October 1, 2019

October Newsletter

President's Letter; Council of the Month; 2019 National Conference: New Speaker and Hotel Info!; 1918 Society Member Sponsors Conference Student Scholarships; Star Speakers at Councils; Qatar Leadership Mission; October Cover to Cover on After the Berlin Wall; plus more Council News!

President's Letter

How much do U.S. voters care about foreign policy? How critical is U.S. leadership in world affairs?

New York Times columnist David Brooks took on these questions in a June 13 piece, “ Voters, Your Foreign Policy Views Stink!” Brooks identified a shift away from international engagement and leadership caused by “the fact that many Americans have lost faith in human nature and human possibility.” Collapsing social trust over decades has led to American withdrawal from the world, he argued, because “distrustful, alienated people don’t want to get involved in the strange, hostile, outside world.”

Ivo Daalder, President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (and a keynote speaker at last year’s WACA Conference), disagrees. Daalder has taken on Brooks and other foreign policy experts in a Chicago Tribune op-ed last month: Commentary: Debunked! Most Americans do support the U.S. engaging in world affairs, not retreating. The latest annual survey by the Chicago Council puts "American support for taking an active role in world affairs... near a record high, at 69%," with large numbers favoring alliances, trade, and democracy.

The world has a way of not leaving the U.S. alone, even in the era of “America First,” but that’s different than a world looking to America for leadership – a feature of the post-WWII period. WACA and Councils will look at these questions at our 2019 National Conference in November, through the lens of “The 8 Forces Reshaping the Global Economy.” The U.S. is both a driver and a passenger when it comes to these forces, and voters can’t help but be sensitive to that.

See you next month! 

Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO

Council of the Month: Los Angeles WAC & Town Hall

On August 30, two of Los Angeles' most iconic speakers institutions, the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (est. in 1953) and Town Hall Los Angeles (est. in 1937), merged to create Southern California's premier speaker's forum. The mission of the new organization, Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall (LAWACTH), is to educate and engage Angelenos by producing timely, compelling programs on international, national, and regional topics of importance. LAWACTH's new President & CEO is Kim McCleary Blue who was the past President of Town Hall Los Angeles.

To officially kick off the merger to the public, LAWACTH hosted a 300 person lunch with Ambassador Samantha Power to discuss not only her illustrious diplomatic career, which included her role as US Ambassador to the United Nations, but to discuss her concerns with developing issues in the current global political arena. In addition to a Board of Directors that encompasses the "Who's Who" in Los Angeles business and international community, the Council also boasts a dynamic Young Professionals Board that produces millennial-centric global events and a High School student program that hosts briefings for students to interact with speakers before the main program. Both groups were created to ensure the future growth and sustainability of LAWACTH.

For a list of upcoming events and speakers, please click here.

Register Now : WACA 2019 National Conference! 

November 6-8, The Mayflower Hotel

Announcing Dinner Keynote Speaker - Wednesday, November 6

Vivienne Ming New! 

Mad Scientist

Executive Chair & Co-Founder, Socos Labs

Frequently featured for her research and inventions in The Financial Times, The Atlantic, Quartz and the New York Times, Dr. Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and author. She co-founded Socos Labs, her fifth company, an independent think tank exploring the future of human potential. Dr. Ming launched Socos Labs to combine her varied work with that of other creative experts and expand their impact on global policy issues, both inside companies and throughout our communities. Previously, Vivienne was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, pursuing her research in cognitive neuroprosthetics. In her free time, Vivienne has invented AI systems to help treat her diabetic son, predict manic episodes in bipolar sufferers weeks in advance, and reunited orphan refugees with extended family members. 

Hotel Block Is Filling Up!

The WACA 2019 National Conference:  The 8 Forces Reshaping the Global Economy  will be held at the Mayflower Hotel,  November 6-8, 2019, in Washington DC.

Book your rooms under WACA's special group rate of 

$269 per night (Single/Double Occupancy) plus tax at The Mayflower Hotel. NOTE: WACA's discounted hotel block is all booked for the night of Tuesday, Nov. 5. The rate for Tues. night is now $309 plus tax. 

We invite you to visit the  2019 Conference website to view the developing agenda, learn about Conference speakers, register and purchase tickets, and view hotel block information. 

Register now!

Book your room

Volunteer with us!

Matthew Butler Sponsors 2 Student Scholarships at the 2019 Conference

WACA 1918 Society member Matthew Butler is generously sponsoring two Howard University students for scholarships to WACA's 2019 National Conference. International issues are a crucial, if not sometimes overlooked, aspect of education. We commend the students for their interest in learning about the global community and express our gratitude to Mr. Butler for providing them with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and world view.

Remember to keep checking WACA Newsletters and the WACA Conference website for important updates to the agenda as well as announcements of new speakers and program details.

Convening Power of the WACA Network This Week

Honorable Sardar Masood Khan

Pres., Azad Jammu & Kashmir

WAC Philadelphia - Wed., Oct. 2

Richard Haass

President, CFR

Cleveland CWA - Wed., Oct. 2

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal

D-WA, 7th District

WAC Seattle - Thurs., Oct. 3

Ambassador Martha Bárcena

Amb. of Mexico to the U.S.

Global Minnesota - Fri., Oct. 4

Amb. Asad Majeed Khan

Amb. of Pakistan to the U.S.

WAC Dallas/FW - Sat., Oct. 5

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes

D-CT, 4th District

World Affairs Forum (Stamford) - Sun., Oct. 6

10 Delegates Selected for 2019 Qatar Leadership Mission 

WACA is pleased to announce that the Embassy of Qatar has selected the following Council representatives for our second Leadership Mission to Qatar. The group led by WACA President Bill Clifford will explore the dynamic political, diplomatic, economic, and cultural trends of this Arab country in the Persian Gulf on Oct. 11-17. These 10 delegates hail from 10 different Councils:

Lindsay Bowman, Board Member -- WAC Harrisburg

John Bretz, Adivsory Council -- WAC Austin

Linda Castillo, Advisory Council -- WorldOregon

Julia Issa-Ghantous, Board Member and Chairman of the Membership Committee -- Peoria Area WAC

Jan Grayson, Board Vice Chairman -- WAC Kentucky and Southern Indiana

Nancy Hamlin, Past President -- WAC Rochester

Kathy Ledvina, Board Communications Chair -- Savannah CWA

Roger Naik, Member -- WAC Atlanta

Allan Ramsaur, Board Secretary -- Tennessee WAC

Donna Suddeth, Board Member -- Naples CWA

Wunderbar Together Grant Programs Ramp Up in October

October Cover to Cover : 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, October 9, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featuring Hope Harrison, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, The George Washington University, on her new book, After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present.

Register now

Cover to Cover on Podcast

Listen as former Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission Tom Wheeler discusses his recent book: From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future.

KNOW NOW on Podcast

Listen as Oussama Romdhani , Editor in Chief of The Arab Weekly and former Tunisian Communications Minister, discusses the recent Tunisian elections with WAC Dallas/Fort Worth President & CEO Jim Falk .

Journalism Under Fire

Journalism Under Fire returns to Santa Fe, November 14-15, 2019. Presented by the Santa Fe Council on International Relations, this year the Council has invited leading journalists to answer, “How does technology shape the truth?” The Council will explore the intersection between social media and fake news; the ways in which artificial intelligence (e.g. through deep and shallow fakes) is increasingly influencing the public domain; how China’s use of technology will have massive ramifications for the U.S.; and how digital forensics have opened up a new line of investigation, using crowd-sourced video and Big Data to reconstruct truth. Read more details and purchase tickets here.

Councils Are Hiring - New Openings Listed!

New! World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh -- President and CEO

WAC Pittsburgh is seeking a candidate who has a strong passion for the Council's mission, a desire to operate the organization like an entrepreneurial, creative, and value adding business, and with a tempo that captures the energy of the issues which the Council brings to the community. To applyplease visit: worldpittsburgh.org.

New! WorldOregon -- International Visitor Program Officer

This position is a unique opportunity to plan and implement inbound international exchange programs, including the prestigious U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Time will also be allocated to support other programs or projects of WorldOregon, such as WorldQuest, Global Conversations (including the International Speakers Series), and the Global Classroom Program. Apply here by October 14

WorldDenver -- Executive Director

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 and cultivating close relationships with New Mexico funders. Apply here.

Global Minnesota -- Office Manager & Executive Assistant

The Office Manager & Executive Assistant ensures administrative functions are effective, efficient, and responsive to the needs of the organization. This role supports the Director of Operations. Apply here.

Academic WorldQuest 2019-2020 Topics Are Here!

  1. U.S.-Russia Relations
  2. Country in Focus: South Korea
  3. Preventing Extremism in Fragile States
  4. Oceans: The World's Garbage Dump
  5. Great Decisions
  6. Brexit and the EU
  7. China's Belt & Road Initiative
  8. Germany: 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall
  9. Qatar and the Future of the Gulf Cooperation Council
  10. Current Events

AWQ Ops Paper, Teachers Guide, and Flyer

The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020 Academic WorldQuest National Competition will be held in Washington, DC on  April 24-25, 2019. Please see the 2020 AWQ Ops PaperTeachers Guide, and Flyer for useful information. Stay tuned for the release of the 2020 AWQ Pledge Form to register your local competition in this year's AWQ season. Read here for more details.

Check Out WACA's Member Council Publication Discounts!

Foreign Affairs

new yorker


To learn more about discount rates and accessing these features, see here .

Councils in the News

Global Minnesota - WACA Engage America: The Alliance Working in America Program

Build on U.S.-Japan Trade Momentum -- Star Tribune

Vermont Council on World Affairs - WACA Engage America: Wunderbar Together Program

Energy Economist Urges Climate Action -- NBC5

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

UGI Corporation Elects Two Directors; Announces Board Succession Plan -- Business Wire

Condoleezza Rice Visits Campus on 9/11 -- St. Joseph’s University Hawk News

Peoria Area World Affairs Council

The U.S. and China’s Rocky Relationship -- The Bradley Scout

International Institute of Buffalo

Human Trafficking in WNY: "It Can Happen to Anyone" -- WKBW Buffalo

Falafel Bar Owner: 'We Choose to Raise Our Voices Against Bigotry' -- Buffalo News

For Somalia's President, Leaving WNY Was Difficult, but 'Worth It' -- Buffalo News

Number of Refugees Coming to Buffalo Set to Drop Again -- Buffalo News

WNYRAC and Sean Ryan Issue Joint Statement Opposing Refugee Restrictions -- Buffalo Rising

Alaska World Affairs Council

Envoy’s Anchorage Visit Reaffirms Strong Ties Between PH, Alaska -- Asian Journal

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan

Vietnam, Germany, and Japan: Three Strategic Partnerships for the U.S.

Santa Fe Council on International Relations

Congressional Candidate Valerie Plame in Los Alamos -- Los Alamos Daily Post

Foreign Policy Association

U.S. Sees Turkey's Concerns, Yet Maintains Ties With YPG -- Daily Sabah

Meet Kristalina Georgieva, Bulgarian Economist Who Has Emerged IMF’s New MD -- Business A.M.

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth 

‘Chaos’ Calls for Civility: Mattis Speaks at DBU -- Baptist Standard

Bell Executive Wins 2019 Megellas Award -- Vertical Magazine

World Affairs Council of Greater Houston

UH Law Center to Honor Houston Immigrant Achievements -- The Cougar

World Affairs (Northern California)

California Governor Gavin Newsom Announces Appointments -- STL News

World Affairs Council of Sonoma County

Santa Rosa Forum on Gun Violence Focuses on Legislation, Action -- The Press Democrat

World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana 

Murray State University Students Get Ahead on Career Plans With #Racerinternships -- Ledger & Times


Schmidt Gives WorldBoston Talk on Populism in Europe -- Pardee School of Global Studies

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.

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: 

  • Jacqueline Miller, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Seattle, Passage Along the Danube River: October 12-24, 2019
  • Derrick Olsen, President, WorldOregon, Trade Routes of Coastal Iberia: October 13-21, 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

1010 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 516, Washington, DC 20005

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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