May 17, 2017


May 17, 2017
A Message From the President of SDWAC

Dear fellow SDWAC members and friends:

May has proved to be yet another busy and productive month for the Council.  After the excellent and well-attended talk on economic sanctions by Serena Moe (discussed in our last newsletter) at the offices of our corporate partner Procopio in Carmel Valley, SDWAC followed up three days later with another impressive presentation.  On May 4, the Consul General of Singapore in San Francisco, Christopher Cheang, addressed a SDWAC audience in the Sanford Education Center Auditorium on National University’s Torrey Pines campus.  Consul General Cheang gave a wide-ranging presentation followed by a lengthy Q&A session.  Mr. Cheang was refreshingly candid, forthright and good-humored in discussing the shifting international political climate in light of the new U.S. administration, its rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), regional security issues including the South China Sea, and sensitive domestic socioeconomic and political issues in Singapore.  We appreciate National University’s allowing the Council use of its wonderful facility and welcome the involvement of NU students and faculty in our events. 

On May 11, five members of SDWAC’s Executive Committee, including your faithful scribe, participated in a small luncheon, co-hosted by our corporate partner Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, featuring remarks by the Israeli Consul General in Los Angeles, Sam Grundwerg.  Mr. Grundwerg, who took up his duties in 2016,provided an overview of Israel’s position on the world stage, with emphasis on diplomatic and trade inroads the country has made in recent years with partners as diverse as India, Singapore, Australia and Turkey.  While noting the sense of optimism among many Israelis about relations with the U.S. under the Trump administration, the Consul General gave forthright replies to tough questions about pending legislation affirming Israel as a Jewish state, the suspended state of the peace process with the Palestinians, and the issue of settlements on the West Bank.

We look forward with anticipation to our next event, a talk on June 5 by Dr. Joel Day, Executive Director of the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission and International Affairs Board, at the AMN Healthcare building on High Bluff Drive. Joel, a member of SDWAC’s board of directors, will address “City Diplomacy in the 21st Century.”  It’s worth noting that an area of academic expertise and continuing professional interest for Joel is homeland security and countering violent extremism.  He’s engaged in the important work of building partnerships, civil society and resilience in San Diego’s many diverse neighborhoods.

A reminder to all to save the date for the June 17 Annual Meeting, with our guest speaker, East Asia expert and ex-senior State Department official Evans Revere, who will discuss “Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula: How Does This End?”  I daresay we’re all interested in any answers Evans might be able to supply to that question.  And since this is one of the two big events on the Council’s annual calendar, a strong turnout at the St. James by-the-Sea Parish Hall in La Jolla would be a boon to our growing organization. 

-- John Schlosser


Upcoming Events

Click here to see SDWAC events on our website

Monday, June 5, 2017

"City Diplomacy in the 21st Century"

Joel Day, Executive Director

City of San Diego Human Relations Commission

 and International Affairs Board

Over half of the world’s population lives in cities, making the “global city” more significant than ever as a principal actor in world affairs. Cities increasingly are bypassing their national governments to work directly with one another on issues ranging from peace and security to business and climate change. According to political theorist Benjamin Barber, city mayors are often more productive than their counterparts in gridlocked Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Joel Day will discuss this transformative trend in global politics, paying special attention to how cities practice diplomacy. Dr. Day ultimately argues that global cities are permanently transforming international relations, foreign policy and geopolitics.

About Our Speaker

Joel Day is a Visiting Research Scholar at the Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego and an Executive Director at the City of San Diego, where he advises the Mayor and City Council on human rights and global engagement. He previously served as professor of security and global studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and as research fellow at the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the University of Denver. Dr. Day holds a Ph.D. in international studies from the University of Denver, an M.A. in international relations from the University of San Diego, and a B.A. in political science from Point Loma Nazarene University. His research has been published in the Small Wars Journal, the Journal of Peace ResearchPerspectives on Terrorism, and the Journal of Strategic Security. He has provided commentary to many national news outlets.

Monday, June 5, 2017


6:00-6:30 PM Registration & Reception

6:30-8:00 PM Presentation


AMN Healthcare Boardroom

12400 High Bluff Drive

San Diego CA, 92130

North County Chapter Events

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. Forums begin at 9:30 a.m. with a coffee social and registration, followed at 10 a.m. with a one-hour program and one hour of polite, but freewheeling, Q&A.

Unless otherwise indicated, North County Chapter Thursday Morning Forums are held at The Remington Club, Phase II, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo. Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

May 18, 2017: "Lithuania: At the Heart of Historic Action – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." Darius Gaidys, Consul General for Lithuania in Los Angeles, and Simona Valanciute, President and CEO of San Diego Oasis, will discuss Lithuania's ongoing challenges. 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

May 25, 2017: "Trade Routes and the Evolving Geopolitics of the Middle East." North County Chapter member Robert Meyer (Ph.D.) will discuss how the geography of the Middle East made it a center of global trade routes for most of its history and how economic growth trends in China and India may partly restore the region as a global trade route hub, perhaps heightening its geopolitical importance and economic fortunes. Dr. Meyer has had a long interest in history and world affairs, especially regarding the Middle East and North Africa.

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

For further information please e-mail

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

French Elections: Macron's Victory; EU and the UK; Iran; Turmoil in South Sudan; Syria; Nigeria and Somalia; and North Korea

Quote of the Week:

"I know the divisions of our country have drive some to the extreme. I respect them. I know the anger, anxiety, and doubts that many have expressed." 

--  Emmanuel Macron , President-elect of France, in his Sunday  victory speech.


French Elections: Macron's Victory

"6 Things to Watch as Macron Takes Office in France " Sean Illing -- Vox, May 9, 2017

"Is France's Political Crisis Just Beginning? " Uri Friedman -- The Atlantic, May 7, 2017  

"The Macron Hack Was a Warning Shot" Nathalie Marechal -- Slate Magazine, May 7, 2017

"French Election: Centrist Emmanuel Macron Wins Presidency Over Marine Le Pen" Nancy Ing, Saphora Smith, and Daniella Silva -- NBC News, May 7, 2017

"Why Macron Won: Luck, Skill and France's Dark History" Adam Nossiter -- New York Times, May 7, 2017.

EU and the UK

 "Local Elections: Tories Gain over 550 Seats as Labour and Ukip Votes Plunge" Anushka Asthana and Heather Stewart -- The Guardian, May 5, 2017

"Influence of English is Fading, says EU chief Juncker" Crispian Balmer -- Reuters, May 5, 2017

"Why Emmanuel Macron's Win is Good News for Theresa May " Anthony Lane -- New Yorker, May 9, 2017


"Iran's Presidential Candidates Vow to Uphold Nuclear Deal in Televised Debate "  Erin Cunningham -- Washington Post, May 5, 2017   

"Iranian Coal Miners, Furious Over Deaths, Confront President" Thomas Erdbrink -- The New York Times, May 8, 2017 

Turmoil in South Sudan

 "Juba in the Spotlight: Ongoing Turmoil in the World's Youngest Capital " Sofia Barbarani -- The Guardian, May 8, 2017

 "1 Million Children Refugees from South Sudan's Civil War" Justin Lynch -- ABC News, May 8, 2017


"Russia: Syrian Safe Zones Plan Comes into Effect" -- Al-Jazeera, May 5, 2017

"Syria's Kurds March on to Raqqa and the Sea" -- The Guardian, May 6, 2017

Nigeria and Somalia


"Nigeria Exchanges 82 Chibok Girls Kidnapped by Boko Haram for Prisoners" Felix Onuah and Ahmed Kingimi -- Reuters, May 8, 2017

"A Navy SEAL was Killed in Somalia. Here's What you Need to Know about U.S. Operations There" Paul D. Williams -- Washington Post, May 8, 2017


North Korea

 "North Korea Claims CIA Plotted to Kill Kim Jong-un " -- BBC News, May 5, 2017

"North Korea says it has Detained another U.S. Citizen for 'Hostile' Acts" -- The Guardian, May 7, 2017

"North Korea's 'Hostage Diplomacy': Kim Uses Detained Americans as Leverage" Stella Kim and Saphora Smith -- NBC News, May 8, 2017

"Made in North Korea: As Tougher Sanctions Loom, more Local Goods in Stores" Sue-Lin Wong and James Pearson -- Reuters, May 8, 2017


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