The Swiss Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association will hold its Annual Meeting, at 2:30 p.m. March 12 at the First Mennonite Church of Newton, 429 East First Street, Newton.

The special speaker for the program will be Curt Goering, originally of Moundridge. Goering  he is currently serving with the Center for Victims of Torture located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

 As executive director Goering oversees an international staff with offices in St. Paul, Washington D.C. and healing projects in Africa and the Middle East. CVT provides comprehensive care for victims of government-sponsored torture, conducts research and training, and undertakes policy efforts to commit the U.S. and other institutions to work against torture and aid torture survivors.

The organization has served victims from more than 30 countries. 

Goering began at CVT in May 2012. Prior to that, he was the Chief Operating Officer at Amnesty International USA, where he had worked for nearly 30 years. As COO, he managed the largest branch of the organization, and his tenure saw significant expansion in revenues, advocacy programs and membership. In addition to directing the day to day operations, he was involved in strategy development, public policy and planning, financial oversight and external relations. He chaired a global policy team based on five continents, leading to new research and advocacy policies. His experience gave him deep knowledge of international human rights and humanitarian issues.

During his professional career, Goering led a dozen Amnesty International missions including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Mongolia, Taiwan, Turkey, and Tanzania. In addition to his positions with Amnesty as a researcher, advocacy director for Europe and the Middle East, Senior Deputy Executive Director and COO, he served as Head of the Gaza office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2009 and 2010.

His writing has appeared several outlets, including McClatchy-Tribune News Service, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Hill, and StarTribune. His media appearances include ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, BBC, NPR, The Newshour, Al-Jazeera, HuffPost Live, and many networks/stations around the world.

The public is invited to attend. Reservations are not required and refreshments will be served.