March 9, 2020
WACA Engage America : Future of Korea, AAD, and Sasakawa; Councils' Star Speakers; Council of the Month; Coronavirus Update; WAC Leaders Join GT U.S. Board; Cover to Cover on Gender Parity in Diplomacy; 2020 AWQ Registration & Volunteer Info; 2020 Summer Internship; + more Highlights!
WACA Engage America Applications and Programs
Deadline This Friday! WACA-KEI: Future of Korea 2020
WACA is pleased to continue our collaboration with the  Korea Economic Institute of America on our  Engage America : Future of Korea program series. The speaker program focuses on the diplomatic, political, economic, and cultural circumstances on the Korean Peninsula, as well as U.S.-Korea relations.

The centerpiece of each Council's Future of Korea 2020 program is a three-person panel discussion consisting of representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the Korean Embassy (from DC or a regional Korean Consulate representative), KEI, or other relevant institutions. In addition to the mandatory panel discussion, local Councils are also expected to deliver ancillary activities, with a particular interest in media meetings.

WACA invites applications from Member Councils, and  six will be selected to participate. Please submit your Application Form to WACA Communications and Marketing Associate Rachel Pastor at by COB ET Friday, March 13. See here for program details.
WACA-AAD: The State of State - Apply Today!
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.
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 will host 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 will consist 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."
Star Speakers at Councils
Scroll down to the Council Highlights section for more speaker and topic ideas!
Ambassador Carlos Vecchio
Amb. of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S., Gov. of Interim President Juan Guaidó
Ambassador William Burns
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
John Allen
Brookings Institution
Manda Zand Ervin
Founder and Director
Alliance of Iranian Women
Council of the Month: WorldBoston
On March 24, WorldBoston looks forward to presenting its third " State of the State Department" event. Initiated by the Council in 2018 with the collaboration of Ambassador (ret.) Nicholas Burns of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, this program has now become an annual WorldBoston event with the collaboration of the Future of Diplomacy Project and the support of the Lowell Institute.

Important partnership is provided by venue host, the Boston Public Library, and filming by the WGBH Forum Network. The free event is intended to provide the community with a high-level assessment of American diplomacy and related issues. This year, Ambassador of the European Union to the U.S. Stavros Lambrinidis and Ambassador Burns will join WorldBoston President & CEO Mary Yntema for a discussion on " The State of the State Department and Transatlantic Diplomacy." 
2019 State of the State Department & Diplomacy event (Full video here )
Council Heads Call: Coronavirus Update
We are all feeling the threat of the virus in our communities, and we here in DC extend our thoughts and prayers to our Council colleagues in Seattle and California who are battling the brunt of the U.S. outbreak. With schools closing, states of emergencies, suspended international travel to and from certain regions, and other consequences,  WACA plans to hold a nationwide leadership discussion to tap into the full support and resources of the Network.

The call will be held  Friday, March 20, at 1:00 PM ET , and will be open to all Council presidents, CEOs, and executive directors.  The purpose of the discussion is to address key concerns with regional programming, explore ways in which to assist one another, and offer advice on how to best support our communities. WACA will also provide an update on all major initiatives.

A dedicated announcement was sent out earlier today, and reminders with further details and dial-in information will be sent directly to Council heads, so we ask that all WAC leaders be on the lookout for those in their inboxes.
WAC Leaders Join the Global Ties U.S. Board of Directors
As of March 1, Derrick Olsen, President of WorldOregon, and Patricia Preston, Executive Director of the Vermont Council on World Affairs, are the newest additions to the Global Ties U.S. Board of Directors.

Olsen, also a WACA National Board Member, brings a wealth of public and private sector experience having served more than 13 years as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and eight years as an economic development strategist at Greater Portland Inc. and Business Oregon. A Vermont native, Preston has extensive international and nonprofit sector experience, having worked on policy and gender issues in the U.S. and abroad. WACA congratulates both of them for this honor and for being recognized as excellent leaders in the Global Ties and WACA networks.
March Cover to Cover : Susan Sloan on Gender Parity in Diplomacy
Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Thursday, March 19, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Susan Sloan, associate director of a global advocacy organization, on her upcoming 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. 

IMPORTANT NOTE : Cover to Cover with Dr. Nina Ansary is rescheduled for summer 2020. Stay tuned for an announcement of the official date.
2020 Academic WorldQuest National Competition
Volunteers Needed

WACA will need volunteers throughout Academic WorldQuest: from 3:00-6:30 PM on Friday, April 24 and 7:00 AM-2:30 PM on Saturday, April 25. If you are interested, please use this link to sign up. If you know someone who may be interested, please forward them the link and encourage them to volunteer!
Complete the Registration & Consent/Release Forms Today!
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 National Competition Registration Form. Students must also complete the Consent & Release Forms in order to participate. All forms are due no later than Friday, March 27.

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!

Thank you to our sponsors!
WACA's 2020 Summer Internship Opportunity!
The  World Affairs Councils of America is seeking bright and enthusiastic university students to  intern during our 2020 Summer Term. The candidate should be a voracious newsreader, possess a keen interest in foreign affairs, respond positively to constructive criticism, and have a desire to find creative solutions to complex challenges.

Deadline to apply is  Friday, April 3. Please submit a resume and cover letter to WACA Communications and Marketing Associate Rachel Pastor at See details and  apply here.
Apply for the Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute
The  Foreign Policy Association's  2020 Great Decisions Teachers Training Institute for high school educators will be held  June 29 - July 3 in  New York City. Topics will include Climate Change, the Red Sea Region, Human Trafficking, and others. For more information and a full list of topics, please click  here.

To apply for the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, all applicants must complete the application questionnaire, which can be accessed by either clicking on this  link or visiting the Institute's  website. Educators are invited to apply by  March 13, and all applicants will be notified by  April 17.
If you have any questions in regards to the application or the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, please email, or call the Foreign Policy Association at  212-481-8100 x249.
Councils Celebrate Int'l Women's Day and Women's History Month
In honor of March being Women's History Month, International Women's Day 2020 will be celebrated on Sunday, March 8 . The campaign theme is #EachforEqual, which is drawn from a notion of 'Collective Individualism.' Collectively, we can make change happen and create a gender equal world because an equal world is an enabled world. Below is a list of Councils participating in the International Women's Day campaign and/or celebrating Women's History Month by hosting events with female leaders.


Council Highlights
Monday 3/9

World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Ambassador Carlos Vecchio, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S. for the Government of Interim President Juan Guaidó, for “The Struggle for Venezuela and the Road Ahead.” Details

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan hosts Rachel Verwys, Co-Creator of Solutions to End Exploitation, for “Human Trafficking: Global and Local Perspectives.” Details

Tuesday 3/10

Montana World Affairs Council hosts Nicholas Kralev, Executive Director of the Washington International Diplomacy Academy, for “Why Diplomacy and Domestic Politics Don’t Mix.” Details

World Affairs Council of Western North Carolina hosts Julie Snyder, former U.S. diplomat with the Department of Commerce, for “Great Decisions: China in Latin America.” Details

Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts Todd Greentree, Research Associate for the Changing Character of War Center at Oxford University, for “Great Decisions: U.S. Relations With the Northern Triangle.” Details

Indiana Council on World Affairs hosts Laura Donatelli Bow, Region 7 Coalition Coordinator for the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program, for “Great Decisions: Human Trafficking.” Details 

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan hosts professor Marisa Ensor, Georgetown University, for “Great Decisions: 'Green Peacebuilding': Justice in the Face of Climate Change.” Details

World Affairs Council of Palm Beach hosts professor Robert Rabil, Florida Atlantic University, for “United States, Israel, and Iran: Threats and Challenges.” Details 

Worcester World Affairs Council hosts professor Michael Butler, Director of the Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Luxembourg Program at Clark University, for “New Decade, New Dilemmas? Contemporary Challenges for U.S. National Security.” Details

Wednesday 3/11

WorldBoston hosts Ambassador Jorge Heine, Global Fellow at The Wilson Center, for “Great Decisions: China’s Road Into Latin America.” Details

Cleveland Council on World Affairs hosts Ambassador William Burns, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, for “American Diplomacy in a Disordered World.” Details

Columbus Council on World Affairs hosts Daniel Nepstad, President and Founder of the Earth Innovation Institute, for “Climate Change and the Future of the Amazon.” Details

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Mark Elgart, Founder and CEO of AdvancED/Cognia, for “U.S Students Left Behind?” Details

World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Natalie Bridgeman Fields, Founder and Executive Director of the Accountability Counsel, and Caitlin Daniel, Senior Communities Associate of the Accountability Counsel, for “Advancing Community Rights Through Peacebuilding.” Details

World Affairs Forum (Stamford) hosts Dr. Sten Vermund, Dean & Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health and Professor of Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, for “Emerging Global Health Threats: Coronavirus and Global Warming.” Details

World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California hosts Kevin Grisham, Assistant Director of Research at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, for “An Age of Tragedy: Global Terrorism and Mass Shootings in the U.S.” Details

Global Minnesota hosts author Pamela Toler to discuss her book, “Women Warriors: An Unexpected History” Details

Foreign Policy Association hosts professor Anu Bradford, Director for the European Legal Studies Center, for “The Brussels Effect.” Details

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh hosts a panel of experts for “Japan Currents: Healthcare Connections Between Western PA & Japan.” Details

International Relations Council (Kansas City) hosts a panel of experts for “The Emerging Impacts of the Coronavirus.” Details

Thursday 3/12

Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts John Allen, President of the Brookings Institution, and professor Dan Schnur, University of Southern California, for “American Leadership in the 21st Century.” Details

World Affairs Council of Upstate hosts Patrick Warren, Associate Editor of the Public Finance Review, for “Touched by the Russian Trolls: How and Why a Coordinated Information Operation Interacts With Outsiders.” Details

World Affairs Council of Sonoma County hosts David McCuan, professor and chair, Department of Political Science, Sonoma State University, for “Impeachment vs. Re-Election: How Politics, Issues, and Money Influence U.S. Campaigns and Elections.” Details

Friday 3/13

World Affairs Council of Greater Reading hosts professor Joan Johnson-Freese, Charles F. Bolden Jr. Chair in Science, Space, and Technology at Harvard Extension School and Harvard Summer School, for “Half of Heaven: Why Women Are Needed in National Security.” Details

Saturday 3/14

World Affairs Council of Harrisburg hosts Manda Zand Ervin, Founder and Director of the Alliance of Iranian Women, for “2020 International Women’s Conference: Surviving &Thriving at Home and Abroad.” 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 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   or call  800-942-5004 , ext.  209  or  217 .