of Montana. (Link to map)

About our guest: Gregory Feifer is a former Moscow correspondent for National Public Radio who has reported from Russia for almost a decade. During its resurgence under Putin, he filed from other former Soviet republics and across Russia, where he observed the effects of the country’s vast new oil wealth on an increasingly nationalistic society as well as Moscow’s rekindling of a new Cold War-style opposition to the West. In 2008, Feifer covered the Russia-Georgia war from the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia and traveled to Siberia, Belgrade and Berlin to produce a series on the Kremlin’s use of Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, as an instrument of foreign policy.

Before joining NPR in 2005, Feifer-whose mother is Russian-lived in Paris and New York, and has written for numerous outlets, including The New Republic, The Washington Post and World Policy Journal. He witnessed the coup d’etat attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991, and later, on a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs, examined the end of the Yeltsin era and Russia’s subsequent transformation into an authoritarian state.

Feifer is the author of The Great Gamble, a history of the Soviet war in Afghanistan and coauthor of Spy Handler with former KGB colonel Victor Cherkashin. He lives in Boston with his wife Elizabeth, son Sebastian and daughter Vanessa.

Opinion Piece from the Missoulian

A great opinion piece from our Vice President Mr. Kevin Kitchlin was published recently in the Missoulian.

Every year as winter transitions to spring, students from across Montana converge on Missoula and the University of Montana campus to participate in the Montana Worlds Affairs Council’s Academic World Quest.

AWQ began several years ago as an attempt to facilitate a greater understanding of world affairs among Montana’s youth. The competition began small with few participants. It has since grown to encompass over 60 schools and hundreds of students. For many participants, AWQ marks the first time they have ever visited a larger urban setting or stepped foot on a university campus. AWQ includes a full day of activities treating students to a variety of stimulating conversations regarding world affairs, and culture. Former ambassador Mark Johnson, the council’s founder, generously gives his time to speak on global affairs and answer student questions. Udo Fluck introduces students to the power of culture through film analysis. A panel of international students from the university answers questions about life abroad. The full day of activities culminates with the competition itself.

[Read more...]

Kettlehouse UNite with 2014 Humphrey Fellows

May 14th, 2014 | 5:00 – 8:00pmKettlehouse Logo

KettleHouse Brewing Community UNite

The Council has been chosen to participate in the KettleHouse Brewing Community UNite Program!

Come enjoy a locally handcrafted brew while supporting global education in classrooms and communities throughout the Big Sky.

The Council will receive $.50 of every pint sold between 5-8 pm on the evening of May 14th at the Northside Taproom. Location: 313 N 3rd Street West

Thank you KettleHouse Brewing for supporting the Council!

Starting at 6:00pm

The Council will be hosting a meet-and-greet with the 2014 Humphrey Fellows who are studying at the University of Montana’s English Language Institute.

The Humphrey Fellowship at UM includes 11 professionals from around the world, who have come to Montana to foster a mutual exchange of knowledge and understanding about issues of common concern in the United States and the Fellows’ home countries. The Program offers Fellows valuable opportunities for leadership development and professional engagement with Americans and their counterparts from many nations.

This year’s Humphrey Fellow’s consist of a collection of nationalities, ranging from Togo to Pakistan, and Armenia to Myanmar. These Fellows have come to Montana representing various professions, including agriculture, journalism, geophysics, urban development, education, and more.


From the Great Wall to the Rocky Mountains

Tuesday April 19th, 2014 | 12:00 – 1:30pm

Business Luncheon Series
“From the Great Wall to the Rocky Mountains: The role of Cultural Exchange in Bridging Our Two Peoples”

Council members and their guests are invited to attend this exclusive event:

Madam Li Hong
Minister Counselor for Cultural Affairs,
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

Madam Hong will be accompanied by:
Mr. Zhao Jianhua
First Secretary, Cultural Office, Embassy of China

Miss Liu Xiaolin
Second Secretary, Cultural Office, Embassy of China

When:  Tuesday, April 29th – 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Where: DoubleTree Hotel

Cost: (including catered lunch) $20/current Council members $25/non-members. Members are welcome to bring up to two guests.

RSVP:  Seating is limited, please call (406)728-3328 to reserve your seat today.

About our guestlihong
Joining Ministry of Culture of China in 1984, Li Hong served successively as Deputy Director, Director and Deputy Director General of the Bureau for External Cultural Relations, Ministry of Culture of China, overseeing China’s cultural exchange with Asian, American, Oceanian and Eurasian countries.

Li Hong’s overseas postings include cultural attache at Chinese Embassy in Singapore (1991-1995) and Cultural Counselor at Chinese Embassy in Australia (2004-2009) and Minister Counselor for Cultural Affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC starting from April 2013. Acquiring a Bachelor Degree from Beijing Foreign Studies University in 1984, Li Hong received simultaneous interpretation training at Beijing UN Language Training Center from 1987-89 and studied at University of Maryland from 1999-2000 as a Hubert Humphrey Fellow.

2014 Academic WorldQuest Success

When we get feedback from our AWQ participants, it brings our months of hard work and preparation into perspective. Here are some quotes from a recent thank you card from Park High School:

Thank You, World Affairs Council! I learned so much at the last competition. The foreign student Q&A helped me to be exposed to the outside world!
~Karl M.

Thank you for hosting this event! I learned a lot and the guest speakers were fascinating. It exposed me to new information about the world and its problems that I was not aware of. Thanks again!
~ Maggie B.

Thank you for expanding my knowledge of the world!
~Andy V.

This year’s WorldQuest competition was very inspirational and lots of fun! The speakers were riveting and the competition was fierce. This was a great experience, and I’m grateful for the knowledge I gained.
~Elana B.

We love to hear how our programs impact Montana students, so keep the feedback coming!

Thank you to again to all of the students who participated in the 2014 Global Connections International Education day featuring the 10th Annual Academic WorldQuest Competition