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May 2013


In this Issue
A Note from the President
News from the National Office
What's Happening in the Network
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2013 Academic WorldQuest Sponsors

Our Sponsors




Aviation Leasing


Barclays Capital


Booz Allen Hamilton


 1918 Society Members


Carnegie Corporation of New York






The Claremont Group


Duke Energy


El Paso Corporation




The Gambrinus Company


German Marshall Fund of the U.S.


Goldman Sachs


Heydar Aliyev Foundation


Hutchins Family Foundation




Johnson + Sterling


Merrill Lynch -

Mr. Michael Phillip




Northrop Grumman




Steelcase, Inc.


Tomassian, Throckmorton & Inouye LLP


Thomson Reuters


Turkish Cultural Foundation


A Note from the President

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


As you read this, I am in Chicago with several of your colleagues - council executives and board leaders - who have joined me for our annual spring leadership meeting. We are discussing a number of important issues, including effective ways to collaborate across the network and ideas to better involve young people, known as millennials. It's not possible for everyone to attend every meeting, so for those of you who could not make it to Chicago, please join me this Thursday, May 9, at 4:00 PM EDT for a recap of the highlights. You'll find call in information later in this newsletter.


Last weekend we hosted over 200 students, teachers, parents and council leaders for our annual Academic WorldQuest National Competition in Washington, DC. The event was full of competitive spirit, and the team from Plano West Senior High School walked away with the winning title. This makes the third straight year that the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth has claimed victory. David Rothkopf, editor of Foreign Policy magazine, educated and entertained the crowd as moderator. Our pro bono communications sponsor, Weber Shandwick, shared the event via social media. And our Friday night program included three successful young professionals working in foreign policy-related careers in DC, who offered insights and learning experiences to help students with career goals. Thanks to all teams and volunteers for making the event a success.


The weekend prior, we had a successful gathering at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations for our 1918 Society members, which all began with a reception at the Manhattan home of WACA National Board Vice Chair Alex Lari. The day continued on Monday with a visit to the Korean Mission and a series of short discussions with members of the U.S. Mission staff, including Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo. We are already talking about the next 1918 Society gathering, and hope that you will consider becoming a member so you can join us.  


You may have noticed in last week's digest that we have a new partnership with the Wilson Center in DC to share their CONTEXT series with our network. These short, pithy videos are great to use in schools and council programs. We hope you'll make use of them in your communities.


Thank you again for your ongoing commitment to our network. I hope to speak with many of you on Thursday.

Best regards,


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

News from the National Office

Spring Leadership Meeting in Chicago

The 2013 Spring Leadership Meeting is being held today, Monday, May 6 in Chicago. The meeting is taking place at the University Club of Chicago, located in the heart of downtown Chicago across from the world-renowned Millennium Park. Topics of discussion include fundraising, marketing, and engaging millennials. 


Below: Council leaders and staff at the University Club. (Photo credit: Patrick Ryan of the Tennessee World Affairs Council) 

Spring Leadership Meeting Recap

We will host a conference call on Thursday, May 9 at 4:00 PM EDT summarizing the discussions from the Spring Leadership Meeting in Chicago. The call-in details are as follows:


Thursday, May 9, 4:00 PM EDT

Dial-in: 1-218-895-7963

Access code: 1918


CONTEXT: Partnership with the Wilson Center

We are excited to announce CONTEXT, a new partnership with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Every week, the Wilson Center interviews experts on pressing foreign policy and national security issues. Each interview is split up into short clips packing the vital information one needs to know. 


Check out the latest CONTEXT, Keeping the Lights On: Cyber Threats and the North American Power Grid, featuring Mark Fabro, President and Chief Security Scientist for Lofty Perch.



Attempted cyber attacks on critical infrastructure occur daily throughout the world. And the job of protecting critical infrastructure from potentially catastrophic disruptions is a 24-7 undertaking.  Leading cyber security expert Mark Fabro discusses the U.S. and Canadian efforts to protect the North American power grid.


Academic WorldQuest National Competition 

We are a little over a week removed from the 2013 Academic WorldQuest National Competition, but still feeling good about the great weekend. Congratulations to all teams, coaches, parents, and councils who attended. Check out our Facebook page and like us. Photos from the weekend will be posted over the next few days. Special congratulations to the winning teams:



National Champion
Plano West Senior High School 
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth 
Jeffrey Chang, Jonathan Huang, Samuel Cheng, Carlos Molina, and coach John Scott 


Second Place
Community School of Naples 
Naples Council on World Affairs 
Max Bressler, Mark McElwaine, Kara Bressler, Jose Sandoval, and coach Ruth Wahl 


Third Place
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 
World Affairs Council of Greater Richmond 
Christopher Benos, Christine Gao, John Metz, Matthew King, alternate Kevin Yuan, and coach Brenda Ericson 


The weekend got off to a great start with the evening panel, From Graduation to DC: Paths to a Career in Foreign Policy featuring Kelsey Hartigan, Program Officer, International Program, Nuclear Threat Initiative; Adam Johnson, English Language Officer, International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State, and Associate Director, External Relations, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy; Jackie Quinones, Africa Expert, Democratic Staff, House Foreign Affairs Committee; and moderator Bill Clifford, President & CEO, WorldBoston. An evening reception followed.
The World Affairs Councils of America thanks its sponsors ExxonMobil, who has been a long-standing sponsor of the Academic WorldQuest National Competition; supporting sponsors Merrill Lynch - Mr. Michael Phillip, New Mind Education, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State; and Gallup Education, who is offering each student of the winning team a free subscription to their Gallup WorldView tool, which provides access to all data from their World Poll. WACA also thanks Georgetown University for hosting receptions for the Academic WorldQuest competitors, to moderator David Rothkopf and Foreign Policy, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and to Weber Shandwick for acting as communications sponsor. 


Not My Life Programs Underway

Our newest national program series focusing on human trafficking and modern-day slavery is underway. The program features screenings of the documentary film Not My Life by Robert Bilheimer and Worldwide Documentaries at over 35 World Affairs Councils. The program is made possible by a generous grant from Carlson & The Carlson Family FoundationClick here to see the participating councils. This month's events include:


May 17 -- World Affairs Council of New Hampshire


May 22 -- San Diego World Affairs Council


Apply Now: Future of Korea

KEIWe are pleased to announce continued collaboration with the Korea Economic Institute of America on the Future of Korea program series. The speaker program focuses on the economic and political situation on the Korean Peninsula as well as U.S.-Korea relations. 
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. Visit our website to learn more. 


All councils may submit expressions of interest; up to eight councils will be selected to participate. Councils interested in hosting need to send a completed Application Form to Althea Georgantas at by Wednesday, May 15.
The 2012-2013 Future of Korea program has two events in May:

May 9 -- World Affairs Council of San Antonio

May 16 -- World Affairs Council of Kentucky and S. Indiana
Hot Topics Conference Call on North Korea Recording
We hosted a Hot Topics Conference Call on Wednesday, April 24 with Dr. Abraham Kim, Vice President of KEI and speaker for the Future of Korea program. Dr. Kim will addressed the ongoing situation in North Korea and what the future looks like of U.S.-North Korean relations. The call was moderated by our President & CEO, Todd Culpepper.



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:


May 8 -- World Affairs Council of New Hampshire


May 16 -- Peoria Area World Affairs Council


May 23 -- Santa Fe Council on International Relations


From the Cuban Missile Crisis to Iran

Carnegie Logo 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

May 20 -- Vermont Council on World Affairs
World Affairs Councils in the News

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

Plano West wins national academic title -- The Dallas Morning News 


World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio

Perrysburg Junior High students enjoy visit from Hungarian students -- The Blade


World Affairs Council of San Antonio

Mexico immigration factors are changing -- San Antonio Express-News


Juneau World Affairs Council

Alice Rogoff Pushes For Changes In Arctic -- Alaska Public Media 


Alaska World Affairs Council 

Seizing the opportunity -- Petroleum News 


World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Vibrant Pittsburgh welcomes newcomers with open hearts and home cooking -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  


Windham World Affairs Council

Exchanging our cultures and customs -- The Commons 


World Affairs Council of Houston

Helping Bring Brazil to Classrooms through the Houston International Festival Teacher´┐Ż€™s Curriculum Guide -- KHOU-TV 


International Relations Council Kansas City

Academic WorldQuest Champions -- WDAF-TV


World Affairs Forum

Wilton High School students to compete in world affairs forum in DC -- Wilton Villager 


Montana World Affairs Council

Former Afghanistan ambassador to U.S. says country fragile, future uncertain -- The Missoulian  


World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

Beaufort High team faces national test in Washington this weekend -- The Island Packet 


World Affairs Council of Northern California

Google's Schmidt Warns of Governments Restricting Online Freedom -- Bloomberg Businessweek

What's Happening in the Network 

There are over 100 World Affairs Council events across the country scheduled in May! 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

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.

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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