• Tuesday, March 06, 2018 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    President's Letter

    Dear Council Leaders, Supporters, and Friends:

    Last month's massacre at Marjorie Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, makes this much plain:

    1. America is first in the world, by a longshot and for far too long, when it comes to mass shootings in "civil" society.

    2. America is not focusing enough on our kids - in general or in this gruesome particular. Fortunately, however, we have the surviving Parkland teens to teach us all a thing or two about poise and common sense.

    It's all about the kids. And as I consider not only guns but these chaotic times - in which dictators like China's Xi win praise from a U.S. administration, populism is rampant and fraying Western democracies, trade protectionism is on the rise, and the risk of great power conflict is increasing - the kids are on my mind.

    This is why this month's Council of the Month is Montana World Affairs Council:  for today, MWAC opened its two-day Academic WorldQuest 2018 program - the most robust in the country - and the attention to these students' futures is affirming. 

    Held at the University of Montana campus, the statewide program and competition goes far beyond the 10 AWQ categories. The United States Institute of Peace, WACA's national AWQ partner, will present a student workshop on "Conflict Management in Global Affairs" as well as a for-credit teacher workshop on "Teaching Peacebuilding for Active Global Citizens." High school students will also enjoy a UM international student panel.

    Keynote speakers are superlative: Helana Mayor Wilmot Collins, a Liberian-born American politician who is the first black person to be elected mayor of any Montana city in the state's history; Ambassador Max Baucus will deliver the State of the World Address at MWAC's Global Educator of the Year Banquet; Lt. Governor Mike Cooney will emcee the AWQ competition; and former State Senate Majority Leader Carol Williams will conclude the AWQ Awards Ceremony.

    Kudos to MWAC's Board, particularly Charlie Oliver and Shelley Geiszler, and former Executive Director Aubrie Lyons for laying the groundwork over many years to refine their Academic WorldQuest program recipe. Aubrie's successor, Janet Rose, is well-positioned to build on this legacy of excellence. 

    The Montana kids will get to show what they know and likely will teach the adults a thing or two about world and national affairs. It's all about the kids.

    Yours,

     
    Bill Clifford, President and CEO


    Spring Leadership Meeting Hotel Block Open!

    WACA and the World Affairs Council of San Antonio have arranged a special group rate at the Hotel Valencia for the May 17-18 Council Leadership and May 19 Board Meetings. Please stay tuned for the Meeting agendas. 

    To take advantage of our hotel block at $169 / night (plus tax), please book your room by April 25. Reservations can be made by following this link: WACA or by calling 855-596-3387 and referring to the World Affairs Councils of America group.


    Scholarships Available for Educators Travel Tour

    The World Affairs Council of Greater Houston is offering $1000 scholarships to the first six applicants for its Educators Travel Tour to Montreal and Quebec City, June 16-22

    See the program itinerary and program application. Please send completed applications to Amanda Rico at arico@wachouston.org by March 26.


    Register for AWQ National Competition!

    Registration for the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018 Academic WorldQuest National Competition is now open! The AWQ championship weekend program will be held in Washington, DC on April 27-28. Please stay tuned for updates on the competition venue.

    Local champion teams of Academic WorldQuest competitions hosted by World Affairs Councils around the country must complete the registration form in order to participate in the AWQ National Competition. Registration forms are due no later than March 23!

    Register your AWQ team! 

    This year's program will once again feature a welcome reception at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Friday, April 27, at 4:00-6:00 PM.

    For topics, study guide, and other information about this year's competition, please click here.

    Hotel Reservations:

    Thursday rooms are sold out! To take advantage of our special hotel rate of $169 / night plus tax, book your room now at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008). These discounted rates will expire April 5.

    Thank you to our generous sponsors:

                                         


    Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute

    The Great Decisions Teachers Institute is a once in a lifetime opportunity for high school educators to immerse themselves in some of America's biggest foreign policy challenges and build their skills in teaching international affairs. For four days, teachers from across the United States, Mexico, and Canada will attend lectures presented by experts and policy makers, interact with teaching colleagues, and acquire new teaching resources and curriculum ideas. See the flyer.

    To apply, all applicants are required to complete the application questionnaire.  The questionnaire can be accessed here, or by visiting www.fpa.org/institute/

    High school educators nationwide are invited to apply by March 30, 2018. All applicants will be notified by April 13, 2018.

    If you have any questions in regards to the application or the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, please email teachers@fpa.org, or call the Foreign Policy Association at 212-481-8100 x250.


    Call for Applications: SQCC Intensive Summer Language Program

    The word Sabla in Omani Arabic dialect refers to places in communities where people gather to receive hospitality. Sabla also serves as a meeting place to discuss important public issues. 

    The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center's Sabla Program is an intensive summer language program designed to benefit current university-level students and recent graduates. The program emphasized the instruction of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The program runs for five weeks, offering highly intensive coursework in Arabic.

    Scholarships are available. Apply by May 6, 2018. See more details.


    Listen to WACA Podcasts!

    Chuck Freilich joined WACA's March Cover to Cover conference call program last week to discuss his forthcoming book, Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change. Listen to the podcast.  


    Global I.Q. Minute with Jim Falk

    In this episode of World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth's Global I.Q. Minute, Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses "How India Is Making Its Place in the World" with WAC Dallas/Fort Worth President and CEO, Jim Falk. Listen now.


    The Cleveland Council Is Hiring!

    Cleveland Council on World Affairs is hiring a Manager of Student Education Programs. See the job announcement.


    Councils in the News

    World Affairs Council of Atlanta

    Former Liberian President: Despite Challenges, African Democracy Gaining Steam -- Global Atlanta

    World Affairs Council of St. Louis

    Foster to Lead World Affairs Council -- STLtoday

    World Affairs Council of Connecticut

    Taking a Global Outlook -- Newington Live

    Tennessee World Affairs Council

    Iran Nuclear Deal Matters for America's Credibility and Security -- Tennessean

    Sarasota World Affairs Council

    Lecturer: Policymakers Must Be Pushed to Address Climate Change -- Herald Tribune

    World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana

    Foreign Policy Expert Talks Potential Global Conflicts, Challenges for 2018 -- WFPL

    World Affairs Council of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky

    Iran, Saudi Arabia, and U.S. Relations in the Middle East -- WVXU

    World Affairs Council Upstate

    A Collection of Cuban Art that Has Traveled to 14 Cities Lands in Greenville to Kick Off Upstate International Month -- Greenville Journal

    World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

    Pak-U.S. Need to Work Together for Regional Peace: Aizaz -- Pakistan Observer

    Military Officers Provide Insight During Peters Township Program -- The Almanac

    World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

    Former Mexican President Fox Endorses Legalization of All Drugs, Endorses Dreamers -- Dallas News

    Les Femmes du Monde Honors Carmaleta Whitely Felton -- ParkCitiesPeople

    Plano West Repeats as Regional Winner of Academic WorldQuest -- Dallas News

    Northern Nevada International Center

    The Davidson Academy Wins Academic WorldQuest Competition -- Nevada Today 



  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:56 PM | Anonymous

    Wednesday, February 28, 2018

    China Embraces Authoritarianism; Defending Democracy; Syria War Worsening; Italy Votes; Takeaways from 2018 Olympics

    Quote of the Week:

    "70 years ago today a communist coup destroyed democracy in my native Czechoslovakia. The coup forced my family into exile, and months later we were welcomed as refugees into the USA. Ever since I've been a grateful American, and I've learned to never take democracy for granted."

    -- Madeleine Albright, Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and former U.S. Secretary of State , in a tweet on Sunday. 

    China Embraces Authoritarianism

    "In China, the Dawn of the Xi Dynasty?" Ashish Kumar Sen -- Atlantic Council, February 26, 2018

    "Xi's Road to Indefinite Rule Through Rule-Making" Krishnadev Calamur -- The Atlantic, February 26, 2018

    "Xi Jinping's Latest Power Move, in Context" David Gitter -- The Diplomat, February 27, 2018

    "Xi's Move to Erase Term Limits Puts Chinese President on Collision Course with Japan's Abe" Jesse Johnson -- Japan Times, February 26, 2018

    "China's Stability Myth Is Dead" James Palmer -- Foreign Policy, February 26, 2018

    Defending Democracy

    "The Perils of Truth Decay: Q&A with Three RAND Leaders" Doug Irving -- RAND Corporation, February 28, 2018

    "How Flawed Constitutions Undermine Democracy" Michael Albertus and Victor Menaldo -- The Washington Post, February 26, 2018

    "How Silicon Valley Can Protect U.S. Democracy" Jamie Fly and Laura Rosenberger -- Foreign Affairs, February 22, 2018

    Is the Syrian War Worsening?

    "Will the Syria Conflict Continue to Escalate?" Nadana Fridrikhson -- The National Interest, February 27, 2018 

    "'Siege, Starve, and Surrender': Inside the Next Phase of the Syrian Civil War" Alex Ward -- Vox, February 28, 2018

    "UN Links North Korea to Syria's Chemical Weapons Program" Michael Schwirtz -- The New York Times, February 27, 2018

    "Why Is Iran Raising the Stakes in Syria?" Heshmat Alavi -- Al Arabiya, February 27, 2018

    Italy Goes to the Polls

    "The Tiny New Party that May Hold the Key to Italy's Election" Bari -- The Economist, February 21, 2018

    "Italian Election's Biggest Winner Is Europe" Jacopo Barigazzi -- Politico Europe, February 22, 2018

    "Why Italy's Unpredictable Election Is Testing Nerves in Europe" Lauren Said-Moorhouse -- CNN, February 28, 2018

    Takeaways from the 2018 Winter Olympics

    "Political End to Olympics: North Korea Offers Talks with U.S." Ted Anthony -- PBS News Hour, February 25, 2018

    "Can South Korea Save Itself?" Scott Snyder -- Council on Foreign Relations, February 26, 2018 

    For previous Weekly World News Updates, please visit our website 

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2018 9:09 AM | Anonymous

       Spring Leadership Meeting Hotel Block Open!

    WACA and the World Affairs Council of San Antonio have arranged a special group rate at the Hotel Valencia for the May 17-18 Council Leadership and May 19 Board Meetings.  

    To take advantage of our hotel block at $169 / night (plus tax), please book your room by April 25. Reservations can be made by following this link: WACA or by calling 855-596-3387 and referring to the World Affairs Councils of America group.

    Note: Council leaders who send their 2018 dues by Wednesday, February 28 will receive a complimentary registration for the Spring Leadership Meetings.


    Future of Korea Applications Due Feb. 28

    We are pleased to announce continued collaboration with the  Korea Economic Institute of America  on the  Future of Korea  program series. The speaker program focuses on the economic and political situation on the Korean Peninsula as well as U.S.-Korea relations.

    All Councils may submit applications; six to eight Councils will be selected to participate. 

    About the Program

    The centerpiece of the program is a panel discussion consisting of one representative each from the U.S. Department of State, the Korean Embassy, KEI, or other relevant institutions. The panel participants typically offer a general overview presentation (approximately 45-60 minutes in length), followed by a Q&A period. The speakers address political, security, economic and financial issues pertaining to the Korean Peninsula and U.S.-Korea relations. See more details.

    To Apply

    Councils interested in hosting need to send a completed Application form to Drew Lorelli at dlorelli@worldaffairscouncils.org by February 28, 2018.


    March Cover to Cover: Israeli National Security

    National security has been at the forefront of the Israeli experience for seven decades, with threats ranging from terrorism, to vast rocket and missile arsenals, and even existential nuclear dangers. Yet, despite its overwhelming preoccupation with foreign and defense affairs, Israel does not have a formal national defense strategy.

    In Israeli National Security, Chuck Freilich presents an authoritative analysis of the military, diplomatic, demographic, and societal challenges Israel faces today, to propose a comprehensive and long-term Israeli national security strategy.

    Register for the call.

    Read Freilich's recent article on the two-state solution and join the March Cover to Cover conference call to discuss his forthcoming book, Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change, on Thursday, March 1, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.


    Register for AWQ National Competition!

    Registration for the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018 Academic WorldQuest National Competition is now open! The AWQ championship weekend program will be held in Washington, DC on April 27-28. Please stay tuned for updates on the competition venue.

    Local champion teams of Academic WorldQuest competitions hosted by World Affairs Councils around the country must complete the registration form in order to participate in the AWQ National Competition. Registration forms are due no later than March 23!

    Register your AWQ team!

    This year's program will once again feature a welcome reception at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Friday, April 27, at 4:00-6:00 PM.

    For topics, study guide, and other information about this year's competition, please click here.

    Hotel Reservations:

    To take advantage of our special hotel rate of $169 / night plus tax, book your room now at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008). These discounted rates will expire April 5.

    Thank you to our generous sponsors:

                                         


    U.S.-Japan Alliance Working in Oregon

    WorldOregon will present a public panel that explores the depth and breadth of the U.S.-Japan relationship and the benefits to both countries at the national and regional levels. 

    The March 1 event will feature Ambassador (Ret.) James P. Zumwalt, CEO of Sasakawa USA, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Affairs; Stephanie Segal, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Simon Chair in Political Economy, CSIS; Dr. Satu Limaye, Director of East-West Center in Washington; and Paul Taylor, Vice President & General Counsel of Ajinomoto North America Division, based in Portland.

    Co-presented with generous support from Sasakawa USA and East-West Center, and in partnership with the Japan-America Society of Oregon, this panel is one of a series of events on which Sasakawa USA has partnered with local organizations as part of "The Alliance Working in America" (TAWA) program. WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford will participate in this program, including as a speaker at a March 2 dinner sponsored by the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program Alumni Association of Portland.


    Listen to WACA Podcasts!

     Last week, Derrick Olsen, President of WorldOregon, hosted Ambassador (Ret.) Mary Carlin Yates on our February KNOW NOW conference call to discuss a new U.S. strategy for Sudan. Listen to the podcast.


    Councils and WACA Are Hiring! 

    Cleveland Council on World Affairs is hiring a new Manager of Student Education Programs.

    World Affairs Council of Hampshire is conducting a search for its new executive director. See the job announcement.

    WACA is seeking two Program and Outreach Interns for Summer 2018! See details and application requirements.


    Call for Applications: 

    SQCC Intensive Summer Language Program

    The word Sabla in Omani Arabic dialect refers to places in communities where people gather to receive hospitality. Sabla also serves as a meeting place to discuss important public issues. 

    The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center's Sabla Program is an intensive summer language program designed to benefit current university-level students and recent graduates. The program emphasized the instruction of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The program runs for five weeks, offering highly intensive coursework in Arabic.

    Scholarships are available. Apply by May 6, 2018. See more details.


    WAC St. Louis Celebrates Chinese New Year 

    On Friday, March 2, the World Affairs Council of St. Louis will hold its 27th annual Chinese New Year Celebration fundraiser. This year's event is dedicated to Bob Fischer, who recently stepped down after 16 years of service as WAC St. Louis's Executive Director. He has been named Executive Director Emeritus and has been succeeded by Bob Foster.


    Travel the World from WAC Philadelphia

    Travel with Council Leaders - hear them lecture on Travel the World tours from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia!

    2018 travel schedule includes trips to: 

    • Dr. Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President, Programs, World Affairs Council Northern California, Southern Africa: Feb. 10-Mar. 5
    • Bill Clifford, President and CEO, World Affairs Councils of America, Inside Japan: Mar. 31 - Apr. 12
    • Craig Snyder, President and CEO, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Poland & Moscow Seminar: July 14-22
    • Jim Falk, President and CEO, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, Cruise the Rhine, July 11-29
    • Megan Torrey, Executive Director, World Affairs Council of Hartford, Himalayan Kingdoms, Sept. 11-25
    • Dixie Anderson, Executive Director Emerita, World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, Romance of the Douro River: Sept. 15-26
    • Mimi Gregory, Vice President of Programs, Naples Council on World Affairs, Inside Botswana: Oct. 4-16
    • Joyce Davis, President, World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, Town & Country Life in Languedoc: Oct. 6-14
    • Derrick Olsen, President, WorldOregon, Inside New York: Oct 21-26
    • Don Samford, Board President, Peoria Area World Affairs Council, Cuba: Nov. 4-12

    Contact www.wacphila.org/travel or call 1-800-942-5004, ext. 209 or 217.

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:08 PM | Anonymous

    Wednesday, February 21, 2018

    Countering Russia; Munich Security Conference; Critical Times in Syria; North Korean Cyber Threats; Chaos in Congo; Venezuelan Crisis

    Quote of the Week:

    "At no time since the collapse of the Soviet Union has the risk of armed conflict between major powers been as high as it is today. It couldn't be worse."

    -- Wolfgang Ishchinger, Chairman of the 2018 Munich Security Conference , recorded by Politico Europe on Friday. 

    Countering Russia

    "There's Still Time to Act Against Russian Interference" Daniel Fried -- The Atlantic, February 18, 2018

    "Did the U.S. 'Hack Back' at Russia? Here's Why This Matters in Cyberwarfare" Michael Poznansky and Evan Perkoski -- The Washington Post, February 21, 2018

    "Vladimir Putin's Parallel State" Maxim Trudolyubov -- Kennan Institute, February 21, 2018

    "Vladimir Putin's Wartime Presidency" Leon Aron -- National Review, February 16, 2018

    'To the Brink - And Back?' 2018 Munich Security Conference

    "'We're in Trouble': Rancor Rules at Munich Security Conference" Carl Schreck -- Radio Free Europe, February 18, 2018

    "Five Takeaways from the Munich Security Conference" Ulrike Esther Franke -- European Council on Foreign Relations, February 20, 2018

    "The Munich Security Conference Is One of the Premier Global Forums, So What's with the Malaise?" Daniel Drezner -- The Washington Post, February 18, 2018

    Critical Times in Syria

    "With Nowhere Else to Turn, Syrian Kurds Will Have to Embrace Assad's Army" Zvi Bar'el -- Haaretz, February 20, 2018 

    "Afrin Marks the Point of Collapse for American Influence in Syria" David Goldman -- Asia Times, February 21, 2018

    Cyber Threats from North Korea

    "North Korea Steps Up Cyber Powers with Shadowy 'Reaper' Hacker Group" Nicola Smith -- The Telegraph, February 20, 2018

    "All Eyes on North Korea" Jenna McLaughlin -- Foreign Policy, February 15, 2018

    Chaos in the Congo

    "Congo Is Sliding Back to Bloodshed" Editorial Board -- The Economist, February 15, 2018

    "Congo for the Congolese" Helen Epstein -- The New York Review of Books, February 19, 2018 

    Venezuela's Mounting Humanitarian Crisis

    "Venezuela: The Downward Spiral Continues" Andrew Stanley; Sarah Ladislaw; Adam Sieminski; Frank Verrastro -- CSIS, February 16, 2018 

    "Witnessing Venezuela's Exodus" Vanessa Neumann -- The Cipher Brief, February 18, 2018
    "A Venezuelan Refugee Crisis" Shannon O'Neil -- Council on Foreign Relations, February 15, 2018 [Report]


  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:07 AM | Anonymous

    Welcome: Montana WAC New Executive Director

    Please join WACA in wishing a warm welcome to Janet Rose, the new Executive Director of Montana World Affairs Council. Janet has had a 30-year career in nonprofit management, specializing in international affairs, youth leadership, and wildlife conservation.

    "Advancing our understanding and awareness of the international arena enriches our lives, our communities, and our understanding of the world around us. The future however, lies in the hands of youth and it is important to help them understand global affairs and the ways in which current issues impact our lives here at home," says Janet of the importance of her new role.


    World Affairs Council of San Antonio Holds

    International Citizen of the Year Award Dinner

    On Thursday, February 22, the World Affairs Council of San Antonio will honor Joe Strauss, a small business owner and Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives at its 2018 International Citizen of the Year Award Dinner.  

    The keynote speaker for this distinguished dinner will be Jon Meacham, Executive Vice President and Executive Editor at Random House Publishing Group.

    *Reminder to Councils:

    Send your 2018 Council Dues by February 28 and we will waive fees for the May 17-18 Spring Leadership Meeting, hosted by WAC San Antonio! (WACA National Board Meeting follows on May 19.)


    March Cover to Cover: Israeli National Security

    National security has been at the forefront of the Israeli experience for seven decades, with threats ranging from terrorism, to vast rocket and missile arsenals, and even existential nuclear dangers. Yet, despite its overwhelming preoccupation with foreign and defense affairs, Israel does not have a formal national defense strategy.

    In Israeli National Security, Chuck Freilich presents an authoritative analysis of the military, diplomatic, demographic, and societal challenges Israel faces today, to propose a comprehensive and long-term Israeli national security strategy.

    Register for the call.

    Join next month's Cover to Cover to discuss Chuck Freilich's new book, Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change, on Thursday, March 1, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.


    Listen to WACA Podcasts!

     Last week, WACA hosted Dr. Jonathan Quick on our February Cover to Cover conference call to discuss his new book, The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It

    Listen to the podcast.


    Call for Applications: 

    SQCC Intensive Summer Language Program

    The word Sabla in Omani Arabic dialect refers to places in communities where people gather to receive hospitality. Sabla also serves as a meeting place to discuss important public issues. 

    The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center's Sabla Program is an intensive summer language program designed to benefit current university-level students and recent graduates. The program emphasized the instruction of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The program runs for five weeks, offering highly intensive coursework in Arabic.

    Scholarships are available. Apply by May 6, 2018. See more details.


    Councils and WACA Are Hiring! 

    World Affairs Council of Hampshire is conducting a search for its new executive director. See the job announcement.

    Global Minnesota is also hiring. See the posting for their new Corporate and Foundation Giving Officer.

    WACA is seeking two Program and Outreach Interns for Summer 2018! See details and application requirements.


    Wednesday, February 21

    Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts H.E. David O'Sullivan, Ambassador of the European Union to the U.S., for "Transatlantic Ties and Tensions: Outlook for EU-U.S. Relations in 2018." Details

    World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh hosts H.E. Aizaz Chaudhry, Ambassador of Pakistan to the U.S., for "The Future of U.S.-Pakistan Relations." Details

    World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Dennis Ross, William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, for "Closing Conflicts: Prospects for Negotiations in the Middle East." Details

    World Affairs Council of Rhode Island hosts Dan Stretchay, U.S. Representative of the Roundtable On Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), for "Socio-Economic Effects Of Palm Oil." Details

    World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts hosts WACA Cover to Cover author Haroon Ullah, Chief Strategy Officer at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, for "How Do We Stop the Next World War? The Weaponization of Information and the Fight For Cyber Supremacy." Details

    Global Minnesota hosts Ross Wilson, Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, for "Turkey - A Partner in Crisis." Details

    World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana hosts Trita Parsi, President of the Iranian American Council, and Haleh Karimi, Executive Director of Interfaith Paths to Peace, for "Can Iran Be Trusted? The Evolution of the Iran Nuclear Deal." Details

    San Diego World Affairs Council hosts Emily Edmonds-Poli, Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at University of San Diego, for "Mexico's Upcoming Elections and What They Mean for the U.S." Details

    World Affairs Council of South Texas hosts Peter Gross, specialist in post-Communist Europe and media studies, for "Romania's Re-emerging Role as Strategic Partner in the U.S. and European Affairs." Details

    World Affairs Council of Greater Reading hosts Solomon Lausch, Executive Director of Berks Business Education Coalition, for "The Peace Corps: JFK to Today." Details

    World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California hosts James Coyle, Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, for "The Power of Intervention: How Russia is Recapturing Its Empire." Details

    World Affairs Council of Connecticut hosts a panel of religious experts for "The Meaning of Jerusalem." Details

    Indiana Council on World Affairs hosts Robert Einterz, Associate Dean for Global Health at Indiana University, for "Great Decisions: Global Health and Progress." Details

    Thursday, February 22

    World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Philip Yun, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Ploughshares Fund, for "Escalating Tensions on the Korean Peninsula." Details

    World Affairs Council of Charlotte hosts Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, for "Porsche: Embracing Change." Details

    Institute of World Affairs (Milwaukee) hosts Hannah Hetzer, Senior International Policy Manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, for "Winning the Opioid War: Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention." Details

    World Affairs Council of Connecticut hosts Mark Hehl, Consultant at Kairos Consulting Worldwide, for a discussion of his book, Amusing Confessions of an International Consultant. Details

    World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Abbas Millani, Co-Director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution, for "Why Is Iran Protesting?" Details

    World Affairs Council of Austin hosts Daniel Jaffee, Vice President of Research and Professor of Astronomy at the University of Texas Austin, for "How Technology, Serendipity, and the Weirdness of Nature Have Changed What We Know About the Universe." Details

    Friday, February 23

    WorldOregon hosts David Kohl, Statewide International Trade Liaison at the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network, for "Great Decisions: China & America - The New Geopolitical Equation." Details



  • Thursday, February 15, 2018 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

    Russia Pervades; U.S. National Defense Strategy; Tillerson's Middle East Trip; Turkey at War; India and China Tensions Over Maldives; Zuma to Step Down

    Quote of the Week:

    "Frankly, the United States is under attack. Under attack by entities that are using cyber to penetrate virtually every major action that takes place in the United States."

    -- Daniel Coats, U.S. Director of National Intelligence , in remarks during the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's Worldwide Threats Hearing on Tuesday. 

    Russia Pervades

    "Russian Threat to Elections to Persist Through 2018, Spy Bosses Warn Congress" Miles Parks -- NPR, February 13, 2018

    "The (Former) Soviet Empire Strikes Back" Richard Sokolsky and Paul Stronski -- The National Interest, February 13, 2018

    "The Surprising Success of Putinomics" Chris Miller -- Foreign Affairs, February 7, 2018

    "What Ban? Patriotic Fervor Grips Russia's Celebration House in South Korea" Tariq Panja -- The New York Times, February 11, 2018 

    The New National Defense Strategy

    "Defending America Means Defending Democracy" Richard Fontaine and Daniel Twining -- Foreign Policy, February 13, 2018

    "The National Defense Strategy: A Compelling Case for Defense Innovation" Steve Blank -- War on the Rocks, February 12, 2018

    "Oversight and Accountability in U.S. Security Sector Assistance" Melissa Dalton; Hijab Shah; Shannon Green -- Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 12, 2018 [Report]

    Tillerson Travels the Middle East

    "Previewing Secretary Tillerson's Upcoming Trip to Amman, Jordan; Ankara, Turkey; Beirut, Lebanon; Cairo, Egypt; and Kuwait City, Kuwait" Senior State Department Officials -- U.S. Department of State, February 9, 2018 [Special Briefing]

    "Rex Tillerson Is Skipping Israel on a Massive Tour of the Middle East, and It's Looking More and More Like a Mistake" Peter Jacobs -- Business Insider, February 11, 2018 

    "New Tensions Between America and Turkey Are Overshadowing the Anti-Islamic State Unity Meeting" Matthew Lee - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 13, 2018

    "Talking Turkey" Carmine Gentile -- Atlantic Council, February 12, 2018

    Turkey at War

    "Turkey Is Out of Control. Time for the U.S. to Say So" Eric Edelman and Jake Sullivan -- Politico, February 13, 2018

    "General Erdogan's First War" Steven Cook -- Foreign Policy, February 7, 2018 

    "Instead of Turning East, Turkey Is Going It Alone" Nick Danforth -- War on the Rocks, February 13, 2018

    Maldives Crisis Brings India-China Rivalry to the Fore

    "The Crisis in the Maldives, Explained" Nayma Qayum -- The Washington Post, February 12, 2018 

    "As Maldives Burns, Lessons for China and India's Limited Options" David Brewster -- South China Morning Post, February 7, 2018

    "Can Soft Power Help Repair China-India Ties?" Tridivesh Singh Maini -- The Diplomat, February 10, 2018

    South Africa's Zuma to Step Down 

    "South Africa's Ruling Party Recalled President Zuma. But the ANC Faces 3 Big Challenges" Benjamin Bradlow -- The Washington Post, February 14, 2018

    "Jacob Zuma's Undoing" John Campbell -- Council on Foreign Relations, February 13, 2018

    "Jacob Zuma's Last Stand" Editorial Board -- The Economist, February 13, 2018


  • Tuesday, February 13, 2018 10:03 AM | Anonymous

    TOMORROW: Cover to Cover with Dr. Quick

    Somewhere in nature, a killer virus is boiling up in the bloodstream of a wild animal, 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. That risk makes the threat posed by ISIS, a ground war, a massive climate event, or even the dropping of a nuclear bomb on a major city pale in comparison. 

    In The End of Epidemics, Dr. Jonathan Quick, Harvard Medical School faculty member and Chair of the Global Heath Council, examines the eradication of smallpox and devastating effects of influenza, AIDS SARS, and Ebola. Analyzing efforts to contain these diseases and citing firsthand accounts of failure and success, Dr. Quick proposes a new set of actions which he has coined, "The Power of Seven," to end epidemics before they begin.  

    Register for the call

    Join us for February's Cover to Cover tomorrow, February 13, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.


    KNOW NOW: A New U.S. Strategy for Sudan

    Ambassador (Ret.) Mary Carlin Yates recently returned from Sudan, where she served as U.S. Interim Chargé d'Affaires (2011-2012). The goal of the January trip was to make progress on assessing a re-engagement strategy between the U.S. and this geopolitically significant state, at the crossroads of Africa and the Middle East. 

    "We are at a critical time, and the progress towards re-engagement and having a strong bilateral relationship beneficial to both nations hangs in the balance as Khartoum's government and president flirt with closer relations with Russia," Ambassador Yates told WACA and WorldOregon in an email. 

    Register for the call.

    Read Sudan: A Strategy for Re-Engagement by Ambassador Yates and Kelsey Lilley, and join Derrick Olsen, President of WorldOregon, as he hosts Ambassador Yates for this KNOW NOW call on Tuesday, February 20, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.


    Councils Are Hiring!

    World Affairs Council of Hampshire is conducting a search for its new executive director. See the job announcement.

    Global Minnesota is also hiring. See the posting for their new Corporate and Foundation Giving Officer.


    WAC St. Louis Names New Executive Director

    Please join WACA in wishing a warm welcome to Robert Foster, the new Executive Director of World Affairs Council of St. Louis. Foster brings more than 30 years of professional association and communications experience to the position. He previously served as Executive Director of the American Optometric Student Association. 

    Read the press release.

    WACA would also like to congratulate Robert Fischer on his retirement after 16 years of service at the Council's helm. Bob, currently a member of the WACA National Board, has been named Executive Director, Emeritus of WAC St. Louis.


    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Speak at WAC Atlanta

    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - Africa's "Iron Lady" - overcame abuse, imprisonment, and exile to become the first elected female head of state in Africa. President of Liberia from 2006 until this year, Sirleaf turned her country around after 25 years of violence and misrule by securing peace in Liberia, promoting economic and social development, and strengthening the position of women - all of which earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.

    The World Affairs Council of Atlanta will host President Sirleaf for a special breakfast, "Madame President: From Liberia's Leader to Nobel Laureate," on Thursday, February 15. Details


    FPA Centennial Panel: Women in Development

    This Thursday, February 15, the Foreign Policy Association, founded in 1918, will host a centennial year panel. Co-hosted with Brown Brothers Harriman,  a firm that is celebrating its bicentennial this year, this panel - "The Critical Role of Women in Social and Economic Development" - features:

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka 

    UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

    Françoise Girard 

    President of the International Women's Health Coalition

    Mary "Nina" Henderson 

    Director of the Foreign Policy Association and of CNO Finanacial Group

    Katalin Bogyay 

    Ambassador of Hungary to the UN

    Isobel Coleman 

    Former U.S. Ambassador of Management, Reform, and Special Political Affairs to the UN

    See more details.


    Amb. Kenton Keith to Speak at 

    WAC Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky

    World Affairs Council of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky, WACA's Council of the Month, will host Kenton Keith, former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar (1992-1995), tomorrow, February 13. Amb. Keith will discuss "Iran Versus Saudi Arabia." The evening will also include a reception and dinner prior to Amb. Keith's remarks. Details


  • Thursday, February 08, 2018 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018

    PyeongChang Olympics; Tillerson in Latin America; European Populism; Trouble in South Africa; Crisis in the Maldives

    Quote of the Week:

    "The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests - no party's, no president's, only Putin's."

    -- John McCain, U.S Senator (R-AZ) , in a statement released Friday, regarding the release of the Nunes memo to the public. 

    North Korea and the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics

    "North Korea Diplomacy and the Winter Olympics" Leif-Eric Easley -- The Diplomat, February 7, 2018

    "North and South Korea Made Peace for the Olympics. But It Won't Last" Charlie Campbell -- Time, February 1, 2018

    "Enjoy the Olympics but Talks with North Korea Will Fail" Robert Kelly -- The National Interest, February 5, 2018 

    "Don't Be Fooled by North Korea's Winter Olympics Charm Offensive" Kim Sengupta -- Independent, February 6, 2018

    "The Mixed Record of Sports Diplomacy" Eleanor Albert -- Council on Foreign Relations, February 5, 2018

    "The Education of Kim Jong-Un" Jung Pak -- Brookings, February 6, 2018

    Tillerson's Trip to Latin America

    "Tillerson Tries to Soothe Troubled Allies in Latin America. It's Not an Easy Sell." Elisabeth Malkin -- The New York Times, February 2, 2018 

    "Tillerson to Latin America: Beware of China" Krishnadev Calamur -- The Atlantic, February 3, 2018

    "Tillerson Praises Monroe Doctrine, Warns Latin America of 'Imperial' Chinese Ambitions" Robbie Gramer and Keith Johnson -- Foreign Policy, February 2, 2018

    Checking in on European Populism 

    "Europe's Populists Are Waltzing Into the Mainstream" Editorial Board -- The Economist, February 3, 2018 

    "Muslim Voters and the European Left" Rafaela Danygier -- Foreign Affairs, February 6, 2018 

    "Crisis and Cohesion in the European Union: A Ten-Year Review" Josef Janning -- European Council on Foreign Relations, February 5, 2018

    Germany Finally Settles on Coalition 

    "Germany's Angela Merkel Finally Reaches Coalition Deal with SPD" Ben Knight -- Deutsche Welle, February 7, 2018

    Day Zero for South Africa? 

    "In Drought-Hit South Africa, the Politics of Water" William Saunderson-Meyer -- Reuters, February 5, 2018

    "South African President Jacob Zuma Faces Pressure to Resign" Rachel Elbaum -- NBC News, February 6, 2018

    "President Zuma's Speech Postponed as South African Power Struggle Intensifies" Norimitsu Onishi -- The New York Times, February 6, 2018 

    Maldives: Constitutional Crisis in Paradise

    "A Beautiful Place for a Crisis: How Politics Spoiled the Maldives Tropical Paradise" Shashank Bengali -- Los Angeles Times, February 6, 2018 

    "Crisis Continues in a Land of Pretty Islands, as Justices and Ex-Leader Are Arrested" Hassan Moosa and Jeffrey Gettleman -- The New York Times, February 5, 2018
    "Crisis in Male" Editorial Board -- The Hindu, February 5, 2018

    For previous Weekly World News Updates, please visit our website 

  • Tuesday, February 06, 2018 9:19 AM | Anonymous

    Council of the Month for February:

    WAC Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

    Having recently navigated the challenge of launching a new and improved website, WACA is keeping an eye out for member Councils that are taking on such a big challenge. We  recognize World Affairs Council of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky as our Council of the Month to highlight their world-class website and re-branding.

    In partnership with one of the Council's vital sponsors, Dover Corporation, and its global marketing firm, DeanHouston, the Council came up with a winning formula. WAC Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky's blog posts celebrate inclusive branding and the launch of their new name and logo reveals a deliberate process worth noting.

    "DeanHouston stepped up with an investment of time and expertise to advise the Council leadership through a name change, new logo, messaging, marketing tools, and website. As a small nonprofit organization leading global education efforts, connecting local business and family to world leaders, and creating a culturally aware and informed community, our online and outward presence has shifted to meet the needs of today's society," said Michelle Harpenau, Executive Director. "What you see today came out of this process to better share our story." And what a story it is!


    Congratulations, SQCC Grant Recipients!

    The World Affairs Councils of America congratulates the eight Councils that will participate in the WACA Engage America Series: Oman 2018. Following a very competitive application process, the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (SQCC), selected the following organizations for grant funding:

    • Columbia World Affairs Council
    • Savannah Council on World Affairs
    • South Dakota World Affairs Council
    • World Affairs Council of Albuquerque
    • World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
    • World Affairs Council of New Hampshire
    • World Affairs Council of San Antonio
    • World Affairs Council of Western Michigan

    The Oman 2018 program series will feature SQCC experts on U.S.-Oman relations, and a presentation of the country's contributions to business, trade, investment, culture, and education. 

    *Council Leaders: The application process for WACA grant funding for the Future of Korea 2018 program will open later this week. Stay tuned!


    February Cover to Cover: The End of Epidemics

    Somewhere in nature, a killer virus is boiling up in the bloodstream of a wild animal, 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. That risk makes the threat posed by ISIS, a ground war, a massive climate event, or even the dropping of a nuclear bomb on a major city pale in comparison. 

    In The End of Epidemics, Dr. Jonathan Quick, Harvard Medical School faculty member and Chair of the Global Heath Council, examines the eradication of smallpox and devastating effects of influenza, AIDS SARS, and Ebola. Analyzing efforts to contain these diseases and citing firsthand accounts of failure and success, Dr. Quick proposes a new set of actions which he has coined, "The Power of Seven," to end epidemics before they begin.  

    Register for the call

    Join us for February's Cover to Cover on Tuesday, February 13, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.

    March

    Chuck Freilich will discuss his book, Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change, on the day of its release, March 1, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.

    April

    Madiha Afzal will discuss her book, Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State on Wednesday, April 18, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.


    February KNOW NOW - Amb. Yates on Sudan

    Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates recently traveled to Sudan, where she had served as U.S. Interim Chargé d'Affaires (2011-2012). Previously, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana (2002-2005). While US Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi (1999-2002), Yates worked to bring stability with the Burundian peace process, led by former South African President Nelson Mandela. She also served in Kinshasa, Zaïre (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), as a political officer and then public affairs counselor in the early '90s during the genocide in neighboring Rwanda.

    Register for the call

    Join Derrick Olsen, President of WorldOregon, for a discussion with Ambassador Yates about the state of Sudan on Tuesday, February 20, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.


    FPA Student Essay/Video Competition

    What is America's biggest challenge in the world? 

    If you're a high school student, you're invited to submit either an essay or a video on this question.

    Deadline for submissions: 

    March 1, 2018. See more details.


    Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute

    The Great Decisions Teachers Institute is a once in a lifetime opportunity for high school educators to immerse themselves in some of America's biggest foreign policy challenges and build their skills in teaching international affairs. For four days, teachers from across the United States, Mexico, and Canada will attend lectures presented by experts and policy makers, interact with teaching colleagues, and acquire new teaching resources and curriculum ideas. See the flyer.

    To apply, all applicants are required to complete the application questionnaire.  The questionnaire can be accessed here, or by visiting www.fpa.org/institute/

    High school educators nationwide are invited to apply by March 16, 2018. All applicants will be notified by April 13, 2018.

    If you have any questions in regards to the application or the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, please email teachers@fpa.org, or call the Foreign Policy Association at 212-481-8100 x250.


    Academic WorldQuest 2018

    Information for the 2017-2018 Academic WorldQuest program is now available!

    This year's AWQ Study Guide is now available, along with more information about The Carlos and Malu Alvarez 2018 Academic WorldQuest National Competition, to be held Saturday, April 28, 2018.

    This year's AWQ National Competition will feature a welcome reception at the United States Institute of Peace on 

    Friday, April 27. For topics, Study Guide, 

    and more, click here.

    Sponsored by: United States Institute of Peace

     


    Councils Are Hiring!

    World Affairs Council of New Hampshire is conducting a search for its new executive director. See the job announcement.

    Global Minnesota is also hiring. See the posting for their new Corporate and Foundation Giving Officer.



    Global I.Q. Minute with Jim Falk

    In this episode of World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth's Global I.Q. Minute, Graham Allison, respected naitonal security analyst and defense guru, discusses his book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?, with WAC Dallas/Fort Worth President and CEO, Jim Falk. Listen now.


  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018 2:45 PM | Anonymous

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018

    State of U.S. Foreign Policy; What's Next for Syria?; New Fighting in Yemen; Rohingya Continue to Suffer; Kenya: Off Air

    Quote of the Week:

    "A great American leader will fashion strategies that ensure ISIS and al Qaeda don't return. A great American leader will remember that it is our values that distinguish us most, and mean we must stand up to the genuine threat that the People's Republic of China and Putin's Russia represent. If that leadership and those values were what you were listening for, you were sorely disappointed."

    -- Danielle Pletka, Senior Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise  Institute, in an interview with PBS Newshour about President Trump's State of the Union Address on Tuesday. 

    The State of U.S. Foreign Policy

    "President Trump Talked Tough on North Korea in the State of the Union. Here's Where Things Stand" Elizabeth Saunders -- The Washington Post, January 31, 2018

    "In State of the Union, Trump Goes Where Kim Jong Un Fears Most: Human Rights" Gordon Chang -- Daily Beast, January 31, 2018

    "How Might Trump's Speech Play in North Korea, China?" Editorial Board -- CBS, January 31, 2018

    "The State of Defense: Time for Trump to Put the Money Where His Mouth Is" Mackenzie Eaglen -- American Enterprise Institute, January 31, 2018

    "After Credibility: American Foreign Policy in the Trump Era" Keren Yarhi-Milo -- Foreign Affairs, January/February, 2018

    After Sochi, What's Next for Syria?

    "Russia's Syria Talks End with Plan to Draft New Constitution" Nataliya Vasilyeva and Vladimir Isachenkov -- U.S. News & World Report, January 30, 2018

    "Syria Opposition Missing from Russia's Sochi Talks" Editorial Board -- Al Jazeera, January 30, 2018

    "Squaring the Circle: Connecting Current Operations to Policy Ambition in Syria" Melissa Dalton -- CSIS, January 26, 2018 [Report]

    New Fighting Erupts in Yemen

    "What Is Going on in Southern Yemen?" Gamal Gasim -- Al Jazeera, January 29, 2018

    "Bloodshed Roils Yemen's South, Further Complicating an Already Complicated War" Colin Dwyer -- NPR, January 29, 2018

    "What Role Will Moscow Assume in Yemen's Civil War?" Kirill Semenov -- Al-Monitor, January 30, 2018

    Rohingya Continue to Suffer

    "Three Steps Myanmar Should Take to Turn the Rohingya Disaster Around" Bill Richardson -- The Washington Post, January 26, 2018

    "AP Interview: Richardson Resigns from Rohingya Refugee Panel" Foster Klug -- Associated Press, January 25, 2018

    "The Rohingya in Bangladesh: Playing Politics with a People in Crisis" Erol Yayboke -- CSIS, January 29, 2018

    "Even for Rohingya Refugees Who Move on From Bangladesh, Life Is Grim" -- The Economist, January 25, 2018

    Kenya: Off Air

    "Kenyans Name a 'People's President,' and TV Broadcasts Are Cut" Jina Moore -- The The New York Times, January 30, 2018

    "Kenya: Media Barred from Opposition Event" Editorial Board -- Human Rights Watch, January 30, 2018

    For previous Weekly World News Updates, please visit our website 




 

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