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December 2012


In this Issue
A Note from the President
News from the National Office
What's Happening in the Network
Available Authors
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Duke Energy


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German Marshall Fund of the United States


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A Note from the President

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


As the year comes to a close, we can each reflect on the many things that cause us to be thankful. For me, it is the opportunity to lead such a wonderful network of smart, committed leaders with a passion to better educate, engage and inform American citizens about world affairs. The global landscape is dynamic and changing continuously, so it's no small task to bring timely and meaningful programs to citizens in our communities across the U.S. Thank you for all you do.


I am also thankful for an excellent National Conference with widely-respected speakers who shared insights and expertise on pertinent issues, namely our Six Top Issues -- U.S. Education: Competing Globally, China, U.S. Energy Policy, Afghanistan/Pakistan, the Middle East and U.S. Economic Competitiveness. Again, I offer my personal appreciation to my predecessor and National Conference Chair Dr. Lori Murray.


We received a solid amount of media coverage on the National Conference, including a full day of recording by C-SPAN. You'll find links to that information below.  I want to thank you for your feedback to me directly both during and after the conference. Your thoughts and ideas are extremely important as we look to frame future conferences, especially the 2013 National Conference (already in the works). If you have not done so, please complete our online survey here.


Many of you participated this year in one or both of the Carnegie Corporation programs (Muslim Societies and Cuban Missile Crisis), Spotlight on Turkey, Future of Korea, Fixing Broken Diplomacy Tools, and other programs. We will continue to bring you meaningful programs in the coming year.


We have so much promise as a network -- ways to continue building and growing and making a greater and greater impact on our communities, our nation, and our world.  The work we do is important. It matters to many. Let's make 2013 a pinnacle year in our network -- one for the record books!


With thanks for all you do,


S. Todd Culpepper
President & CEO
World Affairs Councils of America

News from the National Office
2012 National Conference Survey
Last week we sent out our National Conference survey. We invite you all, whether you attended this year's conference or not, to take the quick survey. We have 60 responses so far, but want as many as possible as we begin to plan for next year's conference. We especially want to hear your thoughts on the timing of the conference, your motivations for attending, and what we can improve upon.

John Rash, who attended the conference from the Minnesota International Center and spoke on their Great Decisions program, wrote about his experience at the National Conference in Saturday's Minneapolis Star Tribune. He discusses each of our Six Top Issues in his article, "A global tour of Obama's second term."
Take a look below in our World Affairs Councils in the News section for more National Conference coverage. Also, all conference recordings are available on our YouTube page.


Travel the World Program with Todd Culpepper

Cuba: People-to-People Program - January 19-26, 2013

Space is still available on this 7-night program featuring five nights in Havana and two nights in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trinidad, Cuba. The World Affairs Councils of America's flagship Travel the World program, organized by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, has a two-year license from the Treasury Department to offer a series of programs featuring meetings with political scientists, economists, architects and artists. Visit a cooperative farm, school, medical clinic, senior center and cultural heritage sites. Todd will bring his journalism experience to go beyond the "canned" experience and really engage with the Cuban people. To facilitate flights and visas, please immediately contact Joan Russell or Shoshana Altrichter at 800-942-5004 x 209 or x 217 or visit us at


From the Cuban Missile Crisis to Iran

The World Affairs Councils of America is excited for the December events for the Engage America Speaker Series entitled, From the Cuban Missile Crisis to Iran: Confronting the Nuclear Threat. The program is made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. More Information

December 5 -- Alabama World Affairs Council Executive Director James Nathan speaks to the World Affairs Council of Rochester

December 11 -- Stimson Center Co-founder and Distinguished Fellow Barry Blechman speaks to the World Affairs Council of New Orleans

December 10 -- New America Foundation National Security Fellow Tim Naftali speaks to the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire

December 16 -- CSIS Pacific Forum Senior Fellow for Nonproliferation and Disarmament David Santoro speaks to the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg

Spotlight on Turkey 2013

The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to have announced the World Affairs Councils participating in the Spotlight on Turkey Program. This is the seventh year of collaboration with the Turkish Cultural Foundation on the National Spotlight on Turkey program. More Information


Below are events scheduled for December as part of the Spotlight on Turkey 2012 program:


World Affairs Council of Central Florida

December 3, 2012

World Affairs Council -- Washington, DC 
December 4, 2012

World Affairs Council of Maine
December 6, 2012

Minnesota International Center
December 11, 2012

Dayton Council on World Affairs
December 12, 2012

World Affairs Council of Seattle
December 13, 2012


Academic WorldQuest 2012-2013

Pledge Participation Now

AWQ Logo

Local competitions are underway across the country. We are looking forward to seeing the following schools in April!


November 13 -- World Affairs Council of St. Louis

Winner: Ladue Horton Watkins High School 


November 13 -- World Affairs Council of Jacksonville

Winner: Stanton College Preporatory School 


November 13 -- World Affairs Council of Charlotte

Winner: Charlotte Country Day School


November 14 -- World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads

Winner: Tallwood High School Global Studies and World Languages Academy


November 17 -- Asian and Pacific Affairs Council

Winner: Punahou School 


November 17 -- Peoria Area World Affairs Council 

Winner: Peoria Regional High School


The Study Guide  for the 2012-2013 Academic WorldQuest Competition is now available here. The National Competition will take place Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Georgetown University


2012-2013 Categories 

  • US Economic Competitiveness 
  • US Education:Competing Globally
  • US Energy Policy
  • Middle East 
  • Afghanistan/Pakistan
  • China
  • UN Millennium Goals: Environmental Sustainability
  • Geography
  • Current Events
  • Cuban Missile Crisis: 50th Anniversary

A Teacher's Guide is available to help Councils reach out to schools and explain how to get involved in Academic WorldQuest. Teacher's Guide


European Union Educational Outreach Program

in the United States 2012
The World Affairs Councils of America's European Union Educational Outreach Program is in its final months. The program is being conducted in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and has brought EU diplomats and officials to 10 World Affairs Councils and their local communities. The objective of the program is to engage American students and teachers on a personal level to deepen their understanding and knowledge of the European Union. More Information

Recent and upcoming events include:

November 16 -- The Institute of World Affairs held a conference for high school students titled The European Union: Boundaries and Barriers at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

November 27 -- The World Affairs Council of Northern California hosted Jorge Montealegre

November 27 -- The World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosted David Kibler, Cultural Attache at the Embassy of France

December 3 -- WorldBoston hosts Jacques Longerstaey, Honorary Consul of Belgium

December 7 -- The Consul General of Greece and the Deputy Consul General of Germany will visit the World Affairs Council of Atlanta   

December 18 -- WorldBoston hosts Giuseppe Pastorelli, Consul General of Italy

December 19 -- WorldBoston hosts Rolf Sch�tte, Consul General of Germany 


Global I.Q. with Jim Falk: The World in 2013

Join the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth on Tuesday, December 11 for their monthly edition of Global I.Q. with Jim Falk. This month, Jim and his guest Daniel Franklin, Executive editor, The Economist and editor, The World in..., will discuss the publication's forthcoming special edition The World in 2013. Now in its 27th year, The World in... provides readers with a unique global perspective on the upcoming year, across the spheres of business, finance and economics, technology, sport, media, arts, culture and more. Go beyond the pages with the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and The Economist as you submit your questions live for Jim and Daniel, helping to guide the conversation in this free, online webinar. 


Register for the webinar at:

P.S. If you cannot join the webinar at the time scheduled, register for the event and you will receive a recording and copy of slides via email following the webinar.


Job Openings in the National Network

The Minnesota International Center is hiring a Development Director. Click here for details.


The Montana World Affairs Council works closely with the University of Montana. The University is currently hiring a Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center. Click here for details.


World Affairs Councils in the News

National Conference Coverage

The National Conference received coverage in NewsweekThe Washington PostMaryland's regional papers, and for you Mandarin readers, Duo Wei. Before the conference, in the article, "D.C. is Ready for the Day After," the DC insider's insider news journal Politico asked, "How does the election affect national security policy?" The answer: "The World Affairs Councils of America has that covered."


C-SPAN recorded all of the morning and afternoon panel discussions on Friday, November 9. They have aired on C-SPAN2 and can be watched on C-SPAN's website here.

World Affairs Council of the Desert

The World Affairs Council of the Desert recent program with Erroll Southers on "Counter Terrorism 101: Above CNN But Below Classified" was covered by Read Here


World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh recently sponsored a conference for high school students on "Understanding the Global Economic Meltdown." Read Here


Alaska World Affairs Council

The Alaska World Affairs Council recently held a program on energy with Mikkal Herberg, a senior lecturer on international and Asian energy at the University of California-San Diego who spent 20 years working in the oil industry. Read Here


World Affairs Council of Jacksonville

The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville recently hosted Joseph Scarpaci, executive director of the Center for the Study of Cuban Culture and Economy, for a program on Cuba. Read Here


Montana World Affairs Council 

The Montana World Affairs Council hosted Genevieve Chabot of the Iqra Fund. The organization helps Pakistani families pay for their daughters to go to school. Read Here


World Affairs Council of Puerto Rico

Robert Alvarez, executive director of the World Affairs Council of Puerto Rico, weighed in on Puerto Rico's pursuit of statehood on Washington, DC's WUSA News 9. Who will be the 1st state? The race is on between Washington, DC and the island commonwealth. Watch Here

What's Happening in the Network 

There are 62 World Affairs Council events across the country scheduled in December. Visit News from the National Network on our homepage for updates from around the network that include programs you can attend, participate in virtually, get ideas about speakers, or model format. Also be sure to check out travel programs offered by World Affairs Councils on our homepage. We encourage you to follow-up with the sponsoring council for more information. If you have a program that you would like highlighted on our website or in the WACA Weekly, please contact Ian J. Byrne at

Available Authors

The World Affairs Councils of America works with publishers and has prepared a list of authors on the WACA Leadership Network who are available to receive invitations from World Affairs Councils around the country.


Among the latest additions to Available Authors is:

Melanie Kirkpatrick's Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad

From the world's most repressive state comes rare good news: the escape to freedom of a small number of its people. It is a crime to leave North Korea. Yet increasing numbers of North Koreans dare to flee. They go first to neighboring China, which rejects them as criminals, then on to Southeast Asia or Mongolia, and finally to South Korea, the United States, and other free countries. They travel along a secret route known as the new underground railroad.


With a journalist's grasp of events and a novelist's ear for narrative, Melanie Kirkpatrick tells the story of the North Koreans' quest for liberty. Travelers on the new underground railroad include women bound to Chinese men who purchased them as brides, defectors carrying state secrets, and POWS from the Korean War held captive in the North for more than half a century. Their conductors are brokers who are in it for the money as well as Christians who are in it to serve God. The Christians see their mission as the liberation of North Korea one person at a time.


Just as escaped slaves from the American South educated Americans about the evils of slavery, the North Korean fugitives are informing the world about the secretive country they fled. Escape from North Korea describes how they also are sowing the seeds for change within North Korea itself. Once they reach sanctuary, the escapees channel news back to those they left behind. In doing so, they are helping to open their information-starved homeland, exposing their countrymen to liberal ideas, and laying the intellectual groundwork for the transformation of the totalitarian regime that keeps their fellow citizens in chains.

Melanie Kirkpatrick is a writer-journalist based in Connecticut and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. She contributes reviews and commentary to various publications, including the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal, for which she worked from 1980 until mid-2009. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a trustee of Princeton in Asia, an internship program in Asia for young graduates of American universities; and a director of the America for Bulgaria Foundation.
Be Part of the WACA Newsletter!

If you would like to highlight an upcoming program, email Ian J. Byrne at with the relevant information (a description of 200 words or less). Of course, if there is anything else we can do to help promote your programs within the network, please let us know.

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