December 7, 2020
WACA Weekly
Cover to Cover Conference Call; WACA 2020 National Conference Survey Due; Star Speakers; Engage America Speakers; AWQ 2020-2021 Pledge Form Deadline Extended; Council Highlights; and more!
Council of the Month: Naples Council on World Affairs
WACA is pleased to recognize the Naples Council on World Affairs as Council of the Month for December. Naples Council brought 13 of their board members to the WACA 2020 National Conference - far and away the greatest turnout of any single Council - and we are grateful for that outstanding participation.

"Undeterred by the pandemic, the Naples Council continues its full range of programs virtually, including dozens of Great Decisions discussion groups, Academic World Quest competitions for middle and high school students, and the popular Southwest Florida Model UN," said Council President Jim Schmotter. "To provide even more engagement with members, we have augmented our lecture program with additional presentations by Lincoln scholar Ted Widmer and Ambassador William B. Taylor."
WACA 2020 National Conference Survey Due Wednesday!

Please take a few minutes to fill out this WACA 2020 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.
Cover to Cover Conference Call
Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 2:00 PM ET
Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, December 9, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Glenn Robinson, Associate Professor at Naval Postgraduate School and President of WAC Monterey Bay.

Most violent jihadi movements in the twentieth century 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, Glenn E. Robinson develops a compelling and provocative argument about this violent political movement's evolution.
Star Speakers This Week
Bonnie Glick
Frmr. Deputy Administrator of USAID
John Williams
CEO of Domtar
Tom Standage
Deputy Editor of The Economist
Gillian Tett
Editor-at-Large, U.S. Financial Times
WACA's Engage America Speaker Series
U.S. Institute of Peace Speaker Series
Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 5:30 PM ET

"Protecting Religious Freedom in Times of Covid & Conflict"
Guest Speaker:
  • Knox Thames, Visiting Expert, Middle East and Religion and Inclusive Societies, USIP
World Food Program USA Speaker Series
Friday, Dec. 11 at 3:00 PM ET

"The Food Crisis in Latin America"

Guest Speakers:
  • 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
  • Maria Nelly Rivas, VP of Government Relations, Latin America at Cargill
Missed any of WACA's Engage America series events? You can view them all on our website or some of our most recent listed below:

Future of Korea 2020 grant series:
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 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 12/7 
Sarasota World Affairs Council hosts Richard Skolnik, Former Director of Health, World Bank South Asia Region, for “Why You Should Now Care Even More About Global Health.” 
WorldBoston hosts Professor Anne Searcy of University of Washington, to discuss her book “Ballet in the Cold War: A Soviet American Exchange.” 

Naples Council on World Affairs hosts Professor Daniel Markey, John’s Hopkin’s University, for “China’s Western Horizon: Beijing and the New Geopolitics of Eurasia.” 

International Relations Council (Kansas City) hosts Jing Ji, member of the Yan'an Sister City Committee, for “Chinese Cooking Class.” 
Tuesday 12/8 
WorldOregon hosts Bonnie Glick, Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, for “Caring for the World: The Future of U.S. Foreign Assistance.

World Affairs Council of Charlotte hosts John Williams, CEO of Domtar, for “Managing Through Uncertainty.” 

Alabama World Affairs Council hosts Julio Amador, International Affairs Specialist, and Deryk Baladjay, Senior Associate at Amador Research Services, for “Great Decisions | The Philippines and the U.S.” 
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Professor Katerina Linos, University of California, Berkeley, for “Are International Organizations Becoming Obsolete?” 
World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Professor Mohammed Dajani, Al-Quds University, for “Peace Without Palestinians? U.S. Policy in the Middle East.”  
World Worcester hosts Professor Angela Stent, Georgetown University, for “Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest.” 

World Affairs Council of Albuquerque hosts Emile Nakhleh, Retired Senior Intelligence Service Officer (SIS-3), for “The Middle East and American Policy: A Blueprint for the Incoming Administration."
Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts Karl Dean, former Nashville Mayor, and Mary Burke, COO of Alliance Bernstein, for “Global Nashville."

Montana World Affairs Council hosts Ellie Bundy, member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, for “MMIP & Human Trafficking.” 

World Affairs Council of New Hampshire hosts a panel of experts for “Global Tipping Points: Re-Establishing United States Global Climate Diplomacy.” 
Wednesday 12/9 

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Tom Standage, Deputy Editor at the Economist, for “The World in 2021."

World Affairs Forum (Stamford) hosts Gillian Tett, Chair of Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large at U.S. Financial Times, for “Moral Money: A Green Shift.” 
World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S., for “An Off-the-Record Conversation With the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S.” 

World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Ambassador Ho-Young Ahn, President of the University of North Korean Studies, and Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, for “Republic of Korea & the U.S.: A Vital Alliance in an Uncertain World.” 
World Affairs Council Orange County hosts John Allen, President of Brookings, and Darrell West, Vice President and Senior Fellow of Governance Studies at Brookings, for “Turning Point: Policymaking in the Era of Artificial Intelligence.” 

World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Professor John Ferris, University of Calgary, for “Uncovering Britain’s Secret Cyber-Intelligence Agency.”  
Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council hosts Professor Peter Beinart, City University of New York, for “America and the World in the Biden Era.” 
World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts hosts Marlaina Casey, Deputy Director for Venezuelan Affairs at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, for “U.S. Foreign Policy and Venezuela.” 
Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs hosts Paul Goble, former Director of Communications at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, for “Russia, What Drives It, and Its Modi Operandi.” 
World Affairs Council of Greater Reading hosts John Dernbach, Director of International Environmental Law and Sustainability, for “Climate Change.” 

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosts a panel of experts for “From Belarus, to Lebanon, to Venezuela: Democracy on the Table around the World." 
South Dakota World Affairs Council hosts a panel of experts for “Beyond Borders and Barriers: Creating an Equitable World for Migrant Women and Girls.” 

WorldDenver, Tennessee World Affairs Council, World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, and the International Relations Council (Kansas City) host a panel of experts for “UN75: The Journey Continues.”

Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts a panel of experts for “Preserving Mental Health During a Pandemic.” 
Thursday 12/10 

World Affairs Council Inland Southern California and San Diego World Affairs Council host Ambassador (ret.) Ronald Neumann, President of the American Academy of Diplomacy, for “Foreign Policy Changes After January.” 

San Diego World Affairs Council hosts Ambassador (ret.) Reno Harnish III, former Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Jesse Driscoll, UCSD Professor, and Monica Sendor, Azerbaijan and Armenia Desk Officer, U.S. Dept. of State, for "Ambassador in Baku: Politics, Petroleum, & Nagorno-Karabakh."
Alabama World Affairs Council hosts Professor Susan Aaronson, George Washington University, for “Great Decisions | Artificial Intelligence and Data.” 
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Dr. Rebecca Lissner, Assistant Professor in the Strategic and Operational Research Department at the U.S. Naval War College, for “Global Forum: An Open World: How America Can Win the Contest for Twenty-First-Century Order."  
Olympia World Affairs Council hosts Robert Hamilton, Governor’s Advisor for Trade Policy at the Washington State Department of Commerce, for “Trade Policy in Transition."  

Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts Professor Sean Roberts, Director of the International Development Studies Program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, for “The War on the Uyghurs: China’s Internal Campaign Against a Muslim Minority."

Global Minnesota hosts a panel of experts for “Advancing LGBTQIA+ Rights Worldwide.” 

World Affairs Council of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky hosts a panel of experts for “Diplomacy After Hours: The 25th Anniversary of the Dayton Accords.” 
Friday 12/11 
Peoria Area World Affairs Council hosts Ambassador Renya Mendivil, Consul General Mexico in Chicago, for “Mexican-United States Relations.” 
World Affairs Council of Austin hosts David Langner, Lord Mayor of Koblenz, Germany, and Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, Texas, for “A Conversation.” 

Columbus Council on World Affairs hosts a panel of experts for “Global Fluency Training.” 
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.

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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
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