2018 Councils of the Month (July-December)

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Naples Council on World Affairs

December 10, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

1500 members of the Naples Council on World Affairs attended "Peacebuilding For National Security" on Monday, December 3, presented by Ambassador William TaylorUSIP Executive Vice President, and greatly lauded by the audience. Taylor and USIP Director of Education Ann-Louise Colgan also visited the Seacrest Country Day School the following morning. The students quizzed Taylor on USIP, all while dressed in the school's "homecoming regalia" (below). This event was the third Council program in the WACA-USIP Engage America series.


Foreign Policy Association                                                                                

Global Minnesota                                                                                                    


November 26, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

Global Minnesota has selected former Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie as its new President. He will succeed Carol Byrne, recipient of the WACA Chairman's 2018 Individual Award, in January. Ritchie’s leadership experience spans government, nonprofit, education, and advocacy organizations. In addition to creating a public-private partnership to host a World’s Fair on health and wellness in Minnesota, he served as an endowed chair in agricultural food systems for the University of Minnesota.


November 13, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The Foreign Policy Association, founder of the World Affairs Councils of America, is the WACA 2018 Council of the Year. Make that of the Century - we celebrated FPA's 100th Anniversary and its longest-serving president, Noel Lateef, at the Organization of American States

Carol E. Byrne, President of Global Minnesota, receives the WACA Chairman's 2018 Individual Award at the Conference's Opening Dinner. Carol will step down at the end of the year, following an exceptional 21-year career at the helm of one of our network's strongest member Councils.


Councils in Qatar

October 1, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

In the most competitive application process in at least a decade, WACA is pleased to announce that the Embassy of Qatar has selected the following Council representatives for our first Leadership Mission to Qatar. The group will explore the dynamic political, diplomatic, economic, and cultural trends of this Arab country in the Persian Gulf on Oct. 12-19. WACA received interest from more than 30 individuals across the Council network. These 14 delegates hail from 13 Councils:

Melissa Beuc, Board Treasurer -- Indiana Council on World Affairs

Marian Dickson -- WAC Atlanta

Lise Falskow, CEO -- Alaska WAC

Maryanne Maldonado, Executive Director -- WAC Greater Houston

Judge Angela McCormick Bisig -- WAC Kentucky & S. Indiana

Michael Mills, Board of Advisors -- WorldOregon

Dr. Sadiq Mohyuddin, Emeritus Director -- WAC St. Louis

Talat Mohyuddin -- WAC St. Louis

Don Samford, WACA Advisory Board -- Peoria Area WAC

Doug Savage, Director -- Institute of World Affairs (Milwaukee)

Jim Shepherd, Chairman -- Tennessee WAC

Charles Stout, Chairman -- WAC Pittsburgh

Patrick Terrien, CEO -- Columbus Council on World Affairs

John Young, Board Secretary -- WAC Western Massachusetts


Santa Fe Council on International Relations                                                   

September 24, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The Santa Fe Council on International Relations will launch their third annual policy simulation for high school students. In 2018, a natural disaster destroyed the energy infrastructure of the developing country Xlandia. Half of the students were parliamentarians, and half were lobbyists, representing the oil and gas industry, the nuclear power industry, and the solar and wind renewables sector. To top it off, personality cards were introduced an hour into the simulation - and suddenly some of the parliamentarians found themselves in tricky positions of bribery or compromise...

In 2019, SFCIR will turn to climate change as the guiding theme, with the simulation dovetailing perfectly into the community speaker series on climate change, which will kick off in October 2018 with a trio of seminars and talks featuring several world-class speakers.

One student reported last year that it "was the best thing he'd ever done in school." SFCIR considers it their flagship educational program, sitting proudly alongside the High School Fellowship Program (for women of color in public schools) and Academic WorldQuest.

SFCIR welcomes all WACA members to their Journalism under Fire summit in December - at special member rates.


September 10, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The Santa Fe Council on International Relations will welcome Ambassador Michael McFaul to speak at their Annual Gala in November.

As the U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, his time in Moscow was turbulent. Russian state media launched a vicious fake news campaign against him, he and his family were relentlessly followed, and his phones were tapped. He favored the “reset” policy with Russia, including initiatives such as the New START Treaty on nuclear arms; the opening of the Northern Distribution Network allowing the U.S. to send supplies to its troops in Afghanistan by way of Russia; cooperation on Iran and North Korea; and Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization, which Washington hoped would bind Russia to the international trading system and its rules.

Much has changed since then, from Russian interference in the U.S. national election in 2016 to President Trump’s recent calls for Russia to rejoin the G8.

Ambassador McFaul was WACA's Cover to Cover author in May. 

September 4, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The Santa Fe Council on International Relations on December 5-7 will present outstanding speakers and over 50 journaliss from around the world to explore press freedoms and the turbulent dynamics of today’s media, from the global to the local.

SFCIR's Journalism Under Fire conference - in concert with the Committee to Protect JournalistsInternational Women’s Media FoundationSanta Fe New Mexican, and other partners - will create unique learning and networking opportunities among extraordinary journalists, thought leaders, and the engaged public. Alongside cutting-edge intellectual dialogue will be photojournalist exhibits, political cartoons (and cartoonists), workshops, advocacy campaigns, a virtual reality simulation, a student newsroom, music, film, and food - all with the incomparable Santa Fe as a backdrop.


World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth                                                                              

August 27, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here! 

The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is investing in the next generation with discounted educator and school memberships, free student tickets for speaker programs, International Career Day, internships, and the International Educator of the Year awards. 

Additionally, the unique “20 Under 20” program was added in 2016 to shine a spotlight on young people who give back to their communities and exemplify what it means to be a global Texan. The driven group of students that make up the 20 Under 20 Class of 2018 participated in three days of the leadership program in June, meeting with leaders in various industries including the Dallas Business Journal, the City of Dallas’s Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs, Azteca America TV 55 Studios, the Canadian Consulate, UT Dallas Center for Brain Health, and Texas Central Partners. 

The Council's investment in the students of Dallas-Fort Worth has paid off: Plano West Senior High School has won WACA's Carlos and Malú Alvarez Academic WorldQuest National Competition two years in a row.

August 20, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here! 

The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth will honor former U.S. ambassador and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk for his public service, civic, and business leadership with the H. Neil Mallon Award at its 35th annual dinner on October 12 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. 

One of the most respected and admired individuals in the Dallas/Fort Worth community, Ron Kirk is a 30-year public servant and legal veteran. He serves as senior counsel in the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Dallas and Washington, DC offices, and provides leadership for a number of corporate boards and charitable organizations. 

Honorary event chairs are former President Barack Obama, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. 

Click here to learn more about participating or call 214-695-8400.


August 13, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here! 

The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is distinguishing itself by offering programs that feature key politicians while assiduously upholding one of the Council's core values: nonpartisanship. 

With less than 100 days until midterm elections, two big Texas races are taking center stage. The 32nd Congressional District is one of the most-watched House races in the country, featuring longtime Republican incumbent Pete Sessions, who chairs the powerful House Rules Committee, and Obama-endorsed first-time candidate Colin Allred. Inside Elections now rates this race a toss-up. The Senate race has also intensified, as recent polls show Senator Ted Cruz with just a slight lead ahead of Texas 16th Congressional District Representative and Democratic candidate, Beto O’Rourke. 

Recently, Allred joined the Council for a discussion; Sessions, Beto, and Cruz have been confirmed for engagements pending availability in their calendars. WACDFW also plans to invite all 2020 Presidential candidates to speak. According to its most recent survey, this open forum approach to programming has served the Council well as members see the organization as politically neutral and unbiased. Read more about WACDFW's programming here.

August 6, 2018 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here! 

The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is working on an initiative to bring together education programs from World Affairs Councils across our network to collect global competence data based on a survey for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). 

They would appreciate participation from those World Affairs Councils that run education programs. If your Council is interested in participating in the survey, please contact Amy Miller at amiller@dfwworld.org.

August 1, 2018, Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!  

Dear Council Leaders, Friends, and Supporters: 

WACA is pleased to present Council of the Month honors for August to the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Council President and CEO Jim Falk, who also serves on the WACA Board of Directors, shared this very recent letter to the Council's members: 

Recently I researched a widely-used quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson that I planned to include in an upcoming speech. To my surprise, I found that doing so would have perpetuated an historical inaccuracy - about the founder of my university (UVA) no less! Jefferson is often said to have written: "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” According to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation - which maintains an exhaustive database on all things Jefferson - while the quote may have reflected his views, he neither said nor wrote it. That was a reminder to me about how careful one needs to be in checking sources. 

World Affairs Council audiences frequently have the privilege to hear and question key policymakers, and other original sources, without external filters. This has certainly been true this summer, with appearances by current and former key players in our national security apparatus including James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Ben Rhodes. Sometimes speaker appearances at our podium prompt emails and calls of pleasure and displeasure from our members. My response is this: The Council provides a safe - and I hope balanced - venue for different points of view, giving our members and the public the chance to listen to varying perspectives and, in many cases, to hear why a decision that in hindsight may seem flawed at the time was the best of several challenging options. 

Since the dawn of this century, partisanship has become increasingly bitter, with the margins moving farther apart. I think you will agree that today this rancor has spread more broadly, touching our neighborhoods, families, and yes, even our World Affairs Council. 

Several members have mentioned to me that they are tired, if not weary, of the hyperbolic rhetoric and that they are “checking-out” and ignoring the news. While that is tempting, it is not why you and I support the World Affairs Council. It is interesting to refer to the Council’s original establishment statement from 1951: "In the belief that better community education in world affairs is necessary for sound democratic citizenship, and in order to present facts and realistic appraisals, and to foster free and informed discussions on world problems, including economic, political and social problems, the Dallas Council on World Affairs is established." 

With the midterm elections just a few months away, we hope to include in our program a number of the candidates. In this vein, you will note that Beto O’Rourke will be speaking on August 15. Senator Ted Cruz has accepted our invitation although a date is yet to be confirmed. We will also welcome Colin Allred on August 8 and hope that Rep. Pete Sessions will accept our invitation. Soon we will begin inviting likely candidates in the 2020 presidential race (as we did before the 2016 election). The recent survey that many of you completed confirms once again that our members view the Council as politically neutral and unbiased. As you might imagine, this is a measurement that we monitor especially carefully. 

In just a few days, we join our friends at the Dallas Museum of Art to celebrate the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela and so it seems appropriate to close with this quotation: "A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that in the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger." 

I look forward to continuing the conversation with you. 

Jim Falk, President and CEO 

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth 

Grateful for your leadership, Jim, and wishing all of you a pleasant August! 

Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO 


Alaska World Affairs Council                                                                             

July 2 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

Alaska World Affairs Council has been operating in Anchorage longer than Alaska has been a state. WACA is pleased to recognize Alaska World Affairs Council as our Council of the Month as they celebrate their milestone 60th Anniversary with the theme of "Bringing the World to Alaska."

With President & CEO Lise Falskow at the Council's helm for the past 11 years, and a dynamite team of staff, board members, and volunteers, Alaska WAC has grown significantly from the days of only one full-time employee.

Through regular lunch programs, coffee chats, VIP dinners, school visits, evening programs, trivia night, speed mentoring, and Academic WorldQuest, the Council reaches almost 4,000 Alaskans directly, 1,600 students, and 40,000 people indirectly when their lunch and evening programs were rebroadcast through their NPR affiliate. Social media outreach touches over 15,000 people each month.

Additionally, we wish a fond farewell to Alaska WAC Deputy Director Alyssa Bish, who will attend grad school in the fall, and a warm welcome to her successor, Rachel Williams!

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