International Affairs Symposium

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Lewis & Clark’s 62nd International Affairs Symposium



Strings Attached: Tracing the Global Systems That Bind
April 8-10, 2024

The Lewis & Clark College International Affairs Symposium is one of the most prestigious events within the Oregon academic and civic communities. It has been highly acclaimed by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. It is also the oldest student-run symposium in the United States. 

The focus of the symposium is controversy, emphasizing the confrontation of opposing viewpoints. It is our hope that through debate our audience develops a more thorough understanding of the complexities surrounding international dilemmas. Organized entirely by students, this event concentrates on the most pressing themes and topics in international relations today. 

The International Affairs Symposium features a series of six debates, each tackling a controversial issue in international politics. Each debate features two highly qualified expert speakers who fundamentally disagree on the topic. The debate-oriented format of this event ensures that these expert talks are interesting, engaging and contentious without exception. Come learn about current events around the world in an entertaining way and see why the L&C International Affairs Symposium remains the oldest student-run symposium in the country!

The L&C IA Symposium is an exciting event with free admission TO ALL. Both the Lewis & Clark Community and the public are invited! Come hear globally renowned experts debate controversial issues in International Affairs. Participate in the open Q&A session after each debate! Ask your follow up questions to the experts after the debates, challenge their assumptions, discuss your thoughts on the subject and deepen your understanding of the world around you!

  • When: April 8–10
  • Where: Lewis & Clark College’s Council Chambers
  • How: Free admission
  • Why: Learn about international politics in a fun, contentious, engaging format
  • Who: You!
* For the Monday evening session:

Here is a link to reserve your ticket for our evening session of the 62nd International Affairs Symposium on April 8th from 7:30-9pm. The link is currently live and as there is limited seating we ask that you reserve your ticket in advance! We look forward to seeing you there!

This year’s L&C IA Symposium theme is Strings Attached: Tracing the Global Systems that Bind.

Guests who attend each symposium session will develop a progressively more nuanced and robust understanding of the multifaceted role control plays on the global stage and the controversies inherent in its use.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the IA Symposium Committee at

2024 Planning Committee

Student Cochairs

Alessandra Cicero
John Mbanda

  • Alie smiling at the camera, wearing a pink blazer over a black turtleneck sweater.

    My work as cochair of the International Affairs symposium has directly complimented my work on my thesis and improved my knowledge of the field overall. It has taught me necessary life skills I’ll need for the future.

    Alie Cicero BA ’24
    International Affairs, German (double) | Arcadia, California
    More about Alie
  • John looking at the camera, wearing a light blue sweater with a zipper.

    It is truly an honor to be a cochair for the International Affairs Symposium. Being entrusted with the responsibility to bring in influential speakers on topics our community deeply cares about is both a challenge and a rewarding experience.

    John Mbanda BA ’25
    International Affairs | French Studies | Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Rwanda
    More about John

Student Steering Committee

Hanadi Dreca
Massimo Iaccarino
Santiago Longhino
Aljosa Lovric
Amelia Doyle
Eeshani Thomas
Johnny Nieters
Bashiir Adam
Anna Ryan
Aadya Dixit
Lillibelle Bassingthwaite
Teresa Lourenco Serra 

Faculty Advisor

Bob Mandel, Professor of International Affairs

  • Five 

    L&C’s five academic student-led symposia reflect our commitment to inquiry, innovation, collaboration, and global engagement.