International Relations Club Connects at Conference

The International Relations Club at the University of Central Florida traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Middle Eastern Policymaker’s Conference in October, 2016.

This marked the club’s third year attending the conference, which drew a range of panelists from diverse backgrounds including diplomats, NGOs, scholars, businesspeople, and healthcare professionals.  The conference provided ample networking opportunities, as well as the chance for one-on-one discussion with policy experts. The organization that hosts the conference, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, provides several internship opportunities for students.

Although the conference focused on Arab states, it incorporated panelists from many perspectives to provide in-depth analysis of the Middle East/North Africa region. The 2016 conference had several high-ranking officials in attendance, including former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and former Director of the CIA General (ret.) David Petraeus. Several IRC members met both Secretary Hagel and General Petraeus. Secretary Hagel was even kind enough to take a group photo with the club and speak to the members before leaving.

The International Relations Club is a discussion based club with a focus on academic and professional development. Every Monday at 7 p.m. in the Student Union room 223, IRC leads a group discussion on contemporary world issues. Topics for discussion have included the potential remilitarization of Japan, international impact of Brexit, and the ongoing wars in Syria and Ukraine. IRC is also looking to attend two more academic conferences before the end of the school year. Beyond academic and professional development, IRC hosts workshops and social events that better improve the UCF experience.

For those interested in learning more, email President Steven Zuardo at or join their Facebook group at

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