March 16, 2020
WACA Weekly
Council CEOs Conference Call TOMORROW; Cover to Cover on Gender Parity in Diplomacy; AWQ 2020 National Competition Canceled; K-12 Distance Learning Resources; WACA Engage America : AAD, WFP, and Sasakawa; Council of the Month; and more Council Highlights!
Council Executives Call TOMORROW, March 17: Coronavirus Update

A message from WACA's President and CEO Bill Clifford:
As you probably know, the Centers for Disease Control on Sunday revised its guidance to recommend that, for the next 8 weeks, organizers  cancel or postpone all in-person events consisting of 50 people or more nationwide. While the CDC adds this recommendation does not apply to the day-to-day operation of schools, institutes of higher learning, and businesses, these organizations as well as state and local officials across the country are taking even more stringent steps. I encourage you to read the full guidance and related links on the  CDC website.

The number of known COVID-19 coronavirus cases is spiking in the United States - even before a belated, massive testing effort begins - to more than 3,600 people in 49 states, DC, and U.S. territories. As of this morning, 66 patients have died of the virus. See the  New York Times tracking map

As Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,  said in several TV appearances Sunday, "I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting."

WACA CEOs Conference Call

In order to make sure that WACA connects with Council leadership as effectively and efficiently as possible, please  register here for the  Tuesday, March 17, conference call at  1:00 PM ET. If you register but are ultimately unable to join tomorrow, please email WACA after the call.

WACA Staffing Advisory

Also, as of today, the WACA National Office will close for social-distancing purposes, and staff and interns will telework from home for the next two weeks (through Friday, March 27). We will reevaluate at that time and update you accordingly. All WACA staff cell phone numbers were provided earlier today to Council CEOs; please email Rachel Pastor at for further information.
Don't Miss WACA's Cover to Cover Conference Call This Thursday!
Author Susan Sloan Will Discuss Gender Parity in Diplomacy
Councils: please share this virtual program opportunity with your members!

Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Thursday, March 19, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Susan Sloan, author of the forthcoming book A Seat at the Table: Women, Diplomacy, and Lessons for the World

Many countries face challenges of migration, terrorism, climate change, and the spread of fast-paced technology. Those who are sitting around the table will change the course of history and redefine how we solve critical problems. Join WACA for a conversation with Susan Sloan as she shares stories from women ambassadors spanning the globe, the impact of gender-diversified leadership, and why varied voices lead to stronger resolutions and enhanced team dynamics. 
NOTE : Cover to Cover with Dr. Nina Ansary will be rescheduled.
Important Update: AWQ 2020 In-Person Competition Canceled
WACA has canceled the in-person Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020 Academic WorldQuest National Competition , originally scheduled for April 24-25 in Washington, DC . This difficult decision comes after carefully monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., the World Health Organization's declaration of a pandemic, hearing about local restrictions on student travel, and conversations within in the Council Network.

WACA is exploring all options and congratulates the students on all their hard work. We will share more about the   possibility of a virtual AWQ championship and cover other logistical issues on tomorrow afternoon's Council Leadership call.  Note that decisions about upcoming local AWQ competitions rest with individual Councils, but WACA suggests exploring the idea of a virtual competition.

Despite the cancellation of the in-person 2020 AWQ National Competition, we still ask that all participating Councils fill out the National Competition Registration Form with the winning team's information immediately following the completion of its local AWQ competition. 

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

Thank you to our sponsors!
WAC Northwest Ohio Shares K-12 Online Learning Resources
Bill Hilt, President/CEO of the World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio, recently shared a resource document from the Ohio Council for the Social Studies that is aimed at aiding K-12 educators with distance learning during the spread of COVID-19.

To help alleviate some of concerns with distance learning and explaining the current health crisis, the list of resources is a compilation of K-12 Social Studies lessons, activities, and resources. The document is broken down into five categories: General Resources, Economics & Financial Literacy, U.S. & World History, Government/Civics, and Geography. The list also includes guidelines for explaining the Coronavirus pandemic to young people. WACA hopes that you share this with educators in your community to aid schools in the transition to distance learning.
WACA Engage America Announcements
**Due to the Coronavirus, Councils may have to push Engage America events to later in the year.
WACA-AAD: The State of State - Apply by this Friday, March 20!
WACA is pleased to announce our renewed collaboration with the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD) on an Engage America : State of the State Department and Professional Diplomacy speaker series.

For this project, WACA will arrange for decision makers and policy experts to discuss with Council audiences across the country why America needs a professional diplomacy. AAD will propose speakers from among its members, one per Council, for a speaking engagement to be hosted through mid-October 2020. Councils should include several preferred dates or date ranges in their proposals. Exact dates will be determined in collaboration with WACA and the American Academy of Diplomacy. In addition to the main speaker event, Councils will organize at least one media engagement on the same subject, as well as a separate roundtable forum.

WACA invites applications from Member Councils, and  four will be selected to participate. Please submit your Application Form to WACA Communications and Marketing Associate Rachel Pastor at by COB ET Friday, March 20. See here for program details.
Announcing World Food Program USA Grant Recipients
WACA-Sasakawa: The Alliance Working in America
As part of WACA's Engage America Series: The Alliance Working in America, the Utah Council of Citizen Diplomacy hosted a panel discussion to explore how U.S.-Japan relations serve U.S. national and regional interests. Sponsored by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, the delegation consisted of Yasuhiro Uozumi, Executive Director of Keidandren USA; Amb. James Zumwalt, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and Chairman of the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC; and Lee Carter, CEO and President of Rakuten Bank America, on Tuesday, March 10, for " The Alliance Working in Utah: The Impact and Importance of U.S.-Japan Relations."
Council of the Month: WorldBoston
WorldBoston has been enjoying a remarkable run of distinguished and timely speakers in this academic year, including Samantha Power, Wendy Sherman, Susan Rice, Richard Stengel, Rachel Kyte, Joe Nye, former Ambassador Nick Burns, and Ambassador of the E.U. Stavros Lambrinidis, among others. And now ... Council staff are at home, right along with everyone else, exercising caution throughout the COVID-19 situation. President and CEO Mary Yntema has officially said there will be no WorldBoston events through April, at this point.

But! - WorldBoston is actively investigating virtual programming, whether of its own devising or others'. For example, the Council recommended this morning's interesting Atlantic Council webinar on, " Public Trust, Institutions, and the Coronavirus Infodemic." The Council is motivated by the conviction that programs may change, but the mission of international engagement -- including and beyond the current health crisis -- certainly persists. It is looking forward to figuring out how that works, together with the rest of the WACA Network! Stay tuned for updates.
WAC San Antonio's International Citizen of the Year Award Dinner
On March 5, the World Affairs Council of San Antonio hosted its annual International Citizen of the Year Award dinner, featuring Gordon Hartman. A native San Antonian and philanthropist, Hartman began his career at 15, owning his own landscaping business, which expanded to a land development company. In 2005, Gordon sold his companies and established The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation, in pursuit of his family's dream of helping children and adults with special needs inspired by his daughter Morgan. Over the past decade, Gordon has been recognized for his amazing design and ingenuity in opening multiple non-profit fully-accessible theme parks for special-needs individuals.

The evening's keynote speaker was WACA Board Chairman Ambassador (ret.) Roman Popadiuk. Ambassador Popadiuk served as the first U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, under President George H.W. Bush. He has written about and is frequently interviewed on issues relating to U.S.-Ukraine relations, the situation in the Ukraine, and other national security and global issues.
WAC Atlanta's 5th Annual International Women's Day Breakfast
On March 6, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosted its 5th Annual International Women's Day Breakfast. The event featured Jill Ellis, the All Time Winningest Coach in U.S. Soccer History, and former Head Coach of U.S. Women’s National Team, in an inspiring conversation with Rickey Bevington, Senior Anchor at GPB. By bringing together men and women from the greater Atlanta community on this significant day, the Council is driving important discussions on gender equality. This year's conversation focused on informing and motivating the change makers needed to end gender stereotypes.

Is there a more male-dominated industry than sports coaching? Jill Ellis is the first female coach to win the Women’s World Cup - both 2015 and 2019. She is using this platform to push for gender equality and tell her story of being named FIFA World Coach of the Year, CONCACAF Women’s Coach of the Year, and, along with her team, the winner of the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award for Team in 2015.
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.