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Past Symposia



Two speakers standing on stage in a full, dimly lit auditorium.

 Flyer for the 2022 Frank Church Symposium

International Diplomacy: Evolving Dynamics in the 21st Century

Hybrid Format (Virtual and In-person)

17 panelists, co-panelists, and lecturers from around the world came together for the 51st Annual Frank Church Symposium to discuss these issues:

  • Climate Change
  • Global Peace
  • African Economic Investment and Growth
  • Distribution Chains and Economic Stability


Frank Church Symposium Program 2022



Access the Facebook recordings.



Transformation and Stability in the Global Order 

As periods of transitions are often marked by the unpredictable, experienced leaders embrace peace and stability to ensure progress even for societies in flux. Indeed, transformations, as the world has witnessed in the past two decades, could cause chaos and dislocations of immense proportions in our healthcare system, education, science and technological advancement, and economic development. The new state of the global community has severely tested the capacity of our socio-economic and political institutions to protect our future existence. What are the challenges and opportunities that would either make or break our future? These are some of the questions experts addressed during the 2021 symposium as humanity struggles to make meanings out of a very turbulent and unpredictable world order.


Lecture 1: Shin Kue Ryu

Lecture 2: Dr. Obi Aginam

Lecture 3: Dr. Stephen Bezruchka: 

Closing Remarks/ Discussions



Facebook Recording


The End of Democracy? 

The keynote address was held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 20, in the Stephens Performing Arts Center and featured international democracy expert Larry Diamond. Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He frequently consults on policies and programs to promote democracy.

The two-day symposium was largely held in the Rendezvous Complex A, B, C Suites from 10 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Feb. 20 and 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Feb. 21. The Frank Church Symposium was free to attend. 



February 20th

“Rise of Authoritarianism” roundtable

"Populism's Threat to Democracy: Comparative Lessons for the U.S.," lecture by Kurt Weyland

“Media's Effect on Democracy” roundtable

Keynote speech by Larry Diamond in the Stephens Performing Arts Center

February 21st

“Minorities and Majorities: Our Role in Democracy” roundtable

“Post-Soviet Transitions: Corruption, Collusion, Clientelism” lecture by Christoph Stefes

“Globalization and Democracy” roundtable

International Career Q&A


Youtube Recording


The Best and Worst of Us

This year’s theme was “The Best and the Worst of Us: Confronting Injustices in the World” and brought together academics, refugees, and activists debating the challenges and successes around environmental justice, refugee rights, and minorities rights.

The keynote address at 6 p.m. Jan. 31 was held in Frazier Hall and was given by Steven Feldstein, from Boise State University, who is Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs and an associate professor in the School of Public Service. He is a former deputy assistant secretary in the bureau of democracy, human rights and labor for the U.S. Department of State as well as a former director of policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The day events of the two-day symposium were held in the Salmon River Rooms in the ISU Pond Student Union.  The event ran from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1. The symposium was free to all.



January 31st

Refugee Rights Panel

Richard H. Foster Lecture

Minorities Panel

Keynote Address, Frazier Hall

February 1st

Environment Panel

Joseph and Priscilla Hearst Memorial Lecture

Discussion on Global Careers

U.S. Foreign Policy in the 21st Century

Speakers discussed international affairs, global governance, law and the political economy.

Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, president of Women in International Security, presented the keynote address “The Importance of Gender and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda for International Peace and Security” on March 1 at 5 p.m. in the ISU Rendezvous Complex Planetarium, Room 203. De Jonge Oudraat was previously a senior advisor to the Center of Gender and Peacebuilding of the U.S. Institute of Peace and was the founding and executive director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. She also held previous positions with the U.S. Institute of Peace Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program; Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; and the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Her areas of specialization include women, peace and security, gender, international organizations and more.

On March 1, events ran from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Pond Student Union Salmon River Suites with the keynote address at 5 p.m. in the Rendezvous Complex Planetarium, Room 203. On March 2, events ran from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Pond Student Union Salmon River Suites.



March 1st

Richard H. Foster Lecture, lecturer Shadman Bashir

Panel 1: U.S. Relations with Asia

Panel 2: Trade and Political Economy

Keynote Address, Rendezvous Complex Planetarium, lecturer Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat

Friday, March 2nd

Joseph Hurst Memorial Lecture, lecturer Tobias Hofmann

Panel 3: Global Governance


The Post-Colonial State

Speakers and panelists discussed Central Asia and Afghanistan, colonialism, intervention in the Middle East, gender and sexuality and conflict.

Bonny Ibhawoh, professor at McMaster University, Canada, will present the keynote address. He will speak on “Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle: Human Rights and the Post-Colonial World Order” on March 2 at 7 p.m. in the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center. Ibhawoh was a professor of global human rights history, peace and conflict studies and African studies, and an associate dean for research at the University. He previously served as the director of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University, has taught in universities in Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada and was previously a human rights fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs, New York. He has also been a research fellow at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen, Denmark and associate member of the Centre for African Studies School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. He is the author of several books on African history, human rights and peace and conflict studies.

The Symposium’s main panels were held in the Pond Student Union Salmon River Suites on Pocatello’s campus on March 2 and 3. The event was also broadcast live on the ISU-Idaho Falls campus in the Bennion Student Union Building. All events are free and open to the public.



March 2nd

Panel 1: Inter-regional Issues

Joseph Hurst Memorial Lecture

Panel 2: Colonialism

Panel 3: Intervention in the Middle East

Keynote Address“Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle: Human Rights and the Post-Colonial World Order” by Bonny Ibhawoh in the Stephens Performing Arts Center Bistline Theatre.

March 3rd

Panel 4: Conflict

Richard H. Foster Lecture Global Health

Panel 5: Gender and Sexuality

Panel 6: Opportunities for Students in the World (for ISU students only)

Keynote Speaker: His Excellency Marek Magierowski, Polish Ambassador to the United States

Headshot of Polish Ambassador to US Marek Magierowski

The International Affairs Council at Idaho State University is honored to host Ambassador Magierowski on March 9, 2023, at 6:00 pm in the Frazier Hall Auditorium as part of Europe at a Crossroads: Frank Church Symposium 2023.

Title: “Poland’s Rise as a Pivotal Nexus in Europe in the Face of the Russian Aggression against Ukraine.”



Frank Church Symposium 2023

Europe at a Crossroads: Progression or Regression?

March 9-10, 2023

(To be hosted HYBRID - Virtual and In-person)

On March 9-10, 2023, the Idaho State University International Affairs Council (IAC) will be hosting the 52nd Annual Frank Church Symposium on International Affairs. Named in honor of the late Senator Frank Church, the symposium has grown over the years, offering the university and the community opportunities to discuss global issues and expand their perspectives. We invite scholars, experts, government agencies, political leaders, and practitioners with multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives to address topics related to the theme: Europe at a Crossroads: Progression or Regression? We are particularly interested in participants who would present multifaceted approaches to European leadership changes, the human toll of the Russia-Ukraine war, energy transitions in the coming years, and effects on the global market.  








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The inside of the Stephens Performing Arts Center with country flags hung from the balcony.














Contact Info: 

The International Affairs Committee (IAC) is a student-led organization at Idaho State University.

Contact the IAC at iac@isu.edu

Contact the IAC advisor, Dr. Colin Johnson, at colinjohnson@isu.edu

Contact the IAC President, Susana Fernandez, at susanafernandez@isu.edu

Delegate Lineup 2023



European Energy Panel

Dr. Jonathan Chanis

Participation format: In-person

Headshot of Jonathan Chanis

  • Over 25 years of experience in emerging markets and commodities trading and investment
  • Managing Member of New Tide Asset Management

Experience in Energy, Commodities, and Emerging Markets:

  • Citigroup and Caxton associates
  • American International Group (President of several AIG companies, including its Russian investment bank)
  • J. Aron & Co. (acquired by Goldman Sachs)
  • New York Mercantile Exchange

Academic Experience:

  • Taught at multiple institutions, including Columbia University
  • Member of the Council on Foreign Relations

Ph.D. in Political Science, CUNY


Dr. Vassilis (Bill) Kappis

Participation format: In-person

A headshot of Dr. Bill Kappis

Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, University of Buckingham:

  • Deputy Director & Senior Lecturer

Visiting Professor at:

  • The War Studies University (Poland)
  • Hellenic School of National Defence (Greece)

Research Interests:

  • Greek-Israeli security cooperation
  • Interstate security crises
  • Geopolitical dynamics of Eastern Mediterranean

Academic Experience:

  • Ph.D. in International Security, University of Sydney
  • Designing training programs for academic and practitioner audiences
  • Presented work at numerous high-profile conferences (Princeton, Oxford, INSS Israel, et al.)

Evelyn Dissanayake

Participation format: Virtual

Headshot of Evelyn Dissanayake


  • Member of Board of Directors of INFORM Sri Lanka (Human Rights Research and Documentation Centre)
  • President of the Asian Press Institute
  • Faculty Member, Institute of Development Studies, Sri Lanka

Academic Experience and Research Interests:

  • Robert Bosche Stiftung Fellow
  • Past Visiting Scholar of Columbia University
  • Geopolitics of Eurasia, Environmental Politics
  • Ph.D. Candidate in International Relations and Politics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

European International Trade

Dr. Matias Vernengo

Participation format: In-person

Headshot of Matias Vernengo

Full Professor at Bucknell University



  • Senior Research Manager at the Central Bank of Argentina
  • Associate Professor of Economics, University of Utah
  • Assistant Professor, Kalamazoo College & Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Former external consultant to:

  • Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
  • International Labor Organization
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • United Nations Development Program

Publications & Research Interests:

  • Co-editor, Review of Keynesian Economics
  • Co-editor in chief, New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics
  • 7 edited books, 2 books, and 120+ peer-reviewed journal articles
  • International political economy, history of economic ideas

Dr. Mark Schwartz

Participation format: Virtual

Mark Schwartz headshot

Professor, Politics Department, University of Virginia and Batten School of Public Policy


  • Subprime Nation: American Power, Global Capital and the Housing Bubble
  • Co-editor, four books on Denmarks' welfare state, employment policy, politics of housing finance, and the global financial crisis.
  • Author of two books on economic development and globalization
  • Author of over 100 articles, chapters, and commentaries

Academic Experience and Fellowships:

  • Taught in Britain, Canada, Denmark, Hungary, Korea, and Norway
  • Co-organized 2013 International Studies Association meeting
  • Recipient of four Fulbright Fellowships, a Mellon fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, and a Bosch fellowship from American Academy Berlin

Ph.D., Cornell University

European Politics Panel

Dr. Gazmend Qorraj

Participation format: Virtual

A headshot of Gazmend Qorraj

EU Projects (Coordinator or Contact Point):

  • Tempus (former)
  • Jean Monnet (former)
  • Erasmus+ (former)
  • Marie Curie actions (current)
  • European Research Council at Horizon 2020 (current)

Dr. Robert Chaouad

Participation format: Virtual

 Headshot of Dr. Robert Chaouad


  • Research Fellow at French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, York College

Research Interests:

  • EU as a global actor
  • European defense
  • Future of the EU

Ph.D. in Political Science, concentration in European Studies


The Human Toll of the War In Ukraine

Dr. Andrei Korobkov

Participation format: Virtual

Headshot of Andrei Korobkov

Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Russian Studies Minor Director, Middle Tennessee State University


  • Research Fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Institute of International Economic and Political Studies (former)
  • Taught at University of Alabama (former)
  • US co-chair of the working group on migration at the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (former)
  • President of Post-Communist States in IR section of International Studies Association (former)
  • Vice President & Program Chair, Post-Communist States

Publications & Research Interests:

  • Three monographs, numerous articles and book chapters
  • International migration, post-Communist transition, geopolitics

Ph.D. in Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences

Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Alabama