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  June 2014

In this Issue
Letter from the President
News from the National Office
Recommended Speakers
What's Happening in the Network
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Letter from the President

Dear Friends and Supporters:

On behalf of Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, Chair, and the National Board of Directors, I am pleased to congratulate the following individuals on their election to the WACA Board for three-year terms commencing July 1:


New Supporting Members: Sylvia FieldsEden Hall Foundation (Pittsburgh, PA); Martha Jones, Holmes Organization of Florida (Jacksonville, FL); Sarah Van Dyck, Rosetta Stone (Arlington, VA); New Council Members: Robert Fischer, World Affairs Council of St. Louis; Stephen Petras, Cleveland Council on World Affairs; Incumbent Supporting MembersCarlos Alvarez, Gambrinus Company; Neal Goins, Exxon Mobil; Alex Lari, The Claremont Group; Kathleen Vogelsang, Van Andel Institute; Incumbent Council MembersJay Bruns, World Affairs Council of Connecticut; Richard Crepage, World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio; Joyce Davis, World Affairs Council of Harrisburg; James Nathan, Alabama World Affairs Council; Timor Rafiq, World Affairs Council of Orange County.


Diana Sedney announced her plan to retire, leaving Chevron after 16 years with the company, last month. Diana was unanimously reelected to the WACA Board but has decided to step down. Her service on the Executive Committee and support of National Conferences in many ways, including top sponsorships from Chevron, has been superlative. We wish Diana the very best - including travels of a different kind (no 24/7 Blackberry!) - in the next phase of her life.   


The Board held its semi-annual meeting in Indian Wells, California, last weekend. Ward Fredericks, our Treasurer, was instrumental in arranging a relationship with Sunnlyands, part of the historic Annenberg estate.  Sunnylands' gracious hospitality included a most memorable tour, reception and dinner. Following a dialogue with Amb. Paula J. Dobriansky that opened to a classic Council conversation with the audience, President Geoff Cowan presented an inaugural Sunnylands award to Amb. Dobriansky.


At the Board meeting, I provided an interim report on the WACA strategic plan. 60 Council leaders and staff contributed to the recent survey of internal stakeholders, providing essential SWOT feedback as well as perspectives on our mission, vision, programs and services. As our financial position continues to improve, we will be in a position to deliver more of the speaker programs and grant assistance that the network clearly values. We will also strengthen Academic WorldQuest and expand our educational offerings.


I am forming a global education task force of Council leaders. If you are interested in contributing as a member of the task force, or providing input and advice on an occasional basis, please let me know. This will be a critical part of the strategy - and the work we do to execute on the plan that will be submitted to the Board at its meeting in November.


Welcome again to the new Board members, and thanks to all who are engaging the public daily to bring the world closer, helping to inform decisions that will make the world a better place.



Bill Clifford
President and CEO
In Memoriam: Sir Eldon W. Griffiths 
(25 May 1925 - 3 June 2014)
A Friend and Patron of the 
World Affairs Councils of America

When TransAtlantic Man came fresh from the publisher to the 2010 WACA National Conference, it was accompanied by Global Citizen. In those two aptly titled volumes of memoirs lie the history of a brilliant life, that of Sir Eldon Griffiths.

Leaders who bridged a century of history were well known to Sir Eldon: He served 28 years as a Member of Parliament in the UK, charted a high-profile journalistic voyage on our side of the Atlantic with Time-Life and Newsweek, and made myriad contributions to the World Affairs Councils of America as Chairman of the National Board.

Remember those red socks? But... always worn with an impeccable navy pinstriped suit! His love of writing produced great books; as a correspondent he covered war, diplomatic crises, Anglo-American politics; more recent work centered on Iran. Spellbinding presentations to audiences in the Council network will stay with us always. He will be greatly missed. 

By Mimi Gregory, Naples Council on World Affairs
News from the National Office
June Cover to Cover
Join us on Thursday, June 12, at 2:00 PM ET, for a conversation with The Wall Street Journal's Russell Gold on his new book The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World.

Fracking has vociferous critics and fervent defenders, but the debate between these camps has obscured the actual story: Fracking has become a fixture of the American landscape and the global economy. It has upended the business models of energy companies around the globe, and it has started to change geopolitics and global energy markets in profound ways. Gold tells the story of this once-obscure oilfield technology, a story that answers a critical question of our time: Where will the energy come from to power our world--and what price will we have to pay for it?
Russell Gold is the senior energy reporter for The Wall Street Journal and is based in Texas. He is responsible for covering all facets of global energy with a particular focus on the U.S. energy boom and the use of hydraulic fracturing. His writings appear regularly in the print and on-line editions of The Wall Street Journal.

May's Cover to Cover featured Professor Daniel W. Drezner of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University on his book The System Worked: How the World Stopped Another Great Depression. A recording of the call is available here.


Combating Human Trafficking 

Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation renewed funding of the World Affairs Councils of America's national program on combating human trafficking. More than 30 World Affairs Councils participated in the 2013 program, which featured screenings of the documentary film Not My Life. The 2014 program features discussion forums as well as film screenings.


Events scheduled this month include:


June 14 -- World Affairs Council of Harrisburg


June 25 -- World Affairs Council of Oregon


2014 European Union Outreach

This month, we continue our newest program with the European Union Delegation to the U.S. The program aims to raise awareness, knowledge, and understanding about EU policies, the EU's role as an international actor, and the value of the EU-U.S. relationship. Activities will highlight the impact of local and regional economic, social, and cultural connections to Europe. More Information


Events scheduled this month include:


June 11 -- World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California

National Conference: November 5-7, 2014
Save the date! The World Affairs Councils of America will host its 2014 National Conference, America and the World 2015, on November 5-7 at The Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel.

Held annually for over two decades, the World Affairs Councils of America's National Conference engages our regional leaders and members drawn from the business, civic, and education communities with leading policy-makers and experts. 


The Conference helps to frame and guide our national network of Councils to plan programming for the coming year on critical global and U.S. foreign policy issues identified by our network leadership across the country. 


In March, we asked Council membership to select 10 topics/regions from among 40 topics. The results of this poll revealed several new themes in addition to some from previous Conferences that remain compelling. These topics and related issues will inform the 2014 National Conference agenda:

  • China, the U.S., and Asia
  • Russia / Eurasia
  • Cybersecurity
  • Future of Education
  • Youth, Jobs, and Social Unrest
  • Food and Water
  • Global Economic Realignment
  • Future of Energy
  • Africa
  • Climate Change

Last year's conference kicked off with Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) at Wednesday evening's opening dinner and closed with a keynote from former First Lady Laura Bush. Past conferences have featured distinguished speaker and panelists including Zbigniew Brzezinski, former CIA Director General David Petraeus, Singaporean Ambassador to the U.S. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and many more. Click here to see our 2013 speakers and agenda.

Staying at The Fairfax 

We have secured a special group rate at The Fairfax at Embassy Row:


Superior King: $234 per night (Single/Double Occupancy)


Superior Two Doubles: $254 per night (Single/Double Occupancy)


Reserve Room Here



World Affairs Councils in the News


World Affairs Councils of America

WACA National Board Member Serge Tomassian on 'The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler' -- KRLA 870 AM 


World Affairs Council of Atlanta

Summit: African health challenges require collaboration, context -- Global Atlanta


World Affairs Council of New Hampshire

Insider speaks about U.S. foreign policy -- Seacoast Online


World Affairs Council of Las Vegas

Eliminating tariffs called key to Nevada's international trade --Las Vegas Review-Journal


Peoria Area World Affairs Council

EU diplomats talk free trade at Bradley University -- Peoria Public Radio


World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

For 65 years, thoughtful discourse on foreign affairs challenges

-- Philadelphia Inquirer


World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

Q&A: Kenyan Ambassador Jean N. Kamau -- The Dallas Morning News


Minnesota International Center

Global trade, geopolitics increasingly linked -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

Montana World Affairs Council

Competition helps make the world a bit smaller -- The Missoulian

Recommended Speakers Database
Leadership NetworkThe World Affairs Councils of America offers a Recommended Speakers Database on the WACA Leadership Network

Please log into the WACA Leadership Network and take advantage of this great resource. 

What's Happening in the Network 

There are over 80 World Affairs Council events scheduled this month across the country. 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

The World Affairs Councils of America 

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

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

Email Website