NATO 2030 continues; Cover to Cover: The Heartbeat of Iran; Star Speakers; Best Practices: Programming Beyond Covid; WACA and Councils are Hiring; Council Highlights; and more!
NATO 2030:
Strengthening the Alliance to Address New Security Threats
With the next Summit of Allied Leaders set to take place at NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 14, the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) presents this forward-looking online speaker series! Be sure to visit our dedicated website for this special program.
Six World Affairs Councils will host senior-level NATO officials and ambassadors from Allied countries May 17-27, 2021.

NATO 2030 YouTube Playlist

Did you miss any of last week's NATO 2030 programs? You can find the recordings on WACA's YouTube Channel as well as on the homepage.
Monday, May 17
11 AM MT / 1 PM ET
"NATO as Strategic Anchor - Arms Control and Russia" (Video)
Wednesday, May 19
11 AM MT / 1 PM ET
"21st Century Dilemmas of a Nuclear Alliance" (Video)
Thursday, May 20
12 PM CT / 1 PM ET
"Climate, Security, and Green Defense" (Video)
Monday, May 24
12 PM CT / 1 PM ET
"Outer Space as an Operational Domain"
Tuesday, May 25
12 PM CT / 1 PM ET
"Energy Security and Resilient Trade"
Thursday, May 27
11 AM PT / 2 PM ET
"Emerging and Disruptive Technology (EDT) and Cybersecurity"
NOTE: Separate registration is required for each and every program in this special series.
Cover to Cover: The Heartbeat of Iran
Wednesday, May 26, at 7:00 PM ET
The World Affairs Council of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will host WACA's May Cover to Cover program. Tara Kangarlou will discuss the role of media and society in the U.S. and Iran, and her insights about the Iranian people and culture as the western media seems to highlight only a slim view of this country of 80 million people. 

Kangarlou's new book, The Heartbeat of Iran: Real Voices of a Country and Its People, will be released June 1. It captures the heart and soul of a country that's often seen through news headlines and a political fog that blurs the reality of life for millions of Iranians. Kangarlou was born and raised in Tehran and is fully bilingual in English and Farsi.
Star Speakers This Week
Paul Butler, MSNBC; Lynda Williams, NOBLE; & Dave Wilkinson, Atlanta Police Fdn.
Richard Haas
Council on Foreign Relations
Kim Ghattas, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for Int'l Peace
Marilyn Strickland
Congresswoman (WA-10)
Kevin Rudd
President & CEO, Asia Society
Lisa Napoli
Author of Up All Night
WACA Best Practices: Programming Beyond Covid
WACA is please to host the fourth WACA Best Practices Session this month! On Thursday, June 24, at 3:00 PM ET, we will consider what programming beyond Covid looks like for the World Affairs Councils network.

The program will begin with a presentation from Nathan Hermiston, Senior Vice President of Sales and Services for Visit KC, who will paint the national landscape of event trends, event spaces, hybrid opportunities, and more. 

Then John Krieger, Executive Director of WorldDenver, will guide us through a conversation with fellow Council representatives Marian Shima, Vice President of Events and Public Affairs at the Los Angeles WAC & TH, and Trina Medarev, Executive Director and CEO of WAC Jacksonville.

After hearing from these insightful colleagues, stay on the line for small-group discussions. Different groups will cover in-person safety considerations and hybrid event considerations. When you register, please indicate which group you would like to join! (If you can, do hold an extra 30 minutes for extended informal discussion from 4:00-4:30 PM ET.)

While you’re at it, please mark your calendars for the next WACA Best Practices Session on Thursday, July 8 at 3:00 PM ET on Organizational Mergers in World Affairs Councils.
Note: Registration is open to Council staff and boards. More than one person per Council may attend.
Watch the April and May Best Practice Sessions' Diversity Recordings

Member Councils can access the April and May WACA Best Practices Sessions: (1) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and (2) Diversity in Programming and Young Professionals recordings and materials by visiting the Members Resources webpage and selecting the "Best Practices Meetings" square.
WACA & Councils Are Hiring!

The World Affairs Councils of America provides a collaborative, mission-driven environment to highly qualified applicants who seek challenging assignments and professional growth. We embrace diversity, passion, intellectual curiosity, and innovation. WACA is currently seeking to fill two positions:

Please visit WACA's Employment webpage for further details and instructions on how to apply.
World Affairs Council of Seattle is hiring a Program Officer, Community Programs. Learn more.
Columbus Council on World Affairs is hiring a Communications Manager. Learn more.
International Relations Council (Kansas City) is hiring a Global Education Coordinator. Learn more.
Vermont Council on World Affairs is hiring for two positions: External Affairs Manager and Education Programs VISTA. Learn more.
Call for Academic WorldQuest Task Force Members
WACA is seeking volunteers to join the Academic WorldQuest (AWQ) Task Force for the 2021-2022 year. Planning for the coming AWQ competition begins this summer. Duties include helping identify topic categories, preparing the study guide, writing and/or reviewing questions, and assisting with program development. The task force is open to Council staff, volunteers, and board members. Please highlight professional educational experience if any. Contact Laura Duncan at to express interest.
Council of the Month: World Affairs (Northern California)
This Thursday, May 27, at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET, World Affairs (Northern California) closes out our NATO 2030 Speaker Series with a spectacular event on Harnessing Technology and Innovation. This event will cover emerging and disruptive technology (EDT) and cybersecurity featuring:

Ambassador Sarah MacIntosh CMG
Permanent Representative to the United Kingdom's Delegation to NATO

David Van Weel
Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO

Markos Kounalakis (Moderator)
Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution
WorldDenver's World Affairs Challenge Virtual Exchange
Supported by the Stevens Initiative, WorldDenver’s World Affairs Challenge Virtual Exchange serves youth ages 14-17 in the state of Colorado and the Middle East/North Africa region through an online, mobile-accessible exchange in which bi-national student teams of six to ten participants learn and practice leadership development, cross-cultural communication, and project management.

Participant teams will compete to address a problem in their communities connected to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and create a solution to present in video format. Winners are automatically registered to compete at the World Affairs Challenge Event Day. Learn more at!
Nominees for Election to the WACA National Board
Votes Due by Friday, May 28
The WACA Nominating Committee, chaired by Derrick Olsen, President of WorldOregon, is pleased to present the nominees listed below for election to the WACA National Board of Directors. Board terms will commence July 1, 2021, which marks the start of our fiscal year (a Board term is three years).
According to the WACA Bylaws, one authorized representative of each member organization may vote YEA or NAY on the nominees for the National Board.

Please respond by email vote to Laura Duncan at no later than Friday, May 28.

During this most challenging pandemic year, WACA has benefitted from exceptional National Board leadership. Early in the current fiscal year, the smooth transition to a new chairman, Glenn Creamer, senior managing director emeritus at Providence Equity, was guided by our outgoing chairman, Ambassador Roman Popadiuk, the Executive Committee, and all Directors. Glenn, the Board, and the National Office led by President and CEO Bill Clifford always welcome your ideas and feedback.


Council Representative Nominees:

The following WACA Board Members will step down on June 30 after two full terms:

  • Vice Chair Sylvia Fields, Executive Director, Eden Hall Foundation
  • Vice Chair Stephen J. Petras, Board Member, Cleveland Council on World Affairs
  • Forough Hosseini, Senior Vice President - Information Systems, ICI Homes, Inc.
  • Xiao Yin Zhao, Executive Director, World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana

The following WACA Board Member will step down on June 30 after a single term:

  • Secretary Joan Apple Lemoine, Past Executive Director, World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

We are grateful for the service of the above mentioned National Board directors. All former Board Members are eligible to be renominated after a one-year hiatus. 
Monday 5/24
Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Town Hall hosts Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, and professor Aliaa El Sandouby, Loyola Marymount University, for “The Role of Art and Artists in Middle Eastern Diplomacy.” 

Tuesday 5/25

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Paul Butler, Legal Analyst at MSNBC, Lynda Williams, National President National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and Dave Wilkinson, President and CEO of Atlanta Police Foundation, for "Systemic Racism & Policing: A Solution-Based Discussion."

Cleveland Council on World Affairs hosts Kim Ghattas, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, for "The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East."

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh hosts Scott Shute, the Head of Mindfulness and Compassion at LinkedIn, for "Bringing Mindfulness & Compassion into the Workplace, Policymaking, and Community Around the Globe."

World Affairs Council of Dallas / Fort Worth hosts best-selling author Daniel Brown to discuss his book Facing the Mountain.

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosts Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, Founder & Publisher, Bourse & Bazaar, and Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association, for "Negotiating with Iran: The U.S., the EU, and the Future of the Nuclear Deal."

WorldOregon hosts Christopher McKnight Nichols, co-editor of Rethinking American Grand Strategy, and Amb. (ret.) Mary Carlin Yates, fmr. U.S. Diplomat, for "Rethinking American Grand Strategy."

Colorado Foothills World Affairs Council, Colorado Springs World Affairs Council, and WorldDenver co-host Robert Daly, Kissinger Institute on China and the U.S., Wilson Center, and Suisheng Zao, Director of the Center for China-U.S. Cooperation, University of Denver, for "U.S./China Relations: Challenges and Opportunities for the Biden Administration."

Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council hosts Joshua Freeman, Princeton University, for "The Plight of the Uighurs in China."

International Institute of Buffalo hosts Professor Sara Norrevik, University at Buffalo, for "Great Decisions: Global Supply Chains and National Security."

South Dakota World Affairs Council hosts South Dakota State University professors Mary Jo Lee and Mary Moeller for "Creating Connections with Yunnan Normal University in China."

World Affairs Council of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky hosts "The Arctic - Great Decisions."

Indiana Council on World Affairs hosts "Great Decisions: Globalization Revisited."

Wednesday 5/26

Vermont Council on World Affairs hosts Richard Haas, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, for "America's Role in a Post-Trump World."

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts German Ambassador Emily Haber for "Germany's Role in Europe."

World Affairs (Northern California) hosts President of VillageReach Emily Bancroft and Director of U.S. Public Health Accompaniment Unit of Partners in Health Katie Bollach for "The Future of Health: Applying Global Issues to U.S. COVID-19 Response."

World Affairs Council Connecticut hosts Stefan Szymanski, author of Soccernomics, and Harry Watling, Head Coach of Hartford Athletic, for "The Rise and Fall of Europe's Super League."

World Affairs Council of Harrisburg hosts WACH President Joyce Davis and WAC Philadelphia Vice President of Travel Shoshana Altrichter for "Travel Live: France."

World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts author Julia Cooke to discuss her book Come Fly the World: Pan Am's Stewardesses Role in History.

World Affairs Council of Seattle hosts Sami Mahdi, Bureau Chief of Radio Azadi (Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty) in Afghanistan, for "Perspectives from Afghanistan."

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh hosts a panel of experts for "Healing & Building Community as Neighbors."

Cleveland Council on World Affairs hosts "Working Internationally: Global Competency for Business."

Thursday 5/27

Olympia World Affairs Council hosts Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland for "A Discussion with Congressmember Marilyn Strickland."

Foreign Policy Association hosts President and CEO of the Asia Society Kevin Rudd for "Power in the Indo-Pacific: China Faces the Quad Alliance - Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S."

World Affairs Council of San Antonio hosts Alfredo Corchado to discuss his book Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration.

Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Town Hall hosts Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Hillel Newman for "A Conversation with Israeli Consul General Hillel Newman."

Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts Ronen Dangoor, Deputy Director of the Research Department, Israeli Prime Minister's Office, for "Israel and Iran: What's Next in this Clandestine War?"

World Affairs Council of Dallas / Forth Worth hosts Congresswoman Jane Harman on her book Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Makes Us Less Safe.

World Affairs Council of Dallas / Fort Worth hosts Mark Carney, Vice Chairman and Head of Impact Investing, Brookfield Asset Management, on his book Value(s): Building a Better World for All.

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan hosts Bart Twaalfhoven, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chicago, for "A Conversation with Consul General Bart Twaalfhoven."

Worcester World Affairs Council hosts Executive Vice-President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft Trita Parsi for "How to End Endless Wars in the Middle East."

Friday 5/28

World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts hosts Lisa Napoli, author of Up All Night, for "CNN & the Impact of the 24-Hour News Cycle on Global Events."

World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Tiffany Florvil, author of Mobilizing Black Germany, for "BLM's Global Reach: A Look at the Roots of Black Activism in Germany."

Peoria Area World Affairs Council hosts a panel of experts for "America’s Immigration Policy: How to Deal with the Growing Situation at Our Borders."

Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Town Hall hosts a panel of experts for “Creating Opportunity from Crisis — Learning from the Global Consequences of COVID-19.” 

Sunday 5/30

World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay will host Alex Newhouse, Deputy Director, Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, for "Accelerationism: The International Apocalyptic Doctrine That’s Unifying the Far Right."

Global Minnesota hosts Emeritus Professor Robert Paarlberg at Wellesley College for "The Future of Food."