July 2, 2019

July Newsletter

President's Letter; WACA Welcomes Two New Councils; IRC Named Council of the Month; KNOW NOW on U.S.-Iran Relations; Cover to Cover on Kim Jong Un; Qatari Ambassador Visits WAC Greater Houston; WACA Students in Doha; 2019 National Conference Speakers; plus Council Jobs and News!

President's Letter

Dear Council Leaders, Friends, and Supporters:


Our new fiscal year is officially under way and so is our planning for the WACA 2019 National Conference. Before you and your loved ones get ready for the Fourth of July holiday, I want to introduce the FY2020  WACA National Board


Ambassador Roman Popadiuk, WACA Chairman

Sylvia Fields, WACA Vice-Chair (Executive Director, Eden Hall Foundation)

Stephen J. Petras, Jr., WACA Vice-Chair (Board Director, Cleveland Council on World Affairs)

Charles J. Stout, WACA Treasurer (Senior Financial Advisor, DBR & CO.)

Dr. Joan Apple Lemoine, WACA Secretary (Past Executive Director, WAC Hilton Head)

Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO (ex-officio)


Carlos Alvarez, Chairman and CEO, Gambrinus Company

Karen Burghart, Executive Director, Colorado Springs World Affairs Council

Mimi Gregory, Board Officer (VP of Programs) Naples Council on World Affairs 

Forough Hosseini, Senior Vice President, ICI Homes

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director, International Relations Council (Kansas City)

Alex Lari, Founder and Chairman, Claremont Group

Maryanne Maldonado, President and CEO, WAC Greater Houston

Derrick Olsen, President, WorldOregon

Craig Snyder, President and CEO, WAC Philadelphia

Xiao Yin Zhao, Executive Director, WAC Kentucky and Southern Indiana

It's a privilege to work with these dedicated leaders, and indeed with all the talented executives, staff, and volunteers across our diverse and engaged Council network. 


Next week, we will present the registration website for the WACA 2019 National Conference, to be held once again at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, on November 6-8. 

This year, because we will hold our signature Ambassadors Luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 6 - with former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III as our keynote speaker and honoree - we encourage you to set the start date of your hotel reservations for Tuesday evening, Nov. 5. You won't want to miss this luncheon! 


I am delighted that many of you have already registered and made reservations at The Mayflower. Please be sure to share WACA 2019 National Conference details regularly with your Council members. The WACA Board and National Office staff will make this a most worthwhile event for you!

Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO

WACA Welcomes Two Councils to Our Network!

Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs

The Baltimore Council has a great debt to WACA in its earlier incarnations; and now looks forward to benefiting from WACA’s program enhancements and best practices lodged in the wisdom of its current members." -- BCFA President Frank A. Burd, PhD.

World Affairs Council of New Jersey

The World Affairs Council of New Jersey is so pleased to become the newest member of the World Affairs Councils of America! We feel confident that New Jersey's large and incredibly diverse population will benefit significantly from the public educational mission of WACA. We know that the breadth and depth of the national network -- with its many successful models of public engagement on global affairs -- will prove invaluable as we move forward." --  Roz Engel, Founder and President of WAC New Jersey.

Ms. Engel joined WACA and other Council leaders at the annual Spring Leadership Meetings in Kansas City last month. " For the leader of the brand-new WACNJ, the KC leadership conference was super useful. It helped me to clarify priorities in our start-up year, connect with experienced WAC executives, and get ideas for what might work in the years ahead. Thanks to everyone for your inputs!

Stay tuned for the launch of WAC New Jersey's website later this summer. The Council's public programming begins Fall 2019.

Visit the Member Councils page  of the WACA website to view information about all Councils. 

Council of the Month: International Relations Council (Kansas City)

WACA is pleased to announce that the  International Relations Council (Kansas City) is our July Council of the Month for hosting the 2019 Spring Leadership and Board Meetings.

Thank you to  Matthew Hughes, Executive Director of IRC (KC), and his team for coordinating and executing such a successful program this year! Congratulations also to Mr. Hughes for being appointed to the WACA National Board. 

July 16 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 Harrisbur g.

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.

Register now

July 24 Cover to Cover: Anna Fifield on Kim Jong Un

Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, July 24, at 9:00-9:30 am ET, featuring Anna Fifield, Beijing Bureau Chief at The Washington Post. (NOTE: this call is at 9:00 am ET - different from the regular WACA Cover to Cover programming time - because Ms. Fifield will join the call from China).

The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un offers a behind-the-scenes story of the rise and reign of the world’s strangest and most elusive tyrant, Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Author Anna Fifield reconstructs Kim’s past and present with exclusive access to sources near him and her unique understanding to explain the dynastic mission of the Kim family. Few people thought that a young, unhealthy, Swiss-educated basketball fanatic could hold together a country whose collapse has been erroneously predicted for years. 

Register now

Today: Qatari Ambassador Visits WAC Greater Houston

H.E. Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani

Ambassador of Qatar to the U.S.

"Diplomacy, Energy & the Outlook for Qatar, the Gulf & Beyond"

WAC Greater Houston - Tues., July 2

With the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and as the largest global exporter of LNG, Qatar is a major economic, geopolitical and cultural force in the Middle East and beyond. As a key American ally, Qatar hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Gulf. Ambassador Al-Thani will discuss the outlook for Qatar, its evolving strategic and regional roles, the simmering dispute with Saudi Arabia and UAE, and its growing international influence.

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.

Qatar 2019 Study Tour

Architecture, Leadership, Culture  + More!

WACA sends out a heartfelt thank you to our hosts and all participants in the 2019 Qatar Study Tour, which concluded June 27. Thirteen high school students from around the U.S. flew to Doha for a week-long educational and cultural program. The delegation, led by WACA COO Liz Brailsford, included 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 two additional WACA chaperones, Dr. Joan Apple Lemoine and Dr. Richard Crepage.

The study tour provided 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 wish the students the very best of luck in their incredibly bright futures!

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 in the Middle East.

A visit to 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.

Briefing by the U.S. Embassy in Qatar, and tours of the Qatar National Library and Qatar Foundation.

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

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 next week, 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.

FPA's Great Decisions Teachers Institute

The  Foreign Policy Association's 15th annual  Great Decisions Teachers Institute for high school educators affiliated with World Affairs Councils will take place  July 8 through July 12 in New York City updated dates).

Topics will include Global Migration, Nuclear Negotiations, and Trade with China. A sample schedule from is available here. For the full list of topics and more information, please visit the Institute's  webpage.


If you have any questions regarding the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, please email  teachers@fpa.org, or call the Foreign Policy Association at  212-481-8100 x 249**The application window is closed.

Did you know? Great Decisions just began its national broadcast run on public television! Tune in to PBS Word Tuesday's at 6:00 am ET and 1:00 pm ET or watch online on  Vimeo or Amazon  Prime.

Councils Are Hiring!

WorldDenver -- Executive Director

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the E.D. provides leadership, strategy development, and vision to the organization in keeping with the mission and strategy of WorldDenver. A keen interest in global affairs and promoting greater international understanding will be desired hallmarks. To apply, please email your resume to Lauren McElderry at lmcelderry@eflassociates.com.

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.

Councils in the News

World Affairs Council of New Hampshire

2020 Democrat Marianne Williamson: ‘Love of Our Fellow Human Beings…Should Guide America’s Foreign Policy’ -- The Hill

Montana World Affairs Council

Montana World Affairs Council: Cultivation Leads to Economic Development -- Missoula Current

World Affairs Council of Seattle

Bakhtadze Promotes Georgian Economy at World Affairs Council of Seattle -- Georgia Today

PM Bakhtadze in U.S.: Georgia Is Becoming Economic Hub in Region -- Agenda.Ge 

Russian Diplomats Are Sharply Explicit on Global War Danger -- Executive Intelligence Review

International Institute of Buffalo

From Congo to the UK, Buffalo Welcomes New U.S. Citizens at Naturalization Ceremony -- WBFO

VIDEO: Executive Director of the International Institute of Buffalo Talks About Separation at Border-- WIVB 

Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

It Changed My Life and Can Change Yours, Peace Corps Director, a Salt Lake City Native, Tells Utah -- The Salt Lake Tribune

International Affairs Forum (Traverse City)

New Group of Community Leaders Take Over High-Profile Orgs -- The Ticker

Global Minnesota

Somalia’s Foreign Minister Says Diaspora Playing Key Role in Rebuilding Country -- Mshale

Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council

Q&A With Peter Rutland, Guest Speaker on Brexit For Speaker Series in Old Lyme -- CT Examiner

Windham World Affairs Council

Local Youth Invited to Participate in Program to Combat Climate Change -- The Deerfield Valley News

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

Why Georgia Came to Texas to Recruit Businesses - No, Not That Georgia -- WFAA

World Affairs Council of South Texas 

Russian Journalists Say Their Country Was as Surprised as U.S. by Donald Trump’s 2016 Victory -- Caller Times


Denver Hosts “Heroes” For Their Efforts Combating Human Trafficking -- Denver Post

Santa Fe Council on International Relations

Panel Discusses Trade War’s Effects on New Mexico -- Albuquerque Journal

World Affairs Council of Atlanta

What Makes Atlanta International? City Wants to Hear from You -- Global Atlanta

Harrisburg World Affairs Council 

Graduates of the Nativity School Will Beat the Odds Threatening African American Boys -- PennLive

World Affairs Council of Jacksonville

Ellen Wiss Became “Evangelist” in Poverty Fight -- Florida Times Union Jacksonville

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: 

  • 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 www.wacphila.org/travel 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

waca@worldaffairscouncils.org | worldaffairscouncils.org


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Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council

113 West G Street #601

San Diego, CA 92101

Office: (619) 325-8200



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