April 13, 2017


April 13, 2017
A Message From the President of SDWAC

Dear fellow SDWAC members and friends:

The Council has just completed a busy and fruitful month of March.  Thanks to the concerted efforts of our committee chairs, volunteers and interns, SDWAC conducted three successful events in the space of 11 days.  On March 18 we hosted, in the offices of our corporate partner Procopio, a presentation by Chris Park, Major League Baseball’s Senior Vice President of Growth, Strategy and International.  This event was somewhatatypical for SDWAC in that it was in line with the business and cultural aspects of the Council's mandate and was not concerned with foreign policy. Mr. Park, who was in town for the World Baseball Classic at Petco Park, addressed the challenges involved with spreading the game into markets as diverse as China and the Caribbean.  We were happy to welcome a distinctive audience that included sports entrepreneurs, nine sports MBA students and their professor from San Diego State University, and representatives of the Tijuana Visitors Bureau and the Tijuana Toros baseball club (who gave Chris a customized jersey).  City of San Diego official Joel Day, a SDWAC Board member, presented Chris a proclamation from Mayor Faulconer declaring March 18 World Baseball Classic Day in San Diego.

On March 22 Dr. Juan F. Roche addressed a SDWAC audience at National University in La Jolla.  Dr. Roche, an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego, made a comprehensive presentation that documented the economic collapse of his native Venezuela, laid out the underlying factors that led to Hugo Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution,” and passionately detailed the current predicament of the country under Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro.  Dr. Roche said he has learned not to say that Venezuela has reached bottom but ventured to speculate that, if conditions worsen further, Maduro might eventually be replaced by his own party or by the military.

And on March 29, we returned to the premises of our in-kind sponsor, AMN Healthcare, for a talk by Dr. Nico Ravanilla, Assistant Professor at UC San Diego, on the current situation in the Philippines.  In contrast to Venezuela, the Philippines is experiencing a period of economic growth, currently at 6% of GDP, the fastest rate of any country in Southeast Asia.  This has created leeway for the country’s controversial president, Rodrigo Duterte, to launch a sometimes violent “war on drugs” and make bold assertions, such as this one issued in China, “I announce my separation from the United States.”  Unlike the apparently one-dimensional Maduro, the Philippines leader, Professor Ravanilla concluded, is a multifaceted character, alternating between the statesman who quietly shepherded a beneficial budget through Congress and the “Duterte Harry” who boasts of literally taking the law into his own hands.

Looking ahead, SDWAC will have a table at the annual Harmony in Action Cross-Cultural Nonprofits Fair on Saturday, April 8, in Balboa Park (Patio B).  This should be a good opportunity to meet new people who share our interest in world events and culture, and perhaps to recruit some new members.  On April 10 we will host Serena Moe, a former Treasury Department and Citigroup official and recognized expert on sanctions, who will speak on the effectiveness of international and unilateral sanctions regimes. Several other Flashpoint events in April and May are still in the works; we will send announcements when dates and venues firm up.

I’d like to urge each of you to “Save the Date” for Saturday, June 17, when we will conduct the annualmembership meeting of the Council at the St. James By-the-Sea Episcopal Church Parish Hall in La Jolla.  All members are encouraged to attend, as this is one of our two major events for the year. (The other is the annual fundraiser, the latest of which took place in February.)  We have just lined up an outstanding speaker for the annual membership meeting and will release the details in the coming weeks. 

Finally, in an effort to further our social media outreach we have just launched our new Instagram account. We will give you updates on upcoming events on Instagram and you can look at photos we post from our events. Check us out at wacsandiego.  Tag us in photos and you might even have your photo featured on our account!

-- John Schlosser


Upcoming Events

Click here to see SDWAC events on our website

May 1, 2017

"Economic Sanctions: Iran, Russia, North Korea

Are They Working?"

Serena Moe

Economic sanctions against foreign governments, entities and even individuals are often in the news, but who really understands them?  Sanctions may make us feel righteous, but how effective are they in reality? 

Serena Moe is one of the country’s foremost experts on sanctions, having worked extensively in this arena both for the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers and enforces sanctions, and in the financial services industry, which must strictly comply with sanctions. 

Ms. Moe will discuss the legal basis for imposing sanctions and the history of presidential actions in this area.  She will also address the current state of sanctions imposed against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, the remaining sanctions on Iran, and the ongoing North Korea sanctions, as indicators of trends in the use of economic sanctions.

About Our Speaker

Serena Moe recently retired as Director for Regulatory Compliance at Citigroup Inc., where she served as the primary interface with OFAC.  Previously, Ms. Moe was a member of the international trade practice at the Washington, D.C., law firm Wiley Rein LLP, where she advised financial institutions and other businesses on compliance issues related to economic sanctions. 

From 1997 to 2011, she served as the General Counsel for Economic Sanctions at Citi, advising all Citi businesses on legal issues related to economic sanctions and anti-corruption. 

Previously, Ms. Moe was Deputy Chief Counsel at OFAC. She joined the agency’s legal staff in 1988, and, among other positions, served as principal attorney for the Cuban embargo and the sanctions used to protect Kuwaiti assets. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin presented Ms. Moe the Department’s Meritorious Service Award for her ability to “develop workable regulatory approaches to the implementation of complex U.S. foreign policy." 

Ms. Moe received a B.A. and an M.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from George Washington University. 

Monday, May 1, 2017


6:00-6:30 PM Registration & Reception

6:30-8:00 PM Presentation


Procopio-Del Mar

12544 High Bluff Drive, Suite 300

San Diego, CA 92130

North County Chapter Events

April 20, 2017: “Ukraine’s Precarious Position.” Professor Mikhail Alexseev (Ph.D), professor of political science at  San Diego State University, will examine how support for democratic governance and geopolitical orientation among Ukraine’s public hold up in light of Brexit, the Trump presidency, Russia’s continuing occupation of Crimea, and Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia-backed separatist forces in Donbas. Professor Alexseev was born in the Ukraine and is a former journalist and newscaster. Member reservations for a round table lunch following this meeting may be made by contacting sponsor Cy Chadley at cychad@att.net.

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

The Remington Club, Phase II, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo. Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

April 27, 2017The Worldwide Status of Nuclear Power.” North County Chapter member Vojin Joksimovich (Ph.D., nuclear engineering) will discuss nuclear power’s global outlook. The British consultancy Lloyd’s Register reports that nuclear power generation technologies are now cost competitive with fossil fuels, innovation is gathering pace, and nuclear power will continue to be “part of the solution to climate change long into the future.” Nevertheless, nuclear power is currently blossoming only in China and Russia and to a lesser degree in South Korea and India. China is building more nuclear plants than the rest of the world put together. Russia has perfected its water-water energetic reactor (VVER) designs, has a backlog of some 30 nuclear exports, and is introducing fast reactors to close the fuel cycle. While the United Kingdom has resumed its nuclear program after three decades, France has lost its world leadership in this area, as has the United States, with more plants being shut down than built.  Dr. Joksimovich has frequently published in these areas and has over 45 years experience in the fields of nuclear safety, risk assessment applications, management and foreign policy analysis.

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

The Remington Club, Phase II, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo. Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

Wednesday, April 12 , 2017

U.S. Foreign Policy; Xi Jinping Visits Trump; Worldwide Terror Attacks; G7 Summit; Syria Crisis; Egyptian Politics; Belarus Protests; Turkey's Referendum; Call to Remove South African President Zuma.

Quote of the Week:

"North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.," President Trump tweeted April 11, a few days after his meeting with China's President Xi Jinping. (The New York Times).   

U.S. Foreign Policy

"The Brilliant Incoherence of Trump's Foreign Policy" Stephen Sestanovich -- The Atlantic, May 2017 Issue

Xi Jinping Visits Trump

" The U.S-China Showdown at Mar-a-Lago: How Trump Undercut Xi " Gordon G. Chang -- The National Interest, April 10, 2017

" The Country with the Most to Gain from Trump Is not Russia; It's China " Erol Yayboke -- CSIS, April 6, 2017

"After the Summit: Where Do U.S.-China Relations Go From Here?" Tuan Pham -- The Diplomat, April 11, 2017

Worldwide Terror Attacks

" Why ISIS Declared War on Egypt's Christians " Mokhtar Awad -- Defense One, April 10, 2017

" Sweden Mourns Stockholm Attack Victims; Suspect Is Formally Identified " Christina Anderson -- The New York Times, April 10, 2017

" Why Russia's Reaction to Terror Is All about Strengthening Putin's Power " Owen Matthews -- Newsweek, April 10, 2017

G7 Summit

" Boris Johnson Says 'Game Has Changed' as G7 Leaders Discuss New Sanctions against Russia " Laura Hughes -- The Telegraph, April 10, 2017

" Tillerson Gets Second Chance to Make First Impression with G-7 " Nikos Chrysoloras, Patrick Donahue, and Alessandra Migliaccio -- Bloomberg, April 9, 2017

Syria Crisis

" Will Syria Yield to the Chemical Weapons Ban? " Lori Esposito Murray and Zachary Laub -- Council on Foreign Relations, April 7, 2017

" Trump Just Bombed Syria. What Next? " Marc Lynch -- The Washington Post, April 7, 2017

" Syria: A Journey Into the Unknown " Michael Hanna and Sam Heller -- War on the Rocks, April 10, 2017

"Russia and Iran Warn U.S. They Will 'Respond with Force' if Red Lines Crossed in Syria Again" Jon Sharman -- The Independent, April 10, 2017

Egyptian Politics

" Is Hamas Re-branding to Orient Towards Egypt? " Beverly Milton-Edwards -- Brookings Institution, April 9, 2017

" Al-Azhar and Sisi's Regime: Structural Roots of Disagreement " Belal Abdallah -- Atlantic Council, April 7, 2017

Belarus Protests

" A Refreeze in Minsk: Combining Crackdown with International Convergence " Artyom Shraibman -- Carnegie Moscow Center, April 6, 2017

" Time For a New Approach to Belarus " Daniel Speckhard -- U.S. News, April 7, 2017

" With Crackdown on Protests, Russia's New Friend Belarus Tightens Its Grip on Power " Veranika Laputska and Aliaksandr Papko -- The Conversation, April 6, 2017

Turkey's Referendum

" Turkish Referendum: All You Need to Know " Kareem Shaheen -- The Guardian, April 10, 2017

"Turkey's Referendum: A Democratic Quest" Ayse Sozen Usluer -- Al Jazeera, April 10, 2017

Call to Remove South African President Zuma

" South Africans Protest against Zuma " Subry Govender -- Deutsche Welle, April 7, 2017

" South Africa's Descent " Editorial Board -- The Washington Post, April 8, 2017

"In South Africa, Thousands from All Races March against President Jacob Zuma, but Unity Remains Elusive" Robyn Dixon -- Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2017

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