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April 18, 2019


April 18, 2019

A Message from the President of SDWAC

Dear SDWAC Colleagues and Friends:

The San Diego World Affairs Counciil (SDWAC) is at an inflection point.  While we have made great progress over the last several years in rebuilding the organization, to the point that we now have almost 370 members (including members of our North County Chapter), the Council is in dire need of greater member participation.  Recently a number of members of our Board of Directors have resigned, citing the press of other obligations.We need to replace them, and we also need to staff the various standing committees (programs, development, membership, public relations and finance) with members who are willing to pitch in. The problem is that scarcely more than half a dozen or so directors and general members have been doing the lion's share of the work. SDWAC cannot thrive and grow under those circumstances.

Therefore I am issuing a call to all reading this to consider stepping up and becoming more involved in SDWAC,  To those on our contact list who have been coming to events fairly regularly, consider joining the Council. (Go to to learn how).  To our existing members, please consider joining one of the committees.  Approach a member of the board at our next event, Monday, April 22, or send an expression of interest to me at, cc Vice President Christine Sheckler at

With respect to the Board, we are looking for people with an interest in international affairs who have experience and skills to bring to the organization.  Board members are asked to participate in at least one committee and to attend one meeting per quarter, plus a few special events such as our annual meeting.

To nominate yourself or someone else to the Board, please contact me at and pass along a brief c.v.  As a member of the Nominating Committee, I will see that Dr. Sabodh Garg, chair of the committee, receives the information. 

The sequence of events for electing new board members is as follows:

1.  Now to mid-May: The Nominating Committee receives names and resumes of potential candidates and considers them.

2.  No later than June 1: The Nominating Committee prepares and circulates to the general membership a slate of nominees for Board membership.

3.  Saturday, June 22: The general membership present at the Annual Meeting elects new Board members and re-elects any Board members standing for re-election to another two-year term.

4.  As soon as feasible after the Annual Meeting, the new Board elects officers (president, vice president, secretary and chief financial officer).  [Note: the Nominating Committee is also responsible for preparing a slate of nominees to be officers for consideration at this organizational meeting.]

We have a really good lineup of speakers coming up, and I urge you all to come out and hear them, and ask your usual good questions.  This Monday, April 22, as detailed below, we're honored to have as our featured speaker Sue Saarnio, U.S. Consul General in Tijuana, whose topic, Balancing Security and Prosperity at the U.S.-Mexico border, could hardly be more timely.

On May 7 we are excited to be hosting Capt. Christopher Cavanaugh, USN, Commodore of Submarine Squadron 11 (based at Point Loma), who will address the role of the Navy and its submarine force in U.S. national security and defense.  Details will follow shortly.

And on June 22 we will have a lunch for members and friends (venue TBD) on the occasion of our Annual Meeting.  After a brief business meeting, our featured speaker will be Jean Guerrero, KPBS-TV journalist and author of the well-received 2018 book, Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir.  Please SAVE THE DATE

Thanks also to Dr. Gordon Hanson of UCSD's School of Global Policy and Strategy for his excellent presentation on trade with China on March 11.  We had a fine turnout and the question-and-answer session was especially lively.

One last appeal: we all agree San Diego is an important international city. There are 93 World Affairs Councils (WACs) in 42 states.  Many cities with much smaller populations and not nearly the claim San Diego does to being a world city have larger and more influential WACs. If we all work together, I am certain that our San Diego World Affairs Council can join the ranks of America's finest World Affairs Councils. 

-- John Schlosser


San Diego World Affairs Council


"Como esta la linea?" Balancing Security and Prosperity


U.S. Consul General in Tijuana

Sue Saarnio

The U.S.-Mexico border is making national headlines, but many of us in the Cali-Baja region cross the border without a second thought.  The challenge of securing America’s borders while making sure that legitimate travelers and trade move quickly and efficiently between the United States and Mexico requires smart solutions.  How do we convene stakeholders in the public and private sector in both of our countries? Where will the next big idea come from? What’s the next public-private partnership model? As the U.S. Consul General in Tijuana, veteran diplomat Sue Saarnio works with her team to achieve our foreign policy objectives and address critical issues for a 21st century border region.  


About our Speaker

Sue Saarnio is a career Foreign Service Officer with more than 30 years of experience on international trade and economic issues in the U.S. State Department.  She started her Foreign Service career serving in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.   She most recently served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Energy Resources and Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.  Prior to that, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Mexico, Canada, and Regional Economic Policy in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

She has served in the State Department’s Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Bureau as Deputy Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs and Director for Multilateral Trade Affairs. She was the U.S. Special Advisor for Conflict Diamonds.  She also has served at U.S. Embassies in Ottawa, Panama, and at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.

Prior to her government service, Ms. Saarnio worked as a journalist in Montana and Minnesota. She is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and attended the American University in Cairo, Egypt.  She has two children.


Monday, April 22, 2019

6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Registration and Reception
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Presentation and Q&A


National University, Sanford Center Auditorium

11355 N. Torrey Pines Rd

La Jolla, CA 92037 

Complimentary parking on the National University campus


Free for SDWAC Members and Students

$10 for Non-Members

*Please note that the viewpoints expressed by speakers at SDWAC events are their own, and do not represent those of SDWAC. As a nonpartisan organization, SDWAC seeks to engage speakers who, together, represent a variety of viewpoints across the political spectrum in order to contribute to informed policy discussion and a meaningful exchange of ideas within the San Diego community. 


San Diego World Affairs Council


The Role of the U.S. Navy and its Submarine Force in Our National Defense


Captain Christopher J. Cavanaugh

Commander, Submarine Squadron 11

About our Speaker

Captain Chris Cavanaugh graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1993 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After commissioning, he attended UC Berkeley and earned a master's degree in Nuclear Engineering. He later earned a master's in Foreign Affairs from the Catholic University of America and was selected as a MIT Seminar XXI fellow. 

His sea duty assignments include serving as a Division Officer, Engineer, and Executive Officer. He commanded the USS Albuquerque, completing two Western Pacific deployments that earned Navy Unit Commendation and was awarded the COMSUBRON ELEVEN Battle Efficiency "E" for 2013. 

His shore assignments include serving in the Strategy and Policy Division for the Chief of Naval Operations, as Squadron Engineer, as the Submarine Executive Officer/Post-Executive Officer detailer at Navy Personnel Command and as Deputy Director for Nuclear Propulsion Programs for the Chief of Naval Personnel. Most recently, he was the Program and Budget Branch Chief for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His Personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medal.

Captain Cavanaugh is currently serving as Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 in San Diego. During this assignment his squadron deployed to Argentina to lead search and rescue efforts for a missing submarine. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Registration and Reception
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Presentation and Q&A


National University, Sanford Center Auditorium

11355 N. Torrey Pines Rd

La Jolla, CA 92037 

Complimentary parking on the National University campus


Free for SDWAC Members and Students

$10 for Non-Members



The complicated world we live in is illuminated a bit more every week at the North County Chapter’s Thursday Morning Forum in Rancho Bernardo. These free, weekly talks address a range of global topics in arelaxed and social atmosphere. Forums begin with a coffee social at 9:30a.m., followed by a program at 10 a.m. and Q&A from 11:10 a.m. to noon. The public is invited and no reservation is needed.

Unless otherwise indicated, Forums are held at the Remington Club (Phase II), 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA 92128. Parking is available in the adjacent shopping center.

Upcoming Programs for April/May 2019

APRIL 25: Our guest, William Tuchrello, will examine the "Impact of Indonesia’s Recent Presidential Election on U.S. Foreign Policy.” Over the last 20 years Indonesia has evolved a more proactive, aggressive foreign policy that has implications for U.S. policies in China and Middle East. Mr. Tuchrello is a retired diplomat who served as regional director for the Library of Congress in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.  His academic background includes being a director of Fulbright Indonesia, developing the parliamentary library for Timor Leste, and director of the Global Policy Studies library (IR/PS), the University of California San Diego. Recently (2019), he published an article on Indonesia’s relations with Israel.   Please advise Kiki Munshi if you would like to attend the limited-seating Round Table Lunch by April 22, at

MAY 2: Our guest, Dr. William Adams Twayigize, an adjunct member of the Graduate Program in Homeland Security at San Diego State University, will present “Africa from Within”, discussing the history of the African continent before, during and after the colonial era, and diving into today’s Africa, with its over 3,000 distinct ethnic groups speaking over 2,000 languages, the most genetically diverse humans on Earth. Dr. Twayigize will also provide an overview of Africa’s resources and China’s interest in the continent. Please advise Mehdi Sarram,, if you would like to attend a limited-seating Round Table Lunch by April 29.

MAY 9Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio, US Navy (ret), will examine  “America ... and the Great Power Competition”, discussing America’s greatest security challenge of the 21st Century -  the increasingly competitive rivalry posed by China and Russia teaming against American interests at home and around the world. He will address the global security environment, internal challenges faced by Russia and China, and America’s way ahead to ensure its global position in this increasingly dynamic and competitive world.  Admiral Martoglio spent 40 years in the US Navy, with tours in Asia, Europe, and Washington, including serving as Director of Strategy and Policy for the US Navy, Director for Operations at US Pacific Command, and Deputy Commander of all US military forces in Europe, Eurasia, and Israel.  Please advise Pat Reeve,, if you like to attend a limited-seating Round Table Lunch.

MAY 16Our guest, Don Christian will give a talk entitled “Making Electric Cars in China and Racing on China’s Silk Road”, discussing the US EV startup, Coda Automotive, that manufactured electric cars in a state-owned auto assembly plant in China, his experience as Engineering Director at Coda, managing the gap between communist and capitalist employees, and his participation as an EV driver in an around-the-world electric vehicle rally, driving the length of China’s legendary Silk Road, from the Pacific  across Central Asia to Europe. Don is currently CEO of Silicon Valley EV startup, and holds an MSEE from Southern Methodist University, BS in Computer Science from Ohio State Univ. Please contact Bob Meyer if you would like to attend the Round Table Lunch,

MAY 23:  Dr. Patrick Drinan, Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus at the University of San Diego, will discuss "The Status of Socialism in the Contemporary World", describing how the collapse of the Soviet Union was widely expected to be followed by the implosion of socialism internationally but its adaptability, while uneven, has shown resilience in unexpected places.  The evolution of socialism as an ideology will be reviewed and its implications addressed. Dr. Drinan taught at USD for 30 years; he has a Ph.D. in Government and a MA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia; he served two terms asPresident of SDWAC. This meeting will be continuous until 11.30 AM, followed by aBoard Meeting.

MAY 30Our guest, Professor Michael D. Ramsey (J.D.), will present “The Constitution, Separation of Powers, National Sovereignty, and International Institutions: Who Controls U. S. Foreign Policy? “ Prof. Ramsey is the Director, International & Comparative Law Programs and the Hugh & Hazel Darling Foundation Professor of Law at the University of San Diego, School of Law.  A graduate of Stanford Law School, he was a law clerk at the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit  and at the U. S. Supreme Court.  He practiced international business law with Latham & Watkins, taught comparative law at the Sorbonne, Paris, lectured at Kuwait International Law School, and authoredThe Constitution's Text in Foreign Affairs (Harvard Univ. Press).  He will explore how our Constitution describes control over U.S. foreign policy and how our Constitutional governance actually affects foreign policy practice.  For reservations to the limited seating Round-Table Lunch after the meeting, please contact Tom Reeve

Upcoming events of the North County Chapter of the San Diego World Affairs Council can be seen on

The School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) at the University of California, San Diego, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with high-profile guests and speakers on April 26 and 27 The founders of GPS took a calculated risk and created a school where the intellectual rigor of the faculty and students would be directed towards understanding the political and economic rise of Asia and Latin America. Deliberately interdisciplinary, regionally focused and data driven, GPS has been at the forefront of advancing the Paciļ¬c Century. I hope you can join us at UC San Diego as we look ahead to understand the future of the Pacific Century as it applies to policy, business, the global order, and the challenges of equality, prosperity, sustainability and conflict.


You can find details about the agenda and the speakers by clicking on the registration link.

Day 1: Friday, April 26 (Register)

The day starts with a keynote address by former Chairman and CEO of GE Jeff Immelt. Then hear from a lineup of renowned business leaders, government officials and academics from around the globe at panel discussions. Speakers include James Fallows, National Correspondent of The Atlantic, Enrico Letta, former Prime Minister of Italy, and Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20, among others. The evening concludes with a discussion on the future of progress by Steven Pinker, Harvard cognitive psychologist and best-selling author, in partnership with the Helen Edison Lecture Series.


Day 2: Saturday, April 27 (Register)

Join us as GPS faculty provide TED-style talks on four key challenges of equality, prosperity, sustainability and conflict to continued progress in the 21st Century. Additional events include digital poster sessions featuring GPS faculty, students and alumni, and a reception with cultural arts presentations.

April 17, 2019

Weekly World News Update

al-Bashir Ousted; Autocracy vs. Democracy; Notre Dame Catches Fire; Assange Captured; Brexit Receives Relief; Mediator South Korea; Progress at Fukushima; Global Oil Update; Measles Catastrophe

Quote of the Week

"As it stands, Bashir’s legacy is one of civil strife and genocide ... Bashir’s sudden departure - particularly if he is simply replaced by members of his own cabal - poses great risks for stability in the Sudan."

-- Bronwyn Bruton, Deputy Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, quoted last week in an article after al-Bashir's removal.

al-Bashir Is Out But Is the Military?

Sudan Crisis: Ex-President Omar al-Bashir Moved to Prison” BBC -- April 17, 2019

A Cruel April in the Sudan Spring?” Alex De Waal -- African Arguments, April 12, 2019

In Sudan, Bashir Is Out, But Military Rule Is Not Quite What the Protesters Had in Mind” Ashish Kumar Sen -- Atlantic Council, April 11, 2019

Bashir’s Removal Is Just the Beginning of the Sudanese Transition” Judd Devermont -- Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 12, 2019

It Takes a Village to Make a Monster” Rebecca Hamilton -- Foreign Policy, April 15, 2019

Global Elections: Autocracy vs. Democracy

The Continued Power of Militaries in an Increasingly Autocratic World” Joshua Kurlantzick -- Council on Foreign Relations, April 12, 2019

The Modi Mirage” Gurcharan Das -- Foreign Affairs, April 11, 2019

Indonesia’s National Election: A Referendum on President Jokowi” Brian Harding -- Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 12, 2019



Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC)

PO Box 34010

San Diego, CA 92163


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