Engage America Speaker Series
Engage America Speakers Series
Include partnerships between the National Office and think tanks, foundations, publishing companies and government agencies to provide speakers to America’s communities through our local councils on the critical global issues of our times.
Current WACA Speaker Programs
America's Diplomats : Film Screening and Discussion Series
In collaboration with the American Academy of Diplomacy, WACA presents a new program series entitled America's Diplomats. The program features a screening of the PBS film America's Diplomats followed by a discussion of the role of U.S. diplomacy with a distinguished former ambassador. Additional discussions following the film will focus on examining and analyzing what the American public wants to know about foreign policy, what they expect from foreign policy, and what makes people comfortable or uncomfortable with the conduct of American foreign policy.
EU in the US is administered in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. Using the time period on or around May 9, Europe Day, as a focal point, this Engage America program is designed to raise awareness, knowledge, and understanding about EU policies, the EU's role as an international actor, and the value of the EU-US relationship.
The Iran Nuclear Deal: Prospects for Cooperation, Competition and Confrontation
In partnership with The Iran Project, WACA is pleased to introduce The Iran Nuclear Deal: Prospects for Cooperation, Competition and Confrontation as part of our WACA Engage America Series. The objective of this program is to deepend the understanding of implications of the U.S. policy towards Iran, the nuclear deal, and the Middle East. It is important to stimulate debate and air differences over U.S. dealings with Iran in Councils’ nonpartisan forums. The centerpiece of the program is the panelists’ presentations and audience Q&A.
American Policy in the Middle East for a New Administration
The objective of this Engage America Series is to help better inform a broader American public, so that they can make more careful judgments and ask that their representatives do the same on the complexity of the multiple interconnected crises in the Middle East. By bringing together policymakers and experts from the U.S. in public forums hosted by World Affairs Councils, WACA and other partners in each city will aim to reduce misperceptions and misunderstandings, and provide a broad cross-section of the American public with balanced and high-level analysis that they would not otherwise have access to. We seek to fill this information-access gap in communities and cities across the country, on a foreign policy issue that will continue to have profound implications for the next generation of Americans and future leadership.
Future of Korea
The World Affairs Councils of America is sponsoring an Engage America Speaker Series on the Future of Korea in collaboration with the Korea Economic Institute. The program is focused on broadening and deepening the understanding of Korea and the U.S.-Korea relationship among opinion leaders and academics. The centerpiece of the program is a three-person panel discussion, usually consisting of one representative each from the U.S. Department of State, the Korean Embassy and KEI. More Information or visit the WACA Leadership Network/Program Resources.
Past WACA Speaker Programs
Combating Human Trafficking
The World Affairs Councils of America has received a grant from Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation to bring attention to the critical issue of human trafficking and modern slavery. The program series will feature screenings of the documentary film Not My Life by Robert Bilheimer and Worldwide Documentaries in all participating council communities. The film probes the dark, hidden, and often unspeakable realities of human trafficking and modern-day slavery-- multi-billion dollar global industries that earn their profits, as the film's narration says, "on the backs and in the beds of our planet's youth." The film is part of a global awareness campaign on modern slavery. More Information.
Google: Freedom and Power in the Digital Age
Congratulations to the eight World Affairs Councils selected to host Freedom and Power in the Digital Age Speaker Events, which featured notable Google experts. This program, supported by a grant from Google, also included an Educators Seminar with a separate team of Google experts who addressed how teachers and students can best leverage the tools of the new digital age to further their educational missions.
The Rational Middle Energy Series
The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce a new national program series in partnership with The Rational Middle Energy Series. With nearly 2 million views and counting, the 22-film series has sparked a movement based on productive conversation around the current energy challenge and what it will take to achieve a cleaner energy future. The film screening-and-discussion series, moderated by producer and director Gregory Kallenberg, will be offered to World Affairs Councils across the U.S. through a competitive bidding process. Programs will be underway across the country starting in May 2015.
Watch here: WACA National Conference 2014 - Future of Energy: The Rational Middle
Spotlight on Turkey
Spotlight on Turkey, in collaboration with the Turkish Cultural Foundation, educates communities about Turkey's rich culture. The program consists of teacher workshops in the spring, a teacher's study tour to Turkey in the summer and public cultural programs in the fall. A video is now available on the teacher's study tour part of the program View the trailer. Teachers who participate in the Spotlight on Turkey program also donate! List of Participating Councils More Information or visit the WACA Leadership Network/Program Resources.
Understanding Muslim Societies
The World Affairs Councils of America was awarded a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York for an Engage America Speaker Series entitled, Understanding Muslim Societies. The National speaker series provides for up to 35 local World Affairs Councils events featuring experts from the Carnegie Scholars Program who will address issues affecting Muslim communities here in the U.S. and abroad. Drawing from the World Affairs Councils of America’s Six Top Issues, the series will focus on countries in the Middle East, as well as Afghanistan/Pakistan, and those relevant rising economic powers that are competing globally with the United States, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. List of Participating Councils More Information or visit the WACA Leadership Network/Program Resources.
The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce an extension of Understanding Muslim Societies. Up to fifteen councils will be selected to host the program through December 2014.
From the Cuban Missile Crisis to Iran: Confronting the Nuclear Threat
The World Affairs Councils of America was awarded a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York for a new and very timely Engage America Speaker Series entitled From the Cuban Missile Crisis to Iran: Confronting the Nuclear Threat. Drawing from the World Affairs Councils of America's Six Top Issues, the series focused on the lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the history of the past 50 years of arms control and proliferation. The grant provided for up to 12 local World Affairs Councils events that featured leading experts from Carnegie Corporation of New York programs and institutions who addressed Nuclear Security. More Information or visit the WACA Leadership Network/Program Resources.
CIP: How Much For Defense?
The World Affairs Councils of America hosted the Center for International Policy on a new Engage America Speaker Series focused on U.S. defense spending in fall 2012. These forums included insight and analysis from some of the leading experts on these important issues whose experience includes working in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, as well as working at our nation's leading think tanks. The World Affairs Councils of America and the Center for International Policy sponsored 6 local World Affairs Councils events.
European Union National High School Outreach
The World Affairs Councils of America was awarded a contract by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States to conduct educational outreach to American high schools. WACA will be working with 13 local World Affairs Councils to implement the program in their communities as part of our Six Top National Security Issues programming- - US Education, Competing Globally.The program consisted of visits and classroom presentations to secondary school students, primarily grades 9-12, by European officials in metropolitan regions of the United States. The objective of the program was to engage American students and teachers on a personal level to deepen their understanding and knowledge of the European Union. More information or visit the WACA Leadership Network/Program Resources. Materials for Educators and Speakers
Diplomacy & Development: Fixing Civilian Staff Tools
The World Affairs Councils of America sponsored an Engage America Speaker Series on Diplomacy and Development: Fixing Civilian Staff Tools in collaboration with the American Academy of Diplomacy featuring speakers from the AAD network of former ambassadors and other former senior government officials in spring 2012. The program focused on the need to build and educate the combined force of civilians working across the US government to lead in these times of sweeping change. The Department of State's First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR): Leading Through Civilian Power, provided a strategic plan for how we can do better in Development and Diplomacy, clearly supports this recommendation.
Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
The World Affairs Councils of America sponsored an Engage America Speaker Series on the Six Top National Security Issues for the 2012 Election featuring experts from the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Throughout the year, CTC experts led by Brian Dodwell, Director of Practitioner Education and an Instructor at CTC, traveled to various cities around the country to brief state and local law enforcement officials and counterterrorism practitioners. As part of these fully funded public education tours, CTC visited World Affairs Councils and addressed the pressing national security issues in the Middle East and South Asia as part of our Six Top National Security Issues Initiative.
Arab Spring: Prospects for Democracy
The World Affairs Councils of America sponsored an Engage America Speaker Series on the Middle East as part of the Six Top National Security Issues for the 2012 Election in collaboration with the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute. The Arab Spring, Prospects for Democracy features the presidents of both organizations (respectively): Lorne W. Craner and Kenneth Wollack, leading experts on the development of democracy worldwide and will discuss the roots and causes of the Arab Spring, and how well prepared the countries affected are for the transitions of leadership they are facing. More information or visit the WACA Leadership Network/Program Resources.
Iran Study Group
The World Affairs Councils of America sponsored an Engage America Speaker Series on Iran as part of the Six Top National Security Issues for the 2012 Election in collaboration with the Stimson Center in spring 2011. Convened under the direction of the Stimson Center and the United States Institute of Peace, the Joint Study Group on US-Iran Policy collated its findings in its report: Engagement, Coercion and Iran's Nuclear Challenge. The speaker series featured Barry Blechman, co-founder of the Stimson Center, and Dr. Daniel Brumberg, Senior Adviser to the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention. Read an article by Barry Blechman about the tour.
Secure America - American Economic Competitiveness
The World Affairs Councils of America sponsored an Engage America Speaker Series on the Pentagon's budget and America's defense spending priorities as part of the Six Top National Security Issues for the 2012 Election in collaboration with the Fourth Freedom Forum, the New America Foundation's Arms and Security Initiative, and the Mainstream Media Project in fall 2011. Lieutenant General Robert Gard, Jr, Dr. Trita Parsi, Dr. Lawrence Korb, and Dr. George Lopez, all leaders in the field, presented keynote speeches at council events.
Event in-a-Box: Before the Killing Begins
The World Affairs Councils of America provided the network an event-in-a-box tool kit in collaboration with the Stanley Foundation in summer 2011. Before the Killing Begins: The Politics of Mass Violence considered how early preventive strategies by governments and the international community should build much-needed capacities within countries, and make it harder for leaders to resort to violence. It aimed to encourage discussion of how future efforts might better protect populations under threat, giving new meaning to never again.
Other Past Programs
Who are the Kurds? sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America in collaboration with the Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq
Conversations with America sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America
Nuclear Tipping Point, sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America in collaboration with the Nuclear Threat Initiative
The Foreign Affairs Budget of the Future, sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America in collaboration with the American Academy of Diplomacy
Governance and Emerging Markets in Fragile States, sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America in collaboration with the Center for International Private Enterprise
Expanding Freedom, Building Democracy, and Ending Tyranny Worldwide, sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute
Rising Powers, sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America in collaboration with the American Academy of Diplomacy