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May 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,
I am grateful for your participation in the Council network's recent survey for selecting this year's WACA National Conference topics. The 10 topics and regions that received the most votes are listed below and should make for many stimulating discussions come November 5-7. The National Office will now approach keynote speakers and panelists in earnest. Please don't hesitate to e-mail your suggestions of insightful speakers hosted by your local Council or those you've seen or heard "on the air" or online.
Council leaders and WACA Board members have also been invited to take part in a strategic planning survey. Reminders for that questionnaire, which will provide guidance for the World Affairs Councils of America's long-term strategy, will be sent separately. Respondents should complete the survey by May 15. The input of the Council membership is also vital in constituting the National Board that will execute on that strategy; you will find information on nominees and voting instructions below.
A few Councils have already hosted great programs focused on the European Union, and several more are on tap as Europe Day (May 9) approaches. I was pleased to meet H.E. Jos� Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and H.E. Jo�o Vale de Almeida, Ambassador of the EU to the United States, last week on Capitol Hill to mark the 10th Anniversary of the EU Enlargement. It was a excellent opportunity to discuss transatlantic relations and WACA's excitement about our network's delivery of the EU Outreach program.


Very best wishes,
Bill Clifford
President and CEO
News from the National Office
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


WACA National Board Nominees

According to the Bylaws, one authorized representative of each member organization may vote YEA or NAY on the nominees for the WACA National Board. The election of Directors of the WACA National Board for terms beginning on July 1 of each year are required to take place by May 30, with the Membership provided with the list of Nominees at least 30 days prior to that date. The Bylaws also allow for email election of Directors if there is no other business that requires a physical meeting of the Membership. Nominees and Voting Instructions


2014 European Union Outreach

This month, we kick off our newest program with the European Union Delegation to the U.S. With Europe Day (May 9) as a focal point, the program is designed 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 and Event Schedule 


Peoria World Affairs Council

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


World Affairs Council of Las Vegas

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


April Cover to Cover

Our monthly author series conference call in April featured Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Professor David M. Lampton on his book Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping. The April 30 call was moderated by Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO. Click here to listen to the recording.

With unique access to Chinese leaders at all levels of the party and government, best-selling author David M. Lampton (Full Bio) tells the story of China's political elites from their own perspectives. Based on over five hundred interviews, Following the Leader offers a rare glimpse into how the attitudes and ideas of those at the top have evolved over the past four decades. Here China's rulers explain their strategies and ideas for moving the nation forward, share their reflections on matters of leadership and policy, and discuss the challenges that keep them awake at night.


Columbus Council Livestream - Tuesday, May 13

The Columbus Council on World Affairs will be livestreaming its Signature Luncheon, "Why STEM Matters to the World," featuring a panel of corporate leaders from Honda, Battelle, and Abbott Nutrition. Employers are seeking candidates with expertise in STEM, but reports consistently show that U.S. students are falling behind in those subject areas. Tune in May 13 for a conversation with three experts in STEM fields who know firsthand the global impact of STEM and the importance of combined global/STEM education. Register Here 


2014 Academic WorldQuest National Competition  

The World Affairs Councils of America held the 2014 Academic WorldQuest National Competition at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center on April 26. Plano West High School from the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth defended their title and took first place. Keystone School from the World Affairs Council of San Antonio finished second. Georgetown Day School from World Affairs Council - Washington, DC took third place in an exciting sudden death tiebreaker round. Congratulations to all! More Information  


Thank you to Rosetta Stone for their generous prize contribution. Read about Rosetta Stone's sponsorship.


Special thanks also to Bill and Judy Wheelock, Michael Phillip, and Johnson Sterling, Inc. for their generous financial support, and to the ONE Campaign for promotional support.


Academic WorldQuest would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of students, teachers, parents, chaperones, and all World Affairs Council staff and volunteers across the country. Thank YOU for helping to make the 2014 Academic WorldQuest National Competition a great success. 


World Affairs Councils in the News


World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

Plano high schools produce geography champions -- The Dallas Morning News


World Affairs Council of Oregon

Clinton tells Portland audience future belongs to equal rights for women -- Statesman Journal


World Affairs Council of Jacksonville

Arab Spring going badly, noted journalist says -- The Florida Times-Union


Minnesota International Center

Middle East is more complex than we think -- Minneapolis Star Tribune


World Affairs Council of Atlanta

Coffee and Cocoa Farming Coming to Life in War Torn Congo -- Global Atlanta

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 140 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