Event Details

Please join our board of directors and fellow PCFR members for our Second Annual Holiday Party at the Snell & Wilmer offices. You will be treated with an evening downtown watching the gorgeous Arizona sunset, a reception to thank you for your ongoing commitment to PCFR, and a chance to win some prizes. We will also honor the recipient of the 2022 Global Envoy Award.

We hope that you will join us to reflect on the successes of the past year together and to celebrate the coming year with our global community!

Registration is complimentary and guests are welcome.

Purchase raffle tickets when you register for your chance to win great prizes and support the mission of PCFR. You do not have to attend the holiday party to enter the raffle.

Global Envoy Award Presentation

The Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations is proud to announce the second Global Envoy Award to be presented at the Annual Holiday Party. This prestigious honor recognizes an individual member of the organization who is pursuing PCFR's mission in an extraordinary way.

These honorees embody the spirit of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations. They are nominated and selected from the distinguished membership of the organization by the Directors and Executive Committee. Each will have demonstrated the ability to rise above and create meaningful connections across the globe. These honored members are leaders, thinkers and diplomats--but above all, they are intrepid explorers, forging new paths and bridges between cultures, countries and communities.

Our 2022 Global Envoy Award honoree will be announced soon!


  • Claire Sechler Merkel (President at Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations)

    Claire Sechler Merkel

    President at Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations

    Claire Sechler Merkel serves as President of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations and Senior Director of Arizona Programs for the McCain Institute at ASU. She leads the McCain Institute’s Arizona work in combatting human trafficking along with promoting Senator McCain’s legacy of human rights and democracy and character driven leadership in international affairs.

    During her 23 years in Washington, DC, she worked in government, with NGO’s, and on four Presidential campaigns including as Chief of Staff and Director of Friends and Family to Mrs. Cindy McCain during Senator McCain’s 2008 Presidential election campaign. Previously, she served as legislative assistant for foreign affairs and special assistant to U.S. Senator John McCain and campaign coordinator for John McCain’s first U.S. Senate campaign.

    Sechler Merkel served as Associate Director in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs for President George H.W. Bush, and Regional Director for Eastern and Central Europe at the International Republican Institute, where she was responsible for democratic development programming in Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania and Slovakia.

    She also worked with Congressman Jim Kolbe, and on the Bush/Quayle ’92 campaign, the 1988 Republican National Convention and 1989 Presidential Inaugural Committee.

    She founded Sechler Merkel International to provide strategic advice to companies and foundations focusing on projects in the United States, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Russia. She served as a consultant to the Millennium Challenge Account at its inception.

    Prior to joining the McCain Institute, she lived for two years in Malmo, Sweden and traveled extensively throughout Europe with her husband and children. Claire holds a degree in Public Policy, with distinction, from Stanford University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations and the Melikian Center Advisory Board.

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  • Luke Wenz (Vice President at Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations)

    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. Luke helps oversee a nation-wide field operation and numerous nation-wide campaigns. In addition to his work with USGLC, Luke serves as the President of Big Stick Consulting, LLC, an Arizona-based strategic consulting firm, focusing on public relations, strategic communications, and government affairs consulting.

    Luke serves as the Vice President of the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations, and is currently a fellow at The Shafik Gabr Foundation's "East-West: The Art of Dialogue" initiative. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and was previously a fellow at the African Middle Eastern Leadership Project. He also serves on numerous other local boards and advisory committees in the nonprofit and business sectors, with expertise in political and international affairs.

    Earlier in his career, Luke served 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 on the Syrian border to ensure that the next generation of Syrian children weren't forgotten about as a consequence of their civil war. A native Phoenician, Luke attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, studying political science and religious philosophy.

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  • Tina Waddington (Executive Director of Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations)

    Tina Waddington

    Executive Director of Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations

    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. Most recently, Tina worked for a nonprofit to help social entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.

    Tina serves on multiple organizations with the goal of increasing Arizona’s prominence internationally. As a member of the Phoenix Sister Cities Business Relations Committee, USGLC Arizona Advisory Committee and the Diplomatic Corps of Arizona, Tina works to advocate for Arizona and increase economic development opportunities through international engagement and diplomacy. Tina received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Italian 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 as a war refugee in 1999. Phoenix has been home ever since.

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