December 13, 2019
WACA 2020 Engage America :
World Food Program USA Speaker Series
Grant Announcement
Applications Due by Friday, January 17
The World Affairs Councils of America is excited and proud to partner with the World Food Program USA (WFP USA) for a WACA Engage America Speaker Series in 2020!

World Food Program USA is a non-profit that supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the leading humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. By mobilizing individuals, lawmakers and businesses in the U.S. to advance the global movement to end hunger, WFP USA bolsters an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world.

We launched our partnership at the WACA 2019 National Conference in early November, with keynote remarks by Phil Karsting, Vice President of Policy at WFP USA (then interim CEO), and a distinguished panel on Climate Change and Food Insecurity.
Phil Karsting, Susan Schram (moderator), Melissa Ho of World Wildlife Fund U.S., and Kimberly Flowers of CSIS
at the WACA 2019 National Conference on November 7, 2019

Opportunity for World Affairs Councils

Now, it's your turn! We invite applications from World Affairs Councils to participate in WACA’s 2020 World Food Program USA grant-funded speaker series.

For this project, WACA will arrange for WFP USA decision makers and policy experts to discuss with Council audiences across the country some of the most pressing issues dealing with global hunger and the international environment.

Eight (8) Councils will be selected to participate in this Engage America series.

Vision: Dialogue, Experience, and Exchange

WACA and WFP USA aim to engage the public and leading global voices to better understand the problem of global hunger, how WFP is working to solve it, and America’s role in humanitarian relief. 

Goals: Themes and Audiences

Expert speakers from both WFP and WFP USA will convey a multi-faceted, modern perspective on global hunger: the world’s most solvable problem. This comprehensive and collaborative initiative is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of issues related to WFP’s work and its priorities. These include climate change and food security, emergency response to today’s most urgent crises, hunger and conflict, global trends in hunger and innovations in humanitarian aid.
Potential Speaker Profiles:
Barron Segar
" The High Stakes of Child Hunger"
Phil Karsting
Vice President, Policy, WFP USA
" Global Hunger Snapshot 2020"
Corrine Fleischer
Syria Country Director, WFP
" Hunger and Displacement"
More potential speakers and topics: See a detailed list here.

  • Stephen Anderson, Yemen Country Director, WFP, "Humanitarian Aid in the Face of Ongoing Civil War"

  • Sarah Gordon-Gibson, Jordan Country Director, WFP, "Hunger and Displacement" and "How Innovation Is Transforming Food Aid"

  • Eddie Rowe, Zimbabwe Country Director, WFP, "Climate and the Hunger Crisis"

  • Pierre Honnorat, Haiti Country Director, WFP, "A Nation on the Brink" and "Climate and the Hunger Crisis"

  • Matthew Hollingworth, South Sudan Country Director, WFP, "The Triple Threat of Climate Change, Conflict, and Hunger"

  • Chase Sova, Senior Director of Public Policy, WFP USA, and Jessamyn Sarmiento, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, WFP USA, "America's Involvement in Global Hunger Relief," "A Snapshot of Global Hunger in 2020," and "Global Trends in Hunger"

Who May Apply

Proposals are welcome from any Council organization in the WACA network in good standing. While this WACA project is primarily conceived as a speaker series, applicants are welcome to be creative (think: workshop; exhibition or film screening; school visit) so long as proposals inspire dialogue and exchange in ways that expand the knowledge of the community.
The primary deliverable of the WACA Engage America : World Food Program USA 2020 Speaker Series will be a forum, open to the public, for at least 75 attendees. Councils should also provide ancillary opportunities to engage, such as smaller roundtables or briefings for specific groups, as well as school visits. Formats and venues should be designed to encourage dialogue and exchange, with an emphasis on reaching populations not usually brought into these conversations. Civic venues, libraries, community centers, places of worship, universities, community colleges, and public schools would all be desirable locations for events. Additionally, the overall impact of these events would be amplified by local radio or television affiliate interviews, as well as the placement of newspaper articles and op-eds.
Funding and Costs

WACA will provide 8 Councils with $5,000, depending on the nature and scope of the program. The grant should cover venue, A/V, food & beverage, promotions, and speaker travel and accommodation costs. Reimbursement will be made within 30 days of the Council’s final program report to WACA.

While a Council's main event may be ticketed, it must be advertised as open to the public, not just Council members.


  • WACA and World Food Program USA logos must be present in all materials and on all online sites in conjunction with the event(s), according to instructions provided to approved Councils.

  • Any materials, including photos, video, publicity, and printed materials, developed as part of the project or in support of the efforts, should be made available to WACA at the time of final reporting and must contain the WACA and World Food Program USA logos.

Application Form

Please click here to download the Application Form and email back to Rachel Pastor at when complete. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Liz Brailsford at the WACA National Office (202-833-4557 or

Proposals are due Friday, January 17, to Rachel Pastor at, by the close of business ET. Depending on the interest of Councils and our funders, WACA reserves the right to extend or re-open the application process.

We look forward to your applications!
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