December 15, 2016 Newsletter

December 15, 2016
A Holiday Message From the President of SDWAC

As year's end quickly approaches, I would like to extend to all members of the San Diego World Affairs Council my best wishes for a happy holiday season and a joyous and healthy New Year.  

This has been a year of transition for SDWAC, with a new leadership team taking over in mid-year and new approaches and procedures implemented.  Before I mention anything else, I want to pay tribute to Past President David Edick Jr., who gave his all to the organization for years and did much to place it on a sound footing.  Although David has happily decided to remain on our Board, this is a good occasion to thank him and other Board members whose term expired this year for their service and devotion to the Council.

I would also like to thank, for their contributions this year, the current members of the Board, especially the chairs of the programs, public relations, membership, development and academic outreach committees.  Under their leadership, SDWAC is growing and prospering.  In equal measure, the valuable efforts of our growing cadre of staff volunteers, spread out throughout the various committees, must be recognized.  Just within the last week, the Council has mounted two well attended, substantive, thought-provoking events -- a December 6 panel discussion on Mexico and its relations with the United States, featuring four outstanding experts, and a December 12 presentation on the foreign policy challenges faced by the president-elect.  Our volunteers and student interns deserve much credit for making these events the resounding successes they were.  And the North County Chapter of SDWAC is to be applauded for its continuing series of outstanding Thursday morning programs.  Finally, I would like to single out for special commendation First Vice President Lulu Hsu, who has tirelessly developed effective new management methods and administrative procedures, recruited and mentored volunteers and interns, and shouldered burdens far heavier than what a VP might have been expected to take on, all for the sake of making SDWAC a stronger, better organization.  

The coming year will be marked by unique circumstances for the United States in the area of international relations.  There are bound to be unexpected developments, even direct challenges to the new president.  In a potentially turbulent period, the mission of SDWAC to educate and engage San Diegans in global issues, international relations and cultural understanding is more important than ever.  I look forward to collaborating with all of you in 2017.

One more note: The deadline for tax-deductible donations is fast approaching. SDWAC is a 501(c)3 organization and welcomes any and all contributions. They are essential to maintaining and enhancing our busy schedule ofevents.  Regular readers of this newsletter who have not yet joined the Council are encouraged to do so: Your membership dues are tax deductible.

Again, Happy Holidays to All,

-- John Schlosser

Upcoming Events
Click here to see SDWAC events on our website

Save the Date: January 11, 2017

Ms. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman



AMN Healthcare Auditorium
12400 Highbluff Drive
San Diego, CA 92130

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman is the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representative to the United States. Key to her role are strengthening ties between Kurdistan and the United States and advocating her government’s position on a wide array of political, security, humanitarian, economic and cultural matters. Prior to her appointment in 2015, Ms. Abdul Rahman was the KRG High Representative to the United Kingdom. She was elected to the Leadership Council of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in 2010. 

Before entering public service, Ms. Abdul Rahman worked as a journalist for 17 years. She was the Tokyo correspondent for the Financial Times and won the Observer Newspaper’s Farzad Bazoft Memorial Prize. Born in Baghdad, she is a history graduate of London University. 

 Ms. Abdul Rahman is the daughter of the late Sami Abdul Rahman, a former Deputy Prime Minister of the KRG and a key player in the Kurdish and Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein’s regime. Sami Abdul Rahman was killed alongside his elder son, Salah, and 96 others in a twin suicide bombing in 2004.

Academic World Quest 2016 - 2017 

 worldquestlogo copy2

A National Quiz Competition for High School Students

Registration: October 1, 2016 through February 10, 2017

Curious about the world? Love to travel? Want a career in foreign affairs, politics, international trade, or humanitarian work?

Test your knowledge with Academic WorldQuest™ !

The Academic WorldQuest quiz will consist of ten rounds:

Current Events

Great Decisions
Peace and Conflict in Today’s World (USIP)
Combating Infectious Disease
European Union
and more!

 Schedule of Competition

March 4, 2017
San Diego County Competition

April 29, 2017
National Championship, Washington, D.C.

Learn More

 World News Forum

Wednesday, December 14 , 2016

U.S.-China Trade Relations; The Future of NATO; Park Geun-Hye Impeached; Philippine Politics; Uzbekistan's President-Elect; Elections in The Gambia.

U.S.-China Trade Relations

"Playing Responsible Hardball on China's Trade and Investment" David Dollar -- Brookings Institution, December 7, 2016

"Trump Suggests Using Bedrock China Policy as a Bargaining Chip" Mark Landler -- The New York Times, December 11, 2016

"Trade War with China: 'A Very Dangerous Domino' " Cory Schouten -- CBS Moneywatch, December 9, 2016

"China Goes to War with EU and U.S. on Trading Status" Alberto Mucci -- POLITICO Europe, December 12, 2016

The Future of NATO

"From Suez to Syria: Why NATO Must Strengthen Its Political Role" Judy Dempsey -- Carnegie Europe, December 8, 2016

"Congress Reassures Baltic Representatives on NATO Commitment" Aaron Mehta -- Defense News, December 9, 2016

"Lithuania Braces for Putin...and Trump" Emily Tamkin -- Foreign Policy, December 9, 2016

Park Geun-Hye Impeached

"Park Geun-Hye Unraveling: Endgame" Stephan Haggard and Inbok Rhee --Peterson Institute for International Economics, December 9, 2016

"Impeaching South Korean President Park Geun-Hye: Where Does the Country Go From Here?" Scott Snyder -- Forbes, December 9, 2016

"How South Korea's Politics Could Get Even More Confusing" John Everard -- CNN, December 10, 2016

Philippine Politics

"Philippine Politics Become Even More Dangerous" Joshua Kurlantzick -- Council on Foreign Relations, December 7, 2016

"Those Standing up to Rodrigo Duterte are from a Long Line of Strong Filipinas" Tom Smith -- The Guardian, December 7, 2016

"Why Is Donald Trump Tacitly Endorsing Extralegal Filipino Death Squads?" Philip Bump -- The Washington Post, December 9, 2016

Uzbekistan's President-Elect

"Uzbekistan's New President- a Reformer or Another Dictator?" Birgit Brauer -- Institute for War & Peace Reporting, December 7, 2016

"Will New Uzbek President Alter the Dictatorial Course?" Mansur Mirovalev -- Al Jazeera, December 8, 2016

"Same Iron Fist, New Foreign Policy for Uzbekistan" Mari Dugas -- The Hill, December 11, 2016

Elections in the Gambia

"Gambia's Election Result Is a Sign of Democracy Advancing in Africa" Dr. Alex Vines -- Chatham House, December 9, 2016

"Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh to Challenge Election Loss at Top Court" Samuel Osborne -- The Independent, December 11, 2016

"After Gambia Elections, the Climate of Fear Is Disappearing" Stephen Cockburn -- Amnesty International, December 8, 2016

  Mission Statement:
The San Diego World Affairs Council is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to educating and engaging San Diegans in global issues, international relations, and cultural understanding

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