December 1, 2020
December Newsletter
Letter From the President; Can You Help? #GivingTuesday; AWQ Pledge Form Deadline Extended; Star Speakers; KNOW NOW; 2020 National Conference Survey; Cover to Cover; and more!
Dear Friends,

I greatly enjoyed working with you over the last five years to advance the education and engagement of the American public in world affairs. During that time, I had the opportunity to visit many World Affairs Councils and to participate in various programs. I was always impressed by the dedication, programming and community involvement that each of the Councils demonstrated. 

I wish you continued success as you move forward under Glenn Creamer's expert leadership in navigating the challenges presented by the pandemic, sustaining the Council network, and strengthening WACA's mission. I thank you for your support, counsel, and friendship and wish you all the best.

Warm regards,
Roman Popadiuk, Outgoing WACA Chairman
Dear Council Colleagues, Supporters, and Friends:

It has been a genuine privilege and pleasure to work with Roman over the past half decade. During that period, we strengthened and improved the quality of WACA’s two annual flagship programs, the National Conference and Academic WorldQuest; secured new WACA Engage America programs, including Germany’s Wunderbar Together and World Food Program USA; pursued special opportunities in DC, such as hosting public events and 1918 Society gatherings with then-President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and former Secretary James A. Baker III; and through these and other efforts fostered a more cohesive national network.

That last aspect – network cohesion and collaboration among Councils and between Councils and the WACA National Office – was emphasized by Roman and Chairman Glenn Creamer in their remarks last month to the Annual Membership meeting at the Conference. It is this not-so-secret sauce, along with executing on the features discussed by Council CEOs during the Leadership Day sessions – namely, reimagined programming and fundraising and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives – that will see us through the prolonged pressures of COVID-19 and its economic impacts.

The videos of the Leadership Day (many days) professional development sessions are here and will also be archived on the WACA website’s Resources page. Special thanks to WACA Board members Matthew Hughes, Karen Burghart, Derrick Olsen, and Xiao Yin Zhao for organizing the sessions and the many expert colleagues who led them. Please submit the Leadership Day and Conference Survey so we can serve you better in 2021. For those who attended only the Conference distinguished speaker programs - the videos are here (and below) – please submit this Conference-only survey.

Last but not least, I want to thank the entire WACA Board, whose leadership and guidance will remain critical to our success. And, again, to Roman – he graciously agreed to the unusual but extremely helpful arrangement of serving as co-Chair over the past half year as we onboarded Glenn. In this unprecedented time, a smooth transition was essential and it has been accomplished well. Glenn, the Board, and the National Office staff look forward to working with you in 2021.

And for this coming holiday season, we wish you good health, peace, and joy.

Bill Clifford, President and CEO
Can You Help? #GivingTuesday
Join us today, December 1, for #GivingTuesday: a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. As the year weighs on us all, there has never been a more critical time to reflect on, and appreciate, the importance of global affairs discourse. Any amount helps us to continue to engage 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.

At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone the power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on.
Star Speakers This Week
H.R. McMaster
26th National Security Advisor
Amb. Shinsuke Sugiyama
Ambassador of Japan to the U.S.
Chuck Hagel
Former Secretary of Defense
Gillian Tett
Editor-at-Large, Financial Times
Bob Woodward
Bestselling Author
First Lady Barbara Bush
Author, Pearls of Wisdom
KNOW NOW Conference Call
Wed., Dec. 2 at 2:00 PM ET
WACA presents KNOW NOW featuring Firoz Peera, past Chair of the World Affairs Council of Charlotte. The program focuses on The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) - China’s ambitious multi-decade project to create a modern day version of the ancient Silk Road, a powerful route that provided the foundation for the very first wave of globalization across a vast Eurasian landscape. Mr. Peera will discuss the nature & scope of the BRI and its geo-strategic implications in this new age of great power rivalry.
We'd Love Your Feedback!
Please take a few minutes to fill out this WACA Conference Survey. Your experience, comments, and ideas are crucial to shaping our future programs. We ask that you submit the survey by Wednesday, December 9
Keynote Conversations
Opening Keynote & International Service Award with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Great Decisions: Global Economy in Turmoil - Outlook for 2021
"Here, Right Matters" with
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Alexander Vindman
How We Win: Role of Women in Driving
Non-Violent Change
View all of the 2020 National Conference speakers on our YouTube Channel.
WACA Chairman's 2020 Individual Award
WACA 2020 Councils of the Year
Cover to Cover
Wed., Dec. 9 at 2:00 PM ET
WACA presents Global Jihad: A Brief History featuring Glenn Robinson, Associate Professor at Naval Postgraduate School and President of WAC Monterey Bay. The program focuses on the most violent jihadi movements in the twentieth century, which have focused on removing corrupt, repressive secular regimes throughout the Muslim world. But following the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a new form of jihadism emerged—global jihad—turning to the international arena as the primary locus of ideology and action. With this book, Robinson develops a compelling and provocative argument about this violent political movement's evolution.
AWQ 2020-2021 Pledge Forms Due Dec. 18
It is unconfirmed whether the 2021 Academic WorldQuest National Competition in Washington, DC will be held virtually or in-person. Student and participant safety is our number one concern. Federal and local guidelines will be followed, and additional announcements will be forthcoming.

The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020-2021 Academic WorldQuest National Competition is scheduled to be held in Washington, DC on April 16-17, 2021 at the United States Institute of Peace.

Pledge a Team Now

To confirm your Council's participation in the 2020-2021 AWQ season, please fill out and submit this Pledge Form by Friday, December 18, 2020. Please see the 2020 AWQ Ops PaperTeachers Guide, and Flyer for useful information.

Note: We apologize for the inconvenience, but our previous Pledge Form was corrupted. If you have filled out the Pledge Form, we must ask you to fill it again at the new form linked below! We have extended the deadline to Friday, December 18.

Official Study Guide

WACA provides a list of sources for each AWQ topic category in the official AWQ Study Guide (updated). All local competition and National Competition questions will be drawn from these sources, with the exception of Current Events.
Montana World Affairs Council's AWQ Preparation Series

WACA participating Member Councils are welcome to share Montana WAC's Academic WorldQuest preparation series. They are doing 30-minute webcasts focusing on each of the AWQ topics. You can find them on Montana WAC's YouTube Channel:

Upcoming AWQ Prep Webcasts
WACA's Engage America Speaker Series
Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA

World Affairs Council of Seattle: Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 3:00 PM ET
"The Alliance Working in Washington: Impacts of the U.S.-Japan Relationship"
Guest Speakers:
  • Michael Jonathan Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and Director of Asian Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University
  • Mireya Solís, Director of the Center for East Asia Policy Studies, Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies, and a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution
  • Saori N. Katada, Professor of Political Science and International Relations Department at University of Southern California, and author of Japan’s New Regional Reality: Geoeconomic Strategy in the Asia-Pacific

U.S. Institute of Peace Speaker Series

Institute of World Affairs (Wisconsin): Thursday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 PM ET
"Countering Violent Extremism: A Peace-Building Approach"
Guest Speaker:
  • Leanne Erdberg Steadman, Director, Countering Violent Extremism, USIP

"Protecting Religious Freedom in Times of Covid & Conflict"

Guest Speaker:
  • Knox Thames, Visiting Expert, Middle East and Religion and Inclusive Societies, USIP

Future of Korea 2020

World Affairs Council of Alaska: Friday, Dec. 4 at 3:00 PM ET
"The Dance of Peace: South Korea and Alaska Reducing Tensions and Promoting Peace"

Guest Speakers:
  • Angela Kerwin, Director, Office of Korean Affairs, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Kyle Ferrier, Korea Economic Institute Fellow and Director of Academic Affairs

World Food Program USA Speaker Series

World Affairs Council of Seattle: Friday, Dec. 11 at 3:00 PM ET
"The Food Crisis in Latin America"

Guest Speaker:
  • Laura Melo, UN World Food Programme Representative in Guatemala
  • Angela Montoya, Private Sector Partnerships Manager for Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, UN World Food Programme

Overlooked America: Building Jobs & Tech Skills
Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez is joined by experts from Amazon Web Services and 1901 Group to discuss workforce development in light of this ever changing global economy.
What's best: pursuing a traditional degree or developing tech skills? What's the future of work? What skills employers look for in a candidate? What role does the government have in reskilling and upskilling citizens?

We were pleased to partner with the World Affairs Council of Atlanta,
the Amazon Web Services Institute, EmPath, and 1901 Group. Brought you by the Amazon Web Services Institute.
Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy is Hiring!
The Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy is seeking individuals with a passion for international affairs and a belief grassroots change to join UCCD team! Applications are open for a part-time Marketing and Communications Coordinator.
We Mustn't Repeat the Wrongs My Ancestors Suffered
"There's no place for xenophobia here, and it's a lesson we should have learned 100 years ago," writes Evan Odegard, a high school junior, in an Op-Ed published by StarTribune. Evan won last year's Qatar Essay Contest and, as a result, joined the WACA Study Tour to Qatar in June 2019.
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 Laura Duncan.
Monday 11/30 

WorldBoston hosts Lisa Haugaard, Co-Director of the Latin America Working Group, for "Great Decisions | U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle."

World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay hosts Professor Jonathan Lipman, Professor Emeritus at Mount Holyoke College and Visiting Professor at Harvard University and Yale University, for “The Muslims and Islam in Modern China: Focus on the Uyghurs.” 
World Affairs (Northern California) hosts a panel of experts for “The Fort Ross Dialogue on U.S.-Russia Relations.” 
Tuesday 12/1 
World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Ambassador Shinsuke Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan to the U.S., for “U.S.-Japan Alliance Under Biden.”

Colorado Springs World Affairs Council hosts Lieutenant General (ret.) H.R. McMaster, former U.S. National Security Advisor, to discuss his book “Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World.”

World Affairs Council of Jacksonville hosts Ambassador (ret.) Jon Huntsman Jr., former Governor of Utah, for "The Russian Bear: What’s It Up to Now."

Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Marc Knapper, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan for the U.S. Department of State, and John Park, Director of the Korea Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, for "U.S. Relations with South Korea and Japan."
World Affairs Council of Palm Beach hosts Gary Vonk, Associate Vice Chancellor at Keiser University, for "What the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taught Us, So Far." 
WorldOregon hosts Jasmine Locke, teacher at Stoller Middle School, and Christy Wilson, teacher at Fir Grove Elementary, for “They Mirror What We Give.”  
World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana hosts Yonas Hailu, award winning visual artist, for “The Story of Migration Through Ethiopian Art.”  
World Affairs Council of Austin hosts Melissa Sanderson, Former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, for “Perspective on Global Business Operations and Investment in Africa: Importance of Empathy and Values.”  

Alabama World Affairs Council hosts Professor Ronald Weitzer, George Washington University, for “Great Decisions | Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.”
Montana World Affairs Council hosts Deena Mansour, Executive Director at the Mansfield Center, for "The U.S. Foreign Service in the 21st Century." 

World Affairs (Northern California) hosts a panel of experts for “U.S. Korean Relations Going Forward.”

Santa Fe International Relations Council hosts a panel of experts for “The Newsroom and Crisis.”

Santa Fe International Relations Council hosts a panel of experts for “Satirizing Crisis, Part Two.”
World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh hosts a panel of experts for “Redefining [Global] Learning Summit.” 
Wednesday 12/2 
World Affairs Council of New Hampshire hosts Chuck Hagel, Former Secretary of Defense, for “The Future of America’s Global Leadership.”  
World Affairs Forum (Stamford) hosts Gillian Tett, Chair of Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large at U.S. Financial Times, for "Talking Moral Money: A Green Shift." 

World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Rick Steves, author and television host, for “Love Letter to Travel.”
Indiana Council on World Affairs hosts speaker and author Carl Wilkens for “Rwanda - A Tale of One Man's Courage in the Face of Genocide.” 
Columbia World Affairs Council hosts Ambassador Jimmy Story, Ambassador for the Venezuela Affairs Unit to the U.S., for “U.S.-Venezuela Relations: How We Got Here and Where We Are Going."
World Affairs Council of Austin hosts a panel of experts for “UK-U.S. Trade Negotiations Update.

Santa Fe International Relations Council hosts a panel of experts for “Covering Environmental Crisis Through Innovation and Collaboration.”  
Santa Fe International Relations Council hosts a panel of experts for “Disinformation, Trolls, and Harassment: Reflections from Brazil.” 
Thursday 12/3 
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts First Lady Barbara Bush, for “Council Cabinet Exclusive: Barbara Bush - Pearls of Wisdom: Little Pieces of Advice that Go a Long Way.”

Santa Fe International Relations Council hosts Bestselling Author Bob Woodward with a distinguished panel of experts for “Journalism Under Fire: Closing Ceremony.”

Savannah Council on World Affairs hosts Dr. Robert H. Latiff, U.S. Air Force Major General (retired) and Adjunct Faculty Member with the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame, for "Preparing for the New Global Battlefield."

World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Professor Robert Putnam, Harvard University, and Shaylyn Garrett, writer and social entrepreneur, for "Bringing Back America Together Again." 
World Affairs Council of Central Illinois hosts Associate Professor Megan Styles, University of Illinois Springfield, to discuss her book "Roses from Kenya: Labor, Environment, and the Global Trade in Cut Flowers." 
WorldOregon hosts Welton Chang, Chief Technology Officer at Human Rights First, for “Tech, Tyranny and & the Future of Human Rights.”  
Alabama World Affairs Council hosts David Stilwell, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, for "David R. Stilwell, State Department." 
World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts James Kim, Chairman and CEO of Amcham Korea, and Craig Lesser, Managing Partner at Pendleton Group, for “Doing Business in South Korea.” 
Montana World Affairs Council hosts Professor Karen Adams, University of Montana, for "The Purpose and Prospects of International Alliances." 
Friday 12/4 
WorldDenver hosts Serhii Letuchyi, International Visitor Leadership Program Gold Star, for “Disability Advocacy, One Note at a Time.” 
International Relations Council (Kansas City) hosts Will Jourdan, Vice President of Product at TruckIT, for "Living and Working Abroad: Australia." 
World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts Alexandra Bell, Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, for “Nuclear Weapons Policy in the Next Administration.”  

Columbus Council on World Affairs hosts a panel of experts for “Advancing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion through Global Fluency Training.”

Peoria Area World Affairs Council hosts a panel of experts for "Turkey Today: Struggling With an Ally."
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 Laura Duncan at for login details and account creation.