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February 2013


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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A Note from the President

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


I just returned from a remarkable People-to-People Educational Tour of Cuba through the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. It was a thrill to see Cuba in its current preserved state and to hear daily lectures on U.S./Cuba relations, Cuban economics, and other topics. My fellow travelers were wonderful people, and I had the opportunity to share details about the national network. This trip reminded me once again how valuable our mission is to educate citizens on world affairs. Cuba is one of the least understood countries in the world, and this trip put us right on their doorstep to learn more. The daily lectures and discussions provided that forum, and made the trip so much more than a typical tour. But even when trips are not possible, the programs you conduct in your communities give your local citizens the opportunities to learn about a place or an issue in a forum that is non-partisan, open, and welcomes questions and dialogue. This is an incredibly purposeful mission in our world today.


We will hold a Hot Topics call later this month to share more about what our group learned and experienced in Cuba, and I hope you'll join us.


On another note, we are excited to announce the new anti-trafficking campaign funded by Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation in conjunction with Worldwide Documentaries. Not My Life is a moving documentary that really covers the issue, which is drawing more and more attention because it can easily affect so many in the U.S. and abroad. I hope each of you will read the call for applications closely and consider applying.


Thank you again for your service to your community. Please continue to let us know how we can be of assistance.

Best regards,


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

News from the National Office
Call for Applications: Not My Life

The World Affairs Councils of America has received a grant from Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation to bring attention to the critical issue of human trafficking and modern slavery. The program series will feature screenings of the documentary film Not My Life by Robert Bilheimer and Worldwide Documentaries in all participating council communities. Up to 33 councils will be selected to participate. More Information


Not My Life, directed by Oscar nominee Robert Bilheimer, probes the dark, hidden, and often unspeakable realities of human trafficking and modern-day slavery-- multi-billion dollar global industries that earn their profits, as the film's narration says, "on the backs and in the beds of our planet's youth." The film is part of a global awareness campaign on modern slavery. Watch the Trailer


To apply: Download and fill out this Application Form and email it to Althea Georgantas at no later than Monday, February 18, 2013.

Take the Six Top Issues Survey -- Closes Friday 2/8
It is that time of the year to select our Six Top Issues for the national network for the year going forward. Please circulate the survey to your board and council membership so they have a chance to weigh in as well. We want the Six Top Issues to reflect the priorities of the national network as much as possible. These issues will guide the National Office's programming for the coming year as well as the focus areas of the National Conference in November. 


It takes less than two minutes! We have added a line to the survey that provides the option to suggest an issue not listed. If you have already taken the survey and would like to suggest another issue, please send an email directly to Ian J. Byrne at



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President & CEO Todd Culpepper in Cuba

On the streets of Cienfuegos

World Affairs Councils of America President & CEO Todd Culpepper recently returned from a Travel the World trip to Cuba sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. Todd said the week-long tour of Havana and Trinidad was a life changing experience. Stay tuned for a Hot Topics Conference Call on Cuba in the coming weeks. To learn more about the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia's Travel the World programs, visit their website


2013 Council Directory Now Available

An updated council directory is now available for download on the World Affairs Councils of America Leadership Network under Resource Materials. The directory contains contact information for all councils and essential staff. Please register and log into the Leadership Network here


China Leadership Mission Trip Report Now Available

The trip report for the World Affairs Councils of America's Leadership Mission to the People's Republic of China is now available on our website. The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) hosted the delegation in late August 2012. The five member delegation of World Affairs Councils representatives visited Beijing and Shanghai during the seven day mission. Visit our website to download and read the report here


From the Cuban Missile Crisis to Iran

The World Affairs Councils of America is excited for the upcoming 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

February 21 -- World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh hosts the Ploughshares Fund President Joe Cirincione


Future of Korea

KEI The World Affairs Councils of America is sponsoring the its 12th Engage America Speaker Series on the Future of Korea in collaboration with the Korea Economic Institute. The program is focused on broadening and deepening the understanding of Korea and the U.S.-Korea relationship among opinion leaders and academics. More Information

The centerpiece of the program is a panel discussion consisting of one representative each from the U.S. Department of State, the Korean Embassy, KEI, or other relevant institutions. The panel participants typically offer a general overview presentation (approximately 60-90 minutes in length), followed by a Q&A period. The speakers address political, security, economic and financial issues pertaining to the Korean Peninsula and U.S.-Korea relations. Upcoming events include:


February 21 -- World Affairs Council of Central Florida hosts Haekwan Chung, Kate Rebholz, and Troy Stangarone More Information


Qatar: Sand, Sea and Sky with Diana Untermeyer

The World Affairs Councils of America, in collaboration with the Embassy of Qatar, is sponsoring an Engage America Speaker Series with Diana Untermeyer, author of Qatar: Sand, Sea, and Sky. Mrs. Untermeyer lived in Doha, the bustling capital of Qatar, from 2004-2007 while her husband Chase served as U.S. ambassador. Qatar: Sand, Sea, and Sky gives an overview of Qatar's rich culture and history and documents its journey into modernity. Though small in size, Qatar's strategic location and natural gas wealth make it a rising economic and political power. Breathtakingly illustrated by award-winning photographer Henry Dallal, Mrs. Untermeyer's personal narrative provides a unique perspective of this moderate Muslim country and the way it attempts to become modern and engaged with the world without losing its heritage. This month's events include:


February 16 -- International Relations Council, Kansas City More Information


Academic WorldQuest 2012-2013 Forms Due March 27

AWQ Logo

National Competition registration forms are due March 27. Download and complete the following forms and email to by March 27


Team Information Form (one per team)


Release of Liability/Consent to Recording Form (one per participant, including chaperone)


Local competitions are underway across the country. We are looking forward to hosting the local competition winners in April! Check out the recent winners and upcoming competitions on our website


The Study Guide  for the 2012-2013 Academic WorldQuest Competition is available here. The National Competition will take place Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Georgetown University
Group Rate at Georgetown University Hotel 
We have secured a group rate of $119 per night at the competition venue, the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center, for the nights of April 25-27. To book a room at this rate, click here or call 1-888-902-1606 or 202-687-3200 and reference "Academic WorldQuest."


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


World Affairs Council of Northern California Annual Conference


WorldAffairs 2013: Transition, Disruption, and Innovation, the annual conference hosted by the World Affairs Council of Northern California is scheduled for March 7 and 8 in San Francisco. The conference offers fresh insights and new perspectives on current and emergent global topics. The full agenda is available now and is online here.



SPECIAL FOR WACA MEMBERS: All-inclusive package which includes accommodations (3 nights), conference registration, intimate salon dinners with keynote speakers Chris Anderson (March 7) and Fareed Zakaria (March 8). Limited capacity. More information is available here or by calling 415.293.4600. All WACA members are also eligible for member discount for conference-only registration. Please register here


Conference rates available for accommodation at The St. Regis San Francisco through February 7 here.


For the official conference website, click here.

Columbus Council on World Affairs: Free Webcast
On February 7 at 12:30pm EST, the Columbus Council on World Affairs will be livestreaming an event with New York Times reporters Eric Schmitt and Thomas Shanker. The Authors will speak on their book Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign against Al Qaeda. The book tells the story of how a group of analysts in the military, spy agencies, and law enforcement fashioned an innovative and effective new strategy to fight terrorism, unbeknownst to most Americans and in sharp contrast to the cowboy slogans that characterized the U.S. government's public posture.

This program is part of the Director's Speaker Series presented by The Ohio State University's Mershon Center for International Security Studies. The webcast is provided by the Columbus Council on World Affairs.

Click here to learn more about the speakers.

Click here to register to receive a reminder e-mail containing the livestream link prior to the webcast.


World Affairs Councils in the News

World Affairs Council of Oregon

On February 26, the World Affairs Council of Oregon will host Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to kick off their annual speaker series. Ahead of the event, The Oregonian held a Q&A with the prime minister via phone. You can read the article here


World Affairs Council of New Hampshire

The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire hosted Lawrence Korbsenior fellow at the Center for American Progress and senior adviser to the Center for Defense Information, for a program as part of their Global Tipping Points series. The program was made possible by the World Affairs Councils of America and the Center for International Policy's How Much for Defense? program. The Council flexed their media muscle and got Mr. Korb a radio interview with NHPR (listen here) and an op-ed (read here) placed in The Telegraph


World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth had not one, but two great hits in the news in January. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, spoke to the Council on January 17. You can read the write-up from the Dallas Morning News' Tod Robberson here


The Dallas Morning News also featured an article titled, "World Affairs Council offers diverse and global lecturer subjects." You can read the article  here


Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council

Congratulations to the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council for being named in Cincinnati Magazine's Best of the City edition. The magazine featured the Council's events as being Something for Everyone. Check out a snapshot of the feature here.    

What's Happening in the Network 

There are over 180 World Affairs Council events across the country scheduled in February! 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 we missed something or 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:


Mois�s Na�m's The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be (Basic Books; March 5, 2013)  


We know that power in the 21st century is shifting: From West to East and North to South; from presidential palaces to public squares; from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups; and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely shifting and dispersing-it is changing in a more fundamental way, one that most discussions simply miss. Power today is decaying.


In The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy Editor in Chief Mo�ses Na�m proves that power today is easier to acquire, harder to use, and easier to lose-and argues that the implications of this worldwide revolution are vast and variegated.


Na�m deftly delineates the shifting global dynamics in control, authority, and expertise between the traditionally dominant megaplayers (such as large stable governments, corporations, and armies) and the newly ascendant micropowers (such as the Tea Party, WikiLeaks, and Somali pirates). He shows how these agile micropowers are able to break down barriers to power in the political, economic, military and social realms as never before. Where power was once concentrated at the top, and those who held it erected careful barriers to keep challengers away, today, insurgent forces can dismantle those barriers more easily than ever, only to find that they themselves become vulnerable in the process. While this anti-establishment drive can manifest itself in exciting and inspiring ways, it can also lead to chaos, confusion and paralysis.


One of the world's most influential journalists and commentators on the subjects of economics and globalization, Na�m brings unique insight into this changing nature of power. He cites three revolutions-"more, mobility, and mentality"-that have pulled us to this point, and suggests minilateralism-the idea that only the minimum number of relevant parties should be involved in any decision-making-as a way out of the gridlock and disorder.


For anyone looking to understand the nature and negotiation of relationships in the modern world, THE END OF POWER is a vital analysis of how the decay of power is changing and will continue to change the world.


Mois�s Na�m is a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an internationally syndicated columnist. He served as editor in chief of Foreign Policy, as Venezuela's trade minister, and as executive director of the World Bank. Na�m lives in Washington, DC.

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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