June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017

A Message From the President of SDWAC

Dear fellow SDWAC members and friends:

The Council’s Annual Luncheon and Meeting, held on June 17 at St. James-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church Parish Hall in La Jolla, was an outstanding success. We had a fine turnout, filling the hall, and heard a powerful and information-packed presentation on “Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula: How Does This End?” by former senior State Department official and Asia expert Evans Revere.

Evans’ talk ended on a somber note, with sharp criticism of North Korea for its treatment of Virginia college student Otto Warmbier, who had just been returned to the United States in a coma after a long imprisonment, and with whose family Evans had worked quietly behind the scenes for 17 months. (Tragically, Otto died just days after Evans’ remarks.) Equally sobering was Evans’ assessment of North Korea’s intentions: It will not give up its nuclear weapons program and intends to use its growing nuclear capability to leverage direct talks with the U.S. to formally end the Korean War, with unification of the Peninsula on Pyongyang’s terms and U.S. troops sent home. Much U.S. resolve and close cooperation with our allies to ratchet up pressure on North Korea will be needed in the coming months and years, Revere concluded, if an outcome that precludes North Korean nuclear blackmail is to be reached. 

We also held a brisk meeting that accomplished its purpose: election of three new members of SDWAC’s Board of Directors: Ambassador (ret.) Leslie Bassett, Ann Ryder Randolph and Mary Abad -- a trio of women with impressive and relevant skill sets and resumes.  The continued tenure on the Board of several returning directors and of the Council’s existing roster of officers was also confirmed.

On June 5 at AMN Healthcare, Council members and a healthy sprinkling of visitors, including a number of members of the International Affairs Board (IAB) of the City of San Diego, heard a fascinating, even visionary presentation on “City Diplomacy in the 21stCentury” by Dr. Joel Day.  Joel, who is Executive Director of the IAB and also a SDWAC Board member, postulated that, with cities now home to over half the world’s population, the “global city” is and should be increasingly significant in international affairs. These global cities, among whose number San Diego should be counted, Joel argued, can transform diplomacy by bypassing their often gridlocked national governments to work directly with each other on issues ranging from security to business to climate change. 

Our upcoming “Tijuana Day” has been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 25.  We are working with the U.S. Consulate General and the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau to develop a program that should be both informative and enjoyable.  Please respond by this Saturday, June 24 to the request for an expression of interest, below, so we can gauge our transportation and restaurant needs.


Tijuana Day: Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Interested in crossing the border for an on-the-ground look at U.S.-Mexico relations?

The San Diego World Affairs Council invites you to participate in a day trip to Tijuana to learn how economic and diplomatic relations between the United States and its third-largest trading partner are being conducted in this time of heightened political tensions. While there, we’ll enjoy some some fine Baja California cuisine. Don't miss this unique opportunity!


About the Trip:

Our group will depart San Diego in a chartered bus or van at 9 a.m. and cross the border at San Ysidro. In Tijuana, we will have the opportunity to: interact with U.S. Consul General William A. Ostick; conduct site visits to a maquiladora (manufacturing plant) and a shelter for men deported back to Mexico from the United States; get a taste of Baja-Cali cuisine at one of the city’s finer restaurants; and engage with representatives of nongovernmental organizations and the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau. We'll return home at approximately 5 p.m.

Tentative Itinerary:

9:00 a.m. Registration and Boarding

Stops in Tijuana:

Casa del Migrante 

Tijuana Cultural Center

Lunch & Remarks by U.S. Consul General William A. Ostick and Representatives of the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau

Visit to a Maquiladora (manufacturing plant) 

5:00 p.m. Return to San Diego 


Cost for current SDWAC members will be approximately $60 per person, inclusive of lunch and transportation. A valid passport is mandatory for all participants.

 So that we may gauge restaurant and transportation needs, please respond by this Saturday, June 24, with an expression of interest. 

Email us at events@sdwac.org or call (619) 325-8200 to let us know if you intend to sign up for this exciting opportunity. Questions, comments or concerns? We're happy to hear them. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Trade Routes and the Evolving Geopolitics

of the Middle East" 


Dr. Robert H. Meyer 

About Our Program 

For most of history, the Middle East’s unique and unusual geography placed it at the nexus of dynamic global trade routes connecting Europe, Asia and Africa. But advances in marine technology and the discovery of “New World” riches significantly reduced the region’s strategic importance. Dr. Robert H. Meyer will discuss ways in which robust economic growth in China and India may partly restore the Middle East as a global trade route hub, adding significant strategic and geopolitical importance to the region while boosting its economic fortunes.  

About Our Speaker

Dr. Robert H. Meyer has had a lifelong interest in history, archaeology and world affairs, with a focus on the Middle East. The son of an international aid administrator who moved his family from country to country, Dr. Meyer grew up in Libya, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and elsewhere overseas.

Retired since 2012 as a specialist in imaging remote sensing with the aerospace/defense industry, he holds a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and an M.S. in computer vision, both from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Meyer has worked at Texas Instruments, Hughes Aircraft and BAE Systems.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

6:00-6:30 p.m. Registration & Reception

6:30-8:00 p.m. Presentation


AMN Healthcare Boardroom

12400 High Bluff Drive

San Diego CA, 92130

Save the Date: August 14, 2017

Col. Chris S. Richie, Commanding Officer, Marine Air Control Group 38, Third Marine Aircraft Wing, will discuss the United Arab Emirates. More details to come.

Save the Date: August 28, 2017

Retired Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, Jr., will discuss the Indo-Pacific. More details to come.


June 22, 2017:  “Dealing With a Dangerous and Challenging World — The Physics and Economics of Defense.” A guest speaker will discuss how and why the world may be a more dangerous place than ever before, in light of threats posed by North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, ISIS, radical Islam, and weapons of mass destruction. The speaker will explore the best ways to meet these challenges and opportunities.

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer


Remington Club (Phase II)

16916 Hierba Drive

Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA 92128 

June 29, 2017: “Fiber Optics: History, Security, Applications and More.” Jim Hayes, Ph.D., and North County Chapter members Al Myers, Farouk Al-Nasser and Bill Thayer present a follow up to the Jan. 5, 2017, discussion on fiber optics. Discussion will touch on security, automated high speed stock trading, history and more. Member reservations for a round table luncheon following the presentation may be made by contacting Cal Watson at cewats@san.rr.com.

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer


Remington Club (Phase II)

16916 Hierba Drive

Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA 92128

For further information about North County Chapter events, please e-mail TPReeve72@gmail.com. Events are viewable online at www.sdwac.org.


The San Diego Diplomacy Council is seeking home hosts for our Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) July 8-22, 2017. 

This program is funded by the Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Our cohort of 10 Iraqi high school student leaders will be in San Diego July 8-22, 2017, for a leadership and civic engagement training program. We are seeking home hosts who can host these fellows for one or two weeks from July 8-22, 2017. Home hosts do not need to speak Arabic. 

We ask home hosts to provide meals (typically just breakfast and dinner on programming days and all meals during the weekends) during the program and transportation to/from the program Monday-Friday to our office in City Heights. (Drop off between 8:30-9 a.m. and pick up between 5-5:30 pm). Depending on your location, carpools will be arranged to facilitate the transportation. 

We are not permitted to pay home hosts for this program, but we can provide a letter of financial contribution for tax purposes. 

Because this is a youth program, we are federally required to run background checks on adult home hosts (we will cover this fee) and conduct an in-home interview. Anyone interested in hosting can contact Heidi Knuff directly at: Heidi@sandiegodiplomacy.org or 858-699-5788 (cell)/619-291-8105 (office). 


Deadline: June 30, 2017

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ), at the University of San Diego’s Kroc School of Peace Studies, is currently accepting applications for its Women PeaceMakers Program. The new Women PeaceMakers Program will offer a unique fellowship for peacebuilders, focused on strengthening and improving peace efforts in conflict-affected communities around the world.

Two peace researchers will be selected to work together with Women PeaceMakers to map the methods used and challenges faced in conflict contexts around the globe. For 2017-18, the focus of the program is on local and global peacebuilders’ engagement with the security sector. 

Each Peace Researcher will conduct interviews with two peacemakers in residence at the IPJ from September 25 - November 17, 2017. Based on those interviews, researchers will produce two case studies, one based on each of their peacemakers’ conflict situations.

Peace Researchers will be selected through a competitive application process and possess the following qualifications:

Graduate degree, or current enrollment in a graduate or postgraduate program, related to peace studies, conflict resolution, human rights, international relations or gender studies.
Outstanding writing skills.
Demonstrated experience in qualitative research methods; familiarity with narrative inquiry and analysis, as well as semi-structured interviewing methods, preferred.
Familiarity with the field of women, peace and security. Past research or publications related to the field is preferred.
Experience conducting interviews in a cross-cultural setting. Applicants must be able to work closely with people for whom English is a second language.
Must be able to work independently as well as collaboratively.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the IPJ website: http://peace.sandiego.edu/wpm or contact Katie Zanoni, IPJ Program Officer for Women PeaceMakers, at kzanoni@sandiego.edu.

Wednesday, June 14 , 2017

Russia Interference in U.S. Election; Cuba - U.S. Relations; China' Tightening Grip on Power; Aftermath of the British Elections; Puerto Rico Statehood; and Furthering Democracy

Quote of the Week:

"We met a couple times maybe... but we never functioned, frankly, Mr. Chairman, as a coherent team."

-- Attorney General Jeff Sessionstestifying Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, about the Trump campaign's foreign policy team, which he headed.

Russian Interference in U.S. Election

"Forget Comey: The Real Story Is Russia's War on America" Molly McKew--

Politico, June 11, 2017

"Senators Strike Comprehensive Deal to Increase Russia Sanctions"

Karoun Demirjian -- The Washington Post, June 12, 2017 

 "From Russia with Chaos" David Satter --The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017

Cuba - U.S. Relations

"An Isolated Cuba Will not Be a Free Cuba" Bonnie Kristian -- Real Clear World,

June 9, 2017

"Race to Influence the President on Cuba Policy Heats Up" Mimi Whitefield --

Miami Herald, June 13, 2017

"Who Is Trump Trying to Help on Cuba?" Juan Carlos Hidalgo -- CATO Institute,

June 13, 2017

"Trump's Conflicts of Interest in Cuba" Carolyn Kenney and John Norris--

Center for American Progress, June 14, 2017

China's Tightening Grip on Power

"Course Correction: How to Stop China's Maritime Advance" Ely Ratner -- 

Foreign Affairs, July/August, 2017

"China Walks the Tightrope in Hitting Taiwan Without Gutting the Economy" 

Ting Shi -- Bloomberg, June 13, 2017

"Unite to Shape Hong Kong's Future" -- South China Morning Post, June 14, 2017

"China's Cult of Stability of Killing Tibetans" Kevin Carrico -- Foreign Policy,

June 13, 2017

Aftermath of the British Elections

"Theresa May's Weak and Wobbly Outfit" Roger Cohen -- The New York Times,

June 13, 2017

"Theresa May Running Out of Time for EU Withdrawal Talks, Europe's Chief 

Negotiator Says" Jon Sharman -- Independent, June 13, 2017

"Theresa May's Failed Election Gamble" Ashish Kumar Sen -- The Atlantic,

June 9, 2017

"Political Support Grows for Cross-Party Approach to Brexit Negotiations"

Matthew Weaver -- The Guardian, June 13, 2017

Puerto Rico Seeks Statehood

"Puerto Rico Will Seek Statehood Again" Erin Blakemore -- Smithsonian,

June 12, 2017

"The Voters of Puerto Rico Have Spoken" Jose Aponte-Hernandez -- The Hill,

June 12, 2017

Furthering Democracy

"How to Hate Each Other Peacefully in a Democracy" Shadi Hamid -- The Atlantic,

June 11, 2017

"Has Western-Style Democracy Become Too Expensive for Capitalism?" Michael

Power -- Financial Times, June 13, 2017

"Facebook Needs to Be More Open About Its Effect on Democracy" John

Gallacher and Monica Kaminska -- The Guardian, June 12, 2017

Office: (619) 325-82000

Address: 113 Street, West G Street #601 San Diego, CA 92101 

Email: sdwac@sdwac.org




Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council

113 West G Street #601

San Diego, CA 92101

Office: (619) 325-8200



Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software