December 2017
Council of the Month
Cover to Cover
WACA 2017 National Conference
Global I.Q. Minute with Jim Falk
Councils in the News
Travel the World
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President's Letter
Dear Council Leaders , Supporters, and Friends:

We are delighted that those of you who joined us in person for last month's stimulating WACA National Conference: The Future of American Leadership helped to make it one of the most well attended and successful of the past decade.

Recognizing Councils
More than 60 Councils were represented, from Miami to Anchorage, from Portland, ME to Portland, OR. Several Councils provided support by reserving entire tables - Naples, San Antonio, Colorado Springs, Orange County, Dayton & Cincinnati (combined), and our Council of the Month: WAC Western Massachusetts (photo: member Ken Furst chats with Opening Dinner keynote speaker Minister Bakir of the Kurdistan Regional Government). Of the nearly 300 total attendees, we had more than 185 paid registrants - up 12% from 2016, making this year's Conference the best-performing going back to 2010-11, when paid attendance slightly exceeded 200.

Keynote speakers, embassy hosts, expert panels, think tank briefers, and authors all provided relevant, critical insights into America's shifting leadership role in the world and what the public cares about most when it comes to U.S. foreign policy, now and in the year ahead. You can see Conference videos here. More will be uploaded, along with photos and other information, for display on our new WACA website.

WACA 2018 Conference
We are currently negotiating with several hotels for the 2018 contract. The WACA National Conference will again be held in November, between Election Day and Thanksgiving, and the dates will be announced as soon as possible.

The WACA National Board and WACA Advisory Council will inaugurate the International Service Award, to be presented along with the WACA Chair Individual Award and the Council of the Year Award, at the 2018 Conference. The Russell family (on behalf of the late Joan Russell), and our colleague Jane Wales (World Affairs - Northern California) were most deserving honorees of the latter two awards this year.

We encourage your feedback. For those who attended or are thinking of attending next year, please contact us. The Conference survey is one helpful way for the WACA National Office to hear from attendees, but you are always welcome to email me or my staff.

Thank you for your dedication as thoughtful citizens, as committed supporters of World Affairs Councils across the country, and as individuals who will do what they can to make the world a better place.

Wishing you a holiday season filled with peace and joy,
Bill Clifford
President and CEO  
Council of the Month: 
WAC Western  Massachusetts
Western Mass
WACA is pleased to announce that our Council of the Month is the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts, for bringing the largest delegation of local Council representatives to the WACA 2017 National Conference . A total of 13 WAC Western Massachusetts leaders, board members, and members attended the WACA Conference this year. 

The Council is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. It traces its roots further back, to February 1926, when the presidents of Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges established the Connecticut Valley chapter of the Foreign Policy Association to present local programs "directed against prejudice, ignorance, and apathy" and in favor of cultivating: "an open mind, an intelligent interest in foreign affairs, a willingness to face facts, and a sympathy with the general aims of the association." The passion continues today!
USIP Program at IRC (Kansas City)
Next week, on December 12, the International Relations Council (Kansas City) will host William B. Taylor, Executive Vice President at the United States Institute of Peace, for the WACA-USIP program,  Practical Peacebuilding for National Security The program will feature an opening  reception followed by a talk by Taylor with time for audience Q&A. See more.

Sponsored by:


Cover to Cover Author Series - Dec. 14

In  Digital World War , seasoned diplomat Haroon Ullah, with deep knowledge of Islamist politics and digital innovation, investigates the unprecedented impact of social media on the discourse of recent events in the Muslim World--from the Arab Spring and its aftermath to ISIS's online recruitment.

While he identifies the roles of social media in these events and the use of the dark web, hacking, and digital attacks, he also reveals how political parties, corporations, and governments have learned to exploit digital tools to target and mobilize audiences, to ultimately achieve power and status.

See Ullah's recent appearances on ABC's 20/20 with Diane Sawyer, as a guest on CNN, and read his article on ISIS in the Daily Beast.
Register for the call
Join us for  this month's Cover to Cover on  Thursday, December 14, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.


Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, argues for an updated global operating system to address challenges - from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons, to climate change and cyberspace. His book:  A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order

Save the date! Join us  Wednesday, January 10, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.
WACA 2017 National  Conference
November 15-17
Washington, DC

We will be adding more panel recordings over the coming days - so please check back often!

Some Opening Dinner Photo Highlights


Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors

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Global I.Q. Minute with Jim Falk

In this episode of World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth's Global I.Q. Minute, Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the U.S. at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, analyzes the 2017 U.S.-china Relationship. From Topics of nuclear proliferation in Asia to the future goals of the Chinese government, Daly covers the most important topics regarding modern China. Listen to part 1 and part 2.
Academic WorldQuest 2017-2018

Information for the 2017-2018 Academic WorldQuest program is now available!

This year's AWQ Study Guide is now available, along with more information about  The Carlos and Malu Alvarez 2018 Academic WorldQuest National Competition, to be held  Saturday, April 28, 2018.

This year's AWQ National Competition will feature a welcome reception at the United States Institute of Peace on 
Friday, April 27. For topics, Study Guide, 
and more, click here.

Please note: the links in this block for the AWQ Study Guide are up to date. Links from previous emails may no longer be active due to the launch of the new WACA website

Sponsored by: United States Institute of Peace
East-West Center Asia Studies Fellowship
The East-West Center in Washington, DC is calling for applications for their Asia Studies Visiting Fellowship Program. This fellowship supports scholars who wish to undertake research and writing on topics of relevance to contemporary U.S.-Asia policy; in particular, key challenges in U.S. Asia relations and possible responses and approaches to addressing those challenges. 
Apply by Jan. 2, 2018.
Vermont Council Holds Annual Meeting

The Vermont Council on World Affairs will hold its Annual Meeting today, December 4. The event will feature Peter Galbraith, former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia, for Separatism: National  Identity in a Globalized World. Details
Councils in the News

World Affairs Council of Greater Reading

World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan

Global Ties Arizona
Cleveland Council on World Affairs

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

On Tour Of Israel and Terrorists, One Story Offers a Message of Hope -- The Inquirer

Travel the World from WAC Philadelphia

Travel with Council Leaders - hear them lecture on Travel the World tours from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia!

2018 travel schedule includes trips to: 
  • Dr. Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President, Programs, World Affairs Council Northern California, Southern Africa: Feb. 10-Mar. 5
  • Bill Clifford, President and CEO, World Affairs Councils of America, Inside Japan: Mar. 31 - Apr. 12
  • Jim Falk, President and CEO, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, Cruise the Rhine, July 11-29
  • Anna Berry, Executive Director, World Affairs Council of New Hampshire, Cambridge, Oxford, and the Cotswolds: July 20-28
  • Derrick Olsen, President, WorldOregon, Treasures of Ecuador: Aug. 27-31
  • Megan Torrey, Executive Director, World Affairs Council of Hartford, Himalayan Kingdoms, Sept. 11-25
  • Mimi Gregory, Vice President of Programs, Naples Council on World Affairs, Inside Botswana: Oct. 4-16
  • Joyce Davis, President, World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, Town & Country Life in Languedoc: Oct. 6-14
Contact  or call 1-800-942-5004 , ext.  209  or 217 .

The World Affairs Councils of America 

1200 18th St., NW, Suite 902, Washington, DC 20036

Phone (202) 833-4557  Fax (202) 833-4555

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