Leadership change for the International Affairs Forum

TRAVERSE CITY — The International Affairs Forum (IAF) at Northwestern Michigan College will undergo a leadership transition as the interim director returns to his primary role at the college.

Jim Bensley held the interim position with IAF since 2021 and was instrumental in moving the group through its new strategic planning process with the IAF advisory board.

Starting July 1 IAF will be led by advisory board co-chairs MajGen Michael Lehnert (USMC Ret.) and Stan Otto with support from Alex Tank, IAF Communications & Production Coordinator. Bensley will continue to serve IAF as an advisory board member while he returns to his role as instructor and director of International Services and Service Learning at the college.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jim who stepped in to lead during the COVID-19 pandemic. He not only helped successfully reimagine how to deliver on the promise of the IAF, during an uncertain time for events, but also helped us plan for a future in a way that will increase the impact of IAF for NMC students, our community and beyond,” Lehnert said.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the IAF during this time of transition. Connecting with the global community has long been a passion of mine,” Bensley said. “We are fortunate to have many people who not only share a similar passion, but also bring deep experience from across the country and world to the organization. I am excited to see the IAF continue to grow and evolve.”

The International Affairs Forum will launch its 30th season this fall. The group is excited to share high-quality programming as well as extra opportunities such as Global Hotspots, Academic WorldQuest, film screenings, podcast content, and ongoing partnerships with the National Writers Series, Economic Club of Traverse City, Interlochen Public Radio, and the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan.

With the enduring support of members and corporate sponsors, the International Affairs Forum is energized to continue its mission of advancing understanding of the world and its critical issues. Find out more at tciaf.com.


Release date: June 30, 2023

For more information:

Alex Tank
Communications & Production Coordinator
International Affairs Forum | Northwestern Michigan College
atank@nmc.edu | (231) 995-1844 | TCIAF.com


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