February 24, 2018
A Message From the President of SDWAC
Dear SDWAC Colleagues and Friends:
I have an important announcement for members and friends of the San Diego World Affairs Council: please save the date: Friday, April 27, for our Annual Dinner. Our keynote speaker will be one of this generation’s premier American diplomats, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who will speak on the current “Middle East Meltdown.” Ambassador Crocker was U.S. ambassador to six countries: Afghanistan, Iraq. Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon. Just from that list it’s evident that he never ducked the hard places: indeed he welcomed danger posts, even after surviving the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983 and having his residence in Damascus attacked in 1998. A longtime Arabist, Ambassador Crocker co-authored a memo in late 2002 cautioning the Bush administration as to the possible negative consequences of an invasion of Iraq. By early 2007 President Bush had asked him to be Ambassador in Baghdad. In 2004 he was promoted to the lofty rank of Career Ambassador and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama. He frequently appears on news programs as an expert analyst. We are thrilled to have him as our keynote speaker for the most important event of the annual SDWAC calendar. We will provide details of registration, including venue, soon (see last sentence below).
SDWAC is coming off another successful event. The February 19 presentation by Dr. Emily Edmonds-Poli, head of the Political Science Department at our partner institution, the University of San Diego, spoke knowledgeably on Mexico’s upcoming elections. Dr. Edmonds-Poli reviewed the leading presidential candidates, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (a leftist/populist who is currently ahead in the polls); Jose Antonio Meade, the first-ever candidate in the history of the ruling PRI party who is not a party member; and Ricardo Anaya, who leads a right-left coalition of his own right-of-center PAN and the left-of-center PRD. Although the outcome is far from clear, with the official campaign not beginning until next month, Dr. Edmonds-Poli, a leading American expert on Mexican politics, outlined the weighty consequences of the Mexican people’s choice on July 1, not only for themselves but for Mexico’s leading trading partner the U.S.
Administrative Notes: In a SDWAC Board of Directors meeting earlier this month, the Board elected two new members: Petya Dolaptchieva and Christine Sheckler. Each of them has impressive international credentials and we welcome them to leadership roles in the Council. On that note, it’s come to my attention that some members do not realize that they do not have to be on the Board to be members of SDWAC’s working committees: programs, development, public relations, digital platforms, membership and finance. I’m issuing an appeal to members to step up and join a committee! We especially need help on the special events subcommittee of the Program Committee (to work on the Annual Dinner with Amb. Crocker). To alert us to your interest, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and Lulu Hsu and email@example.com. We will also be forming a Nominating Committee in April to come up with candidates for the Board at the June Annual Meeting.
Finally, some members have had trouble receiving our emails (newsletter, updates on events, etc.). To counter this problem, please enter firstname.lastname@example.org into your contact list to prevent our messages from winding up in your junk mail.
-- John Schlosser
Save the Date:
April 3rd: Alan Bersin, J.D. Mr. Bersin, former Commissioner of Customs and Border Security and Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs, will address current immigration and cross-border issues. In his position as "Border Czar" in the Obama administration, Bersin worked to secure the nation's borders and mitigate threats while expediting lawful trade and travel. A former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, Bersin is currently a Senior Advisor to the law firm Covington & Burling and is Inaugural Fellow in the Homeland Security Project at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
National University Sanford Auditorium, North Torrey Pines Drive
Registration/reception, 6:00-6:30 p.m., Presentation and q&a: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Please don't wait: If you have not joined for 2018, join or renew your membership now!
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