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Upcoming Events

    • December 07, 2021
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    Register


    The San Diego World Affairs Council presents the
    "Distinguished Speaker" Series

    Trygve Olson

    Founder of Viking Strategies LLC

    Presenting:

    "Belarus: The long road to freedom." 

    Tuesday, 7th December 2021 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. (PST) 

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84571937486?pwd=TjRNbDZjSFFOdVZsVFdseUZVdFI1QT09


    Trygve Olson spent over a decade working on behalf of the International Republican Institute* (IRI), with a focus on repressive and closed societies. IRI, established in 1983, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to advancing democracy and freedom. It is often funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), as was the case for Belarus. From 2001 to 2007 Olson was based in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he worked as director of IRI's Belarus program. Over two decades of working with IRI, he trained 1000’s of democratic activists in over forty countries on five continents. Olson developed all aspects of IRI's Belarus program that provided assistance to pro-democratic groups in the country. He managed the program from startup with a budget of just over $500K in funding and no staff, to over ten staff and a $2 million annual budget by 2007. Through Olson, IRI provided on the ground assistance, training, and tactical support for programs in a number of other countries including those throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

    In Belarus, some of the results included devising a strategy to increase awareness and support for democratic forces in Belarus through international media outreach and shaping; pursuing a strategy to create a coordinated U.S. and E.U. policy approach towards the Belarusian government; and developing opportunities for Belarusian opposition leaders to meet with EU and US leaders including President Bush and Speaker Hastert, leaders of EU member states such as Merkel, Sarkozy, Tusk, and Blair, and top officials of the European Commission including Barroso and Solana. Additionally, Olson provided strategic advice, public opinion polling analysis, and tactical training to the leadership of the democratic opposition forces of Belarus.

    In 2009, Trygve served as a consultant to the European People's Party in their successful European Parliamentary campaign. In 2008, 2012, and 2016 he was retained to organize and host the International Visitor's Programs at the Republican National Conventions. 

    Trygve Olson is the founder of Viking Strategies LLC, which provides clients around the world with cutting-edge public affairs, political consulting, and political risk assessment services. Mr. Olson focuses on devising successful strategies to navigate Washington, DC, and capitals around the world through the implementation of cutting-edge tactics. He has worked on elections, or with political parties, in over forty countries, aided some of the largest corporations on global, national, and state-level public affairs efforts, and provided governmental risk assessments for private equity on three continents. 

    A former top advisor to both Senator Rand Paul and the Karl Rove lead group American Crossroads, Trygve occupies a unique place at the nexus between the conservative grassroots and the Republican establishment. Mr. Olson has served in senior leadership positions on two Presidential campaigns, has worked on numerous Congressional Elections, and done work for the Republican National Committee. In 2014, he was a Senior Advisor to both American Crossroads and Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, the main outside PAC supporting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's reelection bid. In 2020 he served as a Senior Advisor to the Lincoln Project focusing on rising extremism and illiberalism in the United States. 

    On the public affairs side, Mr. Olson focuses his practice on the technology, telecommunications, and investment sectors. His clients have included significant trade associations and several of American's largest corporations. Typically, his work on behalf of these clients includes activating non-traditional grassroots groups, issuing education programs via digital communications, and leveraging research to earn media buzz. Most recently he has helped manage a broad conservative coalition in leading the opposition to the Marketplace Fairness Act. He also provides counsel on political risks to the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform focusing on the European Union and for a group of foreign investors who had assets seized in Latin America. 

    Trygve Olson makes his home in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife and two daughters.

    * What is IRI: IRI links people with their governments, guides politicians to be responsive to citizens, and motivates people to engage in the political process. 

    IRI encourages democracy in places where it is absent, helps democracy become more effective where it is in danger, and shares best practices where democracy is flourishing. It’s a 501(c)(3) and receives funding through grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy, a number of European foundations and aid agencies, and other Western countries, and the United Nations.  Less than one percent of IRI’s funding comes from private donations.  We do not receive any money from the Republican Party or any other U.S. partisan entity.  IRI is not affiliated with any political party. 

Past events

October 26, 2021 Furthering North American Collaboration
October 13, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Peter Núñez - "Politics has Affected Border Security, Immigration, and Drug Trafficking"
September 21, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Jack Devine & Jonathan Ward, Ph.D. - "Russia & China - Preparing America for Our Greatest Strategic Challenge"
August 05, 2021 A Talk on World Hunger with Kenro Oshidari, United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) - the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize recipient
July 08, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series - Daniel Miller - "A Cowboy in Mongolia - In Search of the Sacred in the Steppes”
June 10, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series - Col. Christopher Conlin - "Iraq: Iron Hand, Velvet Glove, Glass House - Employing Soft Power in Hard Places"
May 13, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Anish Goel, Ph.D. - "India in South Asia: Fraught Regional Relationships"
May 12, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series Part IV
April 21, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series Part III - Forging Public-Private Partnerships in Health Systems Strengthening
April 20, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Richard Nuccio, Ph.D. & Giles Dickenson-Jones - "Myanmar: Development, Democracy, and Despair"
March 31, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series Part II
March 16, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Audie de Castro, Esq. - "Trade and Tourism in the Philippines"
February 16, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - David Pasquini on "The United Kingdom: A Year of Global Leadership"
February 11, 2021 Healing the Political Divide: A Path Forward Virtual Event
January 21, 2021 Human Rights Movements in China and China’s Responses
January 14, 2021 “THE CHINA NIGHTMARE: THE GRAND AMBITIONS OF A DECAYING STATE”
January 07, 2021 Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison
December 17, 2020 The History of the Ottoman Empire and its Subsequent Breakup after WWI
December 10, 2020 Ambassador in Baku: Politics, Petroleum, & Nagorno-Karabakh
December 10, 2020 "Foreign Policy Changes after January" with Ambassador Ronald Neumann
November 19, 2020 “Bulgaria: Political, Economic, and Commercial Crossroads Today”
November 19, 2020 NCC Online Presentation
November 18, 2020 CAMPAIGN 2020 DECONSTRUCTED
November 10, 2020 US-China Relations after the Election: The Specter of Decoupling
November 10, 2020 FREE WEBINAR - The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution
November 10, 2020 The Wall Street Journal & Infragard San Diego Present: “360 Degrees Of A Ransomware Attack: Decision Points in Defense, Response and Mitigation”
November 09, 2020 Global Minnesota in partnership with WACA presents The Man Who Ran Washington:The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
October 24, 2020 Annual Membership Meeting (Zoom) and Presentation by Ambassador Bindenagel on behalf of Wunderbar Together
October 22, 2020 "U.S. Relations with Pakistan and The South Asia Region"
October 20, 2020 "North Korea in the Next Administration’s Foreign Policy"
October 15, 2020 Webinar with John Brennan and Janet Napolitano
September 30, 2020 “WILL THE SINO-US COLD WAR GO HOT? How Asia’s Geopolitical Clash will Dominate the Next Administration”
August 25, 2020 SDWAC warmly welcomes the International Rescue Committee (IRC) of San Diego Executive Director, Donna Duvin "From Harm to Home: Arc of the Refugee Crisis: Global Challenges, Local Solutions”
August 20, 2020 The San Diego World Affairs Council is honored to support the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) presentation - Race: “A Path Forward” How do we talk about race in a way that unites and strengthens us as a community?
August 20, 2020 The San Diego World Affairs Council is honored to co-sponsor for the first time an exciting virtual event with Friends of Liberia* “Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia”
August 20, 2020 The San Diego World Affairs Council invites you to register for "U.S. & Germany: Strained Alliance?" with German Ambassador to the U.S., Emily Haber
August 13, 2020 San Diego World Affairs Council is honored to support WAC-Orange County's presentation: “Becoming Kim Jong Un: Insights Into North Korea’s Dangerous and Enigmatic Dictator” with Dr. Jung H. Pak
July 22, 2020 Where Does the Money Come From? Financing International Terrorism featuring Dr. Ian Oxnevad
July 13, 2020 The World: A Conversation with Dr. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations “Making Sense of a World in Crisis — Through the Eyes of a Foreign Policy Expert”
June 18, 2020 The Scientist and the Spy
May 20, 2020 CHINA'S CHALLENGES IN A POST-COVID WORLD
March 20, 2020 *Postponed* Honoring M.C. Madhu Madhavan
January 15, 2020 "From Dictatorship to Democracy? Myanmar's Uneasy Transition" A Conversation with Dr. Nuccio
December 19, 2019 An Overview of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego with Consul General Gutierrez
November 21, 2019 "Putin and Trump 2.0: The Perils of Presidential Diplomacy" Remarks from Ambassador John Beyrle
October 29, 2019 "Kashmir: Where Identity Rises Above Territory" Remarks by Professor Dipak Gupta
October 14, 2019 "From Soft Power to Hard Truths: Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy" Remarks by Bennett Freeman
September 23, 2019 "America...and the Great Power Competition" Remarks by Vice Admiral Charles Martoglio
August 28, 2019 "Fusion Energy Research and the Creation of Miniature Stars for Electricity"
July 31, 2019 "Global Engagement and the Modern Public Research University" featuring Chancellor Khosla
June 22, 2019 REGISTER NOW! 2019 SDWAC Annual Membership Meeting
May 07, 2019 "Perspective on current U.S. Navy strategy, undersea capabilities and the Submarine Force in San Diego."
March 21, 2019 “U.S. Trade Policy toward China: heading toward trade war or deal?"
February 23, 2019 2019 Annual Dinner
January 24, 2019 “Global Climate Change: Evidence, Scientific Basis, and Selected Impacts”
December 11, 2018 “Health and Peace-building in Africa”
November 15, 2018 “Nicaragua: Revolution and Restoration”
October 15, 2018 “U.S. policy towards India and the Indo-Pacific”
September 26, 2018 “What Diplomats Do and Why It (Still) Matters”
August 30, 2018 Fighting for Cyber Supremacy in an Age of Extremism
July 26, 2018 U.S. trade policy and the economics of trade in today’s technology-driven global era.
June 26, 2018 "Why Mexico's Election, NAFTA and U.S.-Mexico Relations Are Important to You."
June 16, 2018 REGISTER NOW! Annual Membership Meeting
May 23, 2018 May 23, 2018 -- Ukraine: Russian Interference and How the U.S. Can Bolster Ukrainian Security
April 27, 2018 Annual Dinner and Presentation on "Middle East Meltdown: Causes and Consequences"
April 03, 2018 SOLD OUT! Immigration and Border Issues: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be
February 21, 2018 Mexico's Upcoming Elections and What They Mean for the U.S.
January 24, 2018 "China in the Wake of the Party Conference"
December 06, 2017 Is the Turkish Partnership Doomed?
November 28, 2017 Movie Screening: America's Diplomats
November 02, 2017 Russia: Preventing Peace on Its Periphery
October 19, 2017 NAFTA: A Make or Break Moment?
October 06, 2017 Three Elections and a Brexit: The Unraveling of Europe?
September 22, 2017 South Sudan: Crisis and Conflict in the World's Newest Country
August 28, 2017 U.S. Alliances in the Indo-Pacific: A Practitioner's Perspective
August 14, 2017 Life as a Military Officer in the Middle East
July 25, 2017 Tijuana Day Trip
July 12, 2017 Trade Routes and the Evolving Geopolitics of the Middle East
June 29, 2017 Fiber Optics: History, Security, Applications and More
June 22, 2017 Dealing With a Dangerous and Challenging World -- The Physics and Economics of Defense
June 17, 2017 Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula: How Does This End?
June 15, 2017 Guantanamo Bay -- Al Qaeda’s Nuremberg: An Inside Look at 9/11 Justice
June 08, 2017 Is the Syrian Regime Survival Guaranteed in Moscow? Origins and Prospects for Relations Between Syria and Russia
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May 01, 2017 Economic Sanctions
April 29, 2017 The Philippines Under President Duterte: Nagging Questions and an Optimistic Outlook
March 18, 2017 Growing the Game: Baseball's Plans for Global Expansion
February 13, 2017 Annual Dinner

Upcoming WAC Events

WACA National Conference; Star Speakers; Council of the Month; WACA Best Practices Update; Embassy Row Live! Canada; WACA Seeks Fall Interns; Councils are Hiring; Council Highlights; & more!
President's Letter
Dear Council Colleagues and Supporters,

Transitions in organizations are often bittersweet because we come to know and rely on our co-workers and leaders so well that it’s hard to imagine not being part of the same team. And for me, in the case of the Council network, it feels like family.
At WACA we bade adieu Friday to Laura Duncan, Senior Communications and Programs Officer, who is heading to Bologna, Italy to pursue a master’s degree at Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe. Laura has gone above and beyond the call of duty this past year, promoting last year’s virtual WACA National Conference and ensuring that the even more complex virtual Academic WorldQuest program was a huge success in April.
Laura was always ready to help with new initiatives and support Councils across the country, as I know Kathleen “KC” Euler, WACA’s new Communications and Marketing Manager, will be. KC comes to our DC headquarters from the Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh, where she served as Assistant Director. She brings a wealth of international experience and passion for our mission. Please welcome KC and share farewell messages to Laura on our social media.
Meanwhile, in the network, the Santa Fe Council on International Relations announced today the coming departure of Executive Director Sandy Campbell. Among many accomplishments in transforming SFCIR, Sandy and his team can count being awarded one of three 2020 WACA Council of the Year awards. SFCIR was selected for the vision and success of its annual Journalism Under Fire conference.
As we congratulate Sandy as he prepares to lead a nonprofit dedicated to media literacy in schools across New Mexico, we can welcome back an old friend: Jim Falk. Jim, a former member of the SFCIR Board and former CEO of WAC Dallas/Fort Worth (our 2019 Council of the Year), will serve as interim Executive Director while SFCIR conducts its search.

Transitions bring opportunity, so please check the Council job listings below.
And we encourage supporters and colleagues - past and present - to join us in DC in November to celebrate WACA’s 35th Anniversary at the National Conference.

Thank you and stay well,
Bill Clifford, President and CEO
WACA 2021 National Conference:
Bridging Divides at Home and Abroad
November 16-19
STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS!
Through the generous support of The Gambrinus Company and Mr. and Mrs. Carlos and Malú Alvarez, WACA will offer a limited number of scholarships for undergraduate students from the Council network to attend our 2021 National Conference.

Additional information about the application process will be shared with the network this week. Thank you to our generous sponsor!
HOTEL INFORMATION!
Remember to register for WACA's 2021 National Conference this November 16-19 in Washington, DC, where we will celebrate our 35th Anniversary as a national association!

We are pleased to share that the hotel block is open at the special rate of $284 / night plus tax (this rate applies to reservations as early as Nov. 14 and as late as Nov. 23). Given that the annual WACA Conference sells out early, we encourage you to book your room now!
Star Speakers Around the Network
Yaya Fanusie
Adjunct Senior Fellow, CNAS
Fmr. Amb. John Limbert
Fmr. Amb. Marc Grossman
Tara Kangarlou
Founder, Art of Hope
Council Leaders: Remember to upload your favorite speakers to the WACA Speaker Database, a password protected feature accessible in Member Resources.
COUNCIL OF THE MONTH: IRC Kansas City
WACA is pleased to announce the International Relations Council (Kansas City) as its August 2022 Council of the Month! Each month, WACA features one of its 90 Councils, highlighting their accomplishments and top quality programming.
 
IRC (Kansas City) has announced a new virtual program series, Nuancing National Security, for August and September. In this six-part virtual series, IRC (Kansas City) will offer historical context and global perspective for core dimensions of national security and explore the risks, priorities, and tactics on the radar of U.S. security policy. Check out IRC's website for more.
WorldQuest Weekly Quiz
This week's WACA WorldQuest Weekly is out! Test your global affairs awareness and dive into news stories that represent a broad spectrum of developments of interest and importance. Most of the questions are drawn from both WACA's Weekly World News Update, and a curated news Twitter feed @TNWAC #WACquiz.

In partnership with WACA, WorldQuest Weekly is produced by the Tennessee World Affairs Council, which offers customized subscriptions to the quiz for Council members. Contact pat@tnwac.org or visit tnwac.org/quiz for details.

Last Week's Winner (10/10 Points):
Howard (San Diego, CA) and Margaret (Wichita, KS) - Congratulations!
Save the Dates: Best Practices in September and October
The next WACA Best Practices will take place on Thursday, September 30, 3:00 PM ET on the topic of Boards, Governance, and Volunteers. More details to be announced.

Originally scheduled for Thursday, July 8, WACA has rescheduled its Session on Organizational Mergers for Thursday, October 14, at 3:00 PM ET. We will take a look at how Councils might join forces with related organizations or institutions in order to advance their mission.
WATCH: Canada's Ambassador on Embassy Row Live! 

Highlights of Past Events

“Bulgaria: Political, Economic, and Commercial Crossroads Today” PDF

“From Harm to Home: Arc of the Refugee Crisis: Global Challenges, Local Solutions" PDF

Check Out the Full Presentation Recording in DropBox HERE!

CONTACT US

Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC)

PO Box 34010

San Diego, CA 92163

Emailsdwac@sdwac.org


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