Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations
PCFR is made up of more than 400 members with an international interest in the Phoenix metropolitan area. For more than 40 years, PCFR has welcomed a variety of distinguished guests; U.S. and foreign ambassadors, cabinet ministers, policy-makers, economists, analysts, journalists, authors, renowned educators and heads of state. During the 21-22 season, PCFR hosted over 50 renowned speaker programs. This provides our members and community with intriguing and intellectually challenging, interactive experiences as they participate in the Q&A following the speakers’ remarks. Through these programmatic learning opportunities, we strive to raise the level of international awareness in both public and private sectors in Arizona because of our belief that unbiased information leads to improved policy making.
https://www.pcfraz.org 18th Annual International State of the State with Governor Katie Hobbs Details
Since 2006, the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations has hosted Arizona's premier foreign relations event — the International State of the State — with distinguished guests including governors of the state of Arizona, world diplomats and United States senators.
As Arizona plays a larger role on the world stage, the International State of the State is the platform for Governor Hobbs to look outward from metro Phoenix to the state and to the world. What are our challenges and opportunities in 2023? What are the pressures and issues facing us globally?
This year marks the 18th year and fourth consecutive governor for the state's marquis foreign relations event. As the presenting organization for this event, the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations' mission is to help grow Arizona's influence on the world stage.
Please join us in welcoming newly elected Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs in this annual tradition as we embark on a new era for the state of Arizona within the international community.
Apply for PCFR membership today to get member pricing for this program. Speakers Governor Katie Hobbs Governor of Arizona Jason Baran Director, State Government Affairs of SRP Luke Wenz Vice President at Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations Tina Waddington Executive Director of PCFR
Born and raised right here in the Grand Canyon State, Governor Katie Hobbs has dedicated her life to listening to her community and helping solve difficult challenges for the people of Arizona. A fearless advocate for Arizona, Governor Hobbs will bring transparency and accountability to the governor’s office and deliver real results for all of us.
She learned the value of service from her parents and from her faith. Starting as a kid who volunteered at church, she has spent her entire life serving – and has never stopped. She put herself through college at Northern Arizona University and graduate school at Arizona State University with a combination of work study and scholarships, and then immediately started as a social worker helping everyday Arizonans. Her first job out of college was working with youth experiencing homelessness Phoenix, and then she helped run one of the largest domestic abuse shelters in the country. In her time as a social worker and running a domestic violence shelter, Governor Hobbs saw firsthand the price Arizonans pay when their elected leaders fail to address the problems people are facing day in and day out. Frustrated with the lack of leadership, Governor Hobbs decided to run for office herself, and she used her experience as a social worker to take on Arizona’s toughest challenges. In the legislature, she worked with both parties to expand health care to over 500,000 Arizonans. She worked across the aisle to find new ways to tackle the growing opioid epidemic here in Arizona. And she worked with a Republican governor to clear the state’s rape kit backlog and put sexual assault offenders in jail. When Governor Hobbs became Secretary of State in 2018, she had more tough challenges to tackle. She promised to bring trust and accountability to the office – and she did. Governor Hobbs modernized the office, fixed broken systems, battled misinformation, and navigated the pandemic. Governor Hobbs has never backed down from a tough fight, and she is a battle-tested leader with the strength and experience to get the job done. Now Governor Hobbs is ready to deliver real results for everyday Arizonans and finally bring the leadership required to solve the most urgent issues Arizona faces today. Governor Hobbs knows firsthand that government only works well if it’s led well. For her, that means transparency and accountability. It means focusing on our common needs, not the small differences that divide us. It means bringing people together to serve our state, not tearing us apart for political gain. And it means creating opportunity for all – regardless of zip code, gender, race, or ability. Jason Baran Director, State Government Affairs of SRP
As Director of State & Government Affairs for SRP, Jason Baran leads a team of government relations professionals that advance SRP’s interests and corporate strategy at the Legislature, the Executive Branch, and among public power entities in Arizona.
Prior to joining SRP, he led legislative relations and public policy engagement as Intergovernmental Relations Program Manager for the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA), the association of the 10 valley SRP water cities, and advanced state, federal and business relations as the Intergovernmental Relations Program Manager for the City of Tucson, Arizona. Jason earned a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and German Studies, both from The University of Arizona. He serves on the Arizona State Debt Oversight Committee, the Board of Directors for the Arizona Tax Research Association and is the co-chair of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s Budget & Tax Committee. Luke Wenz Vice President at Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations
Luke Wenz serves as Deputy National Outreach Director, Western Region for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), a broad-based bipartisan coalition of over 500 businesses and NGOs that advocates for strong U.S. global leadership through development and diplomacy, alongside defense. In addition to his work with USGLC, Luke is the President of Big Stick Consulting, LLC, an Arizona-based strategic consulting firm, focusing on public relations and government affairs consulting.
Luke also serves as the Vice President of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations and sits on the Advisory Boards of Global Ties Arizona and WorldPix, Inc. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Pacific Council on International Policy, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and was previously a fellow at the Shafik Gabr Foundation's "East-West: The Art of Dialogue" initiative and the African Middle Eastern Leadership Project. He also volunteers on numerous other local boards and committees in the nonprofit and business sectors and is a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s 2023 Millennium Leadership Network. Earlier in his career, Luke served on Capitol Hill and later as Deputy District Director and Campaign Manager for U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska. He also spent time living and working in Amman, Jordan and with the Kayany Foundation in Lebanon, working in refugee camps whilst studying the geopolitics of the Levant. A native Phoenician, Luke attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, studying political science and religious philosophy. Tina Waddington Executive Director of PCFR
Tina Waddington is the Executive Director of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations (PCFR). She has been a PCFR member since 2016. Prior to joining PCFR in a leadership capacity, Tina was the Public Affairs committee co-chair and served on the Board of Directors. Tina started her career as a political intern at the U.S. Embassy in Rome before going into the private sector, where she helped Arizona companies expand across the nation and around the globe.
Tina volunteers with multiple organizations with the goal of increasing Arizona’s prominence internationally, including Phoenix Sister Cities Business Relations Committee, USGLC Arizona Advisory Committee and the Diplomatic Corps of Arizona. Through her community engagement, Tina works to advocate for Arizona and increase economic development opportunities through international trade and diplomacy. In 2022, Tina was selected by City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego for the Phoenix Sister Cities Global Citizen Award. Tina received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Italian Studies from the University of Arizona and her master’s degree in Social Justice and Human Rights with a focus on Nonprofit Management from Arizona State University. She was born in Kosovo and immigrated to the United States with her family as war refugees in 1999. Tina is committed to giving back to her country of birth and recently joined Project C.U.R.E. on a volunteer mission to provide medical supplies to hospitals and medical centers in Kosovo. Agenda March 24, 2023 Main Schedule
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Registration & Networking
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