Speakers: Diverse, timely, expert perspectives
We participate in the ACFR National Speakers Program which provides prominent speakers at the ready edge of responsibility and expertise regarding timely foreign policy issues & events. We have hosted sitting Ambassadors, former Ambassadors, State Department officials, Officers of the military, policy experts & more from foreign relations organizations and consultancies in the nation.
We also feature Iowa based speakers with special expertise and experiences in foreign relations from our congressional representatives, universities, and major news outlets.
At the Committee on Foreign Relations, our monthly meetings are dedicated to advancing discourse of relevant U.S. foreign relations issues and events while supporting our non-partisan, non-profit position. We provide a high quality personal experience with a unique intimate forum for dialogue and discussion. We support diverse, timely, well-informed perspectives that contribute to understanding concerning foreign relations.
Please click on the speaker’s name to RSVP!
James Smith is a co-founder of the UK National Holocaust Centre along with his brother Stephen and parents.
During the Kosovo crisis in 1999 he was a volunteer physician with the International Medical Corps (He was a trainee surgeon, having qualified as a medical doctor in Leeds, 1993). The late, costly and destructive international response to the ethnic cleansing Kosovo Crisis convinced James that the public health approach to the prevention of diseases should be applied to the prevention of genocide.
James co-founded the Aegis Trust in 2000 and remains the Chief Executive Officer. In 2002 he staged the first major international conference on genocide prevention with the UK Foreign Office (held at The Holocaust Centre).
In 2004, working with the Rwandan Government and Kigali City Council, he played a key role in establishing the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda’s capital, at a site where some 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide lie buried. It receives tens of thousands of visitors each year, world leaders among them.
James visited Darfur in 2004 and led Aegis Trust’s campaign to limit the crimes against humanity in the region. He has subsequently revisited both Sudan and South Sudan.
The Peace Education programme led by Aegis Trust in Rwanda is now being applied as a tool for prevention by community leaders in countries at-risk of mass atrocities, notably in Central African Republic, South Sudan and Kenya.
James is the President of the UK National Holocaust Centre. He was awarded the CBE in the New Years Honours List in 2014 for services to Holocaust education and genocide prevention.
Meetings: High Quality Personal Experience
Our meetings are held at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines each month from September through May of the following year. Because we limit the size of the membership and the size of the venue, we provide a unique intimate format for our members…giving the opportunity to meet the speaker, engage in discussion, and gain additional knowledge and information.
Agenda & Venue
Our meetings are usually held at the Wakonda Club, 3915 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, Iowa.
The typical agenda includes:
5:15PM Reception with the speaker
6:15PM Speaker’s presentation and Q&A
7:30PM Wrap up and closing comments