Engaging our Community in World Affairs
Do you believe the average citizen has the right—or even the responsibility—to help shape U.S. foreign relations? Would you like to strengthen relationships between citizens of the United States and those of other countries “one handshake at a time?” If you answered yes, the Santa Fe Council on International Relations (CIR) is your organization.
Founded in 1965 to assist foreign visitors, CIR is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the understanding of international issues and cultural affairs.
Through the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), CIR welcomes hundreds of international visitors to Santa Fe each year. Visitors include emerging leaders in government, politics, business, education, science, art, healthcare, and other fields. CIR members volunteer to act as “citizen diplomats” by organizing professional meetings, accompanying visitors during their stay, and hosting informal dinners in private homes. Members develop international connections – often turning into lifelong friendships – and effectively travel the world without leaving home. Those who accompany visitors to their meetings say they learn more about the Santa Fe community than they would have otherwise.
When you join CIR you can also participate in stimulating discussions, attend lectures and meet people with similar international experiences or interests. At a recent World Affairs Discussion Luncheon, speaker David Douglas inspired attendees to join the global effort to deliver clean water to the more than one billion people worldwide who lack it. A few weeks later, speakers Greg Mello and Paul Lizowski sparked a lively dialogue about the pros and cons of nuclear power to help meet America’s growing energy demands. CIR members heard first-hand from Career Ambassador Ryan Crocker about the impact of the Arab Spring on U.S. foreign relations. At events like these, CIR members get an insider’s look at current foreign affairs issues; but many report what they enjoy the most is socializing with those who share their interest in international issues, cultures and travel.
CIR members touch the lives of Santa Fe students as well. In 2010, CIR sent five local middle and high school teachers on an expense-paid trip to Turkey via a grant from the Turkish Cultural Foundation and the World Affairs Council of America. These teachers are now incorporating Turkish history and international issues into their classroom curriculum, inspiring students to look beyond our borders and even pursue international careers.
What are you waiting for? Join CIR’s more than 650 internationally-focused members and engage yourself in world affairs today!
Members receive the CIRcular—CIR’s quarterly newsletter— along with discounts to events and the opportunity to participate in member-only activities. Membership fees and donations allow students to attend CIR events for free.
To sign up—and to view upcoming events—log onto www.sfcir.org.