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January 2015
In This Issue
Letter from the President
1918 Society Conference Call
Cover to Cover
BoardSource Membership
AWQ 2014-2015
WACs in the News
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Letter from the President

Dear Friends and Supporters,


Happy New Year! I hope that you and your families enjoyed festive and relaxing holidays.


As World Affairs Councils gear up for a return to robust programming in 2015, with a readiness to learn on the part of all stakeholders, please allow me the opportunity to thank an individual from whom I have learned a great deal during my years in the network.


Dr. Ward Fredericks recently notified the WACA National Board that he would retire effective January 1. In reaching his 75th birthday and in his eighth year on the Board, he cited a personal guide - "Leave the organization in better condition than it was when you joined it" - as reason for making way "for a new generation of leadership to carry on."


In recent years, as a conscientious, effective Board Treasurer, Ward defined nonprofit stewardship like no other. He helped to steady operations through presidential turnover, re-establish financial reporting integrity, advocate for a strong DC-based National Office, and support our strategy as a national educational organization. A gracious host, he made possible the WACA Board's 2014 summer meeting at Sunnylands, a veritable Camp David of the West (site of an Obama-Xi summit), in southern California.


And I'm sure he is rightly proud of the Academic WorldQuesters who will represent the World Affairs Council of the Desert (see our News section below) at WACA's national AWQ Competition on April 25.


The World Affairs Councils of America starts 2015 in very good condition, indeed. Ward's leadership, sense of responsibility, and dedication to our mission helped to get us here, and provide a powerful guide for the road ahead.


Though we will miss him on the Board, I hope that Ward will continue to impart wisdom in our conference call offerings - be they 1918 Society, Cover to Cover, Hot Topics or Best Practices. Many are listed below and on the WACA site; be sure to sign up!


Here's to a new year of opportunities!

Bill Clifford
President and CEO
1918 Society Conference Call

The World Affairs Councils of America will host former President of Mexico Vicente Fox for a 1918 Society Conference Call. The call will take place on January 15 at 2:00 PM ET.

1918 Society Members:
RSVP to 
or reply to this email to receive 
dial-in information.

Special Offer!
Council executives who join The 1918 Society this month may invite up to 3 guests to participate in all 1918 Society calls this year!

Vicente Fox served as President of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. The first candidate from an opposition party to be elected president since 1920, he garnered 42 percent of the vote, marking the first time that the then-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party had lost a presidential election. Under his leadership, the country experienced a stretch of fundamental economic strength and stability. Full Bio

Save the date: The 1918 Society will convene a conference call on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 2:00 PM with Scott Carpenter, Deputy Director of Google Ideas.

Become a member: For information on how to join The 1918 Society and benefits of membership, including participation in these conference calls, please contact Ian Byrne at or visit our website.
Cover to Cover Author Series
The World Affairs Councils of America's January Author Series hosts journalist Thanassis Cambanis. His new book is Once Upon A Revolution: An Egyptian Story. WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford will moderate the call.

The call will take place 
Tuesday, January 20, at 2:00 PM ET.

In January 2011, in Cairo's Tahrir Square, a group of strangers sparked a revolution. Basem, an apolitical middle-class architect, jeopardized the lives of his family when he seized the chance to improve his country. Moaz, a contrarian Muslim Brother, defied his own organization to join the opposition.

These revolutionaries had little more than their idealism with which to battle the secret police, the old oligarchs, and a power-hungry military determined to keep control. Basem was determined to change the system from within and became one of the only revolutionaries to win a seat in parliament. Moaz took a different course, convinced that only street pressure from youth movements could dismantle the old order.

Thanassis Cambanis tells the story of the noble dreamers who brought Egypt to the brink of freedom, and the dark powerful forces that -- for the time being -- stopped them short. But he also tells a universal story of inspirational people willing to transform themselves in order to transform their society and the world.

Thanassis Cambanis a journalist specializing in the Middle East and American foreign policy, and a fellow at The Century Foundation. He writes a column for The Boston Globe Ideas section called "The Internationalist," and is a correspondent for The Atlantic. Cambanis contributes regularly to other publications including The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and The National Interest. Full Bio

February 2015 Cover to Cover
Save the date: Our February Author Series will feature Sarah Chayes, Senior Associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program and the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment, on her forthcoming book, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security. The call will take place Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 2:00 PM ET.

December 2014 Cover to Cover
The World Affairs Councils of America's December Author Series hosted 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winner Bret Stephens, foreign affairs columnist and deputy editorial page editor for The Wall Street Journal on December 16. His new book is America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder. The call was moderated by WACA President Bill Clifford. You can listen to a recording of the call here.
BoardSource Webinar: Jan. 29, 2:00 PM ET
Webinar 101: Elephants in the Nonprofit Boardroom
Do you serve on a board that knows it needs to fire its chief executive? Do you lie awake at night wondering how to deal with that troublesome board member who has too much time on his hands and spends it micromanaging you and others? Elephants in the Nonprofit Board Room will touch on the more common challenges faced by boards of all shapes and sizes. Whether you're a board member or a chief executive, you will leave this workshop with:
  • solutions to common boardroom challenges
  • practical strategies and ideas you can put to use immediately
  • comfort that you are NOT alone
Featured speaker: Stacey Wedding is the founder and chief strategist of Professionals in Philanthropy, a philanthropic consulting firm that assists generous individuals and organizations in creating lasting change in their communities, our country, and the world.

This webinar will take place on 
Thursday, January 29, at 2:00 PM ET. 

BoardSource Membership for WAC Members
As a leader within the WACA network, you are now eligible to become part of BoardSource's membership community of more than 26,000 nonprofit leaders across the U.S., which will make it easy for you to access the latest news, resources, and best-practices webinars in nonprofit board leadership, as well as practical experience and suggestions from other members of BoardSource's community.

The National Office encourages all Councils to take advantage and sign up for this complimentary BoardSource membership. Please share the link - with Council colleagues, staff, and all Board members - and enjoy an array of benefits that will help strengthen your Council's performance!

BoardSource is widely recognized as the leading organization promoting exceptional nonprofit governance and board service. We are grateful to WACA National Board Member Martha Jones, of the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville, for making this generous gift of BoardSource membership available to the network. Be sure to sign up today!
Academic WorldQuest 2014-2015

National Competition
The 2015 Academic WorldQuest National Competition will take place Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC.

Teams who have won their local competitions are required to submit team and release of liability forms to WACA to register for the National Competition by March 25, 2015. Visit the link below for more information. 


World Affairs Councils of America Wins 2014 DANDI Award
We encourage all Councils to post this exciting news on your Web sites and social media -- this is your award, too! The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce that it was honored with the Diversity and Inclusion (DANDI) Award in the international category. Accepting the honor at the 3rd Annual DANDI Awards Ceremony in New York City on December 1st, WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford said: 

"The World Affairs Councils of America believes everyone benefits when we create a public environment where a diverse community is challenged to share ideas about international issues while considering other points of view. For our Councils, which put a premium on civil dialogue, the commitment to the values of inclusion and diversity of thought and perspective makes us better learners, employees, leaders, and citizens."

See our short video, submitted following WACA's nomination for a 2014 DANDI Award.

For more on the DANDIs, visit their website here.
World Affairs Councils in the News
World Affairs Councils of Atlanta

Windham World Affairs Council

Galbraith Offers Bleak Assessment of Iraq, Syria Situation -- The Commons Online


Naples Council on World Affairs

Afghan Author Talks About Going Home Again -- Naples Daily News


World Affairs Council of the Desert (Palm Springs, CA)

Palm Desert High Takes First Place in 'WorldQuest' Competition -- Palm Desert Patch


World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Hampton Gives Russian Teachers Taste of America -- TribLive

What's Happening in the Network
There are over 50 World Affairs Council events scheduled this month across the country. Sign up for the WACA Weekly Digest to receive 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

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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