Upcoming Events

Check Back Soon for more Events from SDWAC!

Past events

January 07, 2021 Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison
December 17, 2020 The History of the Ottoman Empire and its Subsequent Breakup after WWI
December 10, 2020 Ambassador in Baku: Politics, Petroleum, & Nagorno-Karabakh
December 10, 2020 "Foreign Policy Changes after January" with Ambassador Ronald Neumann
November 19, 2020 “Bulgaria: Political, Economic, and Commercial Crossroads Today”
November 19, 2020 NCC Online Presentation
November 18, 2020 CAMPAIGN 2020 DECONSTRUCTED
November 10, 2020 US-China Relations after the Election: The Specter of Decoupling
November 10, 2020 FREE WEBINAR - The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution
November 10, 2020 The Wall Street Journal & Infragard San Diego Present: “360 Degrees Of A Ransomware Attack: Decision Points in Defense, Response and Mitigation”
November 09, 2020 Global Minnesota in partnership with WACA presents The Man Who Ran Washington:The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
October 24, 2020 Annual Membership Meeting (Zoom) and Presentation by Ambassador Bindenagel on behalf of Wunderbar Together
October 22, 2020 "U.S. Relations with Pakistan and The South Asia Region"
October 20, 2020 "North Korea in the Next Administration’s Foreign Policy"
October 15, 2020 Webinar with John Brennan and Janet Napolitano
September 30, 2020 “WILL THE SINO-US COLD WAR GO HOT? How Asia’s Geopolitical Clash will Dominate the Next Administration”
August 25, 2020 SDWAC warmly welcomes the International Rescue Committee (IRC) of San Diego Executive Director, Donna Duvin "From Harm to Home: Arc of the Refugee Crisis: Global Challenges, Local Solutions”
August 20, 2020 The San Diego World Affairs Council is honored to support the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) presentation - Race: “A Path Forward” How do we talk about race in a way that unites and strengthens us as a community?
August 20, 2020 The San Diego World Affairs Council is honored to co-sponsor for the first time an exciting virtual event with Friends of Liberia* “Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia”
August 20, 2020 The San Diego World Affairs Council invites you to register for "U.S. & Germany: Strained Alliance?" with German Ambassador to the U.S., Emily Haber
August 13, 2020 San Diego World Affairs Council is honored to support WAC-Orange County's presentation: “Becoming Kim Jong Un: Insights Into North Korea’s Dangerous and Enigmatic Dictator” with Dr. Jung H. Pak
July 22, 2020 Where Does the Money Come From? Financing International Terrorism featuring Dr. Ian Oxnevad
July 13, 2020 The World: A Conversation with Dr. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations “Making Sense of a World in Crisis — Through the Eyes of a Foreign Policy Expert”
June 18, 2020 The Scientist and the Spy
March 20, 2020 *Postponed* Honoring M.C. Madhu Madhavan
January 15, 2020 "From Dictatorship to Democracy? Myanmar's Uneasy Transition" A Conversation with Dr. Nuccio
December 19, 2019 An Overview of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego with Consul General Gutierrez
November 21, 2019 "Putin and Trump 2.0: The Perils of Presidential Diplomacy" Remarks from Ambassador John Beyrle
October 29, 2019 "Kashmir: Where Identity Rises Above Territory" Remarks by Professor Dipak Gupta
October 14, 2019 "From Soft Power to Hard Truths: Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy" Remarks by Bennett Freeman
September 23, 2019 "America...and the Great Power Competition" Remarks by Vice Admiral Charles Martoglio
August 28, 2019 "Fusion Energy Research and the Creation of Miniature Stars for Electricity"
July 31, 2019 "Global Engagement and the Modern Public Research University" featuring Chancellor Khosla
June 22, 2019 REGISTER NOW! 2019 SDWAC Annual Membership Meeting
May 07, 2019 "Perspective on current U.S. Navy strategy, undersea capabilities and the Submarine Force in San Diego."
March 21, 2019 “U.S. Trade Policy toward China: heading toward trade war or deal?"
February 23, 2019 2019 Annual Dinner
January 24, 2019 “Global Climate Change: Evidence, Scientific Basis, and Selected Impacts”
December 11, 2018 “Health and Peace-building in Africa”
November 15, 2018 “Nicaragua: Revolution and Restoration”
October 15, 2018 “U.S. policy towards India and the Indo-Pacific”
September 26, 2018 “What Diplomats Do and Why It (Still) Matters”
August 30, 2018 Fighting for Cyber Supremacy in an Age of Extremism
July 26, 2018 U.S. trade policy and the economics of trade in today’s technology-driven global era.
June 26, 2018 "Why Mexico's Election, NAFTA and U.S.-Mexico Relations Are Important to You."
June 16, 2018 REGISTER NOW! Annual Membership Meeting
May 23, 2018 May 23, 2018 -- Ukraine: Russian Interference and How the U.S. Can Bolster Ukrainian Security
April 27, 2018 Annual Dinner and Presentation on "Middle East Meltdown: Causes and Consequences"
April 03, 2018 SOLD OUT! Immigration and Border Issues: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be
February 21, 2018 Mexico's Upcoming Elections and What They Mean for the U.S.
January 24, 2018 "China in the Wake of the Party Conference"
December 06, 2017 Is the Turkish Partnership Doomed?
November 28, 2017 Movie Screening: America's Diplomats
November 02, 2017 Russia: Preventing Peace on Its Periphery
October 19, 2017 NAFTA: A Make or Break Moment?
October 06, 2017 Three Elections and a Brexit: The Unraveling of Europe?
September 22, 2017 South Sudan: Crisis and Conflict in the World's Newest Country
August 28, 2017 U.S. Alliances in the Indo-Pacific: A Practitioner's Perspective
August 14, 2017 Life as a Military Officer in the Middle East
July 25, 2017 Tijuana Day Trip
July 12, 2017 Trade Routes and the Evolving Geopolitics of the Middle East
June 29, 2017 Fiber Optics: History, Security, Applications and More
June 22, 2017 Dealing With a Dangerous and Challenging World -- The Physics and Economics of Defense
June 17, 2017 Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula: How Does This End?
June 15, 2017 Guantanamo Bay -- Al Qaeda’s Nuremberg: An Inside Look at 9/11 Justice
June 08, 2017 Is the Syrian Regime Survival Guaranteed in Moscow? Origins and Prospects for Relations Between Syria and Russia
June 01, 2017 North County Chapter Annual Meeting
May 01, 2017 Economic Sanctions
April 29, 2017 The Philippines Under President Duterte: Nagging Questions and an Optimistic Outlook
March 18, 2017 Growing the Game: Baseball's Plans for Global Expansion
February 13, 2017 Annual Dinner

Upcoming WAC Events

January 4, 2021
January Newsletter
Letter From the President; Gift Matching Ends January 15; Embassy Row Live! with the Egyptian Ambassador; Bill Gates to Speak in February; Star Speakers; and more!
Dear Colleagues and Friends of the World Affairs Councils of America:

I hope you enjoyed a peaceful and restful holiday season. Thank you very much for your loyal support. Let’s roll up our sleeves – for vaccinations, eventually, and for the satisfying work that will meet the challenges and opportunities of 2021.

After a “year like no other,” we in the U.S. capital continue to anticipate a leadership transition that resembles no other. New Year’s predictions may be a mug’s games, but so be it. Here are a few:

A president bent on battering norms has less than three weeks in office to continue to do so. Count on it: he will break all the proverbial china he can. And long after he leaves the White House, he will castigate China and his successor’s approach to the U.S.’s chief geopolitical rival, via tweet and TV appearances, when he is not defending himself from mounting lawsuits and investigations.

I have no prediction on the Georgia Senate races. Whether Tuesday’s election yields a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate or not, gridlock will remain – the question centers on to what degree. A GOP contending with internal divisions among radicalized politicians, an angry misled base, and compassionate conservatives will limit the ability of the incoming Biden-Harris administration to fashion a domestic agenda that lives up to its campaign pledge to heal the country's divisions.

How the Biden team performs in international affairs – repairing relations with allies and reaffirming American values through diplomacy and institution-building – will depend greatly on progress in “building back better” at home. An overdue effective, equitable COVID-19 response is first, but addressing job creation, infrastructure investment, environmental protection, and inequalities in housing and education will also be central to restoring faith in democracy and exercising influence on the world stage.

Here’s the one prediction on which I will bet the house: WACA and Councils will continue to lead in public world affairs programming, both virtually and – from summer onward – when we resume in-person programming. The digital strides we've made will not then cease but will complement.

It’s an exciting year ahead, and we will have much to share with each other. From the programs this week and this month (see below) to the WACA 2021 National Conference on November 17-19 (mark your calendars!) and beyond, I look forward to working with you.

Thank you and best wishes for the new year!
Bill Clifford, President and CEO
Gift Matching Ends January 15!
On December 17, we announced that WACA Chairman Glenn Creamer and Board Director Carlos Alvarez will match your donations dollar for dollar, up to $50,000. We are thrilled to have received commitments of just over $25,000 and we are extending our fundraising campaign through Friday, January 15, 2021.

As WACA President, I will contribute $5,000 myself and ask you to consider making a donation of any amount. Your gift will strengthen the reach, depth, and educational value of World Affairs Council programs and activities – and foster the fact-based, civil discourse that is the lifeblood of our democracy. Your gift will enable WACA to pursue its core mission together with our 90 nonpartisan member Councils by convening diverse voices and expanding engagement in world affairs in 2021. Please support the WACA community and double the impact of your contribution.

Thank you for your generosity and for believing in the importance of our work!
- Bill
WACA's Embassy Row Live!
Egypt's Role in Stabilizing a Middle East in Turmoil
Tuesday, January 12 at 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET

Motaz Mounir Zahran
Ambassador of Egypt to the United States

Bill Gates: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall, Writers Bloc, and the World Affairs Councils of America are proud to present Bill Gates on Friday, February 19, 2021.
In this urgent, authoritative book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical—and accessible—plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.
Your ticket purchase includes a hardcover copy of "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster."
Star Speakers This Week
Malcolm Nance
Dir., Terror Asymmetrics Project
Gordon Chang
Author & Columnist
The Honorable Kevin Rudds
Frmr. Prime Minister of Australia
Wasim Khan
CEO, Indigenous to Indigenous
Amb. (Ret.) Vicki Huddleston
& Dr. Ephraim Isaac
David Eisenhower
Dir., Institute for Public Service
WACA's Engage America Speaker Series
Future of Korea
The Korean-U.S. Alliance

Thurs., Jan. 14 at 12:00 PM ET
Future of Korea Project: U.S.-South Korea Business Relations in a New Era

Thurs., Jan. 28 at 10:00 AM ET
AWQ 2020-2021 New Guideline!
It is confirmed the 2021 Academic WorldQuest National Competition in Washington, DC will be held virtually. Additional announcements will be forthcoming.

The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020-2021 Academic WorldQuest National Competition is scheduled to be held virtually on April 16-17, 2021.

2021 New Guideline!
Due to the AWQ National Competition being virtual in 2021 and endeavoring to be as inclusive as possible, each Council may bring up to three teams to the National Competition - whether you have a local competition or not. Even if your Council joins another Council's competition remotely, each Council may bring up to three teams to WACA's virtual National Competition in April. We look forward to your participation! If you have questions about this, please email Liz Brailsford at lbrailsford@worldaffairscouncils.org.

Official Study Guide
WACA provides a list of sources for each AWQ topic category in the official AWQ Study Guide (updated). All local competition and National Competition questions will be drawn from these sources, with the exception of Current Events.

Please see the 2020 AWQ Ops PaperTeachers Guide, and Flyer for useful information.
WACA's National Speaker Database Needs You!
WACA is continuing to upgrade and expand our 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 Laura Duncan.

Access Council Virtual Programming via WACA's Members-Only Portal
WACA is busy preparing a number of additional resources for the Members-Only section! WACA strives to provide Councils with easy access to tools, guidelines, events, and more that add value to our Members both personally and professionally, to our Councils' overall operations, and to the Network as a whole. This is a top priority for the National Office, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. That is why we've added two resource sections dedicated to COVID-19 related information and digital programming available to the public by Councils.

The goal is to make the Members-Only section a one-stop shop for all Council needs. However, these sections are only as good as the information contained within, so we are calling on all Councils to please submit any documentation per the categories below, or any other information helpful to the Network.

The Members-Only section is a private benefit for our Council Members. Please contact Laura Duncan at lduncan@worldaffairscouncils.org for login details and account creation.
1010 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 516, Washington, DC 20005

Highlights of Past Events

“Bulgaria: Political, Economic, and Commercial Crossroads Today” PDF

“From Harm to Home: Arc of the Refugee Crisis: Global Challenges, Local Solutions" PDF

Check Out the Full Presentation Recording in DropBox HERE!


Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC)

PO Box 34010

San Diego, CA 92163



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