Kennedy Center alums living in Utah, who would like to support and/or participate in an international initiative, listen up. The International Visitors Council was founded in 1965 to bring foreign visitors to Utah through the International Visitor/Leadership Program, an exchange backed by the U.S. Department of State. Laura Dupuy became their executive director in 2000, and the council was renamed Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD) in 2003, due to confusion for callers who thought they were contacting a visitors convention bureau. “The name now reflects more accurately what our true mission is, which is to promote global respect and understanding between the people of Utah and other nations,” Dupuy explained.
A Diplomat in the Making
Dupuy had been working as an accountant for KPMG, when her mother-in-law, Marian Hopkins, who was a member of the UCCD board of trustees, asked for her help with an accounting issue. Dupuy volunteered her time, and she soon realized her work at the council was a “much better fit for me personally.”
Born in Louisiana in 1952, Dupuy’s family later moved to Texas and Florida. She claimed “the defining moment in my life came when I was sixteen. My father, who had a lifetime career with a chemical company, came home one day and said ‘What would you think about moving to South Korea?” They moved to Seoul between her junior and senior year, where she graduated from Seoul Foreign School.