8 times a year, IAF brings top foreign policy experts to Traverse City to speak on pressing global issues.  Always the third Thursday of the month at Milliken Auditorium, our 2017-2018 season begins September 21st!  Join us by either becoming a member  or by purchasing tickets at the door.

Reception: 5:15pm

Lecture: 6:00pm
Tickets available at the door: $15
Free for current students and educators
Click here for previous IAF speakers.

“US/Mexico:  Wall or No Wall, A Border in Turmoil”

Thursday, September 21, 2017
6pm at NMC’s Milliken Auditorium

Alfredo Corchado, award-winning Mexican-American journalist, Mexico City bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News, and author of Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent Into Darkness.

Corchado is a noted expert on immigration, border issues, drug violence and U.S.-Mexico relations. His forthcoming book, “Shadows at Dawn: The Last Great Mexican Migration,” is a story about “the Mexico” within the United States. He calls the border home.

Midnight in Mexico book cover


Alfredo Corchado is the longtime Mexico bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News and author of Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s

Descent Into Darkness. He’s also affiliated with the Borderlands Program at The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

Corchado is a noted expert on immigration, border issues, Mexico’s democratic challenges, drug violence, and foreign policy between the U.S. and Mexico. Over the years, Corchado has exposed government corruption and the reach of Mexican drug traffickers into U.S. communities. He has described the perils that journalists face and the disturbing result: an increasingly silent Mexican press. His reporting has taken him throughout Latin America, including Cuba, Europe and West Africa.

Born in Durango, Mexico, Corchado grew up in California and Texas. He worked as a farm worker alongside his parents, who were members of the United Farm Workers, the union led by Cesar Chavez.

As a reporter for U.S. newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, he has written about the plight of immigrants and their perilous journey to the United States.

Corchado is a 1984 graduate of El Paso Community College, a 1987 graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a 2009 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a 2010 Rockefeller Fellow and Woodrow Wilson Scholar and a 2017 visiting scholar at the University of California San Diego, Corchado won the Maria Moors Cabot award from Columbia Journalism School in 2007 for extraordinary bravery and enterprise. In 2010 he was awarded Colby College’s Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism.

He is working on a second book, “Shadows at Dawn, The Last Great Mexican Migration,” a story about the Mexico within The United States. He calls the border home.

“Meeting America’s Global Education Challenge – Why Our Kids Need Passports and Should Use Them!”

Thursday, October 19, 2017
6pm at NMC’s Milliken Auditorium

Allan Goodman, President and CEO, Institute of International Education, responsible for more than 250 American exchange programs with 175 nations, including the venerated Fulbright program.

Our kids today can Tweet and Snapchat to “friends” anywhere on the planet. But less than 10% of U.S. undergrads study abroad, and only about one-third of Americans have passports. Hear directly from the man who runs America’s largest exchange programs on why “study abroad” programs are essential to our global competitiveness.



Allan E. Goodman
President and CEO
Institute of International Education 

Dr. Allan E. Goodman is the sixth President of IIE, the leading not-for-profit organization in the field of international educational exchange and development training. IIE conducts research on international academic mobility and administers the Fulbright program sponsored by the United States Department of State, as well as over 200 other corporate, government and privately-sponsored programs. Previously, he was Executive Dean of the School of Foreign Service and Professor at Georgetown University. He is the author of books on international affairs published by Harvard, Princeton and Yale University Presses. Dr. Goodman served as Presidential Briefing Coordinator for the Director of Central Intelligence and as Special Assistant to the Director of the National Foreign Assessment Center in the Carter Administration. Subsequently, he was the first American professor to lecture at the Foreign Affairs College of Beijing, helped create the first U.S. academic exchange program with the Moscow Diplomatic Academy for the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, and developed the diplomatic training program of the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a founding member of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), Co-President of the Partner University Fund (PUF) Grant Review Committee, and a member of the Jefferson Scholarship selection panel. He also serves on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation International Quality Group Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees of the Education Above All Foundation. Dr. Goodman has a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard, an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.S. from Northwestern University. He was awarded the inaugural Gilbert Medal for Internationalization by Universitas 21.

“Russia 2018:  Putin’s Last Act?”

Thursday, November 16, 2017
6pm at NMC’s Milliken Auditorium

John R. Beyrle, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, 2008-2012 and recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award

After 18 years as Russia’s unchallenged leader, what does Putin want — or need — from the March 2018 Russian elections? And with all the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Administration and Putin, where are relations headed? After speaking to a sold-out IAF crowd 4 years ago, we are thrilled that Ambassador Beyrle will return to help us understand this hottest of topics!


John R. Beyrle

John Beyrle served as an American diplomat for three decades in a career focused on the Soviet Union and Russia, and Central and Eastern Europe.   He was twice appointed ambassador: to Bulgaria (2005-08), and to Russia (2008-12). During the latter assignment, he helped to foster improved U.S.-Russia relations, highlighted by the signing of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty.

Ambassador Beyrle’s diplomatic service included two earlier tours at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, including as Deputy Chief of Mission. He served as counselor for political and economic affairs at the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic, and was a member of the U.S. delegation to the CFE arms control negotiations in Vienna. His Washington assignments included special adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell for the New Independent States, and director responsible for Russia policy on the staff of the National Security Council under President Clinton.

Ambassador Beyrle received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from President Obama, and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award during the administration of George W. Bush.   Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally presented him with the Distinguished Service Award, the State Department’s highest honor. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2012 as a Career Minister (a diplomatic rank equivalent to a three-star general) and serves as a trustee or adviser for a number of business and non-profit institutions, including the US Russia Foundation.

Ambassador Beyrle received a B.A. with honors from Grand Valley State University and an M.S. as a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College, where he later taught as a visiting professor of national security studies. He speaks Bulgarian, Czech, French, German and Russian.