August 26, 2019
Thoughts From the (new) President
As summer winds down, an exciting new SDWAC year awaits us with new opportunities and challenges. In July, I was honored to have been elected SDWAC’s new President for 2019-2020. In that capacity, I spent the past months talking to the SDWAC Board, members, and our San Diego internationally-focused community, clarifying a forward-looking vision for our next year. In order to attain our goals, we need more of you to offer and share your wisdom, experience, skills, and time. In the coming months I will be reaching out to you to solicit your ideas, your energy, and your support. As you know, SDWAC runs on “volunteer fuel” – many thoughtful generous people providing immense time and commitment for a common cause and goal – expanding international-oriented knowledge, understanding, and, hopefully, informed action. I realize that many of you are unable to allocate large amounts of time to SDWAC, but we are open to your ideas about how to share the work so we can reach new frontiers.
On the docket are surveys which will be sent out to all of you as well as other potential stakeholders, soliciting your ideas and recommendations for expanding our outreach and effectiveness. Based on the analysis of the feedback, we plan to hold a retreat in order to prioritize and identify a clear action plan for the year. This will include an action plan for SDWAC overall as well as for each of the Standing Committees (i.e., Program, Development, Membership, PR/Communication – we may add an Education Committee, tbd). The Finance and Nomination Committees will be active participants in the whole process though they will not have specific action plans.
Some of the proposed areas for growth include: a) expanding presence and mandate into S/SE San Diego (this may result in a S/SE San Diego Chapter, tbd); b) expanding our educational footprint, perhaps through a new Education Committee, increasing outreach to more high schools and community colleges, in addition to UCSD, USD, SDSU – providing international/foreign service career information, guidance, and hopefully inspiration to serve our country; c) strengthening each of our Committees in order to strengthen SDWAC overall – designing and implementing strong membership and fundraising drives in order to build membership thereby increasing our influence across the San Diego community and build a fund base to support more SDWAC initiatives and ultimately support the hiring of essential staff to implement key ongoing responsibilities, lessening the burden on volunteer staff; and, build a dynamic PR/Communications Committee to get our messages out across the media platforms; d) professionalizing our intern (student) program, to include partnering with the involved universities/colleges, etc., to provide credit for the internships – new responsibilities and opportunities for professional enhancement will include a higher level of engagement and contribution by our interns – similar professional growth opportunities will be available for our non-student volunteers as well; and e) increasing collaboration among other San Diego internationally-focused organizations in order to truly build and affect the San Diego community at large in the area of international affairs. We welcome your feedback and thoughts on these and other areas for growth and development.
I wish you a great summer’s end and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events, which are always excellent (thanks to a great Program Committee). As part of our membership drive, please invite a friend or two and “like” and “share” us on FB and other digital platforms! Many thanks!
|-- Christine M. Sheckler, President