President's Letter; Cover to Cover with Philip Stephens; Star Speakers; WACA National Conference; Council of the Month; WorldQuest Weekly Quiz; Wunderbar Together Programs; Councils are Hiring; Programming on Afghanistan; Council Highlights; & more!
President's Letter
A riveting new history – Britain Alone: The Path from Suez to Brexit, by the FT’s Philip Stephens – delivers invaluable insights about power, changing world order, decision-making, national identity, and the psychologies of leaders, allies, rivals, and the led. Can a reader this side of the pond help but wonder (and wish against) what a future book titled America Alone might explicate?

Countries rise, fall, or plateau depending on what they get right or wrong, and by how much and how often. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 presents an opportunity to reflect from a new and disquieting vantage.

The unforgettable terror attacks on the homeland of the world’s sole superpower claimed 2,997 innocent lives and damaged victims’ families forever. The evil unleashed choices and consequences the world over that few events do.

This year, our perspective is marked by a greater sense of loss. Here, in the U.S., where we measure ourselves against whether we are first in everything measurable – Olympic gold medals, market capitalizations, military spending - we look back on that moment, fallen in a “forever” 20-year war in Afghanistan initially fought to avenge 9/11. How to assess the valor, lost and injured lives, $2 trillion expense, logistical prowess, chaos, and what’s left behind – in the hands of the once vanquished Taliban? Did the War on Terror make us, the West, and the law-abiding anywhere more secure?

In terms of deadly threats, here, in the U.S., we count 650,000 COVID-19 deaths – 14% of the global total of 4.5 million lives lost to the pandemic (high for a great power that accounts for just 4.3% of the world’s population). What are we getting right and wrong about global health, climate change, and foreign policy priorities in general? What is the opportunity cost of the U.S. defense budget?

Here, in the 20th year since planes hijacked by jihadists leveled the World Trade Towers, struck the west side of the Pentagon, and crashed into a Pennsylvania field, we must now also grapple with the horrifying attack by fellow Americans on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Political grievances. Supremacy. Glorified violence. A dangerous common denominator of hate made manifest to terrorize.

Will we properly investigate 1/6? Will we learn from mistakes made in the aftermath of 9/11? Can we marry appropriate resources with a focused mission to combat domestic terrorism?

Like Britain, the U.S. has a messy history studded with getting many things right and making positive contributions. In the world, it’s not possible to solve problems of peace and prosperity alone. At home, it won’t work if only half the decision-makers participate with common sense. To remember 9/11 is to remember this.
Bill Clifford
President and CEO
Cover to Cover: Britain Alone
Thursday, Sept. 9, 2:00 PM ET
WACA's Cover to Cover webinar on Thursday, September 9 features Philip Stephens, Director of the Editorial Board and Chief Political Commentator at Financial Times.

Boris Johnson is ambitious for "Global Britain," but post-Brexit, what will the country's influence and ability to tackle global challenges be? Will Washington approach Europe directly and bypass London for Brussels, Berlin, and Paris? Britain Alone: The Path from Suez to Brexit is the story of a nation's attempt to reconcile its past and present in a confident national identity. 
WACA 2021 National Conference
Bridging Divides at Home and Abroad
November 16-19
New Program! Global Women Lecture Series
The World Affairs Councils of America is proud to announce the inauguration of its Global Women Lecture Series at the WACA 2021 National Conference in Washington DC. Dr. Nina Ansary, award-winning author, historian and United Nations Women Global Champion for Innovation will serve as Director of this initiative.

The Series will feature prominent leaders who will share their individual experiences that speak to issues and challenges faced by women and girls in a global context. Dr. Ansary will moderate the conversation with our inaugural speaker, who will be announced soon.

The women selected for the annual WACA National Conference program are visionaries and inspirational role models leading the way for change in their communities and beyond.
Special Pre-Conference Event
The United States Institute of Peace will welcome Council leaders and staff from around the country to its iconic headquarters on the National Mall for a special pre-conference program Tuesday, November 16, at 2:00-4:00 PM.

This event will include a welcome from Lise Grande, USIP's new President and CEO, and opportunities to engage with other USIP leaders and experts on the most pressing peace and conflict issues worldwide. Space is limited. Stay tuned for more details!
Register today for the WACA 2021 National Conference this November 16-19 at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where we will celebrate our 35th Anniversary as a national association. Be sure to take advantage of individual Early Bird discounts for the WACA 2021 National Conference, good through September 10!
Student Scholarships
Through the generous support of The Gambrinus Company and Mr. and Mrs. Carlos and Malú Alvarez, WACA will offer a limited number of scholarships for undergraduate students from the Council network to attend our 2021 National Conference. Thank you to our generous sponsor!

The nominated student must submit their Application Form, their resume, and a 1-2 page Letter of Intent. The Council must submit the Nomination Form and a Letter of Recommendation from the Council head explaining why the student has been selected. We encourage Councils to publicize the undergraduate scholarship award as soon as possible, since the deadline for nominations and applications is Friday, September 17.
Star Speakers at Councils This Week
Mehrdad Kia
Professor, University of Montana
Michela Wrong
British Author & Journalist
Trita Parsi
Vice President, Quincy Institute
Sarah Petrin
Molly Gray
Vermont Lieutenant Governor
Julie Battilana
Co-Author & Harvard Professor
Tope Ogundipe
Founder, TechSocietal
Robert W. Jordan
Fmr. U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Harriet Miers
Fmr. White House Counsel

WACA is pleased to announce Global Ties Arizona as its September 2022 Council of the Month! Each month, WACA features one of its 90 Councils, highlighting their accomplishments and top quality programming.

Global Ties Arizona launched into 2021 with new leadership, a new staff, and has redefined programming that will reach broader audiences across Arizona. GTAZ is also currently implementing educational and professional development programs for high school, university, and young leaders that are set to launch in 2022. Check out Global Ties Arizona's website for more information and updates.
WorldQuest Weekly Quiz
This week's WACA WorldQuest Weekly is out! Test your global affairs awareness and dive into news stories that represent a broad spectrum of developments of interest and importance. Most of the questions are drawn from both WACA's Weekly World News Update, and a curated news Twitter feed @TNWAC #WACquiz.

In partnership with WACA, WorldQuest Weekly is produced by the Tennessee World Affairs Council, which offers customized subscriptions to the quiz for Council members. Contact or visit for details.

Last Week's Winners (10/10 Points):
Peter (San Diego, CA) and Connie (Peoria, IL) - Congratulations!
Germany's Elections & the Future of Transatlantic Relations
The following WACA Engage America series, held under the auspices of Wunderbar Together 2021, is presented in partnership with the American Council on Germany and Atlantik-Brücke.
Tue., Sept. 14 at 12:00 PM ET
Cleveland Council on World Affairs hosts Stefan Kornelius, foreign editor of the German Daily, in conversation with Steven Sokol, President of the American Council on Germany, for "Germany after Angela Merkel: Her Legacy & the Leadership Transition." REGISTER.
Wed., Sept. 15 at 12:00 PM ET
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Kati Marton, author of The Chancellor, in conversation with Steven Sokol, President of the American Council on Germany, for "The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel." REGISTER.
Wed., Sept. 29 at 7:00 PM ET
World Affairs Council of Maine hosts Jeff Rathke, President of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, and Sophia Besch, Senior Researcher at the Centre for European Reform, for "The Most Important Elections in the World: Bundestag 2021." REGISTER.
Putting People First in Digital Government Services
September 15 at 12:00 PM ET
The World Affairs Council of Atlanta, in partnership with WACA, will host "Putting People First in Digital Government Services: A Transatlantic Conversation." Experts from industry and government will share lessons learned and future prospects for digital government from a customer/user perspective.

The event will also explore Transatlantic lessons learned through new digital health and human services programs launched in Scotland and the state of Rhode Island. Register here.
Job Announcements in the Network
Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs seeks to hire a President. Learn more.
Santa Fe Council on International Relations seeks to hire an Executive Director. Learn more.
World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana seeks to hire an Communications and Marketing Coordinator. Learn more.
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth seeks to hire a Part Time Accountant. Learn more.
Cleveland Council on World Affairs seeks to hire a Program Associate, International Exchanges and an Office Coordinator. Learn more.
World Affairs Councils of America seeks to hire a Programs and Operations Associate. Learn more.
Programming on Afghanistan
Member Councils in recent weeks have provided extensive insight into recent developments in Afghanistan. On August 31, WACA President Bill Clifford hosted a Cover to Cover discussion with Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter for The Washington Post on his book, The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War.

Upcoming Programs:

All programs below are accessible online unless otherwise indicated.

Tuesday 9/7

World Affairs Council of Austin hosts Joseph Sadek, Research Manager (Financial Services) at GLG, for “The Kozmetsky Forum on Global Investment, Finance, Emerging Markets and Geopolitical Risk.”

Wednesday 9/8 

Montana World Affairs Council hosts Mehrdad Kia, Professor of History and Director of the University of Montana's Central and Southwest Asian Studies Center, for “Taliban, Islamic State (ISIS) & the Global Terrorist Network: What Just Happened in Afghanistan?

Colorado Springs World Affairs Council will host Trita Parsi, Co-founder and Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, for “U.S.-Iranian Relations: After the Election, Will There Be War or Peace?” (In Person)

Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council hosts Michela Wrong, British author and journalist, for “Do Not Disturb: Reassessment of Rwandan President Kagame’s Legacy.”

World Affairs Council of New Orleans hosts Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center, for “Great Decisions: The U.S. War in Afghanistan: The History, the Costs, and the Withdrawal.”

Vermont Council on World Affairs hosts Sarah Dawn Petrin, author of Bring Rain: Helping Humanity in Crisis, and Molly Gray, Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, forBook Talk: Local Action and Global Change.”

Thursday 9/9

World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Madiha Afzal, a Foreign Policy Fellow at Brookings, and Stephen Tankel, former Senior Advisor at the Department of Defense, for “Al Qaeda & ISIS, the Fall of Afghanistan and the Terrorist Threat to the U.S.

Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Town Hall hosts Dr. Julie Battilana, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Social Innovation at Harvard Business School, and Tope Ogundipe, founder, director, and lead consultant of TechSocietal, for “Power, for All: How It Works and Why It’s Everybody’s Business

World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California hosts David Herring, Chief of the Communication, Education, and Engagement Division National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for “Climate 101: The Causes & Effects of Global Warming.”

International Relations Council (Kansas City) hosts Mona Yacoubian, former Executive Director of the Congressionally-appointed Syria Study Group for USIP, for “Nuancing National Security: Diplomacy’s Role in National Security

World Affairs Council of Charlotte hosts Ambassador (Ret.) Ryan Crocker, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University, for "Afghanistan: Where Do We Go From Here?"

World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts “Book Club: The Room Where It Happened – A White House Memoir.” 

Friday 9/10

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Ambassador (Ret.) Robert W. Jordan, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and Harriet Miers, former White House Counsel, for “Remembering 9/11: Then and Now.”

World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts Todd Wright, former Vice President of Operations for the Energy and Environment Business Unit for AECOM, for “Community Global Forum: Todd Wright – Nuclear Energy.” 

Sunday 9/12

World Affairs Council of the Desert hosts Christopher Sands, Director of the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute, for “Is the Era of Close Canada/U.S. Relations Over?

Windham World Affairs Council hosts a members-only 60th Anniversary Party.