August 3, 2020
August Newsletter
President's Letter; August Cover to Cover on Hiroshima; WorldDenver Launches Race & Justice Series; WAC Dallas Hosts Ambassador Grossman Book Launch; Star Speakers on Council Webinars; Council of the Month; Call for Nominations: AAD Arthur Ross Awards; + more Council Highlights and News!
Dear Council Colleagues, Supporters, and Friends:

It is hard to believe that, exactly a year ago, WACA’s staff had completed the move into our new office space, on Vermont Avenue, a short distance from the White House.

Unfortunately, it is no longer hard to believe that we, like most of you, have been teleworking since March – and will continue to do so through the end of 2020. That’s official – and it’s a reality we are prepared to navigate as we advance preparations for our annual programs and new initiatives.

Hence, I’d like you to mark your calendars:

Next Thursday, April 13, at 2:00-3:00 PM ET: WACA will host a Zoom session for the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020-2021Academic WorldQuest Program. We hope as many of you (Councils, teachers, and supporters) who have participated in local and national AWQ Competitions will join this important planning discussion. Open to newcomers also! Registration details will be announced soon.

September 28-October 1: WACA will present a new virtual summit, Conversations with the C-Suite. Top executives and change makers across a variety of sectors will share their ideas, strategies, and innovations for building a healthier, more equitable future. You won’t want to miss it!

Week of November 15, 2020: The WACA National Conference, our annual flagship event for more than three decades, will be all digital. COVID-19 has forced us to renegotiate our contract with The Mayflower Hotel. We look forward to reconvening in person for our 2021 and 2022 conferences. For now, we are reimagining the design of this year’s program with an all-star speaker lineup. Stay tuned!

In addition to these large-scale offerings, WACA will continue to host Cover to Cover authors and KNOW NOW hot-topics programs. We are pleased that Germany’s Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut have selected WACA as a partner for a Wunderbar Together 2020 program series this fall, which will add to a busy season of WACA Engage America grant-funded series with World Food Program USA, Korea Economic Institute, Sasakawa USA, American Academy of Diplomacy, and more to come.

Last but not least, the “Office Hours” I announced in the July newsletter have commenced. I’ve had very productive meetings by Zoom and telephone with leaders from WAC of the Desert, WAC Monterey Bay, WAC Pittsburgh, and WAC New Hampshire, as well as helpful conversations with Council representatives on the WACA Board of Directors. I certainly welcome more in the weeks ahead.

Let’s stay connected and best of luck as you plan your fall calendar – thank you!
Bill Clifford
President and CEO
WACA's Cover to Cover With Lesly Blume on Hiroshima - August 6
Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call Thurs., Aug. 6, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Lesley Blume, award-winning journalist, historian, and NYT bestselling author. Blume will discuss her new book Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-Up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World.

Just days after the U.S. decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally. But even before the surrender, the U.S. government and military had begun a secret propaganda and information suppression campaign to hide the devastating nature of these experimental weapons. For nearly a year the cover-up worked - until New Yorker journalist John Hersey got into Hiroshima and managed to report the truth to the world. Released on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Fallout is an engrossing detective story, as well as an important piece of hidden history that shows how one heroic scoop can save the world.
Cover to Cover on Podcast

Listen now to WACA's July Cover to Cover featuring Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Program. Dr. Ulrichsen discusses Qatar and the Gulf Crisis.
WorldDenver Launches Race & Justice in World Affairs Series on Aug. 5
WorldDenver is launching a new three-part series focusing on the issues of race and justice in world affairs this week. First up on Wednesday, August 5 is Ambassador Charles Ray on "Race, Diplomacy, and National Security."

Amb. Ray served our country for 20 years in the U.S. army and 30 years as a diplomat. He fought in the Vietnam War and returned to serve as the first-ever Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City. Drawing on his five decades of experience, Ambassador Ray will discuss the importance to our foreign policy and national security of combating systemic racism and building a more diverse foreign service.

Click here to view the full lineup!
WACA and WAC DFW Partner on Amb. Grossman Book Launch - Aug. 7
The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, in partnership with WACA, will host Ambassador (ret.) Marc Grossman, Vice Chairman of The Cohen Group and former WACA Chairman, and Ambassador (ret.) John Limbert, U.S. Foreign Service diplomat, for the webinar launch event of their new book Believers: Love and Death in Tehran on Friday, August 7 at 7:00 PM ET.

Grossman, formerly the third ranking U.S. State Department official, and Limbert, a career foreign officer who was one of the 52 Americans held for 444 days in Tehran beginning in 1979, have partnered to produce a novel about the tortured history of U.S.-Iran relations told through the experience of a young foreign service officer in the right place at the wrong time during the Iranian revolution.
Star Speakers This Week on Councils' Virtual Programming
Kayoko Fukushima
Consul General of Japan
Nashville, TN
Rob Chesnut
Former Chief Ethics Officer
Alan Gogbashian
Consul General of the UK
Chicago, IL
Zeev Boker
Consul General of Israel
New England
The Hon. William Perry
Fmr. U.S. Secretary of Defense
Mariel Sanchez
Senior Program Manager
PAIR Houston
*Scroll down to the Council Highlights section to view all programs from Councils this week!
As we all know, there is opportunity in every crisis and the World Affairs Council Upstate, also known as Upstate International in Greenville, South Carolina, has jumped on the opportunities, taking its popular language school online. Upstate International was able to seamlessly shift to online learning with its over 20 foreign language classes, providing learning opportunities to a much broader audience. Now, registration is open for the fall semester with classes being offered live, online, and in-person. Learn American Sign Language, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese. See the schedule and register here.

In addition, WAC Upstate has transitioned its ongoing America and the World lunch & learn series with distinguished speakers to Zoom webinars. In just the last 4 months, WAC Upstate has covered hot global topics including: General (ret.) John Allen on "Leadership in These Turbulent Times," Ambassador John Herbst on "Foreign Policy in the Crosshairs: A Conversation," Steve Buckingham on "Checks and Balances: Presidential Powers in a Crisis," and many more. WAC Upstate has revived its YouTube channel in order to allow free access to all of these webinars, as well as a few fun cooking classes hosted by chefs from around the world - the most recent was streamed live with Chef Anchal Bhalla all the way from New Delhi, India. Coming up on Tuesday, August 18, WAC Upstate is offering the first in a 3-part series on supply chain issues and solutions, a discussion with Ambassador Robert Blake on the Dynamics of Today's Supply Chain With Southeast Asia.
Submit Nominations Now for AAD's 2020 Arthur Ross Awards
WACA partner, the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD) invites you to nominate qualified individuals (or groups of individuals) for consideration for the 2020 Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis on Foreign Affairs.

The awards, endowed by and given in honor of the late Arthur Ross, seek to recognize individuals or groups of individuals (e.g., a news bureau) whose reporting and analysis on diplomacy and foreign affairs is making a singular contribution to public understanding of the critical role played by diplomacy in the furtherance of America’s foreign policy interests. AAD gives one award to a journalist/reporter and another to a commentator/columnist. Each of the two awards includes a cash prize of $5,000 and is customarily presented at AAD’s Annual Awards Luncheon ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the U.S. Department of State in the late fall/early winter.

For additional details about the award, prior recipients, eligibility criteria and nomination instructions, please visit AAD's website and see the Nomination Form. Please contact AAD Program Director Maria Reissaus at with any additional questions.
Travel Thursdays on Facebook Live
On Thursday, July 30, the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia launched a monthly series called Travel Thursdays during which, a travel topic or destination is featured

The series kicked off with Dr. Joyce Davis, President and CEO of WAC of Harrisburg; Bill Clifford, President and CEO of WACA; and Shoshana Altrichter, Vice President of Travel at WAC of Philadelphia, sharing their stories and adventures of World Affairs Council tours. Watch the recording!

Be sure to like the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg on Facebook so you don’t miss upcoming events!
WACA's Fall 2020 Internship Opportunity!
WACA is seeking bright and enthusiastic university students to intern during our 2020 Fall Term. The candidate should be a voracious newsreader, possess a keen interest in foreign affairs, respond positively to constructive criticism, and have a desire to find creative solutions to complex challenges.

Deadline to apply is Friday, August 7. Please submit a resume and cover letter to WACA Communications and Marketing Associate Rachel Pastor at See details and apply here.
***Please note: Due to COVID-19, this internship will be remote. WACA is monitoring the situation and reserves the right to convert this internship to in-person if possible.
Host a KNOW NOW Conference Call in 2020!
WACA's KNOW NOW conference call series features global thought leaders, as well as local authorities in government, business, academia, and cultural fields. We invite Councils to submit KNOW NOW speaker suggestions and moderate these calls!  If a Council leader moderates a KNOW NOW call in 2020, their Council will receive a $100 rebate back on Council Dues. *Please note that this rebate offer only applies to Councils who are current on their 2020 Dues.

View our KNOW NOW conference call podcast archives here!
Tuesday 8/4 
Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts Kayoko Fukushima, Consul General of Japan, for “Global Nashville With Karl Dean.”
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Rob Chesnut, former Chief Ethics Officer for Airbnb, for “Business Ethics: New Rules of Engagement.”

Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts a panel of experts for "Global News Review."
Wednesday 8/5
WorldBoston hosts Ambassador (ret.) Zeev Boker, Consul General of Israel for New England, and comedian and activist Noam Shuster-Eliassi for “A Comic at the Hotel Corona.”
Global Minnesota hosts Alan Gogbashian, Consul General of the UK for Chicago, for “Minnesota and the UK - Trade, Market Access, and Brexit.”
WorldDenver hosts Ambassador (ret.) Charles Ray, International Director for Peacetime Professionals International Association, for “Race and Justice in World Affairs: Part 1.”
World Affairs Council of Greater Reading hosts Ambassador (ret.) John Herbst, Director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, for “Ukraine/Russia.”
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts journalist Justin Worland, TIME Magazine, for “Climate Roundtable.”
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Eleanor Albert, Asia writer for the explanatory journalism arm of the Council on Foreign Relations, for “Hong Kong’s Global Importance.”
Global Ties Arizona hosts Christina Dal Bello, U.S. Foreign Service Officer, for “Diplomacy in the National Parks.”
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosts Professor Michael Kazin, Georgetown University, and Noah Rothman, Associate Editor of Commentary Magazine, for “Could Democratic Socialism Reform Our Politics?
Thursday 8/6
World Affairs Council of Charlotte and World Affairs Council of Orange County host The Honorable William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Tom Collina, Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, to discuss their book, The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump.

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Rodney Cook, Founder and President of the National Monuments Foundation, for “Confederate Statues: A Reckoning.”
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Mariel Sanchez, Senior Program Manager at PAIR Houston, for “Refugees in America.”
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Professor Dan Schnur, University of Southern California, for “Politics in the Time of Coronavirus.”
Indiana Council on World Affairs hosts lecturer Travis Adkins, Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, for “American Racism: A Threat to U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security.”
International Relations Council (Kansas City) hosts Assistant Professor Gregory Cook, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, for “Ukraine.”
World Affairs Council of Rhode Island hosts Adjunct Professor Richard Lobban, Naval War College, for “COVID-19 in Africa.”
Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts photographer Alexandra Huddleston for “From Tyndrum to Timbuktu: The Creative Path and the Ritual Process.”
Friday 8/7 
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Ambassador (ret.) Marc Grossman, Vice Chairman of The Cohen Group, and Ambassador (ret.) John Limbert, former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, to discuss their book, Believers: Love and Death in Tehran.
Colorado Springs World Affairs Council hosts Iulian Alecu, Deputy Director General at the Romanian National Center for Response to Cyber Security Incidents, for “U.S. Cyber Security Reaches Romania.”
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.

Your generous contributions will strengthen our capacity to support the World Affairs Council Network through educational and civic initiatives - any amount helps.

Your donation goes to:

  • Academic WorldQuest Endowment
  • Our flagship youth education program. We are 23% away from achieving our $1M goal!
  • New Horizons Councils Fund
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You can give in one of several ways:

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  • Make a gift of appreciated stock
  • Request a distribution from your Donor Advised Fund
  • Check with your employer to see if they will match your gift!

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
  • Modified Limitations on Cash Charitable Contributions - for 2020, the 60% AGI limitation on cash contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations, such as WACA, is suspended

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.
COVID-19 Updates & Tracker

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

*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 if you don't have an account.
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.