2020 Councils of the Month (January-June)

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June 22, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

Members of all World Affairs Councils of America are invited to attend WorldDenver's Virtual Speaker Series events, including this week's presentation on U.S.-Iran relations from Ambassador (ret.) Thomas Pickering and world-renowned Middle East expert Dr. Roxanne Farmanfarmaian. By attending virtual events, WACA members support WorldDenver's international exchange programs, which bring more than 600 students, business leaders, and elected officials to Denver every year.

Future speaker events will include Ambassador Bill Taylor in July and Ambassador Charles Ray from the Association of Black American Ambassadors in August. Keep up to date on WorldDenver's upcoming events by signing up for their newsletter or following the event calendar on their newly revamped website.

June 15, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

Like all World Affairs Councils across the country, WorldDenver is finding new ways to keep its members engaged in global affairs during the COVID-19 pandemic. WorldDenver hosted a 5-part International Solidarity Series with panelists around the world discussing efforts to adapt to the crisis in their respective fields and industries. The series featured experts in law, policy, trade, and education from Botswana, Lebanon, Mexico, China, and other countries around the globe.

WorldDenver has also hosted a Virtual International Speaker Series open to all members of World Affairs Councils across the country. Next Wednesday June 24, Ambassador (ret.) Thomas Pickering will speak on the impact of oil, sanctions, and COVID-19 on U.S.-Iran relations. He will be joined by world-renowned expert on Middle East affairs Roxanne Farmanfarmaian, who will be presenting live from London.

All World Affairs Council members are eligible for a member discount and can tune in or receive a recording by registering using the code WDMEMBER.

 June 8, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

As a member of the Global Ties U.S. Network, WorldDenver brings nearly 600 international visitors to Denver every year to exchange ideas and expertise from around the world. WorldDenver also sends citizen diplomats on immersive international trips focused on history, art, and culture. WorldDenver's Citizen Diplomat Excursions have included Iran, Ethiopia, and Bhutan.

While International travel is on hold due to COVID-19, the Council has created a bi-weekly Staycations Series, with virtual tours, recipes, and cocktail suggestions to replicate the experience of world travel and cross-cultural connection. The latest virtual trip is a "Return to Robben Island" to celebrate the life and work of freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. Previous editions included: "Brunch in Barcelona", "Picnic at Machu Picchu", and "Dessert in Dubai".

 June 1, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

WACA is pleased to announce WorldDenver as June Council of the Month!

The Council debuted its brand new logo and website redesign today, June 1, and we congratulate them for this fantastic rebranding. Under the leadership of Executive Director John Krieger, WorldDenver carries out its mission to strengthen and expand the community of engaged global citizens and organizations in Colorado through education, cross-cultural exchange, and personal interaction with international leaders, professionals, and students.



World Affairs Council of Connecticut                                                                                              

May 26, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The World Affairs Council of Connecticut invites everyone to subscribe to the CTWAC YouTube channel to join them each Wednesday from 12:00-12:30 PM ET for a new series bringing you interactive conversations with the world's top thinkers and leaders.

Together, they tackle the critical global issues that are affecting each of us in new and evolving ways within our communities and on the global stage. The series is hosted live weekly via Zoom Webinar, followed by a live Q&A with an audience of 5Comm00 people from Connecticut and across the country. Episodes are recorded and produced weekly in video and podcast formats. Subscribe today and don’t miss an episode!

May 18, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

Announcing - The World Affairs Council of Connecticut Global Summer: Virtual Model UN Institute!

As the public move forward with an abundance of caution and safety measures in mind, the Council wants to ensure CTWAC Model UN delegates have access to the same great programs they had in store for the in-person Institute this year. That is why WAC Connecticut has decided to transition its Model UN Institute to a virtual platform. This Virtual Institute is a chance to hone student’s Model UN skills, and put those skills into practice during the culminating simulation at the end of the week.

May 11, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

"The World Affairs Council of Connecticut is so proud to be a part of this national network of World Affairs Councils. Thank you to all our colleagues, members, and communities across the country for joining in last week’s CxC: Amplified Idea Summit. As we all adjust to this new environment, we were so proud to participate in this first-time virtual Council conference experiment together with you. A true example of the strength of the Council network and the success we can achieve together to amplify our collective mission." -- WAC Connecticut leadership and staff

May 4, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The World Affairs Council of Connecticut receives the much-deserved honor of Council of the Month for May! The CxC: Amplified Summit was the brain child of WAC Connecticut, and CEO Megan Torrey and VP of Programs and Communications Amanda Jolly, and consultant Caroline Schaefer were instrumental in the developing, planning, and presentation of this fantastic Ideas Summit connecting Councils nationwide.

We thank them for their tremendous work both for the CxC: Amplified Summit and the high-level speaker presentations they present virtually in response to the current pandemic. Stay tuned for more fantastic programming and features from the Council throughout the month of May.



No Council of the Month. 




March 23, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

Register for WACA's KNOW NOW conference call Thursday, March 26, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featuring Dr. Jonathan Quick, Senior Fellow at Management Sciences for Health, on COVID-19 and global epidemics. Dr. Quick will be in conversation with WorldBoston President and CEO Mary Yntema.

In January 2018, Dr. Quick spoke at WorldBoston's Great Decisions series on the topic of "Global Health: Progress and Challenges," having recently published his book The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It. As the book says, "Somewhere in nature, a killer virus is boiling up in the bloodstream of a bird, bat, monkey, or pig, preparing to jump to a human being. This not-yet-detected germ has the potential to wipe out millions of lives over a matter of weeks or months." Join Dr. Quick and Mary Yntema to discuss what has changed since his Great Decisions talk, how effective local and global efforts have been in combating COVID-19, and what we can expect in the coming weeks and months.

Dr. Jonathan Quick

March 16, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here! 

WorldBoston has been enjoying a remarkable run of distinguished and timely speakers in this academic year, including Samantha PowerWendy ShermanSusan RiceRichard StengelRachel KyteJoe 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.

March 9, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

On March 24WorldBoston 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."

March 2, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

A key aspect of WorldBoston is people: with recent leadership additions and recognition in excellence at the 2020 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting. The Council recently celebrated the addition of Josh Bruno to its management team as Citizen Diplomacy Manager, and Becca Gould, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at American Tower, to its Board of Directors. American Tower is a global leader in wireless infrastructure, based in Boston, and Becca has extensive experience in global public affairs both in Boston and in Washington, DC.

The Council started the new year with a strong presence at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, where Vice President for Citizen Diplomacy Programs Sarah Sibley was presented the Award for Outstanding Paid-Staff CBM Programmer; Program Coordinator Megan McCarthy earned a scholarship to attend as an Emerging Leader; and the Council's steadfast professional resource Dave Fortier, Founder and President of One World Strong, was honored with the 2020 Citizen Diplomat Award. Both Sarah and WorldBoston President Mary Yntema presented at the conference.



 World Affairs Council of Charleston                                                                                                 

February 24, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The World Affairs Council of Charleston produces a podcast series run by Council Vice President George Pope. The most recent installment features an interview from last week with WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford. Pope and Clifford discuss Clifford's background, current WACA programming, member benefits, and the future of the Council Network. Listen to the podcast here!

February 18, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The World Affairs Council of Charleston (WACC) is unique as it is one of the few WACA Member Councils to be an ‘all volunteer’ operation. There are no paid staff and no office space expenses. WAC Charleston's Board of Directors makes all management, organizational, and program decisions, and all revenues are directed to programs. The Council's leadership feels this approach helps insure WACC member ‘buy in’ to programs and activities, and conducts periodic reviews to insure the Council is doing what is best for its members and the Charleston community.

An all-volunteer Council operation is challenging and rewarding, as the organization runs on the hard-work and dedication of folks with a passion for global affairs and connecting their local communities with the world. For helpful tips and guidance on the operations of an all-volunteer Council, check out WACA's Member Resources bank (located in the Members-Only section of the WACA website). If you do not have access, please contact Rachel Pastor at rpastor@worldaffairscouncils.org for a login. If you have any helpful resource documents to share (all-volunteer or not), please send them to Rachel.

February 10, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The World Affairs Council of Charleston on January 9, held its annual dinner for over one hundred members, friends, and guests. This special event, focused as always, on academics and education, featured Speaker Dr. Andrew Hsu, the new President of the College of Charleston. Dr. Hsu spoke on his vision for preparing today's students for the global challenges of tomorrow. He also shared his personal story -- living in exile, and learning English one word at a time by reading a calculus book (the only English book available) and listening to the Voice of America's English class.

February 3, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

For almost 40 years, the World Affairs Council of Charleston (WACC) has been educating and engaging the wider Charleston community through timely non-partisan activities on world affairs and international relations.

One of the Council's key objectives is educational outreach into area universities, colleges, and high schools. While WACC is pleased with its ever strengthening partnerships with local colleges and universities, the high school efforts in previous years have not been as effective as desired. For this reason, it's all the more exciting that WACC will host an Academic WorldQuest local competition for the first time on March 14! Seven local high school teams will vie for the opportunity to compete in the National Competition April 24-25 in Washington, DC.

The all-volunteer Council's three hundred plus members represent a cross-section of government, business, academic, and civic individuals. Please checkout WACC's website and plan to join the Council if travels bring you to “the Holy City” when one of the many exciting programs is taking place.


World Affairs Council of Western Michigan                                                                              


January 27, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan sponsors an annual Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Workshop for its corporate and educational members, thanks to a collaboration with global company Wolverine Worldwide and the Cultural Intelligence Center (CIC). Wolverine’s impressive campus provides a beneficial setting and the CIC helps Council members assess and improve effectiveness in culturally diverse work settings. This January, 35 professionals took the Council-organized CQ course, representing 11 of the Council’s corporate partners. 

Participants learned why culture matters, mapped out their organization’s cultural diversity, examined their individual CQ assessments, and interacted together on ways to improve CQ drive, knowledge, strategy, and action.

Comments from participants were overwhelmingly positive: “It was time well spent…actually one of the workshops that could be longer.” “It was very informative, and I walked away with some changes that I will be making.” “The workshop was good. I appreciated the content and thought the information related to our personal assessments was helpful. The facilitator did a great job!”

The annual CQ Workshop is a prime example of how the Council works in concert with its member companies and local organizations to provide world-aware resources for the people of West Michigan.

January 21, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan partners annually with the Kent District Library (KDL) for a free community series on issues important to the region. Past topics included civil discourse, peacemaking, and immigration. The 2020 series will be on “The Future of Work." Stay tuned for more details from the Council this upcoming March!

In 2019, the Council and KDL presented a series of four events titled “Oceans, Lakes, and Streams: Protecting Water Globally and Locally.” Beginning with Dr. David Guggenheim, known as “Doctor Ocean,” moving to the State of the Great Lakes and ending with a local panel of experts on the rivers and streams within the county, the series sought to provide credible information and paths to action for everyone attending.

A particularly moving presentation was led by Anna Clark (second from right), author of The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy discussing “Learning from the Flint Water Crisis.” The Poisoned City was named one of the best books of the year in 2018 by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon, and more. Clark walked attendees though the troubled history of Flint, the series of events that brought environmental distress to that city’s residents, and the infrastructure challenges many American cities face that without attention will lead to future urban water disasters.

January 13, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan has developed a strong reputation in the region for its comprehensive Great Decisions series, held annually in February and March. View the 2020 season's lineup now!

For eight consecutive weeks, global experts speak to WACWM members on a range of strategic international topics. Attendees have two opportunities to engage directly in Grand Rapids with presenters: Monday nights in the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center and Tuesday afternoons in the Calvin University Covenant Fine Arts Center Recital Hall (see photo).

The Tuesday presentations are livestreamed to member corporate partners and across the state, to sites such as Northern Michigan University, the City of Holland, Montcalm Community College, Western Michigan University—and even to an institution in Germany, Rhein-Wall University. The speaker-experts brought to West Michigan are also scheduled for smaller interactions at business roundtables, in college classrooms, and with civic leaders.

January 6, 2020 Newsletter Update -- Read the full newsletter here!

The first 2020 "Council of the Month" recognition goes to the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan! WACWM will inaugurate an annual Vandenberg Prize to a national or international leader who has been influential in developing global understanding and collaboration on the world stage. The Vandenberg Prize is named after Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg (1881-1951), who inspired the founding of the Council in 1949 by Grand Rapids attorney (and later Federal Judge) Douglas Hillman and businessman Edgar Orr.

The first recipient of the Vandenberg Prize is Ambassador (ret.) Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., former Ambassador of the U.S. to Russia (2017-19) at the appointment of President Trump, to China (2009-11) at the appointment of President Obama, and to Singapore (1992-93) at the appointment of President George H.W. Bush. The award will be presented at a luncheon Tuesday, January 14.

“Ambassador Huntsman has demonstrated a lifelong interest in forging strong international ties for the United States, and his bipartisan service shows a willingness, like Senator Vandenberg, to bring people together for good of the country and the world,” said WACWM Board President Dick Gauthier.

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