Chairman's Letter; 2021 National Conference; Wunderbar Together 2021; Star Speakers; WorldQuest Weekly; Councils Are Hiring; Best Practices Postponed; Council Highlights; and More!
Chairman's Letter
Dear Council Leaders, Friends, and Supporters:
I hope you enjoyed a happy Fourth of July holiday weekend with your loved ones. Independence Day is a wonderful celebration of our nation’s birth 245 years ago. For many of us, this year’s Independence Day felt like a return to some sense of normalcy, but this is not so for the 600,000 fellow Americans who are no longer with us due to the pandemic and for their families. Members of our Council network are undoubtedly among those lost, a sobering reminder of the human toll of the last sixteen months.
As our nation re-opens, I am excited for the future of the World Affairs Councils of America and our partner Councils around the nation. The opportunity to return to gathering in person is one of many reasons for optimism. While WACA and Councils have delivered outstanding virtual programming since the pandemic began, I look forward to the opportunity to be together, to share a meal, and to engage in lively discussion. The 2021 National Conference, in celebrating the 35th year of WACA's founding, will be one such occasion. I hope you will join us November 16-19 in Washington for this very special anniversary year.
The extraordinary $10 million endowment gift of long-time WACA director Carlos Alvarez and his wife Malú, which was announced at the WACA Board meeting one week ago today, is yet another reason to be incredibly optimistic for the organization's future. Carlos and Malú’s gift is the largest charitable contribution in WACA’s 35-year history and will have a transformative impact on WACA and our ability to serve our nationwide Council network. Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez of San Antonio, Texas, have been outstanding supporters of WACA for over 20 years, including funding the Academic WorldQuest endowment as well as hundreds of student scholarships to attend WACA’s National Conference. I could not be more grateful to Carlos and Malú for their belief in WACA and our mission to serve the Council network and to educate, inspire, and engage the public in world affairs.
I am also tremendously appreciative of WACA CEO Bill Clifford and his team for all that they have accomplished over the last year. The year has been challenging in so many ways, but Bill’s steady leadership and indefatigable work ethic has brought us through a difficult year in solid shape.
WACA’s new fiscal year began officially on July 1. I am grateful to be supported by a terrific WACA National Board, whom I am pleased to introduce: 
Glenn M. Creamer, WACA Chairman
Mimi Gregory, WACA Vice-Chair (VP of Programs, Naples Council on World Affairs)
A. Alex Lari, WACA Vice-Chair (Chairman, The Claremont Group)
Charles J. Stout, WACA Treasurer (Senior Financial Advisor, DBR & CO.)
Karen Burghart, WACA Secretary (Executive Director, Colorado Springs World Affairs Council)
Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO (ex-officio)
Carlos Alvarez, Chief Executive Officer, The Gambrinus Company
Kim McCleary Blue, President and CEO, Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall
Mimi Burke, Senior Policy Advisor, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
José de Arimatéia da Cruz, PhD, President of the Board, Savannah Council on World Affairs
Michelle Harpenau, Executive Director, World Affairs Council of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
Matthew Hughes, Executive Director, International Relations Council (Kansas City)
Dr. Chuck Leonard, President of the Board, Montana World Affairs Council
Maryanne Maldonado, Chief Executive Officer, World Affairs Council of Greater Houston
Derrick Olsen, President, WorldOregon
Serge Tomassian, Managing Partner, Tomassian, Throckmorton, Inouye & Grigorian LLP
Megan Clark Torrey, Chief Executive Officer, Connecticut World Affairs Council
Mary Yntema, President and CEO, WorldBoston 
It's a privilege to work with these dedicated leaders, and indeed with all the talented executives, staff, and volunteers across our diverse and engaged Council network. At the same time, I want to thank our departing Directors who are completing their terms. They have been an invaluable resource to me and to WACA:
Sylvia Fields, Executive Director, Eden Hall Foundation
Stephen J. Petras, Jr., Board Director, Cleveland Council on World Affairs
Dr. Joan Apple Lemoine, Past Executive Director, WAC Hilton Head
Forough Hosseini, Senior Vice President, ICI Homes
Xiao Yin Zhao, Executive Director, WAC Kentucky and Southern Indiana
In closing, I hope you share my optimism for the future of WACA and our Council network. We have an exciting year ahead and the future is bright.
Thank you,
Glenn M. Creamer
WACA 2021 National Conference
November 16-19, 2021

One lucky individual will win a free Conference pass (covers registration fees only) for successfully naming the title of this year's event. Hint: be concise and capture this year's Conference theme - the domestic international connection.

Please submit one entry per person by Friday, July 9, at 2:00 PM ET. We will share the top three finalists to poll the network to determine the winner next Monday. Send your entry to Laura Duncan at

The World Affairs Councils of America is excited to welcome all of you to the WACA 2021 National Conference this November 16-19 at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

We look forward to celebrating WACA's 35th Anniversary in person at our signature national event! 
We are pleased to share that the hotel block is now open at the special rate of $284 / night plus tax (this rate applies to reservations as early as Nov. 14 and as late as Nov. 23). Given that the annual WACA Conference sells out early, we encourage you to book your room now!

Thanks to WACA's long-term contractual relationship with The Mayflower, we remind you to save the dates for the 2022 National Conference (November 15-18) and the 2023 National Conference (November 14-17). Be sure to mark your calendars!
Wunderbar Together 2021: Germany, the United States, and the Future of Democracy
Next week, under the auspices of Wunderbar Together 2021, the World Affairs Councils of America, the American Council on Germany, and Atlantik-Brücke will partner with World Affairs Councils across the country to hold a series of virtual events that will focus on challenges to democracy in Germany, Europe, and the United States. The experts will discuss the causes of this democratic malaise, analyze how serious these threats are, and examine what can be done to push back against those pressures – with a view to the exploration of how Europe and the U.S. can better collaborate on these issues.
Saving Democracy: Reinventing Institutions and Practices for the 21st Century
Monday, July 12, at 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET

Jan-Werner Müller
Professor of Politics, Princeton University
Author of Democracy Rules
Democracy is under attack. Rising populism, waning trust in democratic institutions and practices, and a period of unprecedented uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have strained democratic institutions.

Jan-Werner Müller will discuss his new book, Democracy Rules, which suggests that we need to re-invigorate the intermediary institutions that have been deemed essential for democracy’s success: political parties and free media.
Democracies in Distress: Europe and the United States
Tuesday, July 13, at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET

Anne Applebaum
Staff Writer
The Atlantic

Dr. David Deißner
Executive Director
On both sides of the Atlantic, popular confidence in political institutions has fallen and voters are increasingly disenchanted with mainstream political parties. What are some of the causes of these trends and what can be done to address them?
Star Speakers
Amb. Nestor Forster Jr.
U.S. Ambassador to Brazil
Gail Kennard, President of Kennard Design Group, & Ken Bernstein, Principal City Planner
Amb. Kenneth Juster
Fmr. U.S. Ambassador to India
WorldQuest Weekly Quiz
This week's WACA WorldQuest Weekly is out! Test your weekly global affairs awareness and dive into news stories that represent a broad spectrum of developments of interest and importance. Most of the quiz questions are drawn from both WACA's Weekly World News Update, every Wednesday, and a curated news Twitter feed @TNWAC #WACquiz.

In partnership with WACA, WorldQuest Weekly is produced by the Tennessee World Affairs Council, which offers customized subscriptions to the quiz for Council members. Contact or visit for details.
Last Week's Winners: 1st Place: Ron Zipfel (Peoria, IL); 2nd Place: Clarice Collins (Indianapolis, IN) & Cathy Dopp (Grand Rapids, MI). Congratulations!
Call for Academic WorldQuest Task Force Members
WACA is seeking volunteers to join the Academic WorldQuest (AWQ) Task Force for the 2021-2022 year. Planning for the coming AWQ competition begins this summer. Duties include helping identify topic categories, preparing the study guide, writing and/or reviewing questions, and assisting with program development. The task force is open to Council staff, volunteers, and board members. Please highlight professional educational experience if any. Contact Laura Duncan at to express interest.
Member Councils Are Hiring!
Cleveland Council on World Affairs is hiring for four positions: Manager of Programming; Program Associate, Student Programs; Program Associate, International Exchanges; & Office Coordinator. Learn more.
Connecticut World Affairs Council is hiring for a Programs and Outreach Associate and a Global Security Forum Conference Planner Consultant. Learn more.
World Affairs Council of Seattle is hiring a Program Officer, Community Programs. Learn more.
Vermont Council on World Affairs is hiring for an Education Programs VISTA. Learn more.
WACA Best Practices: Organizational Mergers
Originally scheduled for Thursday, July 8, at 3:00 PM ET, WACA must postpone this Best Practices Session for the Fall. The newly scheduled date and time will be released once confirmed.

The next WACA Best Practices will take place on Thursday, September 30, 3:00 PM ET on the topic of Boards, Governance, and Volunteers.
All programs below are accessible online unless otherwise indicated.
Tuesday 7/6 

World Affairs Council of the Desert hosts Alex Chow, social activist, for “The Current Political Situation in Hong Kong.” 

Thursday 7/8 

Global Minnesota hosts Ambassador Nestor Forster Jr., Ambassador of Brazil to the U.S., for “Brazil and the United States: Bilateral Relations and Trade Opportunities.”  

Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Ken Bernstein, Los Angeles Department of City Planning and Principal City Planner, and Gail Kennard, President for Kennard Design Group, for “Preserving Los Angeles: How Historic Places Can Transform America’s Cities.” 

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Ambassador (ret.) Kenneth Juster, former U.S. Ambassador to India, for “India Rising.” 

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosts Steve Tsang, Director of the SOAS China Institute at the University of London, for “China, Hong Kong, and the Future of Democracy.” 

Global Ties Arizona hosts Jennifer Burge, Founder and CEO of WorldWise Coaching and Training, for “Destination Series: Australia & New Zealand.” 

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Geoffrey Cain, journalist and author, to discuss his book, The Perfect Police State: An Undercover Odyssey into China's Terrifying Surveillance Dystopia of the Future

San Diego World Affairs Council and World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California hosts Daniel Miller, retired Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development, for “A Cowboy in Mongolia - In Search of the Sacred in the Steppes.”