January 6, 2020
January Newsletter
President's Letter; World Food Program USA Grant Deadline; Cover to Cover With Andrew Bacevich; Councils' Star Speakers; Council of the Month; June 2020 Council Leadership and Board Meetings; plus more Highlights
President's Letter
Dear Council Leaders, Supporters, and Friends: 

“(T)here are critical moments in the life of every nation which call for the straightest, the plainest, and the most courageous thinking of which we are capable. We confront such a moment now.” So said Republican Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg in a surprising speech on Jan. 10, 1945, that marked a dramatic shift from his isolationism and paved the way for a bipartisan postwar American foreign policy.
One wonders what Senator Vandenberg, were he alive today, would make of a United States gripped by polarization this election year, and of divided opinion on the U.S. foreign policy conducted by the most consequential president in decades.
With the impeached President Donald J. Trump at the weekend ordering the strikes that killed Iranian General Qasem Souleimani in Iraq, the country and our allies and adversaries are heading into a period of heightened global tensions. (See news coverage here, here, and here).
World Affairs Councils nationwide no doubt will be at their best, staying grounded in fact-based public programming on issues of war and peace, international economics, social justice, and the interplay of foreign and domestic policies against the backdrop of the U.S. election in November. Amid an overload of information, stress, and stimuli, our job is to help people make sense of it all through civil discourse and informed questioning.
Kudos to WAC Western Michigan, our Council of the Month, for honoring internationalism with its inaugural Vandenberg Prize, named for the famed Senator who hailed from Grand Rapids. The prize will be presented on Jan. 14 to a most worthy honoree, Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., who served as U.S. ambassador to three significant countries under the three most recent presidents.

Because your calendars fill quickly, I want to highlight several other key dates:
  • Jan. 14 – WACA’s monthly Cover to Cover conference call series with prominent authors begins its seventh year with Dr. Andrew Bacevich on ending endless wars
  • Jan. 23 – WACA breakfast at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting
  • April 24-25 – The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020 Academic WorldQuest National Competition in Washington, DC
  • June 11-13 – Semi-Annual Council Leadership Meeting and WACA Board Meeting hosted by Colorado Springs World Affairs Council
  • Nov. 18-20 – WACA 2020 National Conference at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC
I look forward to conversations with colleagues about the forums you will host this year that spark the plain and courageous thinking we depend on to navigate the tumult.
Best wishes,
Bill Clifford, President and CEO
2020 WACA-World Food Program USA Grant Opportunity
Submit Your  Application  by  Friday, January 17!
WACA is excited and proud to partner with the  World Food Program USA  (WFP USA)   for a WACA  Engage America  Speaker Series in 2020!

World Food Program USA is a non-profit that supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the leading humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. By mobilizing individuals, lawmakers and businesses in the U.S. to advance the global movement to end hunger, WFP USA bolsters an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world.

We launched our partnership at the  WACA 2019 National Conference in early November, with keynote remarks by  Phil Karsting, Vice President of Policy at WFP USA (then interim CEO), and a distinguished panel on  Climate Change and Food Insecurity.

Now, it's your turn! We invite  applications from World Affairs Councils to participate in  WACA’s 2020 World Food Program USA grant-funded speaker seriesEight (8) Councils will be selected to participate in this  Engage America  series.

Read the full announcement for  more details and potential speaker profiles here.
January Cover to Cover : Bacevich on 'The Age of Illusions'
Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Tuesday, January 14 at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute and Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University, on his book, The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory.

When the Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Washington establishment felt it had prevailed in a world-historical struggle. History, having brought the United States to the very summit of power and prestige, had validated American-style liberal democratic capitalism as universally applicable. Join WACA for a conversation with Andrew Bacevich as he explains how, within a quarter of a century, the United States ended up with gaping inequality, permanent war, moral confusion, and an increasingly angry and alienated population, as well, of course, as the strangest president in American history.
Convening Power of the WACA Network This Week
Barbara Slavin
Director, Future of Iran Initiative
The Atlantic Council
Henry Puna
Prime Minister
Cook Islands
H.E. Jonatan Vseviov
Ambassador of Estonia
to the United States
Ambassador John Emerson
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany
Ambassador (ret.) Steven Pifer
Nonresident Senior Fellow
Brookings Institution
Victoria Tin-bor Hui
Associate Professor
University of Notre Dame
Council of the Month: WAC Western Michigan
The first 2020 "Council of the Month" recognition goes to the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan! WACWM will inaugurate an annual Vandenberg Prize to a national or international leader who has been influential in developing global understanding and collaboration on the world stage. The Vandenberg Prize is named after Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg (1881-1951), who inspired the founding of the Council in 1949 by Grand Rapids attorney (and later Federal Judge) Douglas Hillman and businessman Edgar Orr.

The first recipient of the Vandenberg Prize is Ambassador (ret.) Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., former Ambassador of the U.S. to Russia (2017-19) at the appointment of President Trump, to China (2009-11) at the appointment of President Obama, and to Singapore (1992-93) at the appointment of President George H.W. Bush. The award will be presented at a luncheon Tuesday, January 14.
“Ambassador Huntsman has demonstrated a lifelong interest in forging strong international ties for the United States, and his bipartisan service shows a willingness, like Senator Vandenberg, to bring people together for good of the country and the world,” said WACWM Board President Dick Gauthier.
WorldOregon's International Speaker Series Celebrates 20 Years
Celebrating its 20th anniversary,  WorldOregon’s International Speaker Seriesis one of the nation’s premier platforms for international affairs. For two decades, the series has put Oregonians in the room with the global leaders, visionaries, and inspiring voices that are changing our world. This year is no different, presenting an array of big ideas and issues framing America's role on the world stage. First up is Ambassador Samantha Power on " The Education of an Idealist - What Can One Person Do? " Tues., January 21,followed by General H.R. McMaster, Nadia Murad, and Nicholas Kristof.
2020 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting
Exchange programs have the power to connect the world. From January 22-25, 2020, the GT Network of 120+ nonprofits based around the U.S. and the world will convene at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC to celebrate the "faces" who make exchange programs happen every day: participants and alumni, locally-based hosts and coordinators, government agencies, and more.

The 2020 National Meeting will also serve as the launch for a year-long campaign by the Office of International Visitors of the U.S. Department of State to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program, the U.S. Department of State's premier professional exchange program, and its achievements in advancing American foreign policy, prosperity. and security.

WACA's annual members breakfast will take place Thursday, January 23 (time TBD).
2020 Council Leadership and Board Meetings
Join WACA in Colorado Springs Thursday June 11 - Friday, June 13 for the Spring Leadership and Board Meetings hosted by ED Karen Burghart and her team at the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council. Connect with other Council leaders and staff from around the country as we dive into topics regarding WAC programming, membership, and fundraising. Stay tuned for registration details, and contact Liz Brailsford at lbrailsford@worldaffairscouncils.org with any questions.
National Conventions: On-Site Student Seminar Opportunity
The presidential election is only 10 months away, but the major political parties will first convene in Milwaukee and Charlotte for the National Conventions. The Washington Center's Internship and Academic Seminars program will host two-week academic programs held on-site at both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention.

Open to college undergraduate and graduate students, these seminars feature a blend of academic lectures, panel discussions, small group meetings, and site visits. During the week of the conventions themselves, participants will gain hands-on experience through fieldwork assignments; working with political groups, media organizations, or a host committee. Housing is guaranteed in the host city.

WACA encourages you to advertise this unique opportunity to schools and students in your communities. Space is limited, so please contact James Liska at james.liska@twc.edu if interested. Click here to view more logistical details, program dates and deadlines, and student eligibility requirements.
Check Out WACA's Member Council Publication Discounts!
Taking Responsibility in a Dangerous World”—the aptly titled feature by Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy—sets the tone for the latest edition of PRISM. A non-themed edition, PRISM Vol. 8, No. 2 explores the business of terrorism; lessons learned from 18 years of war; the emergence of hybrid warfare; the potential militarization of robotic automated systems and artificial intelligence; Russia’s resurgence, and Sweden’s strategy of Total Defense in response to Russia’s resurgent assertiveness; as well as the rapid growth of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, and a comparative analysis of international approaches to diplomatic security. To claim your discounted PRISM subscription, see here.
To learn more about discount rates and accessing these features, see  here .
2019 - WACA's Year in Review
Watch WACA's end-of-year video (below) to view the many accomplishments and highlights from 2019. May 2020 bring even greater opportunities and success!
Watch all 2019 National Conference session videos on WACA's YouTube page here !
Councils in the News
World Affairs Council of Greater Reading

Foreign Policy Association

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan

International Institute of Buffalo

Global Minnesota

World Affairs Council of St. Louis

Montana World Affairs Council

San Diego World Affairs Council

Pacific and Asian Affairs Council

World Affairs Council of Connecticut

World Affairs Council of Central Florida


World Affairs Council of Atlanta
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.
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!

2020 travel schedule includes trips to: 

  • Ambassador Mark Johnson, former Vice Chair, World Affairs Councils of America, Egypt & the Eternal Nile: January 28-February 11, 2020
  • Ambassador Heather Hodges, President and Ambassador in Residence, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Barcelona: April 18-26, 2020
  • Lise Falskow, President & CEO, Alaska World Affairs Council, Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords: May 16-24, 2020
  • Dr. Pamela Zeiser, Education Liaison, World Affairs Council of Jacksonville, Berlin Uncovered: May 24-31, 2020
  • Jim Falk, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, Arctic Expedition: Voyage Under the Midnight Sun: June 9-19, 2020
  • Ljubomir (LJ) Stambuk, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Charlotte, Sailing Ancient Trade Routes: Helsinki to Copenhagen: June 27-July 9, 2020
  • Craig Snyder, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Ukraine Seminar: July 5-16, 2020
  • Mimi Gregory, Vice President and Program Chairman, Naples Council on World Affairs, Cruising the Adriatic and Aegean Seas: September 9-17, 2020
  • Bill Clifford, President & CEO, World Affairs Councils of America, Ancient Greece Odyssey: October 22-30, 2020
  • Don Samford, Chairman of the Education Outreach and Program Committees, Peoria Area World Affairs Council, Legendary Turkey: October 2-16, 2020
  • Derrick Olsen, President, WorldOregon, Romance of the Douro River: October 13-24, 2020

Contact  www.wacphila.org/travel   or call  800-942-5004 , ext.  209  or  217 .
1010 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 516, Washington, DC 20005