International Focus Projects 

We are working on a number of different projects and ways to connect across cultures in the Triangle and beyond. Please reach out if you would like to be actively involved through our volunteer network and committees or just COME ENJOY!

Online Diplomacy Series

Global Diplomacy Dialogue

The online series will involve alumni who visited the Research Triangle area and who in an interactive conversation will update us about their projects since returning home, their trip to North Carolina, how they continue their work during COVID-19, and the latest news and information from their corner of the world.


This diplomacy series will focus on local leaders and their impact across our state and beyond! You will get to know inspiring voices working in the arts, diplomacy, faith, law, business, politics, sciences and humanities. Guests will reveal their thoughts, giving us further insight into their character and work towards the building of resilient communities. Former IF Board Member Sean Maroney will moderate these 60-minute dialogues, which will include questions from our members.

If you need to get in touch with International Focus, please email us at [email protected]

To donate today online:

Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Journalists from Europe


Marco Büttner
Panelist and Television Journalist
Head of Political Department of RTL Television, Berlin, Germany
Alumni of International Visitor Leadership Program, Edward R. Murrow Program-2010 ‘ Wojciech Cegielski
Foreign News Correspondent, Polish Radio
Warsaw, Poland
Alumni of International Visitor Leadership Program, Edward R. Murrow Program-2010

Sponsors –  Aruna and Tilak Shah, Dialogue Sponsors
International Focus Members; Smoothie Island  

Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Journalists from the Asia Pacific Region


Maggie Boyle
Editor/Senior Multimedia Journalist
Fijian Broadcasting Corporation
Patrick Crewdson
New Zealand;

Sponsors – Jane Craven & William Kwapil, Dialogue Sponsor
International Focus Member; Smoothie Island 

Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Journalists from Africa


Yvonne Tshepang Mooka
Correspondent, BBC Africa- Botswana ; Wycliffe Masinde Nangi
Radio Station Manager- Kenya ; Kingsley d. Uranta
Assistant GM, Television- Nigeria

Sponsors – Mary & Dave Davenport; Dialogue Sponsors
International Focus Members; Smoothie Island 

Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Journalists from MENA Region


Mr. Ahmed El Jechtimi
Reuters Reporter
Morocco; Rachel Karam
News Reporter, Al Jadeed TV
Lebanon; Insaf Yahieoui Ben Zeineb
Journalist and Talk Show Host

Sponsors – Nighat & Waheed Haq; Dialogue Sponsor
International Focus Members; Smoothie Island 

 E-Talk with Jaki Shelton Green 


Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate

Sponsors – Jean Sculati & John Twomey, Dialogue Sponsors
International Focus Member; Smoothie Island 

Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Young Leaders of Americas Initiative (YLAI)


Ms. Lucila Dotto
People Consultant
Young Leaders of Americas Initiative (YLAI), Fellow, 2017
London, UK; Argentina; Mr. Jeffsky Poincy
Development Policy Specialist, Haiti;
Candidate, Master of Public Policy and International Development, Duke University
Young Leaders of Americas Initiative (YLAI), Fellow, 2017
Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Ms. Liz Tracy
Researcher, doctoral student
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC
Young Leaders of Americas Initiative (YLAI), Mentor, 2017

Sponsors – Kristen & Tim Hoyle

Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Filmmakers;
International Visitor Leadership Program Alumni


Mr. Anwar Chowdhury
Independent Documentary Film Maker, Producer
Dhaka, Bangladesh; Mr. George Kolotov, Freelance Photographer,
Kyrgyzstan,USA; Mr. Sunzu Bachaspatimayum, Independent filmmaker, Manipur, India; Ms. Uma Vangal, A filmmaker, film professor, Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, India

Sponsors – Glenn & Eileen Taylor Dialogue Sponsors
International Focus Member

Global Diplomacy Dialogue with visitors from Belarus, alumni of the Community Connections program 2014.


Mr. Arsen Dzhanashia
Deputy Dean of the Faculty of History and Philology
Mediator, Editor
Organization Committee of Minsk Mediation Fest, Mogilev, Belarus; Ms. Aksana Shulha
Head of the Department of Clinical and Consulting Psychology
Ph.D., Associate Professor, Mediator
Head of the Belarusian Leagues of Family Mediators
Belarusian State Pedagogical, University, Belarusian Leagues of Family Mediators
Minsk, Belarus; Mr. Frank Laney
Circuit Mediator
US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
Raleigh, ;

Sponsors – Sharon Goldenberg & Jeffrey LaRiche, Dialogue Sponsors
International Focus Member

E-Talk with Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw Perspective on Current Civil Unrest


Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw Jr.
Pastor of First Baptist Church, Raleigh
Chairman of The Triangle Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee

Sponsors – Alison R. Vernon
Dialogue Sponsor
International Focus Member

E-Talk “Photography Hoping to Create a Better World”


Burk Uzzle, Photographer

Sponsors – Ambassador Brenda Schoonover 

E-Talk “The long-standing relationship between North Carolina and the Republic of Moldova
Perspective on Women in Leadership”


Secretary of State Elaine Marshall

Coffee With Emerging Leaders

Monthly Jan-Nov

Coffee with Emerging Leaders is an intimate monthly event for International Focus members to meet and connect with International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) delegates. Visitors will informally introduce themselves, share professional objectives, and speak about their experience in their homeland and the US. Typically, the event draws about ten to fifteen attendees, allowing for direct exchange with diplomatic visiotors.

Come mingle with international visitors, leverage your connections around the world and be an IF Ambassador!


Global Holiday Festival and Market

November 23, 2019 –  Moore Square, Ralsigh


The Global Holiday Festival and Market is a day of celebration honoring holidays and traditions from around the world. Join dozens of ethnic communities from across the Triangle for a day of food, shopping, entertainment, and community engagement. Come celebrate the unique diversity of the Raleigh area and enjoy the wintertime festivities!

Global Talk: Diplomacy in the EU in the Age of BREXIT

Dinner, drinks, and diplomacy! Join us for an informative conversation about the European Union and Brexit.

UNC Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for European Politics, Holger Moroff, will give an overview of the EU, including its inception as a prominent trading block, Member State interactions, issues of sovereignty, and how states leverage collective action. He will examine current and future challenges to the EU, focusing on Brexit, the new leadership in Brussels, and the future of Transatlantic relations. An open Q&A and general conversation will follow the talk.

Guests will enjoy a free drink and appetizers. Dinner and additional beverages can be ordered individually.

International Focus is honored to partner with the UNC Center for European Studies’ EU2U program for this Global Talk!


 Date TBA (Early 2020)


34th International Festival of Raleigh

The annual International Festival of Raleigh presents three days of international music, dance, food, games, art, cultural exhibits, kids’ stuff, and shopping. Over 55 Triangle ethnic communities ranging from Afghan to Vietnamese participate to showcase their heritage, share traditions, and to celebrate cross-cultural friendship in the Triangle.

March 6, 7, 8, 2020 – NC State Fairgrounds


Film Festival: Home is Distant Shores

 October 2019

A fictional and documentary series that explores the immigrant and refugee experience in the US, this mini film festival features pieces from a variety of different perspectives and voices. We are glad to be partnering with the US Committee for Immigrants and Refugees – NC Field Office, Verve Films, and the NC Museum of Art on this annual project!


Citizen of the World Awards 2020


International Focus’ Citizen of the World Award honors individuals who have made a considerable contribution to international relations in the Triangle. The black tie event will showcase the area’s global cuisine and restaurants with each course prepared by a different renowned local ethnic chef.


2020 Dates TBA