Community and VIRTUAL Events

Third Rail: Is the Electoral College Relevant or a Relic

WAC Dallas/Fort Worth

Friday, August 14th, 2020

12 - 1 PM EST

FREE - Donation Recommended

"Jesse Wegman believes the Electoral College is 'antiquated and antidemocratic,' while Tara Ross calls it 'indispensable.' Presidential historian Jeffrey Engel will moderate a discussion with Ross and Wegman about this 216-year-old institution created by the Twelfth Amendment."

Featuring Jesse Wegman, the New York Times’ editorial board’s legal and Supreme Court writer, Tara Ross, author of Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College and former editor-in-chief of the Texas Review of Law & Politics, and Jeffrey Engel, Professor of History and founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University.

For more info or to register.

Shields of the Republic: The Triumph and Peril of America’s Alliances

WAC Orange County and WAC Dallas/Fort Worth

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

12 - 1 PM EST

FREE - Donation Recommended

"Alliances with other countries have been an integral part of U.S. foreign policy since the beginning of our country. Mira Rapp-Hooper says, “When alliances are working, we don’t see them at all,” which may have caused the alliance system to become 'a victim of its own quiet success.' Today the system faces challenges not only from disrupter countries such as China and Russia, but also from Americans who question their value and cost. Join Jim Falk in conversation with Rapp-Cooper about her new book, Shields of the Republic: The Triumph and Peril of America’s Alliances.

Mira Rapp-Hooper is a senior fellow for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center. She was the Asia policy coordinator for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Her policy writings have appeared in The National Interest, Foreign Affairs and Washington Quarterly. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University."

For more info or to register.

The Dynamics of Today's Supply Chain with Southeast Asia Featuring Ambassador Robert Blake

Upstate International (South Carolina)


Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

12 - 1:30 PM EST


"Join the World Affairs Council Upstate for this first installment in a 3 part online series – International Supply Chain Updates: A Solutions Approach featuring retired Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr., Senior Director for McLarty Associates in Washington DC.

The dynamic of today’s supply chain with Southeast Asia will be discussed. What factors are accelerating shifts in manufacturing? Which Southeast Asian nations are at the forefront of attracting that supply chain investment and what do they have to offer? Will China remain at the forefront? 

Ambassador Blake served for 31 years in the State Department in a wide range of leadership positions. From 2013-2016, he served as the US Ambassador to Indonesia, where he focused on building stronger business and educational ties between the US and Indonesia, while also developing cooperation to help."

For more info or to register.

A Conversation with House Republican Leader, Congressman Kevin McCarthy

Los Angeles WAC

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

2 - 3 PM EST


"Congressman McCarthy has been leading the Republican response to the coronavirus in Congress. The discussion will focus on this experience and parse out what he believes will help move the country forward. The conversation will also address Republican proposals to combat climate change, how Congressman McCarthy is working to build more bipartisan cooperation in Washington, and how Republican leaders are navigating an international agenda that furthers America’s interests abroad while also protecting jobs at home.

Please submit your questions in advance via email to to ensure your questions are answered by our speakers. 

Congressman Kevin McCarthy serves California’s 23rd district and is currently the Republican Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. McCarthy began his political career in the California State Assembly, serving from 2002 to 2007. He was Assembly Minority Leader from 2004 to 2006. He was first elected to Congress in 2006. McCarthy is a native of Bakersfield and a fourth-generation Kern County resident.

Dan Schnur (Moderator) is a Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications, the University of California – Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, where he teaches courses in politics, communications and leadership. Dan was the director of the Sacramento Bee’s “California Influencers” series, in which he led a weekly online conversation among 100 of the state’s most respected experts in politics, government and public policy around the 2018 election. He is also a board member of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall."

For more info or to register.

The Role of Corporations in Curbing Climate Change

WAC Northern California

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

3 - 4 PM EST

FREE - Donation Recommended

"Corporations produce just about everything we buy, use and throw away, and therefore have an outsized influence on climate change. As climate change and its impacts become more severe, meaningful corporate action becomes necessary. With the disruption to the global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, what can corporations learn from the current moment to reduce their climate footprints and how are CSR strategies shifting? In this webinar, we’ll hear from leaders in corporate sustainability on the role of corporations in taking on climate change and their visions for the future."

Featuring Annie AgleDirector of Brand and Impact at Cotopaxi, John GoldsteinManaging Director at Goldman Sachs, and moderated by Milos MaricicFounder and Chief Strategist of the Altruist League.

For more info or to register.

Hong Kong Not Going Gentle into That Good Night — But What Next?

WAC Sonoma County

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

7 - 8 PM EST


"China got more than a thriving financial center when it took back Hong Kong 23 years ago. As the world has watched, Beijing got a problem largely of its own making, and it’s now reaping what it sowed. It’s learning that it can’t subvert a city’s traditional freedoms and take away its manufacturing livelihood, and not expect a fight. Beijing underestimated Hong Kong’s spirit and now it has both a fight and a struggling subject on its hands. In retaliation, Beijing has passed a national security law for Hong Kong that criminalizes any act of succession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign or external forces.

What does this all mean? In his coming talk, Thomas Hout will lay out the dynamics of this volatile situation, clarifying the issues and painting a picture that’s changing in real time. So be sure to attend and be prepared with questions.

Questions may be submitted in advance to"

Featuring Thomas Hout, Adjunct Professor at The Fletcher School at Tufts University and at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA.

For more info or to register.

It's Not Just Over There: Consequences of War and Instability on the Korean Peninsula

WAC Alaska


Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

4 - 5 PM EST


"Amidst COVID-19 and its fallout, policymakers are confronted with newly emergent issues alongside preexisting ones. Nowhere is this more evident than on the Korean Peninsula. As the pandemic spreads, US-DPRK talks remain stalled, inter-Korean relations persist as mostly one-sided, and North Korea has continued to test and refine its military capabilities as well as ratchet up its rhetoric. Furthermore, COVID-19 has intensified a growing US-China strategic competition, competition which enhances the importance of allies such as South Korea. Simply put, US involvement on the Korean Peninsula remains as deep and important as it has ever been.

The Stimson Center and Stimson’s 38 North program, working with the Alaska World Affairs Council, present a panel of experts to discuss the importance of the US commitment to the Korean Peninsula. Based on their experience and expertise, the panelists will offer informed commentary on the importance of the relationship commitment and its direct connection to the United States. Among a broad range of topics, the panel will explore various steps to avoid renewed instability or conflict on the Korean Peninsula and the potentially enormous costs of failing to do so."

Featuring Jenny Town, Fellow at Stimson and the Deputy Director of Stimson’s 38 North, Maj. General (Ret.) Rick Martin, USAF Retired, of the American College of National Security Leaders, Col. (Ret.) Steve Lee, US Army Retired, Senior Vice President of Operations of the Korea Defense Veterans Association, and moderated by Dr. Clint Work, Fellow with the Henry L. Stimson Center.

For more info or to register.

Hidden Figures: Women in Diplomacy



Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

7:30 - 8:30 PM EST


"Ambassador (ret.) Harriet Elam-Thomas is one of our country’s most accomplished diplomats. She is a recipient of the Director General’s Cup for the Foreign Service, the most prestigious honor for former foreign service officers. Her recent book, Diversifying Diplomacy, tells the story of her journey as a Black woman rising through the ranks of the U.S. State Department. Her presentation on August 26 will focus on the hidden figures who have long powered our foreign policy with little or no recognition outside of the department.

Featuring  Ambassador (ret.) Harriet Elam-Thomas, and moderated by Tina Walls, Education and Community Engagement Committee Chair for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

For more info or to register.

World Affairs Discussion Group

Mondays 4 PM - 5 PM

Portsmouth Public Library
175 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Are you fascinated by international affairs and the world of foreign policy? If so, please join Library Director Steve Butzel and a group of your peers in the Hilton Garden Inn Room on Mondays to discuss two topics that are voted on in advance by the group. 

If you plan on attending and would like to vote on the week's possible topics, send our Director an email at skbutzel@cityofportsmouth, and he will send you a link to the webpage where you can vote. The list of topics is posted each Wednesday afternoon and voting concludes that Friday afternoon. At that point, the Director will send out an email to the group letting them know the two selected topics, and a list of links to suggested articles.

Where do we get our possible topics and a set of suggested articles from each week? From the World Affairs Council of America's Weekly World News Update webpage.

For more information, contact our director,

* Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed or supported by WACNH but we like to share information that might be of interest from other community organizations! To see more upcoming events, follow us on Facebook! 


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