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Topics and Background Guides

Topics for 2020

When the research guide is available, the topic listed below will have a link. Research is provided by members of IUNAFAC.

What should be the U.S. position in the UN on...
Roundtable Discussion Leaders/Guest Experts, 2020:
  • Economic TopicJohn “Jack” Mutti, is the Sidney Meyer Professor of International Economics at Grinnell College. He teaches and does research on international economics and public finance.
  • Science Topic -  Lina Tucker Reinders, executive director of the Iowa Public Health Association
  • Political Topic - Keith Porter: Keith Porter is the president and chief executive officer of the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. Previously, he was its director of policy and outreach. As the center’s top executive, Porter works with all center staff and its board of directors to develop and implement all aspects of the organization’s vision, mission, and strategic plan. As the chief representative of the center to a variety of external audiences, Porter promotes global collaboration across each of its programmatic areas with representatives from national and subnational governments, the media, the private sector, and civil society.
Porter began his career as a broadcaster in 1982. Porter was a finalist for the 1995, 1996, and 1997 Livingston Award for Young Journalists. During his more than 30-year tenure at the Stanley Center, several organizations have recognized him for excellence in broadcast journalism, including the National Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Headliner Awards, the New York Festivals, and the United Nations Correspondents Association.
Speaking of his work at the Stanley Center, Porter often highlights the amazing opportunities he has had to see global solutions at work—from refugee camps to peacekeeping missions to the inner workings of the UN Security Council—and the keen appreciation he has developed for the human capacity to solve problems and the immense amount of work left to be done.
Porter has an MA in communications and a BA in mass communications from Illinois State University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Social Topic Karen Mackey: Karen is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska. She graduated with a B.S. in Sociology from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in 1990. In 1994 she was awarded a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law. She is a member of the bar in Iowa and Nebraska.
    Upon her graduation from law school, Karen worked as a public defender for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and later for the Fortune 500 computer manufacturer Gateway, Inc. She is currently employed as the Executive Director of the Sioux City Human Rights Commission, a position she has held since 2004. 
    Karen is a 6th degree black belt in judo, a sport she has participated in since she was a teenager. A retired national and international-level competitor, she teachers people of all ages and has coached numerous junior elite athletes. Karen is active in several national-level committees in USA Judo and the United States Judo Federation (USJF).
    In 1995, she was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1996, she received the USJF President's Award for her contribution to the sport of judo. In 2008, Karen was named a Woman of Excellence by Women Aware.
    Karen is a lay leader at First Unitarian Church where she also serves on the church's board of directors. She also serves on the board of directors of Siouxland Human Investment Partnership and Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland. She was a co-founder of Siouxland Pride Alliance, a grassroots organization promoting the equality, safety, and wellbeing of LGBT people (with an emphasis on LGBT and questioning youth) in Siouxland.
    Karen has served on the Iowa Commission on Native American Affairs since its inception. She currently serves as Commission chair. She also serves on the Iowa Department of Human Rights Board.
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