Distinguished Speakers Programs

Throughout the year, the Montana World Affairs Council brings world-class speakers to Montana to discuss timely international topics and significant global issues through this special speaker program.  We strive to present diverse perspectives, viewpoints and ideas through the expertise and knowledge of ambassadors, politicians, economists, global experts and others.

The special speaker program event often begins with a reception or social period, followed by a special presentation, lecture or other type of similar presentation, concluding with audience Q&A to further their understanding. All of our Distinguished Speaker Programs are free to members and students.

Distinguished Speaker Programs are hosted currently in Missoula, Bozeman, and Helena. All members receive free admissions to Distinguished Speaker Programs. If you are interested in becoming a member or renewing your membership, please click here.

Connect Montana

In response to Covid-19, the Montana World Affairs Council has created a new webinar series- Connect Montana. In the first 6 months, the Council provided nearly 30 programs reaching over 1,300 community members and students statewide. We are proud to have hosted distinguished speakers such as Congressman Greg Gianforte, Senator Jon Tester, Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins, Missoula Mayor John Engen, Consul General Yoichiro Yamada from the Japanese Consulate in Seattle, Consul General Robert O’Driscoll from the Irish Consulate in San Francisco, and many more.

All Connect Montana programs are recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel. Please click here to watch any of the programs you might have missed.

If you are interested in being a speaker on our Connect Montana series or have any questions, please contact Chris Hyslop, Executive Director, at chyslop@montanaworldaffairs.org.

Since our founding in the year 2000, the Council has hosted or co-sponsored nearly 400 community forums. The Distinguished Speakers Program, which cultivates international awareness and community discussion, is at the forefront of our mission.

Past programs have included:

“The U.S. – Afghanistan Strategic Partnership” with Tayeb Jawad, Ambassador of Afghanistan

“U.S. and Iran: Endless Enemies?” with Ambassador (Ret.) John Limbert

“Europe at a Crossroads: Crisis or Opportunity?” with Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United States

“Refugee Crisis: A Discussion of Global Importance” with Hayley Smith, Founder of Lifting Hands International

“The Evolving American Muslim Identity” with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people

“US and Cuba: The Best of Enemies” with Vicki Huddleston, Former Ambassador to Cuba

“Who speaks for Islam?” with Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies

Distinguished Speaker Programs are proudly sponsored by