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WRITER: KENT NGUYEN
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Release: Dec. 2, 2002

Downes to discuss international trade, Midwest agriculture Dec. 6

Robert Downes, a State Department trade expert, will speak about "International Trade: How Does it Affect Midwest Agriculture," Friday, Dec. 6 at the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC) luncheon. The luncheon begins at noon in the Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 North Clinton Street.

Downes has been the chief of the Multilateral and Sectoral Trade Division at the State Department since August 2002. This division provides expertise on trade issues on environment and labor, market access, countervailing duty and antidumping, government procurement, customs, and legislation.

In 1981, Downes entered the U.S. Foreign Service and served in Mazatlan, Mexico and Stuttgart, Germany. He then worked as an economist in the Office for Economic Policy of the Bureau for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He also held the position of financial economist in the Office for Development Finance of the Bureau for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the State Department.

Downes received his bachelor's degree in economics and his juris doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. He completed a master's degree in public affairs at Texas's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and a master's degree in international relations at the University of Southern California.

Reservations for the luncheon should be received in the CIVIC office, 38 International Center, Iowa City, IA 52242, by Wednesday, December 4. The cost is $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members. Reservations cannot be made over the phone but last minute adjustments may be made by calling 335-0351. This event is sponsored by CIVIC, Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC), U.S. Department of State and University of Iowa's International Programs.

CIVIC serves as host to international visitors invited by United States embassies to take part in the International Visitor Program. As a member of the National Council for international Visitors, CIVIC is one of 98 nationwide community organizations that promote intercultural exchange between international leaders, the educational and business community. When a visit includes eastern Iowa, CIVIC arranges for professional consultations and field trips to industrial, scientific, educational and business facilities. Visitors are also invited to participate in the social and cultural life of our communities through home hospitality, sightseeing, cultural and recreational events.

CIVIC is affiliated with International Programs, which is organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of International Programs (IP). IP is comprised of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. These units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and to promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

For information on CIVIC, or the Downes Luncheon please contact Tom Baldridge or Marianne Weiss at (319) 335-0351.