February 21, 2017
President's Message
America's Diplomats Program Series
WACA Podcast
WACA 2017 National Conference
AWQ 2016-2017
World Affairs Councils Highlights
Travel the World
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President's Message

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 
For the past month, everyone - world leaders, U.S. elected representatives and government agencies, companies and nonprofit organizations, the media and academia, and private citizens as well as those who would visit our country - has been trying to find firm footing as the Trump Era dawns. 

This is true of the White House itself, which appears to be recovering from early controversies at the National Security Agency, where the president has appointed the highly respected Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new top adviser.

And it is true for WACA, and for me, too. In my Jan. 30 introduction to our monthly newsletter, I made a few observations and took one position. The position - that WACA "stands in solidarity with a free and independent press" - I believe is noncontroversial and essential.

Of all the excellent commentary in recent weeks on the proper role of media in our democracy, one in particular stands out: the Wall Street Journal's foreign-affairs columnist Bret Stephens delivered the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture last week at UCLA (the full transcript was published by TIME). It is sensitive, thoughtful, and personal. Full disclosure: WACA hosted Mr. Stephens for a Cover to Cover author call in December 2014 to discuss his book, America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder. While I often disagree with his columns, I read them with respect because they consistently challenge my assumptions and invite reflection and learning.

The primary intention of my letter was to encourage Councils to continue to stimulate public dialogue and learning opportunities with the forums you convene. I made a serious effort to support my observations with more than 25 diverse sources that I thought could be helpful to Councils, linking to a range of voices specifically to uphold the nonpartisanship that we all hold dear.

While feedback in e-mails and from some 35 Council leaders, staff, and local Board members who attended WACA's Feb. 9 breakfast meeting at the Global Ties U.S. annual meeting was broadly supportive, a few leaders wrote to sharply criticize the letter. I accept and regret that the note's tone caused misunderstandings.

My aim has always been to serve Councils so that they can be maximally inclusive, and enable WACA and the Council network to provide as wide a tent as possible for sharing local, national, and global perspectives. The WACA national office and I remain so dedicated.

Many Councils tell us that they are still finding their own footing when it comes to the issue of nonpartisanship, and to what constitutes permissible advocacy. Thanks to our discussion at Global Ties and subsequent research, I will offer several resources in our monthly newsletter next Monday. I look forward to continuing the conversation.


Bill Clifford, President and CEO
America's Diplomats: Applications Due February 24

The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce our renewed collaboration with the American Academy of Diplomacy on a program series entitled America's Diplomats. The program features a screening of the PBS film America's Diplomats followed by a discussion of the role of U.S. diplomacy with a distinguished former ambassador. 

Additional discussions following the film will focus on examining and analyzing what the American public wants to know about foreign policy, what they expect from foreign policy, and what makes people comfortable or uncomfortable with the conduct of American foreign policy. 

The Academy will make available a former ambassador to speak on the importance of contemporary American diplomacy. The event will include a Q&A session with Council audiences. 

The America's Diplomats program will be conducted through June 2017. The 2017 program Application Form 
is due by February 24, 2017 . Find application details here.
WACA Podcast: David Biello 

WACA's February Cover to Cover call featured author David Biello, TED's new science curator on his book The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age. Bill Clifford, President and CEO of the World Affairs Councils of America, moderated the call. 

Listen to the podcast here
WACA 2017 National Conference 

Save the Date!

WACA's 2017 National Conference  will be held on November 15-17 
at the  Capital Hilton

For more than two decades, the World Affairs Councils of America's annual conference has presented top government officials, diplomats, business executives, civic leaders, think tank policy experts and journalists to a national audience. Council leaders and members from WACA's affiliates across the country engage with these speakers and thought leaders over the course of three stimulating days in our nation's capital. The 2016 event was great, and we look forward to welcoming you back this November!
Academic WorldQuest 2016-2017

This year's  AWQ Study Guide , is now available, along with complete information about the Carlos and MalĂș Alvarez 2017 Academic WorldQuest  National Competition.  

The  Carlos and Malu Alvarez 2017 Academic WorldQuest National Competition  will be held on  Saturday, April 29,  at the  National Press Club  in  Washington, DC .

This year's National Competition will feature a welcome reception at the  United States Institute of Peace , on  Friday, April 28, at 4:30-6:00 PM.  For Topics, Study Guide, and other information click  here

Registration for the AWQ National Competition has started.  Teams  must complete this Registration Form as soon as possible in order to participate.  Registration forms are due no later than March 20! 

Please see the 2017 Program Schedule and stay tuned for updates. 

Hotel Reservations:  
To utilize our special hotel rates, book your room now at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center (775 12th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005)For reservations click here . Book now! These discounted rates expire March 30

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors: 
World Affairs Councils Highlights
Monday, February 20

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan's Great Decisions lecture series featured Jack Segal, former diplomat and co-chairman of the International Affairs Forum (Traverse City), on "Nuclear Insecurity: Next Steps?" Details

Naples Council on World Affairs hosted David Rohde, national security investigations editor at Reuters and a CNN contributor, on "Inside the Strained U.S.-Saudi Alliance" Details

Richmond World Affairs Council hosted William L. Murray, senior public policy and electric policy director for Dominion, on "21st Century Energy Policy" Details

Tuesday, February 21
Cleveland Council on World Affairs hosts WACA Conference keynoter Evans Revere, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for East Asia Policy Studies and senior advisor with the Albright Stonebridge Group, on "The Future of U.S. and North Korea Relationship" Details

WorldBoston hosts Arthur R. Kroeber, nonresident senior fellow at Brookings-Tsinghua Center, on "China in the Time of Trump" Details

World Affairs Council of Palm Beach hosts Frank Cilluffo, Associate Vice President and Director of the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University, on "U.S. and Global Cybersecurity" Details

Indiana Council on World Affairs hosts Dr. Ana Maria Ferreira, professor of Spanish in the Global Language and Cross-Cultural Studies Department at the University of Indianapolis, on "Latin America's Political Pendulum" Details

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Dr. Jagdish Sheth, professor in the Goizueta School at the Emory University, on "India in 10 Years: A Progress Report" Details

World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana hosts Firas Hamza, senior digital transformation advisor at Microsoft, and Djenita Pasic, business attorney, on "Voices from Refugees Through the Decades" Details

World Affairs Council of Western North Carolina hosts a Great Decisions lecture series featuring Rick Devereaux, career Air Force officer, on "Nuclear Security" Details

World Affairs Council of Rhode Island hosts Dr. Timmons Roberts, Professor and director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Brown University, on "Global Progress in Cooling a Warming Earth" Details

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth host Geneive Abdo, senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East with the Atlantic Council, on "Rebirth of the Shi'a-Sunni Divide" Details

Colorado Foothills World Affairs Council hosts Laura Secor, author of Children of Paradise, on "The Struggle for the Soul of Iran" Details 

Wednesday, February 22

World Affairs Council of Orange County hosts Congressman Adam Schiff, representative of California's 28th Congressional District and top Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, on "The Russian Threat to the U.S. and the Democracies around the World" Details

World Affairs Council of Charlotte hosts Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America and co-chairman of the January 2017 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on "U.S. Economic Growth and the Global Economy" Details

WorldDenver hosts Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water for People; Paula Macllwaine, Deputy CEO of American Water Works Association; Katy Sill, water and sanitation advisor in the USAID Water Office in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment; and Dr. Marshall Davert, President of MWH, Government and Infrastructure for the Americas and Asia Pacific, on "UN Sustainable Development Goals: Clean Water and Sanitation" Details

World Affairs Council of Washington - DC hosts Dr. Robert Barrett, expert with the Middle East Institute, and a Senior Fellow with the Joint Special Operations University and the Air Force Special Operations School, on "The Gulf and the Struggle for Hegemony" Details

Global Minnesota hosts Michael Shifter, President of Inter-American Dialogue, on "Latin America: Prospects for Peace and Progress" Details

Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council hosts Danielle McDonald, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Northern Kentucky University, on "Is Justice Blind? Race, Class, and Our Criminal Justice System" Details

World Affairs Council of Northern California hosts James Russell, Associate Professor at the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, on "Saudi Arabia: Can It Survive as a Nation-State?" Details

World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Jennifer Harris, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, on "War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft" Details 

W orld Affairs Council of Jacksonville hosts Jeremy Siegel, Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, on "What's Ahead for Global Markets and the Economy?" Details  

World Affairs Council of Tacoma hosts John Wiesman, Secretary of Health in the Washington State Department of Health; Dr. David Reyes, Assistant Professor in the Nursing and Healthcare Leadership Program at the University of Washington Tacoma; and Janna Bardi, Assistant Secretary at the Prevention and Community Health Division at the Washington State Department of Health, on "Global Health" Details

Thursday, February 23
World Affairs Council of New Hampshire hosts Fernandez-Arias, Spanish diplomat and fellow at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, on "Examining Xenophobia: How Will the International Community Protect Human Rights and Promote Tolerance?" Details

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh hosts Steve Orosz, former Deputy Assistant Secretary General with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, on "Current Challenges Facing NATO" Details

World Affairs Council of Sonoma County hosts George Rutherford, a board-certified pediatrician and an expert on epidemiology and control of communicable diseases, on "Zika Virus in the Americas: Return of the Columbian Exchange" Details

Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts Siegfried Hecker professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, on "Nuclear North Korea and Lessons for the Iran Deal" Details

The North County Chapter at the San Diego World Affairs Council, hosts Reverend Daren Erisman, expert on Christian-Muslim relationships, on "The One and the Many: The Challenge of Unity and Diversity within Islam" Details

World Affairs Council of Northern California hosts Donald Sharpes, Professor in the Emeritus College at Arizona State University, on "ISIS: The Collapse of a Caliphate" Details

Montana World Affairs Council hosts Hayley Smith, founder of Lifting Hands International, on "Refugee Crisis: A Discussion of Global Importance" Details

Institute of World Affairs (Milwaukee) hosts Alex Bozmoski, director of strategy and operations at republicEN, and Michael Vickerman program and policy director at Renew Wisconsin, on "Change of Climate: Energy Policy and the Environment" Details

Friday, February 24:

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Elliot Ackerman, author and journalist, on his book "Syria: Dark at the Crossing" Details
Travel the World from WAC Philadelphia

Travel with Council Leaders - hear them lecture on Travel the World tours from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia!
Joyce M. Davis, President, World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, Journey to Southern Africa:  February 26 - March 13.

Contact  www.wacphila.org/travel or call 1-800-942-5004, extension 209 or 217.

The World Affairs Councils of America 

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

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

Email waca@worldaffairscouncils.org Website www.worldaffairscouncils.org