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Matthew Hughes, Executive Director

Matthew Hughes has been executive director of the International Relations Council since July 2016.

Hughes’ professional experience bridges the education and nonprofit sectors. A K-12 teacher for six years and fluent in Spanish, Hughes has worked with students ranging from age 4 through adult learners. He has developed curricula for schools and nonprofits, is a dynamic trainer and presenter, and has served on the board of several organizations, including the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City. Matthew relishes the chance to travel and has experience living internationally, including in South America and on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Prior to the IRC, Hughes managed Global Education Programs for People to People International. In this role, he developed a Global Student Fair – attended in its first year by more than 600 elementary students, 350 high-schoolers, and 70 local organizations – to show students just how global Kansas City is. He admires the initiatives, diversity, and enthusiasm of the many international organizations and communities in Kansas City and values opportunities for collaboration.

Hughes holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Arts degree in Global & International Studies from the University of Kansas. His thesis discusses “Opportunities for Global-Competence Education in Secondary Extracurricular Programs.” He recently completed a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management & Innovation from the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Please do reach out with your questions, feedback, or ideas!

Spring 2017 Interns

Benjamin Buffa, Community Intern

Benjamin Buffa is a senior at the University of Missouri–Kansas City with a BA in French nearly complete. He has experienced the French/international community in Kansas City through l'Alliance Française and Académie Lafayette, and he will now work with organizations like these throughout the city as the IRC's Community intern. Benjamin is excited to help strengthen the IRC's global education efforts and to build a foundation for future interns.



Elle Hewitt, Membership Intern

Elle Hewitt will graduate this spring with her master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri–Kansas City, where she is treasurer of the Public Administration Student Association. Elle is very interested in increasing public awareness of international affairs and plans to use her skills in research and analytics to enhance the membership framework at IRC. After graduation she hopes to be involved in either domestic or international health policies. Elle loves to travel and experience new cultures and takes every chance possible to spend time overseas. Ask her about her most recent trip to Portugal.

Angela Lanza, Events Intern

Angela Lanza is a junior at the University of Kansas studying Global International Studies with an emphasis in East Asia and a minor in business. She is currently the social chair in her sorority. In her free time, Angela volunteers at the local humane society and works as a companion to individuals with special needs. Angela has always had an interest in international studies, and she is excited to see where this internship takes her!



Keyontae Richardson, Programs Intern

Keyontae Richardson is a senior at the University of Central Missouri (UCM), pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with double minors in Africana Studies and Political Science. Keyontae is an active leader on her campus; she currently serves as the president of the Association of Black Collegians and the vice president of Africana Studies Leadership council. Keyontae uses her leaderships roles to actively find ways to positively impact others. Keyontae has worked hard to rebuild the infrastructure of the Association of Black Collegians and continues to look for ways to produce programs that will increase and improve the organization's growth and productivity. She has partnered with other organizations, collecting $647 and over 800 gallons of water to help individuals in Flint, Michigan.

Keyontae is an active advocate for students' expanding their horizons and gaining international experience. So far, she has twice studied abroad in Jamaica and will soon study abroad in both Cuba and Spain. She was recently selected to be a Study Abroad Ambassador for UCM. As a Study Abroad Ambassador, Keyontae plans to educate students on the benefits of traveling to other countries and how serving others will offer service to you for a lifetime. Keyontae enjoys traveling and will one day serve the world by developing education-targeted programs that will improve the awareness of others.

Megan Tiger, Communications Intern

Megan Tiger is a current a senior in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas, majoring in strategic communication and minoring in global and international studies, concentrating in the Middle East. She has spent the last three years crafting traditional stories onto a digital platform at the University Daily Kansan, an award-winning, student-run newspaper at KU. Previously she has had intern experience working in digital branding with national clients at Klunk & Millan advertising agency. Megan is well-versed in social media, digital branding, brand awareness, integrated marketing campaigns, and marketing research. Outside of school and work she enjoys traveling and has been fortunate to visit 30 countries and 48 states.

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