April 7, 2018
A Message From the President of SDWAC
Dear SDWAC Colleagues and Friends:
The Council is coming off one of our most successful events in recent years. More than 100 people bought tickets for our April 3 event featuring Alan Bersin, former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Commissioner of Customs and Border Security, U.S. Attorney, and “Border Czar.” Mr. Bersin was a knowledgeable, dynamic, and engaging speaker who was able to place current migration and border issues within historical and economic contexts. In his view, north-south and south-north flows of goods, ideas, and people in North America are far more important these days than “La Línea,” as our Mexican neighbors refer to the U.S.-Mexico border. He also pointed out that interceptions of undocumented migrants last year were at lows not witnessed in decades, and that most such migrants at present are Central Americans, not Mexicans. At the same time, Mr. Bersin acknowledged the importance of robust enforcement, adequate funding for Customs and Border Protection personnel, and claimed his own share of credit for the fencing erected in the 1990s that ended a “Wild West” era along the San Diego-Tijuana border. All told, it was a thought-provoking and memorable evening.
Special thanks go out to our Board members and volunteers whose strong contributions ensured the success of this event. I would point in particular to Ann Randolph, a Director who tirelessly promoted the event and has brought a number of new members to SDWAC; and to Lilian Liu, whose running of the registration desk and tracking of attendance is always impeccable and was especially helpful on this occasion. Thanks also to past president David Edick for his characteristically skillful work as moderator of the question-and-answer session.
SDWAC also hosted an important educational event, Academic World Quest, on March 17 at Maher Hall on the campus of our institutional member, the University of San Diego. Teams from Canyon Crest Academy and El Capitan High School participated in an intense, 100-question competition based on materials about international issues provided in advance by the World Affairs Councils of America. For the second straight year, a team from Canyon Crest won; thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, SDWAC awarded the team $1,000 to help with their travel to Washington, D.C., this month to take part in a national competition. Congratulations to the Canyon Crest students and thanks to AWQ organizers Mary McKenzie and Joe Eldred and quizmaster David Edick.
Last but hardly least, I want to encourage everyone reading this to attend, and to encourage their friends and acquaintances to attend, ourApril 27 Annual Dinner with Ambassador Ryan Crocker at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley (link to registration in announcement below). Ambassador Crocker, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom who was envoy to six Middle Eastern and South Asian countries, has played a crucial role in U.S. foreign policy over the past thirty years. In late 2002, as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, he authored a critical memorandum to the Bush White House cautioning as to the possible consequences of an invasion of Iraq. In 2007, after calamitous developments in that country, President Bush asked him to become Ambassador to Baghdad, where he, along with General David Petraeus, was largely responsible for stabilizing the situation. Gen. Petraeus later said of Crocker, “It was a great honor to be his military wingman.”
From 2004-2007, during a tense time in U.S.relations with Pakistan, Crocker was Ambassador in Islamabad. In 2011, following Crocker's retirement from the Foreign Service, President Obama asked him to return to government as Ambassador to Afghanistan. Ryan Crocker is a frequent commentator on CNN, PBS, and other national media outlets and is a figure of national importance. We are very fortunate that he has agreed to address SDWAC and hope that the San Diego community will respond to this outstanding opportunity by robustly supporting the event.
-- John Schlosser
2018 Annual Fundraising Dinner
Ambassador Ryan Crocker
Currently Diplomat-in-Residence, Woodrow Wilson School,
"Middle East Meltdown: Causes and Consequences"
The modern Middle East is 100 years old. Those lines on the map were drawn by the French and the British, and ratified by the 1919 Versailles treaty.
What we are seeing now is unprecedented. The region has always been the scene of coups and revolutions. This is different -- we are seeing complete state failure in Libya, in Yemen, and most horrifically in Syria. What has led to this? Where will it go? Why is it important? What can we do about it? These are profound questions for America’s national security and place in the world.
About Our Speaker:
Ambassador Ryan Crocker is Diplomat-in-Residence at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.
He served in the Foreign Service for 37 years and, after retiring, was recalled to active duty by President Obama in 2011 to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. He has served as U.S. Ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-2012), Iraq (2007-2009), Pakistan (2004-2007), Syria (1998-2001), Kuwait (1994-1997), and Lebanon (1990-1993). Since joining the Foreign Service in 1971, he also has had assignments in Iran, Qatar, Iraq and Egypt, as well as Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Crocker has received many of the nation’s highest honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the State Department Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award, the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the State Department Distinguished Honor Award, The Award for Valor, three Superior Honor Awards, and the American Foreign Service Association’s Rivkin Award. When he stepped down as Ambassador in Kabul in 2012, Crocker was named an Honorary Marine by the United States Marine Corps.
Friday, April 27, 2018
6:00-7:00 PM Registration & Reception
7:00 PM Dinner and Announcements
7:45-8:30 PM Keynote
8:30-9:00 PM Q&A
San Diego Marriott Mission Valley
Registration and Parking Fees:
Tickets are $80 per person.
Valet service or $5 self-park on site available.
Many thanks to our co-sponsor for this event:
SAVE THE DATE
Ambassador Steven Pifer
A retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Pifer is one of this country's outstanding experts on Russia and Ukraine. He will address the current situation in both countries, including President Putin's latest moves, the latest rounds of sanctions on Russia, the Russian occupation of Crimea and the "frozen conflict" in Eastern Ukraine, and Ukraine's struggles to establish a sustainable democracy and reduce corruption.
Pifer served as Ambassador to Ukraine (1998-2000) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs with
responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine (2001-2004). He was Special Assistant to the president and Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council (1996-1997). His 25-year-plus State Department career and subsequent activities have focused on relations with the former Soviet Union and Europe as well as arms control and security issues.
He is currently Non-resident Senior Fellow with the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative and the Center on the United States and Europe,
May 23, 2018
11355 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla
Registration/reception 6:00-6:30 PM
Presentation and question & answer period 6:30-8:00 PM
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