Madison Committee
on Foreign Relations


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Upcoming events

    • 2018-04-10
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St

    This event is co-sponsored by

    Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

    Speaker:  Richard Zurba, Director of Zurcom International

    Africa stands to be a social and  economic dynamo in the coming decades.  Sub-Saharan Africa is the only global region destined to grow exponentially in population: from about 1 billion now to 2.5 billion by 2050.  With that, the GDP per capita is rising quickly at the same time, creating a confluence that will likely make Africa an economic powerhouse in our lifetime.  Underneath the statistics is human behaviour.  What are the forces behind this expected growth?  Richard Zurba will be discussing  the growth in Africa with some thoughts on the African youth culture – which will be the driving entrepreneurial business culture propelling Africa through this century.  Come with some of your own thoughts and expect a lively discussion about this exciting emerging market.

    Richard Zurba, Director of Zurcom International, has over two decades of personal experience in trade and export business development in emerging markets. Richard came to Africa in 1993 first in the D.R. Congo for World Vision Relief, involved in humanitarian work ethnic cleansing and the Ebola outbreak responses.  In 1996 he moved to South Africa, as an export manager for a South African firm, selling across sub-Saharan Africa.  In January 1999, he opened the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Africa Trade Office on behalf of four US states including Wisconsin. He serves as the Coordinator of IBG Global, a partnership of 21 firms with staff in 50 countries bettering export promotion for companies around the world. He frequently lectures and has served as a dissertation supervisor for an MBA program.  Since 1999, Zurcom has completed over 3,000 projects for firms entering the African markets Zurcom currently represents six US states for trade in sub-Saharan Africa: Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Virginia and Wisconsin. Other important clients include South African provinces, the national governments of India, Netherlands, Germany, Singapore and Thailand as well as commercial firms.  BA (University of Alberta); MA (London School of Economics); MBA (Western Ontario).

    • 2018-05-10
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • AT&T Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St, Madison

    Speaker:  Ambassador John E. Lange, Senior Fellow, Global Health Diplomacy, United Nations Foundation

    This event is co-sponsored by
    UW International Division

    Over the last twenty years, bilateral and multilateral global health programs have greatly expanded and have saved millions of lives.  Many of these are “vertical” programs focusing on a single disease or condition, such as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  There now is a greater emphasis on “horizontal” programs to strengthen health systems.  The new Director General of the World Health Organization has made universal health coverage, one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, his top priority.  And the new Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria says, “If we work together to mobilize funds, build strong health systems and establish effective community responses we will be able to end epidemics, promote prosperity and increase our global health security.”  Ambassador Lange will discuss the many successes of global health programs as well as the challenges ahead in strengthening health systems.
    Ambassador John Lange serves as the UN Foundation’s primary focal point for global health diplomacy activities.  He worked from 2009-2013 at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he engaged in high-level advocacy with international organizations and African governments.  He served as Co-Chair of the GPEI Polio Partners Group from 2012-2016.  Lange had a distinguished 28-year career in the Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, where he was a pioneer in the field of global health diplomacy.  He served as the Special Representative on Avian and Pandemic Influenza; Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator at the inception of PEPFAR; and U.S. Ambassador to Botswana (1999-2002), where HIV/AIDS was his signature issue.  Lange led the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as Chargé d'Affaires during the August 7, 1998, terrorist bombing.  Earlier, he had tours of duty in Geneva, Lomé, Paris and Mexico City.  Prior to joining the diplomatic service in 1981, he worked for five years at the United Nations Association of the USA in New York.  He has an M.S. degree from the National War College and J.D. and B.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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