July 30, 2018
August Newsletter
Council of the Month: WAC Dallas/FW; Qatar Leadership Mission; CSIS's Trade Guys at WACA Conference; Spotlights on Kyrgyzstan and Oman ; Job Openings ; Councils in the News; and more
President's Letter
Dear Council Leaders, Friends, and Supporters:

WACA is pleased to present Council of the Month honors for August to the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Council President and CEO Jim Falk, who also serves on the WACA Board of Directors, shared this very recent letter to the Council's members:
Recently I researched a widely-used quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson that I planned to include in an upcoming speech. To my surprise, I found that doing so would have perpetuated an historical inaccuracy - about the founder of my university (UVA) no less! Jefferson is often said to have written: "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” According to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation - which maintains an exhaustive database on all things Jefferson - while the quote may have reflected his views, he neither said nor wrote it. That was a reminder to me about how careful one needs to be in checking sources. 

World Affairs Council audiences frequently have the privilege to hear and question key policymakers, and other original sources, without external filters. This has certainly been true this summer, with appearances by current and former key players in our national security apparatus including James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Ben Rhodes. Sometimes speaker appearances at our podium prompt emails and calls of pleasure and displeasure from our members. My response is this: The Council provides a safe - and I hope balanced - venue for different points of view, giving our members and the public the chance to listen to varying perspectives and, in many cases, to hear why a decision that in hindsight may seem flawed at the time was the best of several challenging options.

Since the dawn of this century, partisanship has become increasingly bitter, with the margins moving farther apart. I think you will agree that today this rancor has spread more broadly, touching our neighborhoods, families, and yes, even our World Affairs Council. 
Several members have mentioned to me that they are tired, if not weary, of the hyperbolic rhetoric and that they are “checking-out” and ignoring the news. While that is tempting, it is not why you and I support the World Affairs Council. It is interesting to refer to the Council’s original establishment statement from 1951: " In the belief that better community education in world affairs is necessary for sound democratic citizenship, and in order to present facts and realistic appraisals, and to foster free and informed discussions on world problems, including economic, political and social problems, the Dallas Council on World Affairs is established ." 
With the midterm elections just a few months away, we hope to include in our program a number of the candidates. In this vein, you will note that Beto O’Rourke will be speaking on August 15. Senator Ted Cruz has accepted our invitation although a date is yet to be confirmed. We will also welcome Colin Allred on August 8 and hope that Rep. Pete Sessions will accept our invitation. Soon we will begin inviting likely candidates in the 2020 presidential race (as we did before the 2016 election). The recent survey that many of you completed confirms once again that our members view the Council as politically neutral and unbiased. As you might imagine, this is a measurement that we monitor especially carefully.
In just a few days, we join our friends at the Dallas Museum of Art to celebrate the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela and so it seems appropriate to close with this quotation: " A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that in the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger."
I look forward to continuing the conversation with you.
Jim Falk, President and CEO
Grateful for your leadership, Jim, and wishing all of you a pleasant August!
Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO
WACA 2018 Leadership Mission to Qatar
October 12-19
Doha, Qatar
The World Affairs Councils of America is delighted to announce that the  Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, DC  will sponsor a WACA Leadership Mission to Qatar, this October.

Note : Flights will depart from United States airports on Friday, October 12 , and arrive in Doha on Saturday, October 13. Return flights will depart Qatar on Friday, October 19.

This WACA Leadership Mission will be comprised of a Qatar Embassy representative, WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford, and a minimum of 10 delegates from the Council network . Participants will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with top government officials, business leaders, journalists, and other experts to gain a better understanding of the political, national security, economic, social, and cultural landscape of the host country. See more details.


This Leadership Mission is open to Council CEOs, Board directors and other key supporters of local Councils and the WACA network, and affiliate members based in DC. Applicants should be actively involved in Council operations and activities, and must be supported by their Councils.


The generous sponsorship of the Embassy of Qatar will cover international airfare and in-country expenses for the delegation, including hotel accommodation, most meals, and local transportation. An  administrative fee of $2000 , made payable to the World Affairs Councils of America, is required from each selected participant. Delegates are responsible for making any travel insurance arrangements at their discretion. Delegates are also responsible for any souvenirs and incidentals.

Selection Process

Applicants should review this announcement , understand expectations, and submit the following to the WACA National Office by email to  lbrailsford@worldaffairscouncils.org  by the  close of business on Monday, August 24, 2018 :

  • Application Form (Download Here) and Release of Liability Form (Download Here
  • A color copy of the photo page of your passport
  • A letter of reference from your local Council CEO. If you are a Council CEO, please submit a letter of reference from the Chair of your Board of Directors

Delegates will be selected based on their demonstrated involvement with their local Councils and WACA, as well as their commitment to public engagement following the WACA Leadership Mission. 
WACA 2018 National Conference: Braving the New World Order

November 7-9
The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC
More Think Tank Off-sites
Center for Strategic and International Studies
The principals of The Trade Guys, CSIS’s recently launched podcast, will offer a special briefing for a live WACA audience at CSIS headquarters.
Center for American Progress New this year!
Kelly Magsamen is Vice President for National Security and International Policy at CAP . Previously, she was the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.
The McCain Institute New this year!
Ambassador Kurt Volker is Executive Director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University based in Washington, DC. In July, 2017, he was appointed U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations.
Center for a New American Security
CNAS is an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit organization that develops strong, pragmatic, and principled national security and defense policies. 
Dambisa Moyo
Ray Rothrock
Ray Rothrock, Chairman and CEO of  RedSeal, a Sunnyvale, CA-based provider of network security solutions, and author of Digital Resilience.
Nina Ansary
Dr. Nina Ansary , Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE) Centre for Women, Peace and Security, and one of six UN Women Champions for Innovation.
The  World Affairs Councils of America 2018 National Conference will be held November 7-9 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. 

We have secured a special group rate for 1 Deluxe Room$259 per night (Single/Double Occupancy) plus tax.

Additional National Conference speakers and program details will be made in the coming weeks!
August Cover to Cover: Author Lilley Explores an Unusual Cold War Theater
Join our  Cover to Cover conference call with Jeffrey Lilley on  Wednesday, August 8, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET.

After surviving the blitzkrieg of World War II and escaping from three Nazi prison camps, Soviet soldier Azamat Altay fled to the West and was charged as a traitor in his homeland of Kyrgyzstan in Soviet Central Asia. Chingiz Aitmatov became a hero of Kyrgyzstan, propelled by family loss to write novels about the everyday lives of his fellow citizens. Altay became the voice of democracy on Radio Liberty, broadcasting back into his shuttered homeland, while Aitmatov rose through the ranks of Soviet society, a quiet rebel whose prose masked ugly truths about Soviet communism. Yet just as they seemed to be pulled apart by the divisions of the Cold War, they found their lives intersecting in compelling ways, joined by a common mission to save their people. 

In his new book,  Have the Mountains Fallen?: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War Jeffrey Lilley  traces the lives of these two men as they confronted the full threat and legacy of the Soviet empire. Through narratives of loss, love, and longing for a homeland forever changed, a clearer picture emerges of the struggle for freedom inside the Soviet Union during the Cold War .

Did you miss WACA's July  Cover to Cover with Dambisa Moyo on her new book,  Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth - and How to Fix It? Listen to the podcast here!
WAC Albuquerque Hosts Oman - Past and Present
The World Affairs Co un cil of Albuquerque holds its Engage America: Oman program, co-sponsored by WACA and its grant funder Sultan Qaboos Culture Center , on August 15-16.

Dr. Linda Pappas Funsch, a career specialist in Islamic history and modern Middle Eastern studies, will discuss Oman's unique world view and international relations, which reflect the country's interaction over many centuries with diverse cultures. Its unbroken alliance with the United States, dating from 1790, is unparalleled among countries of the Middle East. Funsch is the author of Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernization (Palgrave Mamillan, 2015).

WACABQ's program is the latest in the WACA Engage America: Oman 2018 Series. Previously, WAC Harrisburg and WAC San Antoni o have featured experts recommended by the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center.
WAC Greater Houston Travels to DC
Join the World Affairs Council of Houston in Washington, DC this November for an exclusive tour of our nation's capital.The trip
includes exclusive access to museums, conversations with government officials, and opportunities to connect with other global citizens at WACA's 2018 National Conference.
After 21 Years of Leadership, Carol Engebretson Byrne Will Step Down From Her Role as Global Minnesota President
Global Minnesota, under the leadership of Carol Byrne, has created groundbreaking programs on important international topics, engaging tens of thousands in Minnesota to know more about the world. The organization has financially grown by more than 300 percent and has experienced transformational change with Byrne at the helm. She gives credit for the early growth of Global Minnesota under her leadership in the late 1990s to others in the WACA network who served as mentors, including former WACA head Jerry Leach.

“I am privileged to have served as a steward of the worthy mission of this amazing organization that makes such a positive difference in our community and world,” Byrne said.

The Global Minnesota Board of Directors has engaged Ballinger|Leafblad, an executive search firm with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, to conduct a national search. More details will be available soon on the Global Minnesota website.
WACA Job Opening: Communications & Marketing Officer
The World Affairs Councils of America is seeking a Communications and Marketing Officer. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Officer coordinates public relations and marketing efforts for WACA national flagship programs - both externally (including media, news stories, issuance of press releases, website updates) and internally (newsletters to member Councils and the national Board of Directors).

See the  job announcement and apply via email, with your cover letter, resume, and a writing sample, to  lnavratil@worldaffairscouncils.org. Councils: please circulate within your network.

Apply by close of business on   Friday, August 3
Vermont CWA is Hiring!
SDWAC Hosts Institute of Turkish Studies Dr. Ciddi
The South Dakota World Affairs Council will welcome Dr. Sinan Ciddi , Executive Director of The Institute of Turkish Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor Political Science at Georgetown University, this week for a variety of events, including a lecture, " Democracies in Decline: the Case of Turkey," an interview with South Dakota Public Broadcasting, and opportunities to reconnect those who have previously traveled to Turkey on trips co-sponsored by SDWAC, the Turkish Cultural Foundation, and WACA. 
Councils in the News
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

Northern Nevada International Center

Santa Fe Council of International Relations

South Dakota World Affairs Council

International Affairs Forum (Traverse City)

World Affairs Council of Charlotte

San Diego World Affairs Council

World Affairs Council of Connecticut

World Affairs Council of Washington D.C.

Alaska World Affairs Council

World Affairs Council of San Antonio

Cleveland Council on World Affairs
Travel the World with WAC Philadelphia
Travel with  Council Leaders - hear them lecture on Travel the World tours from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia!
2018 travel schedule includes trips to: 

  • Megan Torrey, CEO, World Affairs Council of Connecticut, Himalayan Kingdoms, Sept. 11-25
  • Dixie Anderson, Executive Director Emerita, World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, Romance of the Douro River: Sept. 15-26
  • Joyce Davis, President, World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, Town & Country Life in Languedoc: Oct. 6-14
  • Don Samford, Board President, Peoria Area World Affairs Council, Cuba: Nov. 4-12
  • Megan Torrey, CEO, World Affairs Council of Connecticut, South East Asia: Jan. 29 - Feb. 11, 2019
  • Mimi Gregory, Vice President of Programs, Naples Council on World Affairs, Grand Seine: June 30 - July 18, 2019
  • Dr. Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President of Programs, World Affairs, Northern California, Arctic Expedition: June 21 - July 1, 2019
  • Derrick Olsen, President, WorldOregon, Trade Routes of Coastal Iberia: Oct. 13-21, 2019

Contact  www.wacphila.org/travel  or call  1-800-942-5004 , ext.  209  or  217 .
World Affairs Councils of America | 202-833-4557
1200 18th Street NW, Suite 902, Washington, DC 20036