June 19, 2019

TODAY on Cover to Cover:

Sheila Smith on Japan Rearmed

Register now for WACA's  Cover to Cover conference call TODAY, June 19 at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featuring  Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Smith will discuss her recent book:  Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power.

Japan’s U.S.-imposed postwar constitution renounced the use of offensive military force, but, as Smith shows, a nuclear North Korea and an increasingly assertive China have the Japanese rethinking that commitment, and their reliance on United States security. In  Japan Rearmed, Smith argues that Japan is not only responding to increasing threats from North Korean missiles and Chinese maritime activities but also reevaluating its dependence on the United States. No longer convinced that they can rely on Americans to defend Japan, Tokyo’s political leaders are now confronting the possibility that they may need to prepare the nation’s military for war.

KNOW NOW on tap:

Tuesday, July 16

WAC Harrisburg Vice President Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh

Professor of International Affairs, Harrisburg University

U.S.-Iran Relations with WAC Harrisburg President and CEO Joyce Davis

Tuesday, August 13

Dean Alexander, Director, Homeland Security Research Program

Family Terror Networks with former  Peoria WAC President  Don Samford

Register for KNOW NOW !

You are able to contribute to the World Affairs Councils of America at  no additional cost to you! If you shop at Amazon through this  link or the Amazon Smile logo to the right, a portion of your purchase will be donated to WACA.  Bookmark our  page  today!

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June 24, 2019

WACA Weekly

WACA Around the World: 2019 Qatar and Brazil Study Tours; Councils' Star Speakers; Spring Leadership Meetings Photos on Flickr; 2019 National Conference Speakers; July KNOW NOW: U.S.-Iran Relations; plus Council Job Postings and Upcoming Programs!

WACA Around the World!

Qatar 2019 Study Tour

Architecture, Leadership, Culture + More!

WACA's 2019 Qatar Study Tour kicked off Friday, June 21 as 13 high school students from around the U.S. traveled to Doha for a week-long educational and cultural program. Participants include winners from WACA's Qatar Essay & Video Contest (“Advise the Secretary of State: Measures to Strengthen the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Partnership") and the champion team of the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2019 Academic WorldQuest National Competition, the team's teacher, and three WACA chaperones.

The study tour provides the students opportunities to interact with Qatari officials, learn about some of Qatar's strategic plans and visions, tour beautiful and unique museums of art and history, and experience the rich local culture. We are very excited for all participants and wish them the best of luck on this adventure!

Tour of Al Jazeera and meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with

H.E. Lolwah Al Khater, Ministry Spokesperson, and Ambassador Tariq Bin Ali Faraj Al-Ansari, Director, Department of International Cooperation.

Tours of the new Qatar National Museum (center) and the Museum of Islamic Art.

Briefing and tour with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body responsible for the planning and coordination of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar - the first to be held in the Middle East.

Visit WACA's Flickr page to see all of the incredible photos from the trip so far!

Brazil 2019 Study Tour

WACA-Liaison America

WACA-Liaison America Essay & Video Contest winner, Mateo Young of the University of Texas-Arlington, is having a blast during his month-long study tour in Brazil! Young received the Liaison America Trent Argo International Scholarship for an immersive experience in culture, language, education, and international affairs in the city of Goiânia, Brazil. He gets to meet with university students, business and government leaders, and others who are making a positive change both locally and globally.

Visit WACA's Flickr page to see more photos from Mateo Young's Brazil Study Tour!

This Week in the WACA Network

Scroll down to the Council Highlights section for more speaker and topic ideas!

Amb. (Ret.) Ryan Crocker

Board Director, Mercy Corps

WorldOregon - Tues., June 25

Sabodh Garg

Vice President, Geologica Geothermal Group

San Diego WAC - Thurs., June 27

Renee DiResta

Fellow in Media, Misinformation, and Trust

Columbia University Data Science Institute

World Affairs (Northern CA) - Thurs., June 27

Michelle Morse

Vice President, Girls and Women Strategy

UN Foundation

Columbus CWA - Thurs., June 27

WACA's National Speaker Database Needs You!

We have recently debuted WACA's Speaker Database 2.0. In this new iteration, we have expanded our list of speakers and made it easier than ever for you, as Council staff and board members, to engage with it. We want your speakers! Please submit your speakers through the "Submit Your Speakers" button on our website.

You need to have an account through our website in order to view and interact with the database and submit your speakers. To check if you have an account, please visit your Council Member page on the WACA website and see if you are listed as a staff or board member. If you are not, you will not be able to interact with the database yet.

If you do not have an account or are having issues accessing the website and/or the Speaker Database, please email Rachel Pastor.

Kansas City: "We Had No Idea!!!"

WACA 2019 Council Leadership & Board Meetings

As Mayor Sly James said in his welcoming remarks, "Everyone who comes here, says 'I had no idea!'" as they discover the many wonders of Kansas City. WACA would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to everyone at the International Relations Council (KC), especially Executive Director Matthew Hughes, for arranging an amazing agenda for the semi-annual Council Leadership Meetings (June 13-14) and WACA Board Meeting (June 15). 

The weekend was filled with engaging and constructive conversations, exciting tours, and presentations from Dr. David Renz, Director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership; Uzra Zeya, President and CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding; and many more!

Great Decisions at the National WWI Museum & Memorial

Visit WACA's Flickr page to see all photos from the Spring Leadership Meetings!

WACA 2019 National Conference Speakers!

Secretary James A. Baker, III

61st Secretary of State (1989-1992)

67th Secretary of the Treasury (1985-1988)

10th (1981-1985) and 16th (1992-1993) White House Chief of Staff

The Honorable Chuck Hagel

24th United States Secretary of Defense (2013-2015)

Former United States Senator (R-NE, 1997-2009)

Sarwar Kashmeri

Fellow, Foreign Policy Association

Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council's International Security Program

For more details about the Conference please visit the National Conference tab of the WACA website.

The official 2019 Conference website will debut this summer, where you can learn about Conference speakers and the agenda and purchase tickets. Until then, you may send us a check for your tickets using Early Bird prices. Click here to view ticket pricing and download the purchase form.

July KNOW NOW: U.S.-Iran Relations

Register now for WACA's KNOW NOW conference call on Tuesday, July 16, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featuring Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Professor of International Affairs at Harrisburg University and Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg.

Iran has resumed enrichment of uranium and the U.S. has blamed Iran for attacking an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Many worry current tensions could escalate, leading to a wider conflagration in the region. Join Dr. Noorbaksh and WAC Harrisburg President and CEO Joyce Davis as they discuss the current state of U.S.-Iran relations and the potential impact of increasing belligerence between the countries.

Cover to Cover on Podcast

Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Listen as Ms. Smith discusses her recent book: Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power.

Register now

MIT Solve Offers $1.5 Million in Funding to 2019 Challenge Team Winners

MIT Solve's Community-Driven Innovation Challenge Leadership Group is a marketplace for social impact, and is focused on finding tech entrepreneurs from around the world to tackle global challenges and drive lasting, transformational change. In addition to the Community Driven Innovation track, there are 3 other challenges focusing on Early Childhood Development, Circular Economy and Healthy Cities.

MIT Solve has more than $1.5 million in funding available for 2019 Solver teams. The deadline to post a solution is July 1. Solve judging teams across the four categories will then pick the winning class that will be announced at Solve event at the UN General Assembly this September. For more information and to submit a solution please visit the MIT Solve challenges website.

Councils Are Hiring!

Santa Fe Council on International Relations -- Director of Development

The Director of Development is a new position at CIR and will be responsible for overseeing donor research, cultivating close relationships with New Mexico funders to position CIR for local/regional grants, leading business partnerships, and others. CIR is looking for a candidate with a passion for world affairs, globalization, and social justice; strong and demonstrated success as a fundraiser; experience with Planned Giving, and excellent written and spoken communication skills with social media expertise. Apply here.

Columbus Council on World Affairs -- Consultant, Global Scholars Diploma Student Adviser

The role of the Global Scholars Diploma Student Adviser is to provide additional guidance and support for high school students working on independent projects in their third year of the program by a) meeting with students at their school locations once a month, b) maintaining constant communication with the school administrators and CCWA staff to ensure that students are completing all necessary requirements, and c) assisting students in all aspects of their independent projects. Apply here.

Council Highlights

Tuesday 6/25

WorldOregon hosts former Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Board Director at Mercy Corps, for “Taking the Pulse: The Middle East and U.S. Diplomacy.” Details.

World Affairs (North California) hosts Michael O’Hanlon, Director of Research for Foreign Policy at The Brookings Institution, for “The Senkaku Paradox and the Risk of Great Power War.” Details.

Colorado Springs World Affairs Council hosts a panel of experts for “Distant Neighbors? U.S.-Mexico Relations.” Details.

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts a panel of experts for “Adventure or Adversity? Working as an Expat in the U.S. and Abroad.” Details.

Thursday 6/27

San Diego World Affairs Council hosts Sabodh Garg, Vice President at Geologica Geothermal Group, for “Geothermal: A Renewable Energy Source.” Details.

Columbus Council on World Affairs hosts Michelle Morse, Vice President of Girls and Women Strategy at the UN Foundation, for “Trends in Global Health: Gender and Health Equity in a Time of Relapse and Resuscitation.” Details.

World Affairs (North California) hosts Renee DiResta, Fellow in Media, Misinformation, and Trust at Columbia University Data Science Institute, for “Media and Disinformation: What’s at Stake for Democracy?” Details.

Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council hosts Peter Rutland, Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought at Wesleyan University, for “Brexit: Why Did it Happen, and What Comes Next?”Details.

Travel the World with WAC Philadelphia

Travel with Council Leaders - hear them lecture on Travel the World tours from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia!

2019 travel schedule includes trips to: 

  • Dr. Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President of Programs, World Affairs, Northern California, Arctic Expedition: June 21-July 1, 2019
  • Mimi Gregory, Vice President and Program Chairman, Naples Council on World Affairs, Sicily by Sail: October 10-18, 2019
  • Derrick Olsen, President, WorldOregon, Trade Routes of Coastal Iberia: October 13-21, 2019
  • Jacqueline Miller, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Seattle, Passage Along the Danube River: October 12-24, 2019
  • Craig Snyder, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Exploring Saudi Arabia & Qatar: November 7-17, 2019
  • Ambassador Mark Johnson, former Vice Chair, World Affairs Councils of America, Egypt & the Eternal Nile: January 28-February 11, 2020
  • Ambassador Philip Hughes, former President, World Affairs Councils of America, South American Tapestry: February 27-March 15, 2020
  • Ambassador Heather Hodges, President and Ambassador in Residence, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Barcelona: April 18-26, 2020
  • Megan Torrey, Chief Executive Officer, World Affairs Council of Hartford, Himalayan Kingdoms: Nepal & Bhutan: April 28-May 12, 2020
  • Bill Clifford, President & CEO, World Affairs Councils of America, China, Tibet, and the Yangtze: May 9-24, 2020
  • Lise Falskow, President & CEO, Alaska World Affairs Council, Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords: May 16-24, 2020
  • Dr. Pamela Zeiser, Education Liaison, World Affairs Council of Jacksonville, Berlin Uncovered: May 24-31, 2020
  • Jim Falk, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, Arctic Expedition: Voyage Under the Midnight Sun: June 9-19, 2020
  • Ljubomir (LJ) Stambuk, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Charlotte, Sailing Ancient Trade Routes: Helsinki to Copenhagen: June 27-July 9, 2020
  • Mimi Gregory, Vice President and Program Chairman, Naples Council on World Affairs, Cruising the Adriatic and Aegean Seas: September 9-17, 2020
  • Don Samford, Chairman of the Education Outreach and Program Committees, Peoria Area World Affairs Council, Legendary Turkey: October 2-16, 2020

Contact or call 800-942-5004, ext. 209 or 217.

World Affairs Councils of America | 202-833-4557

1200 18th Street NW, Suite 902, Washington, DC 20036 |


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Our thanks to KUSI for interviewing San Diego World Affairs Council former President John Schlosser and Board Member Ambassador Reno Harnish on how world events impact us here in San Diego.  

Our thanks to Modern Times Magazine of Arizona for covering our October, 2017 panel on "NAFTA:  A Make or Break Moment"


Mailing Address

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113 West G Street #601

San Diego, CA 92101

Office: (619) 325-8200


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