April 6, 2020
April Newsletter
President's Letter; Wednesday's All-Volunteer Council Leaders Call; Cover to Cover on China's Geopolitics, and Upcoming Programs; Councils of the Month; WACA's Members-Only Section: Network Resources; WAC Philly's Snyder to Step Down as CEO; COVID-19 Resources; + more Council News!
Dear Council Leaders, Supporters, and Friends:

As the U.S. braces for the most challenging week in the grim coronavirus pandemic's trajectory thus far - perhaps the "peak" week if social distancing guidelines continue to be followed - the WACA National Office has made a couple of very difficult decisions. Both were taken in consultation with the full WACA National Board and Council leaders last week, following surveys to the Network.

First, we regret to announce that the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020 Academic WorldQuest National Competition will not take place - either in person or virtually - on April 24-25. Nor will this perennially outstanding event be postponed till later in the school year. For safety and logistical reasons, we had ultimately had no choice but to cancel AWQ altogether, despite knowing how disappointing this would be to participating students, teachers, parents, and our Council colleagues.

Second, we also decided to postpone our June 11-13 Council Leadership and WACA Board meetings in Colorado Springs until further notice. Executive Director Karen Burghart and her board at the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council have been working very hard to host these meetings and we certainly aim to not let these efforts be in vain.

Turning to more positive news, the Council Network has adapted quickly and effectively to the demands of digital programming in the coronavirus era, as you can see from the many highlights below. Our convening power - on COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 issues alike - is indeed impressive. The expertise we provide to our communities is essential and timely, and Councils' platforms for collaboration among private, public, academic, and NGO sectors are more vital than ever.

Let's continue to bring the best minds together, thoughtfully and inclusively. We at WACA are preparing to do so ourselves, with the WACA National Conference in Washington, DC still scheduled for November 18-20. As always, we welcome your ideas and suggestions. We wish that all of you keep safe and well.

Thank you,
Bill Clifford, President and CEO
WACA Office & Staffing Update:
The WACA National Office is closed for social-distancing purposes, and staff and interns will telework from home through Monday, April 27. We will reevaluate at that time and update you accordingly. Please email Rachel Pastor at rpastor@worldaffairscouncils.org if you have any questions.
Upcoming Conference Calls for Councils Only

All-Volunteer Councils
Wednesday, April 8, at 1:00 PM ET
The goal of this call is to share best practices and discuss resources and ideas to aid all-volunteer operations in weathering this current period of uncertainty.

Zoom How-To
Tuesday, April 14, at 1:00 PM ET
The goal of this call is to connect in-house Zoom experts to compare notes, share best practices, and aid other Councils in creating and perfecting a webinar series via Zoom. The discussion will be led by representatives from WorldOregon, International Relations Council (Kansas City), and the World Affairs Council of Connecticut.

*Council leaders will be receiving dial-in details and registration links separately. We encourage you to share information with your staff as you see fit.
Cover to Cover : Daniel Markey on China's Geopolitics

Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Thursday, April 9, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Daniel Markey, Senior Research Professor and Director of the School of Advanced International Studies' Global Policy Program at Johns Hopkins University, on his new book China's Western Horizon: Beijing and the New Geopolitics of Eurasia.

Under the ambitious leadership of President Xi Jinping, China is zealously transforming its wealth and economic power into potent tools of global political influence. But China's foreign policy initiatives, even the vaunted "Belt and Road," will be shaped and redefined as they confront the ground realities of local and regional politics outside China.
KNOW NOW: Mohammed Ali Abdallah on the Libyan Conflict
Register now for WACA's KNOW NOW conference call Wednesday, April 15, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Mohammed Ali Abdallah, Political Advisor for U.S. Affairs to the Prime Minister of Libya (leader of the U.S.-UN-recognized Government of Libya).

The conflict and violence that has handcuffed Libya's progress post-revoluation continues to plague Libyans’ efforts to revitalize and rebuild the war-torn country. In cooperation with the international community, Libyans established the interim Government of National Accord to unite the country’s factions and build a stable civil society. In April 2019, Khalifa Haftar and his forces launched an attack on Tripoli to overthrow the GNA, instigating a war that over the past year has killed more than 2,200 people, displaced over 200,000, and made oil-rich Libya the center of an international proxy. One year after Haftar began his advance on Tripoli, join Mr. Abdallah and WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford to discuss the state of the war in Libya, the role of external powers, and prospects for resolution.

KNOW NOW: Amb. Kathleen Stephens on U.S.-South Korea Relations
Register now for WACA's KNOW NOW Zoom webinar Tuesday, April 28, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Ambassador (ret.) Kathleen Stephens, President and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute.

Ambassador Stephens will join WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford to discuss the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Korea, U.S.-South Korea relations, and U.S. policy in Asia. 
KNOW NOW on Podcast

Listen as Dr. Jonathan Quick discusses how effective local and global efforts have been in combating COVID-19 and what we can expect in the coming weeks and months with WorldBoston President and CEO Mary Yntema.
WAC Philadelphia CEO Craig Snyder to Step Down in September
Craig Snyder, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, will step down after almost 8 years at the Council. His official last day will be September 30, 2020 , and the search is on for his successor - job description and application details are forthcoming.

Under Snyder's leadership, WAC Philadelphia celebrated its 70th Anniversary and launched numerous new initiatives. The anniversary celebration included a capital campaign that yielded $2 million - over and above the Council's annual operating budget. And in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WAC Philadelphia rolled out a new Daily Digest newsletter, as well as a webinar series to keep Philadelphians connected during this period of social distancing.

The WACA National Office will continue to rely on the advice and leadership of Snyder, a WACA National Board Member since July 2015, in the coming months. We are proud of his accomplishments and contributions to the Council Network, and we wish WAC Philadelphia good luck in the search for his successor.
Councils of the Month
WACA would like to recognize the following seven Councils for their outstanding new initiatives adopted in response to the current pandemic:


Stay tuned for programming highlights from these Councils throughout the month of April!
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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 rpastor@worldaffairscouncils.org for login details and account creation.
WACA Member Benefits - Publication Discounts
WACA offers a number of subscription discounts to Council Members, and is always working to expand the list and negotiate better deals. Please see our current offerings below and view a detailed list on the WACA website's Member Benefits page.
Everyone is invited!

Tuesday 4/7

Wednesday 4/8

Thursday 4/9

Friday 4/10
  • Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall: Silvia Chiave, Italian Consul General for Los Angeles, and Sewell Chan, Deputy Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Times -- “Assessing COVID-19 in Italy
  • World Affairs Council of Seattle: Eugene Rumer, Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace -- “The U.S.-Russian Relationship” 
  • World Affairs Council of Atlanta: Robert Abernathy, former CEO of Halyard Health -- "Why Are There No Face Masks?"
  • WorldOregon hosts professor Birol Yesilada, Contemporary Turkish Studies Endowed Chair at Portland State University -- “COVID-19 and the Future of Democracy in Europe
  • World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth: Author Thurston Clarke -- Honorable Exit
COVID-19 Updates & Tracker

Professional Resources

Health & Wellness

Educator Resources
  • Ohio Council for the Social Studies Resource Document -- Bill Hilt, President/CEO, WAC Northwest Ohio
  • To help alleviate some of concerns with distance learning and explaining the current health crisis, the list is a compilation of K-12 Social Studies lessons, activities, and resources. It also has guidelines for explaining COVID-19 to young people.
  • Zoom CEO announcement of free platforms for K-12 schools

WACA Updates:

Messages from President and CEO Bill Clifford

  • Friday, April 3 Update
  • Thursday, April 2 Announcement
  • Tuesday, March 31 Announcement
  • Monday, March 30 Reminder
  • Friday, March 27 Reminder
  • Monday, March 23 Announcement
  • Tuesday, March 17 Update
  • Monday, March 16 Update
  • Thursday, March 12 Update
  • Monday, March 9 Announcement

*To view Council Member Resources on the WACA website, you must be a Council leader, staff, or board member and have an account

Please contact Rachel Pastor at rpastor@worldaffairscouncils.org if you don't have an account.
Tennessee World Affairs Council 
World Affairs Council of Connecticut 
Montana World Affairs Council 
San Diego World Affairs Council  
World Affairs Council of Atlanta 
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth  
Dayton Council on World Affairs 
World Affairs Council of Greater Reading  
World Affairs Council of Hilton Head  
Indiana Council on World Affairs  
World Affairs Council of Western Michigan 
Councils on Podcast
WACA's National Speaker Database Needs You!
We have recently debuted WACA's 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.