January 21, 2020
Global Minnesota Chair to Lead U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan; WACA Breakfast at Global Ties National Meeting; AWQ National Registration Open; Councils' Star Speakers; Council of the Month; WAC Pittsburgh's New CEO Betty Cruz; + more Council Highlights!
Global Minnesota's Chairman to Head U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan
Ambassador Ross Wilson, Board Chair of Global Minnesota, has been tapped to lead the U.S. Embassy in Kabul at a critical stage in the process of negotiating an Afghan peace agreement.

Wilson, who spent nearly four decades in the U.S. Foreign Service before retiring to Minnesota, accepted U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s request to serve as Charge d'Affaires until the U.S. Senate confirms a permanent ambassador to Afghanistan. His appointment was reported last week in a New York Times article and in Minnesota's Star Tribune.

“Afghanistan is an extraordinarily challenging, but also very consequential, assignment and I am honored by the trust and confidence that Secretary of State Pompeo and the Department of State have placed in me,” Wilson said before heading overseas.

Wilson “is exactly who you want in a senior diplomatic post,” said Mark Ritchie, President of Global Minnesota, one of the largest Councils in the WACA Network. “We have a very long history of Minnesotans being distinguished in foreign careers and in all matters related to international affairs.”
2020 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting
Exchange programs have the power to connect the world. From January 22-25, the Global Ties U.S. 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, a proud partner of Global Ties U.S., is delighted to host its annual breakfast for dual members (leaders and staff) on Thursday, January 23 at 7:30 AM ET. The breakfast will take place in Madison B meeting room at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.
AWQ National Competition Registration Is Now Open!
Registration for the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020 Academic WorldQuest National Competition is now open! The AWQ championship weekend program will be held in Washington, DC on April 24-25.

Local champion teams of Academic WorldQuest competitions hosted by World Affairs Councils around the country must complete the Registration Form in order to participate in the AWQ National Competition. Registration Forms are due no later than Friday, March 27. Register your AWQ team!

This year's competition will be held on Saturday, April 25 at the United States Institute of Peace.

For topics, study guide, and other information about this year's competition, please click here.

Hotel Reservations:
WACA has secured a group hotel block at The Westin DC City Center (1400 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005) at a special rate of $169 / night plus tax. The block will expire April 2. Reserve today!
Convening Power of the WACA Network This Week
Ambassador (ret.) Samantha Power
Professor of Practice, Harvard Kennedy School
The Honorable Bing West
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
Marcus Noland
Executive Vice President and Director of Studies Peterson Institute for International Economics
Council of the Month: WAC Western Michigan
The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan partners annually with the Kent District Library (KDL) for a free community series on issues important to the region. Past topics included civil discourse, peacemaking, and immigration. The 2020 series will be on “ The Future of Work." Stay tuned for more details from the Council this upcoming March!

In 2019, the Council and KDL presented a series of four events titled “Oceans, Lakes, and Streams: Protecting Water Globally and Locally.” Beginning with Dr. David Guggenheim, known as “Doctor Ocean,” moving to the State of the Great Lakes and ending with a local panel of experts on the rivers and streams within the county, the series sought to provide credible information and paths to action for everyone attending.

A particularly moving presentation was led by Anna Clark (second from right), author of The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy discussing “Learning from the Flint Water Crisis.” The Poisoned City was named one of the best books of the year in 2018 by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon, and more. Clark walked attendees though the troubled history of Flint, the series of events that brought environmental distress to that city’s residents, and the infrastructure challenges many American cities face that without attention will lead to future urban water disasters. 
Betty Cruz Named New President of WAC Pittsburgh
The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh announces Betty Cruz as its new President & CEO! Currently the leader of Change Agency, a social enterprise which she founded in 2016, and Project Director for All for All, an immigrant inclusion initiative, Cruz has nearly 20 years of experience in community outreach, communications, partnership-building, and program management. She will officially assume her WAC Pittsburgh role today, January 21.

“My vision is to continue our focus on global education and expand the Council's reach to new audiences across generations, races, cultures, faiths, ideologies, and economic backgrounds. I am humbled to get to do this work together with our community, experienced team, and Board to continue building a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh that is locally relevant, nationally recognized, and globally connected. The need for fact-based, nonpartisan, and meaningful ways to learn about world affairs remains as palpable today as ever,” said Cruz. On behalf of the national Council network, WACA extends a very warm welcome to Betty!
February Cover to Cover : Professor Yuli Tamir on Why Nationalism
Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, February 19 at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Professor Yael (Yuli) Tamir, President of Shenkar College in Tel Aviv and adjunt professor at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, on her book, Why Nationalism.

Around the world today, nationalism is back—and it’s often deeply troubling. Populist politicians exploit nationalism for authoritarian, chauvinistic, racist, and xenophobic purposes, reinforcing the view that it is fundamentally reactionary and antidemocratic. But Tamir makes a passionate argument for a very different kind of nationalism—one that revives its participatory, creative, and egalitarian virtues, answers many of the problems caused by neoliberalism and hyperglobalism, and is essential to democracy.
Cover to Cover on Podcast

Cover to Cover with Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute and Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. Listen as Bacevich discusses his new book is The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory.

Cover to Cover with Angela Stent, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings Institution and Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown University, and  Jill Dougherty, SFS Centennial Fellow at Georgetown University, Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and CNN Contributor. Listen as Stent and Dougherty discuss Stent's recent book,  Putin's World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest.
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.
Council Highlights
Monday 1/20

World Affairs Council of New Hampshire hosts Sasha Baker, Deputy Policy Director for Foreign Policy for Warren for President - Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 Presidential Campaign, for “Presidential Foreign Policy Forum.” Details

Tuesday 1/21

World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts The Honorable Bing West, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, for a book event, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead. Details

WorldOregon hosts Ambassador (ret.) Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN and Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, for “The Education of an Idealist – What Can One Person Do?” Details

World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Adam Davidson, Co-Founder of Planet Money at NPR, and Jessie Wisdom, Co-Founder and Head of People Science at Humu, for “The New Rules of 21st Century Passion Economy.” Details

World Affairs Council of Palm Beach hosts Heather Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, for “The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Malign Influence.” Details

Naples Council on World Affairs hosts Michael Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, for “The Korean Peninsula, Nuclear Weapons, and the Future of Asia.” Details

World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California hosts Shukavak Dasa, Head Priest of the Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Riverside, for “Asian Religions in America: Hinduism.” Details

Colorado Foothills World Affairs Council hosts author Alfredo Corchado, Mexico Border Correspondent for the Dallas Morning News, for a book event, Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries & The Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration. Details

Wednesday 1/22

World Affairs Council of San Antonio hosts Ambassador (ret.) Luis Moreno, former U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, for “A First Generation American Diplomat’s Journey.” Details

Cleveland Council on World Affairs hosts Marcus Noland, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, for “Trade, Politics, and the Global Economic Outlook in 2020.” Details

Colorado Springs World Affairs Council hosts author Alfredo Corchado, Mexico Border Correspondent for the Dallas Morning News, for a book event, Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries & The Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration. Details

WorldDenver hosts author Alfredo Corchado, Mexico Border Correspondent for the Dallas Morning News, for a book event, Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries & The Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration. Details

World Affairs (Northern California) hosts freelance writer and producer William Wheeler for “MS-13 and Violence in El Salvador.” Details

Thursday 1/23

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosts Ambassador (ret.) Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN and Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, for a book event, The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir. Details

Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council hosts Megan O’Neill, Associate Director of Imagine Scholar, for “A Different Look at Rural African Education.” Details

Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs hosts Jung Pak, Senior Fellow & SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies, Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings Institution, for “What to Expect in U.S.-North Korea Relations in 2020.” Details

Friday 1/24

WorldOregon hosts Eliot Levine, Deputy Director of Environment, Energy, and Climate at Mercy Corps, for “Great Decisions: Climate Change and the Global Order.” Details

Windham World Affairs Council hosts Julie Snorek, Research Associate at Dartmouth College, for “Degrowth: How Our Blessings Have Become a Curse.” Details

World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts author and professor Sean McFate, National Defense University and Georgetown University, for a book event, The New Rules of War. Details

Saturday 1/25

World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads hosts professor Sachin Shetty, Old Dominion University, for “Great Decisions: Artificial Intelligence and Data.” Details
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