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Annual Membership Meeting (Zoom) and Presentation by Ambassador Bindenagel on behalf of Wunderbar Together

  • October 24, 2020
  • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM


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 2020 SDWAC Annual Meeting & Keynote Presentation (Zoom) 

24 October 2020   Time: Noon - 2 p.m.

An invitation from your SDWAC President

Noon - 12:45 p.m

The San Diego World Affairs Council Board of Directors and I warmly invite you to join us for our annual meeting where we will update you on all of SDWAC’s activities this past year and highlight plans for 2020-2021. Each committee Chair will provide a short summary of this past year’s events and/or results. Since we’ve all been affected by COVID we will also brief you on our efforts to reshape SDWAC to this new “normal.”

Board of Directors - Voting: An important action these days is “getting out the vote.” Via Zoom we will ask our SDWAC members to vote on current and new Board members. The Chair of the Nominating Committee will lead that task. Please be present to hear SDWAC’s work and support the very generous individuals who volunteer immense amounts of time, without pay, to strengthen and build our organization and show many of them your support and gratitude with your vote.

We will recognize some of the outstanding individuals who’ve worked tirelessly this year and sometimes much longer before on your/our behalf. As your President, I’d very much appreciate your participation in this effort since so many of our Board and volunteers work diligently and quietly behind the scenes. They deserve to be known, acknowledged, and commended. Please help me honor them with your presence.

1-2 p.m. Keynote Presentation: Germany: From Peace to Power? Can Germany Lead Europe Strategically without Dominating?

A program hosted in partnership with Wunderbar Together and the World Affairs Councils of America. - Recording can be found here:

Keynote Speaker: Ambassador James D. Bindenagel (Zooming from Bonn, Germany) Senior Professor at the University of Bonn. He served as an American diplomat for 30 years, has been ambassador to Germany, and was the first Henry Kissinger Professor for International Security and Governance at Bonn University.

Please read his longer bio which is attached. It’s incredibly impressive. I promise you his presentation and Q&A session will be outstanding, one of the very best you’ll hear this year.

From Ambassador Bindenagle’s book, the title of his presentation, “A surge of political trends and upheavals all over the world confronts German foreign policy with a world that is dramatically different from Berlin Republic unification in 1990. Brexit, American de-commitment to Europe, and the rise of isolationist, populist forces within Germany as well as in other European countries and the U.S., have undermined the foundations of Germany’s foreign policy. Germany is suddenly faced with another historical shift that is starting to shake the bedrock of its foreign policy. A council of experts for strategic oversight can address Germany’s strategic cultural deficit, its civilian power fixation, its resorts to the principle of ministerial independence, and its coalition governance conflicts.”

Please join me, our Board, our volunteers, and all of our members and other participants for a fascinating dive into Germany, Germany-Europe, and Germany-US relations, and those relationships set against an ever-dynamic and complex international backdrop.

Thank you to the members who have registered already!  We look forward to seeing you this Saturday, Noon - 2 p.m. 

Please remember to register for the zoom meeting in advance:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom meeting.

Stay well.

Warmest wishes, 

Christine M. Sheckler, President

Meeting Agenda (Revised)

 12:00 p.m.: Meeting comes to order

Opening/Welcoming Comments by the President, Christine Sheckler (5 minutes)

12:05 p.m.  Brief Summary of SDWAC Accomplishments of the Past Year by Committee Chairs  

  • Finances - Manish Parikh

  • Volunteers & Interns (students) - Petya Dolaptchieva

  • Program - Mike Williams

  • PR/Communications - Mike Williams 

  • Membership - Joe Eldred/Lulu Hsu 

  • Development - Peter Meisen

  • Nominating Committee Chair Sabodh Garg -- Election of the Board of Directors for 2020-2022, as proposed by the Nominating Committee:a) (Re)Election of Current Board Members, and b) Election of New Board Members 

 ACTION:   a. Request for any Additions to the list of Proposed Directors by the Participants;  b. Official Vote

12:30 - Plans for the Coming Year – Christine Sheckler, President 
1. Election of Board Officers

2. Announcement of a new Vice President - Petya Dolapchieva

3. Announcement of a new Membership Chair - Lulu Hsu

4. Announcement of a new PR/Communication Subcommittee Chair: IT/Wild Apricot & Zoom Administrator - Joe Eldred

5. General Plans for the next year, 2020-2021

Request for Any Comments from the Members (5 minutes)

1:00 p.m.: Keynote Speaker – Professor James Bindenagel – live from Germany

2:00 p.m.: Closing Comments/Special Acknowledgement & Appreciation - Petya Dolaptchieva, Vice President 

Recognition of service:

  • David Edick - Board tenure expired, many thanks...(virtual presentation)

  • Ambassador Reno Harnish - thank you for Chairing the Program Committee for many years

  • Joe Eldred - thank you for Chairing the Membership Committee for many years

Final Closing Comments - Christine Sheckler, President.

About the Speaker:   Prof. James D. Bindenagel, is currently Senior Professor US-Botschafter a.D,  Center for Advanced Security, Strategy and Integration Studies (CASSIS), Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.   Recent publications:   “Germany: From Peace to Power? Can Germany lead in Europe without dominating it?,” “The Coronavirus Crisis Highlights Germany’s ‘Reluctant Leader’ Problem, Transatlantic Take,” and   "In a Dissolving World Order, Europe and Especially Germany Need a More Strategic Outlook'.

Slate of Officers

Nominations for Current Board Members:

  • Joe Eldred

  • Sabodh Garg

  • Lulu Hsu

  • Stan Katz

  • Christine Sheckler

  • Petya Dolaptchieva

  • Deborah Dutilly

Nominations of New Board Members:

  • Himanshu (Manish) Parikh

  • Dennis-Michael Broussard

  • Ginatorado (Gina) Ing

Respectfully Submitted by the Nominations Committee:

  • Sabodh Garg, Chair
  • Reno Harnish
  • Lulu Hsu
  • Vickie Ladt
  • John Schlosser

Special Recognition to Departing Board Members

SDWAC thanks the following Board members for their service:

  • Ryan Williams

  • Evan Toma

  • David Edick Jr.

Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel's Bio:

Former U.S. Ambassador and Henry Kissinger Professor at the Center for Advanced Security, Strategy, and Integration Studies at the University of Bonn“Germany: From Peace to Power – Can Germany Lead Strategically in Europe without Dominating? Germany From Peace to Power.pdf

James D. Bindenagel, currently Senior Professor at Bonn University, is the author of “Germany From Peace to Power? Can Germany Lead in Europe without dominating?” Germany From Peace to Power.pdf published by Bonn University Press/Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. He is a former U.S. Ambassador and was the founding Henry Kissinger Professor at Bonn University. Kissinger Professor at Bonn University.

Ambassador Bindenagel is a retired ambassador and veteran of the U.S. diplomatic corps.  His 35-year career in German-American relations included military, diplomatic, and academic assignments in West, East, and United Germany from 1972 to 2020.  He focused on diplomacy with Germany, global business, and education.  He is an expert on Germany, where he served as U.S. deputy chief of mission in the U.S. Embassy, Bonn, Germany, from 1994 to 1997, and director for Central European Affairs in the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs at the State Department from 1992 to 1994.  He was U.S. deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, East Germany at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and helped negotiate the reunification of Germany.

In 1999, Mr. Bindenagel was appointed by President Bill Clinton as U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues. He also served as Special U.S. Negotiator for “conflict diamonds.”

Other Foreign Service assignments included head of the embassy political affairs unit in Bonn in the mid-1980s, when he helped pave the way for the deployment of U.S. Pershing missiles in Germany. He also was an American Political Science Association fellow with Congressman Lee H. Hamilton (1987-1988) and was director, Business-Government Programs for Rockwell International (1991-1992). He served in the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea (1975-1977).

Following his diplomatic career, he was Vice President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and subsequently Vice President at DePaul University. Prior to his diplomatic career he was assigned to the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Germany.

Ambassador Bindenagel is now Special Advisor to Strategy XXI Partners, where he advises clients on matters of domestic and international policy and on key multilateral issues that can represent potential risk to clients’ reputations and shareholder value.

Among his many honors, Ambassador Bindenagel received the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award in 2001, the Commander’s Cross of the Federal Order of Merit from the President of Germany in 2001 and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award from President George W. Bush in 2002.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the American Council on Germany and the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies.  Mr.Bindenagel is also President of the Japan America Society of Chicago.

He holds an MA in Public Administration and a BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ###

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Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC)

PO Box 34010

San Diego, CA 92163


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