September 14, 2020
WACA Weekly
New Speakers for WACA CEO Forum; Star Speakers on Council Webinars; WACA Webinar: International Labour Organization; WACA 2020 National Conference Dates; The American Diplomacy Project Video; Global Minnesota: World Food Program USA; + more Council Highlights!
Registration Is Now Live for Conversations With The C-Suite!

WACA will host an all-virtual conference September 29-October 1: Conversations With The C-Suite: Powering Global Recovery and Change. Registration is now open - view the official website. This event is free and open to the public. If you are able, please support WACA for the work that went into producing this special forum with a tax-deductible donation with your ticket order.

How will U.S. and international business leaders rise to these urgent challenges? Will they reimagine the role they play in addressing social problems by transforming companies and industries to contribute to social progress? How will redesigned workforces innovate and use technology to create a healthier, sustainable post COVID-world?
Star Speakers This Week on Councils' Virtual Programming
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Former Press Secretary
U.S. White House
Cyndi Hunter
Director, Global Accounts
United Airlines
Julio Frenk
President, Univ. of Miami
Jeffrey Ried and Stephanie Garlichs, Co-Founders
Ethiopian Education Fund
Ambassador (ret.) Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley
Fmr. U.S. Amb. to Malta, CO Springs WAC - Thurs., Sept. 17
Eric Huang
Director-Gen., Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Chicago
*Scroll down to the Council Highlights section to view all programs from Councils this week!
WACA Webinar With the International Labour Organization - Sept. 22
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the founding vision and values that gave birth to the International Labour Organization (ILO) will be relevant more than ever as higher unemployment, rising poverty, inequalities, and injustice risk wiping out decades of development progress and threaten global peace and shared prosperity. On Tuesday, September 22, at 2:00 PM ET, Kevin Cassidy, Director of the ILO’s Office of the United States (ILO USA) and ILO Representative to the Bretton Woods and Multilateral Organizations, will be hosted by WACA for "A Human-Centered Approach to Building A Better Future of Work."

This WACA Fireside Chat webinar will be moderated by Liz Brailsford, WACA Chief Operating Officer, and will discuss this United Nations agency and its work as a social justice organization focused on ensuring a human-centered approach to the world of work. Mr. Cassidy will discuss how the ILO plans to support a better future of work, by enabling constituents and partners to:
  • strengthen the capacity of all countries to rebuild a skilled and resilient workforce and ensure universal access to comprehensive and sustainable social protection;
  • generate a pathway of inclusive and sustainable growth, employment, and decent work including through an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises and increased productivity; and
  • strengthen institutions of work to improve governance of the post-pandemic world of work for better protection for all workers.

Register here for the Zoom webinar! You will receive your access link the morning of the webinar.
Save the Dates! WACA 2020 National Conference: November 16-20
WACA will host its annual National Conference on November 16-20, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 National Conference: New Frontiers in Diplomacy and National Security will be held virtually via Zoom webinars.

Keep checking WACA newsletters and the National Conference page on the WACA website for all 2020 Conference announcements regarding topics, speakers, working agenda, and other important information. We look forward to "seeing" you in 2020!
WACA Webinar on The American Diplomacy Project
The World Affairs Councils of America hosted a webinar Thursday, September 10, to discuss a new initiative from the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The discussion featured a panel with Ambassador Marc Grossman, Vice Chairman of the Cohen Group and former WACA Chairman, Amb. Nancy McEldowney, Professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and Ambassador Marcie Ries, Senior Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project, and moderated by WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford.

The American Diplomacy Project: A Foreign Service for the 21st Century intends to address the serious challenges the Foreign Service has faced during administrations of both parties, including: inadequate budgetary support to train and sustain the nation’s diplomats, increased politicization of the Foreign Service, and the need to recruit and retain the very best women and men from every part of the country and every ethnic and religious group.

The goal of this project is to produce a nonpartisan report on how the White House, both parties in Congress, the State Department leadership, and concerned citizens can lead an effort to rebuild the Foreign Service for the next half-century. The report will be released following the November U.S. presidential election.

If you weren't able to join the live event, view the recording here or on WACA's YouTube channel (below).
For more information about The American Diplomacy Project, please contact Ambassador Ries at

Council Promotional Partner: Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall
Access to nutritious food is considered a key social determinant of health and well-being. Without nutritious food rich in the vitamins needed for healthy growth and development, people can run the risk of developing chronic illness. Limited access to nutritious foods can also exacerbate issues like how well children are able to focus in school. Access can also be a problem in low-income neighborhoods, sometimes referred to as food deserts, where grocery stores with fresh produce and nutritious options are limited or nonexistent.

Join the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia for a discussion on Wednesday, September 30, at 6:00 PM ET, with a panel of experts to learn about food security as a social determinant of health and what we can do to create a more food-secure world.
Global Minnesota Hosts World Food Day Events - Sept. 16 and Oct. 16
Global Minnesota is a 2020 World Food Program USA Virtual Speaker Series grant recipient as part of WACA's Engage America grant series. The Council will host a full day of programming on World Food Day, Friday, October 16. A pre-World Food Day event on "Food Security and Foreign Policy" will be held Wednesday, September, 16, featuring the following panelists:

  • Asma Lateef, Director, Bread for the World Institute
  • Rob Paarlberg, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Caitlin Welsh, Dir., Global Food Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Click here for more information, panelist additions, and registration information.
Los Angeles WAC&TH 2020 Election Series: Fiona Hill
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall is presenting its 2020 Election Series online. WACA is proud to be a Community Partner for this virtual seven-part series.

Weekly webinars will focus on different aspects of the November election, from voter demographics to campaign strategies to the candidates’ public and foreign policy platforms, and more. Also, the Council will be hosting a program for Los Angeles public high schools to learn about being a young voter and the importance of leadership skills and civic engagement.
This week, Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow in the Center on U.S. and Europe at the Brookings Institution, will discuss “Foreign Interference in the 2020 Elections.” Dr. Hill, who testified in the presidential impeachment inquiry last year, will discuss foreign interference in U.S. elections, Russia’s relations with the West, and President Vladimir Putin with moderator Robert Abernethy, Brookings Trustee, and Vice Chairman of the Atlantic Council, on Wednesday, September 16, at 2:00 PM ET (11:00 AM PT).
IRC (Kansas City) Choices Series: Erik Brattberg
In the 8 weeks leading up to the November 2020 presidential election, the International Relations Council (Kansas City) will host high-level speakers for "Choices: Foreign Policy in the 2020 Election." The 2020 presidential election will present the American people with consequential choices around international challenges and the future of U.S. foreign policy. Rather than advocate a particular approach or outcome, the nonpartisan Choices series will serve to inform voters through a presentation of historical context and a detailed examination of the foreign policy platforms of the major-party candidates.
This week, Erik Brattberg, Director of the Europe Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will discuss “The Transatlantic Relationship,” on Tuesday, September 15, at 7:30 PM ET (6:30 PM CT).

Please reach out to IRC Executive Director Matthew Hughes at with any questions.
Welcome to Our New Fall Interns!
Renuka Joshi
New York University, B.A.
Suha Hirani
University of California, Berkeley, B.A.
The National Office welcomed two new fall interns last week, who support WACA's work with the Council Network and assist us in planning for the 2020 National Conference and the 2021 Academic WorldQuest season. Since the WACA National Office continues to telework, our interns will be assisting us virtually. Read more about Renuka and Suha here.
Start a Local Academic WorldQuest Program This Season!
WACA encourages all Councils to host a local Academic WorldQuest program for high school students in your area. Please read WACA's 2021 Operations Paper to learn more about launching an AWQ competition. Additionally, please use these materials to promote the AWQ program to teachers, students, and sponsors for the 2020-2021 AWQ season: Teacher's Guide and AWQ Flyer. There is no minimum or maximum number of teams that are required for local AWQ competitions, and WACA encourages Councils to engage as many regional high schools as possible.

AWQ is WACA's flagship youth education program, now in its 19th year. WACA has expanded the program to some 50 Councils that host local AWQ competitions annually that engage nearly 5,000 high school students nationwide. The program culminates in the Carlos and Malú Alvarez Academic WorldQuest National Competition each spring in Washington, DC (a virtual National Competition is being considered for 2021). Too many American students today fall behind their counterparts from other countries in their knowledge and understanding of world history, geography, and current international events. The mission of Academic WorldQuest is to close the gap. Learn more here.
WACA Partners With PBS - Harbor from the Holocaust Preview and Panel
WQEDCorporation for Public Broadcasting, and the World Affairs Councils of America hosted a very special event featuring a sneak preview of the PBS Special Harbor from the Holocaust September 2. The documentary explores the extraordinary relationship of nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees and their adopted city of Shanghai.

A panel discussion with film director Violet FengDoris FogelManli Ho, and moderated by WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford followed the film clip. For those of you who were unable to tune into the sneak preview event and panel, you can watch the recording here using the password: CPBpbsHARBOR.
FPA Publishes America in the World 2020 - GD Special Edition
The Foreign Policy Association published America in the World 2020 - a 2020 Great Decisions special edition - Friday, September 4.

During the 2016 American presidential election, charges were leveled that foreign policy had become the preserve of specialized elites removed from the concerns of Americans outside the Beltway and Wall Street. Yet since 1918 the FPA and since 1919 the Hoover Institution have been at the forefront of encouraging informed public debate on vital international issues through dissemination of relevant and timely scholarship. We are delighted that FPA and Hoover have come together at this crucial juncture to stimulate public discussion over the path forward for America in a troubled world. Edited by FPA CEO Noel Lateef and Michael Auslin, Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution. Order a copy today.
WAC Pittsburgh Seeks a Development Officer

WAC Pittsburgh seeks a passionate and qualified individual to lead its development initiatives, seeking out meaningful partnerships from across sectors to support revenue generation and budget growth. Reporting directly to the President and CEO, the position’s primary responsibility is to support fundraising efforts, including individual giving, corporate sponsorships, foundation relations and grant writing, government funding, and special events. Apply here.
Monday 9/14

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former White House Press Secretary to discuss her book Speaking for Myself.

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh hosts The Honorable William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Tom Collina, Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, for “Rethinking U.S. Nuclear Policy and Response to Current Threats.”

Global Minnesota hosts Admiral (ret.) Michael Rogers, former U.S. Navy admiral, for “Ethical Leadership and Public Service.”

Colorado Foothills World Affairs Council hosts Inta Morris, Chief Operating Officer at the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and Mark Hallett, Senior Director of International Student and Scholar Services at Colorado State University, for “Foreign Student Contribution to Higher Education and the Impact of COVID-19.”

Global Minnesota hosts a panel of experts for “Opportunities for U.S. Businesses: Expo 2020 Dubai.”

Tuesday 9/15

Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts General (ret.) John Allen, President of the Brookings Institution, for “American Leadership in the 21st Century.”

WorldOregon hosts The Honorable William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Tom Collina, Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, for “The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump.”

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Nadia Theodore, Consul General of Canada in Atlanta, for “A Farewell Conversation.”

International Relations Council (Kansas City) hosts Erik Brattberg, Director of the Europe Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, for “Choices: The Transatlantic Relationship.”

Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts Karl Dean, former Mayor of Nashville, for “Global Nashville YPs of Nashville.”

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts David Rundell, former U.S. diplomat, to discuss his book Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads.

World Affairs Council of New Jersey hosts Board Members Niso Abuaf and Gerald Cohen, for a community forum on “COVID & the Economy.”

Wednesday 9/16

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Ambassador (ret.) Charles Shapiro, President of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, for “Tea in the Garden.”

World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Cyndi Hunter, Director of Global Accounts for United Airlines, for “An Insider’s Look: Returning to Flying - A New Approach to Safety.”

International Affairs Forum of Traverse City hosts Julio Frenk, President of the University of Miami, for “Grappling With Pandemics: Global Public Health Policy in the 21st Century.”

Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow in the Center on U.S. and Europe at the Brookings Institution, for “Foreign Interference in the 2020 Elections.”

World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts George Kanuck, Lowcountry Immigration Coalition Co-Chair, for “Immigration.”

World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana hosts Professor Angela Stent, Georgetown University, for “Putin’s World.”

World Affairs Council of Orange Country hosts Professor Thomas Fingar, Stanford University, and Professor Jean Oi, Stanford University, for “Fateful Decisions: China’s Domestic Challenges and their Implications for U.S./China Relations.”

World Affairs Council of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky and WorldDenver host journalist Donna Bryson for “It’s a Black-White Thing: Lessons Learned from Post-Apartheid South Africa.”

International Relations Council (Kansas City) hosts Assistant Professor Ignacio Carvajal, University of Kansas, for “Lexicon: K’iche’ Maya.”

Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council hosts author David Shimer to discuss his book, “Rigged: 100 Years of Covert Electoral Interference.”

Global Minnesota hosts a panel of experts for “Food Security and Foreign Policy.”

Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts a panel of experts for “Global News Review.”

World Affairs Council of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky hosts a panel of experts for “Food Security and Foreign Policy.”

Thursday 9/17

Olympia World Affairs Council hosts Jeffrey Ried and Stephanie Garlichs, Co-Founders of Ethiopian Education Fund, for “Ethiopia: How Ethnicity, Electricity, and COVID-19 Threaten Its Narrow Path to Peace.”

Colorado Springs World Affairs Council hosts Ambassador (ret.) Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, former U.S. Ambassador to Malta, for “Bombs, Elections, and Beauty Pageants: The Challenges and Joys of an Ordinary Diplomat.”

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan hosts H.E. Martha Bárcena Coqui, Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S., for “A Conversation With Her Excellency Martha Bárcena Coqui.”

Colorado Spring World Affairs Council hosts Ambassador (ret.) Thomas Krajeski, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen and the Kingdom of Bahrain, for “Diplomacy, the Key to America’s Global Role.”

Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts Ambassador (ret.) Marc Grossman, Vice Chairman of the Cohen Group, and Ambassador (ret.) John Limbert, former U.S. AMbassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, to discuss their book Believers: Love and Death in Tehran.

World Affairs (Northern California) hosts David Rundell, former Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, for “Shifting Priorities: U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East.”

Indiana Council on World Affairs hosts Eric Huang, Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago, for “Taiwan: An Enduring Partner With the U.S.

World Affairs Council of Rhode Island hosts Winifred Brownell, Dean Emerita at the University of Rhode Island, for “The Art of Communication in Domestic and Global Affairs.”

World Affairs Council of Charlotte hosts Marcus Jones, Charlotte City Manager, for “The Making of a Global City: International Business & Communities in Charlotte.”

World Affairs Council of Sonoma County hosts Keith McCormick, former U.S. diplomat, for “Good Morning, Mr. President -- Time for Your First Foreign Affairs Briefing.”

WorldOregon hosts associate Professor Christopher Nichols, Oregon State University, for “Further Lessons from the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919.”

Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Professor Dan Schnur, University of Southern California, for “Politics in the Time of Coronavirus.”

Worcester World Affairs Council hosts Assistant Professor Lisel Hintz, John Hopkins University, for “Turkey-U.S. Relationship Status in the Trump Era: It's Complicated.”

Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts Breck Walker, Board of Directors, for “Foreign Policy Challenges: Russia, North Korea, and Afghanistan.”

World Affairs Council of Seattle hosts a panel of experts for “The Civic Experience: Fake News and Social Media Disinformation.”

Peoria Area World Affairs Council hosts a panel of experts for “Wading Into Politics: A Panel Discussion of Key Issues Facing the U.S. and Central Illinois.”

Friday 9/18

World Affairs Council of Seattle hosts Gabrielle Fitzgerald, President and CEO of Panorama Global, and Ann Marie Kimball, Senior Consulting Fellow at the Chatham House Royal Institute of Foreign Affairs, for “A COVID-19 Update.”

Global Minnesota hosts a panel of experts for “What’s New in the New NAFTA?
WACA's National Speaker Database Needs You!
WACA is continuing to upgrade and expand our Speaker Database 2.0. In this new iteration, we have expanded our list of speakers and made it easier than ever for you, as Council staff and board members, to engage with it. We want your speakers! Please submit your speakers through the "Submit Your Speakers" button on our website.

You need to have an account through our website in order to view and interact with the database and submit your speakers. To check if you have an account, please visit your Council Member page on the WACA website and see if you are listed as a staff or board member. If you are not, you will not be able to interact with the database yet. If you do not have an account or are having issues accessing the website and/or the Speaker Database, please email Rachel Pastor.
Featured Speaker on Podcast

Listen now to WACA's August Cover to Cover program featuring Lesley Blume, award-winning journalist, historian, and New York Times bestselling author, on her new book Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-Up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World.
The World Affairs Councils of America is an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to engaging the public and leading global voices to better understand the world, America’s international role, and the policy choices that impact our daily lives and our future.

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With the passing of the CARES Act, most individual taxpayers will become eligible for significant tax benefits for charitable contributions made this year. Two of these benefits will be:

  • A $300 Above-the-Line Charitable deduction, meaning that individuals who do not itemize their deductions will be eligible to claim up to $300 of charitable deductions in 2020, on top of the standard deduction
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Click on the categories below to make a donation and view more information about the benefits of your contribution. We thank you for your support!
Access Council Virtual Programming via WACA's Members-Only Portal
WACA is busy preparing a number of additional resources for the Members-Only section! WACA strives to provide Councils with easy access to tools, guidelines, events, and more that add value to our Members both personally and professionally, to our Councils' overall operations, and to the Network as a whole. This is a top priority for the National Office, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. That is why we've added two resource sections dedicated to COVID-19 related information and digital programming available to the public by Councils.

The goal is to make the Members-Only section a one-stop shop for all Council needs. However, these sections are only as good as the information contained within, so we are calling on all Councils to please submit any documentation per the categories below, or any other information helpful to the Network.

The Members-Only section is a private benefit for our Council Members. Please contact Rachel Pastor at for login details and account creation.