March 16, 2017


March 16, 2017
A Message From the President of SDWAC

Dear SDWAC members and friends,

We have a very busy calendar for the second half of March. You’ll recall from my last message that SDWAC is hosting Chris Park, Major League Baseball (MLB) Senior Vice President for Growth, Strategy and International, this Saturday at 11:00 a.m.  Mr. Park, a rising star in the field of sports management, will discuss MLB’s plans for global expansion.  The event will be in the offices of our corporate member Procopio, on the 22nd floor of Procopio Tower, 525 B Street, San Diego.  The spectacular view alone is worth the price of admission!  Those concerned about downtown parking should keep in mind that the Fifth Avenue Trolley Station is directly in front of Procopio Tower.

I urge SDWAC members to come out for this weekend event.  Admittedly, it’s different from our typical foreign policy-oriented discussions, but it falls under our international commerce and culture mandates.  The ongoing World Baseball Classic, in which Mr. Park plays a key role, highlights both the cultural commonalities and differences among the United States and countries as diverse as Japan, Venezuela and the Netherlands.

On Wednesday, March 22, our venue shifts to the main campus of National University in La Jolla.  Dr. Juan F. Roche, adjunct professor at the University of San Diego, will consider how it came to be that his native Venezuela, once a prosperous country, is now plagued by economic collapse and political upheaval. The following week, on Wednesday, March 29, we return to the boardroom of SDWAC’s in-kind sponsor, AMN Healthcare, for a talk by Dr. Nico Ravanilla, Assistant Professor at UC San Diego, who will address current affairs in the Philippines under the administration of its headline-making President Rodrigo Duterte.

Our calendar is filling up in the months ahead as well.  See the “Save the Date” notices below for an April 25 presentation by the Consul General of Singapore, Christopher Cheang.  On May 11 we are planning an event with the Consul General of Israel, Sam Grundwerg; this is likely to be a limited seating luncheon, but we will keep members posted.

Finally, I’d like to draw members’ attention to the excellent Academic World Quest (AWQ) competition SDWAC hosted March 4 at Saloman Hall, University of San Diego.  The event was coordinated by the Chair of our Academic Outreach Committee, USD Professor Mary McKenzie, with assistance from our  outstanding interns and volunteers. 

Five teams participated: four from Canyon Crest Academy (CCA), a founding member of SDWAC’s AWQ, and one from San Dieguito Academy.  After nine rounds of 10 substantive, challenging questions to each team – moderated by our Past President David Edick with help from Membership Chair Joe Eldred -- two teams had tied.  After a tiebreaker round, a CCA team emerged victorious.  The team will travel to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national Academic World Quest final at the National Press Club on April 29.  Following the competition there will be a special reception for all finalists at the United States Institute of Peace.  SDWAC is awarding $500 to the winning team.  We hope to build on the success of this event to have an even larger, broad-based AWQ competition next year.


-- John Schlosser


Upcoming Events
Click here to see SDWAC events on our website

March 18, 2017

"Growing the Game: Baseball's Plans for Global Expansion"

The San Diego World Affairs Council is pleased to announce a special event 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday, March 18, featuring Chris Park, Major League Baseball Senior Vice President for Growth, Strategy & International.  The event will take place in the offices of SDWAC corporate partner Procopio, 22nd Floor, Procopio Tower, 525 B Street. A reception follows the talk.

 Mr. Park, who will be in San Diego for the Second Round of the World Baseball Classic, under way through March 19 at Petco Park, will speak on MLB’s plans for global growth and the challenges of operating in diverse overseas markets.  The talk is especially timely given this month's World Baseball Classic tournament, being played in four different countries, and the reported opening of negotiations between MLB and Cuba.

SDWAC hopes for a strong showing among members and the general public for this timely discussion of the evolution of our national pastime into a truly international sport.  After the talk, consider staying downtown and taking in World Baseball Classic action at nearby Petco Park! 

About our speaker:

Chris Park directs MLB’s strategy for continuing the sport’s global growth.  He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Baseball’s international business initiatives, including MLB’s global events, television, sponsorship, licensing, new market development and grassroots development in the sport’s nontraditional areas. 

11:00 AM-11:30 PM 
11:30 PM-12:30 PM Presentation, Q&A
12:30 PM-1:00 PM Reception


Procopio Tower, 22nd Floor
525 B Street
San Diego, CA 92101

March 22, 2017

"The Venezuelan Quagmire: A Riches to Rags Paradox"

SDWAC welcomes Latin America expert Juan F. Roche for an insider’s look at economic collapse and political upheaval in contemporary Venezuela. 

With the discovery of oil in 1914, Venezuela rose from being one of the poorest countries in the region to one of the richest, with a flourishing  democracy that was a bright spot on a continent dominated by brutal military dictatorships.

Strongman Hugo Chavez’s 1999 ascension to the presidency and the Bolivarian Revolution, however, would usher in a period of steep economic decline and see the destruction of democratic institutions. Today, democracy in Venezuela is virtually dead and the economy has totally collapsed.  

Juan F. Roche, Ph.D., will explore the factors that led to the Bolivarian Revolution, highlight the current political and economic situation, and comment on possible scenarios going forward.

About Our Speaker

Juan F. Roche, Ph.D., adjunct professor at the University of San Diego, has 30 years of experience as a global executive, consultant and board member in the United States and abroad. Most recently, he was CEO of Gruma Corporation, a Mexican multinational food company. Previously he was with Nabisco, first as President of Europe, Middle East and Africa and later as President of Latin America.

At USD, Dr. Roche teaches in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, and at the School of Business. He has a bachelor’s of science degree from the Catholic University in Caracas and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his Ph.D. in leadership studies from the University of San Diego.

Currently, Dr. Roche is a senior partner at Renaissance Growth Advisors, a business consulting firm. He is a member of the Board of Advisors at the USD School of Peace and Justice. 


6:00-6:30 PM Registration & Reception

6:30-8:00 PM Presentation


Sanford Education Center Auditorium, North Building.

 National University

11255 North Torrey Pines Road

La Jolla, CA 92037

March 23, 2017

“Peacebuilding Success and Failure:  What can we learn from Colombia and South Sudan?” Andrew Blum, Ph.D., Director  of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego, discusses the lessons of Columbia, where a peace accord ended a 50-year conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), and war torn South Sudan, the world’s newest state, where hopes have been dashed that independence would bring an end to a half century of conflict. Dr. Blum, who worked closely on both these conflicts while at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C., will discuss what these lessons mean for a world where violence is on the rise. Member reservations for a round table lunch following the presentation may be made by contacting Phyllis Murchland at


9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer


 This North County Chapter event will be held at the Remington Club, Phase II, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo. Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

March 29, 2017

"The Philippines Under President Duterte:  Nagging Questions and an Optimistic Outlook"

UCSD Assistant Professor Nico Ravanilla

How is the Philippines doing economically and politically? Why is President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, which is taking a serious toll in human lives and social cohesion, still popularly supported? Is the Duterte administration pursuing domestic and foreign policies that promote economic growth and a stable political environment? Are there reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the Philippines future?

UCSD Assistant Professor Nico Ravanilla will frame these concerns in the broader economic and political context of the Philippines, and suggest ways to understand and draw insights from the country's current affairs.

About Our Speaker

Professor Ravanilla teaches at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. Before coming to UCSD, he held the Walter H. Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellowship in Contemporary Asia at Stanford University. Professor Ravanilla received his BS and MA from the University of the Philippines, and his Ph.D. in political science and public policy from the University of Michigan. Born and raised in the Philippines, he researches ways to improve governance in developing democracies.


6:00-6:30 PM Registration & Reception

6:30-8:00 PM Presentation


AMN Healthcare Boardroom

12400 High Bluff Drive

San Diego CA, 92130

March 30, 2017

“Essential Role of a Visionary CEO for an International Company.” Jack Bowsher, former NCC Board Member and retired corporate executive at IBM,  will use two case studies (IBM and Accenture) to illustrate how international companies develop worldwide markets that provide thousands of good-paying American jobs.


9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer


 This North County Chapter event will be held at the Remington Club, Phase II, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo. Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

Save the Date: April 25, 2017

Christopher Cheang, Singapore Consul General in San Francisco, will join us to speak about Singapore's foreign relations, commerce and geopolitics. More details to come shortly.

Save the Date: May 11, 2017

Sam Grundwerg, Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles, will join us to speak about changing realities in the Middle East. More details to come shortly.

Wednesday, March 15 , 2017

U.S. Foreign Policy; Countdown to Brexit; Turkey vs. The World; War in Syria; Park Ousted.

Quote of the Week:
"The U.S. objective in Afghanistan is the same now as it was in 2001: to prevent terrorists from using the country's territory to attack our homeland," write Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham in a Washington Post op-ed, arguing for the deployment of more U.S. forces to Afghanistan. "Weary as some Americans may be of this long conflict, it is imperative that we see our mission through to success. We have seen what happens when we fail to be vigilant. The threats we face are real. And the stakes are high - not just for the lives of the Afghan people and the stability of the region, but for America's national security."

U.S. Foreign Policy 

"Trump's Jekyll and Hyde Foreign Policy" Thomas Wright -- POLITICO Magazine, March 13, 2017

Countdown to Brexit

Brits Need Crash Course on Brexit " Cristina Burack -- Deutsche Welle, March 13, 2017

"May Resists Pressure to Call Early British Election to Bolster Brexit" Steven Erlanger -- The Boston Globe, March 9, 2017

What are Britain's Post-Brexit Migration Options? " Sunder Katwala -- Europe's World, March 13, 2017 

"State of the Unionists: New Test for Pro-UK Scots" David Torrance -- POLITICO Europe, March 14, 2017

Turkey vs. The World

Netherlands Dispute Gives Turkey Perfect Election Fodder " Maximilian Popp -- Spiegel Online, March 13, 2017

Dutch Row Worsens Europe's Turkey Tensions " Esther King -- POLITICO Europe, March 13, 2017

U.S. Puts off Announcing Decision on Raqqa until after Turkey Referendum" Amberin Zaman -- Al Monitor, March 12, 2017

"E.U. Warns Turkey in Escalating Dispute over Constitutional Referendum" Sewell Chan -- The New York Times, March 13, 2017 

War in Syria

A Veto to Ponder " David Debartolo -- Carnegie Middle East Center, March 8, 2017

"The Manbij Saga: An End-Game in Syria?" Aaron Stein -- Atlantic Council, March 9, 2017

Park Ousted

Park Geun-hye's Impeachment: What Next?"  Scott A. Snyder -- Council on Foreign Relations, March 10, 2017

Park Geun-hye Unraveling X: The End"  Stephan Haggard, Inbok Rhee, and Jaesung Ryu -- Peterson Institute for International Economics, March 12, 2017

Lessons from Samsung and South Korea in Cracking Down on Corruption " Costantino Grasso -- The Conversation, March 13, 2017

  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

Check us out on Social Media! 

Contact Us:

San Diego World Affairs Council
113 West G Street #601
San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: (619) 325-8200


Follow on Twitter | Find us on Facebook  | Find us on LinkedIn | Check out our website
Copyright © 2017 San Diego World Affairs Council. All rights reserved.

Contact email:
You are receiving this message because you opted in at


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