March 2, 2020

March Newsletter

President's Letter; Apply Now for WACA Engage America : Future of Korea 2020 and AAD: The State of State; Councils' Star Speakers; International Women's Day Council Events; Council of the Month; WAC San Antonio's International Citizen of the Year; Cover to Cover and KNOW NOW on Podcast; + more!

President's Letter

Dear Colleagues, Supporters, and Friends:

Greetings from Missoula, where I'm inspired by the three-day extravaganza that is Montana World Affairs Council's 16th Annual Academic WorldQuest high school program.

Statewide, the 2020 competition includes 61 teams from 23 schools, including 4 schools from Native American reservations. One of the teams drove nearly 8 hours Sunday to take part in the dinner ice-breaker - "Ping Pong Diplomacy" - at the University of Montana, where all the AWQ programs take place.

"This is an extraordinary convergence of students and teachers from all over this state for multifaceted engagement in international affairs," says Chris Hyslop, Executive Director of Montana WAC.

Christina Cote-Reinhart, a teacher at K-12 Gardiner School (near the gateway to Yellowstone, more than 4 hours from Missoula), advises three teams from Gardiner's high school student body of 60 kids. Gardiner is the defending champion here, and not only attended WACA's AWQ National Competition in 2019 but also was one of two teams from Montana selected to participate in the Kakehashi Project, which took them on a 9-day trip to Japan.

AWQ "makes the world so much bigger for these students," says Cote-Reinhart, who will receive MWAC's Global Educator of the Year Award this evening. "My little freshman got to ask questions of two U.S. Ambassadors (Ziadeh and Leaf, who will also present at a distinguished speakers program - see below)."

To all the stakeholders of this fabulous program - at the local and national levels - it's gratifying to know that you know how important educating our youngsters in world affairs is.

Thank you,

Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO

WACA-KEI Engage America: Future of Korea 2020 - Apply Today!

WACA is pleased to continue our collaboration with the  Korea Economic Institute of America on our  Engage America : Future of Korea program series. The speaker program focuses on the diplomatic, political, economic, and cultural circumstances on the Korean Peninsula, as well as U.S.-Korea relations.

The centerpiece of each Council's Future of Korea 2020 program is a three-person panel discussion consisting of representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the Korean Embassy (from DC or a regional Korean Consulate representative), KEI, or other relevant institutions. In addition to the mandatory panel discussion, local Councils are also expected to deliver ancillary activities, with a particular interest in media meetings.

WACA invites applications from Member Councils, and  six will be selected to participate. Please submit your Application Form to WACA Communications and Marketing Associate Rachel Pastor at rpastor@worldaffairscouncils.org by COB ET Friday, March 13. See here for program details.

WACA-AAD Engage America: The State of State - Apply Today!

WACA is pleased to announce our renewed collaboration with the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD) on an Engage America : State of the State Department and Professional Diplomacy speaker series

For this project, WACA will arrange for decision makers and policy experts to discuss with Council audiences across the country why America needs a professional diplomacy. AAD will propose speakers from among its members, one per Council, for a speaking engagement to be hosted through mid-October 2020. Councils should include several preferred dates or date ranges in their proposals. Exact dates will be determined in collaboration with WACA and the American Academy of Diplomacy. In addition to the main speaker event, Councils will organize at least one media engagement on the same subject, as well as a separate roundtable forum.

WACA invites applications from Member Councils, and  four will be selected to participate. Please submit your Application Form to WACA Communications and Marketing Associate Rachel Pastor at rpastor@worldaffairscouncils.org by COB ET Friday, March 20. See here for program details.

Star Speakers at Councils

Scroll down to the Council Highlights section for more speaker and topic ideas!

Amb. (ret.) Barbara Leaf

Dir. The Washington Institute

Amb. (ret.) Susan Ziadeh

Former U.S. Amb. to Qatar

Montana WAC - Tues., Mar. 3

Farah Pandith

Adjunct Senior Fellow

Council on Foreign Relations

Cleveland CWA - Wed., Mar. 3

Nadia Murad

2018 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Iran Human Rights Activist

WorldOregon - Wed., Mar. 4

Rachael Dean Wilson

Head of External Affairs

Alliance for Securing Democracy

WAC Charlotte - Thurs., Mar. 5

Ambassador (ret.) Susan Rice

Former National Security Advisor

Former U.S. Amb. to the UN

Santa Fe CIR - Thurs., Mar. 5

Sheila Smith

Senior Fellow

Council on Foreign Relations

WAC Hilton Head - Fri., Mar. 6

Councils Celebrate Int'l Women's Day and Women's History Month

In honor of March being Women's History MonthInternational Women's Day 2020 will be celebrated on Sunday, March 8 . The campaign theme is #EachforEqual, which is drawn from a notion of 'Collective Individualism.' Collectively, we can make change happen and create a gender equal world because an equal world is an enabled world. Below is a list of Councils participating in the International Women's Day campaign and/or celebrating Women's History Month by hosting events with female leaders.

Council of the Month: WorldBoston

A key aspect of WorldBoston is people: with recent leadership additions and recognition in excellence at the 2020 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting. The Council recently celebrated the addition of Josh Bruno to its management team as Citizen Diplomacy Manager, and Becca Gould, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at American Tower, to its Board of Directors. American Tower is a global leader in wireless infrastructure, based in Boston, and Becca has extensive experience in global public affairs both in Boston and in Washington, DC.


The Council started the new year with a strong presence at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, where Vice President for Citizen Diplomacy Programs Sarah Sibley was presented the Award for Outstanding Paid-Staff CBM Programmer; Program Coordinator Megan McCarthyearned a scholarship to attend as an Emerging Leader; and the Council's steadfast professional resource Dave Fortier, Founder and President of One World Strong, was honored with the 2020 Citizen Diplomat Award. Both Sarah and WorldBoston President Mary Yntemapresented at the conference.

Cover to Cover and KNOW NOW on Podcast

Listen to WACA's February KNOW NOW conference call podcast featuring Felipe Muñoz, Advisor to the President of Colombia for the Colombia-Venezuela Border, on the Migrant Crisis.

Listen to WACA's February Cover to Cover conference call podcast featuring Professor Yael (Yuli) Tamir, President of Shenkar College and Adjunct Prof. at the Blavatnik School of Government - Oxford University, on her book Why Nationalism .

IMPORTANT NOTE : March Cover to Cover with Dr. Nina Ansary is rescheduled for summer 2020. Stay tuned for an announcement of the official date.

WAC San Antonio's International Citizen of the Year 2020

The World Affairs Council of San Antonio will host its annual International Citizen of the Year award dinner on March 5 , featuring a keynote address by Ambassador (ret.) Roman Popadiuk, Chairman of the WACA National Board of Directors.

The 2020 International Citizen of the Year award recipient is native San Antonian and philanthropist Gordon Hartman. Hartman began his career building houses for low-to-moderate-income families. Since then, his company grew into the largest locally-owned home building and land development enterprises in San Antonio. In 2005, Hartman sold his companies and established The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation, in pursuit of his families dream of helping children and adults with special needs - inspired by his daughter Morgan, born with cognitive and physical challenges. Over the past decade, Hartman has been recognized for his amazing design and ingenuity in opening multiple non-profit, fully-accessible theme parks for special-needs individuals: Morgan's Wonderland, Morgan's Inspiration Land, and STAR (South Texas Area Regional) Soccer Complex are just a few. The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation has raised over $50M for the betterment of those with special needs. 

WACA Engage America : The Alliance Working in America

As part of WACA's Engage America SeriesThe Alliance Working in America, the Utah Council of Citizen Diplomacy will host a panel discussion to explore how U.S.-Japan relations serve U.S. national and regional interests. Sponsored by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, the delegation will consist of Yasuhiro Uozumi, Executive Director of Keidandren USA; Amb. James Zumwalt, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and Chairman of the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC; and Lee Carter, CEO and President of Rakuten Bank America, on Tuesday, March 10, for " The Alliance Working in Utah: The Impact and Importance of U.S.-Japan Relations."

Apply for the Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute

The  Foreign Policy Association's  2020 Great Decisions Teachers Training Institute for high school educators will be held  June 29 - July 3 in  New York City. Topics will include Climate Change, the Red Sea Region, Human Trafficking, and others. For more information and a full list of topics, please click  here.

To apply for the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, all applicants must complete the application questionnaire, which can be accessed by either clicking on this  link or visiting the Institute's  website. Educators are invited to apply by  March 13, and all applicants will be notified by  April 17.

If you have any questions in regards to the application or the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, please email  teachers@fpa.org, or call the Foreign Policy Association at  212-481-8100 x249.

2020 AWQ National Competition Registration & Consent/Release Forms

Registration for the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020 Academic WorldQuest National Competition is now open! The AWQ championship weekend program will be held in Washington, DC on April 24-25.

Local champion teams of Academic WorldQuest competitions hosted by World Affairs Councils around the country must complete the National Competition Registration Form. Students must also complete the Consent & Release Forms in order to participate. All forms are due no later than Friday, March 27.

This year's competition will be held on Saturday, April 25 , at the United States Institute of Peace.

For topics, study guide, and other information about this year's competition, please click here.

Hotel Reservations:

WACA has secured a group hotel block at The Westin DC City Center (1400 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005) at a special rate of $169 / night plus tax. The block will expire April 2. Reserve today!

Thank you to our sponsors!

Carnegie Logo

Councils in the News

Montana World Affairs Council 

Coronavirus Will Likely Reduce Travel to Yellowstone -- The Salt Lake Tribune  

Economic Impacts from Coronavirus Hitting China Hard; Also Felt in Montana -- The Missoulian  

Columbus Council on World Affairs

Nonprofit Works to Connect International Business Cultures -- The Columbus Dispatch

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

Outgoing World Affairs Council CEO Weighs in on Dallas’ International Reputation -- Dallas Business Journal 

SMU Hosts Global Symposium on LGBT+ Equality and Human Rights -- Dallas Voice

Mesquite ISD Teacher Named International Educator of the Year -- Mesquite News

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Betty Cruz Joins World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh -- 90.5 WESA 

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh Names New President, CEO -- Pittsburgh Business Times

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

What’s the Future of the Internet - And Society? -- Techincal.ly Philadelphia

World Affairs Council of New Hampshire 

World Affairs Council of New Hampshire Kicks Off Four-Part Portsmouth Speaker Series -- SeaCoastOnline 

Klobuchar Outlines Importance of Foreign Policy at New Hampshire Event -- Southernminn.com

World Affairs Council Charlotte

Charlotte Talks: Are We Winning the War on Terror? -- WFAE 90.7

World Affairs Council of Jacksonville

Madam Secretary: A Conversation With Madeleine Albright -- UNF Spinnaker

World Affairs Council Upstate (Upstate International)

Upstate International Hosts Murder Mystery Kickoff -- Greenville Journal 

World Affairs Council of the Desert

Palm Desert High School Wins Academic WorldQuest, Advances to Nationals -- Patch

Returning Champions Palm Desert High School Win Academic Competition. Next Stop Washington -- Desert Sun

World Affairs Council of Las Vegas

Academic WorldQuest in “What’s Cool at School” -- 8NewsNow

Alabama World Affairs Council

Former U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar to Address Alabama World Affairs Council on Feb. 11 -- Troy Today

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan 

Brave Journalists, Front and Back, Mark 2020 Great Decision Series -- The Rapidian 

Richmond World Affairs Council

Exiled Venezuelan Mayor Visits Richmond to Discuss Humanitarian Crisis -- WWBT NBC12 News

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!

2020 travel schedule includes trips to: 

  • Ambassador Heather Hodges, President and Ambassador in Residence, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Barcelona: April 18-26, 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
  • Craig Snyder, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Ukraine Seminar: July 5-16, 2020
  • Mimi Gregory, Vice President and Program Chairman, Naples Council on World Affairs, Cruising the Adriatic and Aegean Seas: September 9-17, 2020
  • Bill Clifford, President & CEO, World Affairs Councils of America, Ancient Greece Odyssey: October 22-30, 2020
  • Don Samford, Chairman of the Education Outreach and Program Committees, Peoria Area World Affairs Council, Legendary Turkey: October 2-16, 2020
  • Derrick Olsen, President, WorldOregon, Romance of the Douro River: October 13-24, 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 (SDWAC)

PO Box 34010

San Diego, CA 92163



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