For more than 20 years, the WACA National Office has arranged in-depth fact-finding trips as a benefit to Council leaders, stakeholders, and members, as well as WACA partners. Through Leadership Missions and Study Tours, WACA has given groups of professionals the opportunity to engage in dialogue with top government officials, business leaders, journalists, and other experts to gain a better understanding of the political, national security, economic, social, and cultural landscape of the host country.
With a focus also on key issues shaping bilateral relations with the United States, this WACA Leadership Mission will allow participants to use their firsthand knowledge of Qatar to design and present Council programs, events, and activities that foster genuine grassroots understanding of and international engagement with Qatar in their local communities.
Itineraries and professional meetings are organized by the Embassy of Qatar. Arrangements will be made for the WACA delegation to interact with senior leadership in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to further enhance delegates' understanding of Qatar.
This Leadership Mission is open to Council CEOs, Board directors and other key supporters of local Councils and the WACA network, and affiliate members based in DC. Applicants should be actively involved in Council operations and activities, and must be supported by their Councils.
Leadership Missions involve multiple professional meetings, cultural activities, and extensive walking each day. It is a stimulating and demanding experience, even if one is immune to jet lag. For these reasons, delegates should be in excellent physical condition.
Delegates representing the World Affairs Councils of America are citizen diplomats in every sense of the phrase. Those selected will receive a welcome packet that includes local customs that should be observed. Participation in all aspects of the itinerary is essential, except in the case of unexpected illness.
Briefing materials will be provided to delegates in advance of the trip; however, participants should also be proactive in learning about Qatar’s history, social mores, and current issues in domestic politics and foreign relations.
During the Trip
Delegates should be prepared for a full schedule in Qatar from October 13-19. (Note: Qatar Airways flights will depart the U.S. on October 12 and arrive in Doha on October 13. Arriving later than October 13 and returning earlier than October 19 are not options. Delegates are required to attend all meetings and site visits. Delegates are not required to present gifts to their meeting interlocutors, but those who wish to may do so, as appropriate (the subject of gifts will be covered in more detail ahead of the trip).
Participants are expected to contribute in two ways after this Leadership Mission:
a) Based on the assignments to report on specific meetings of interest to delegates, individual reports will be compiled and published as a WACA Leadership Mission Report. This will be distributed to all Councils in the WACA network, as well as to the trip hosts, and be uploaded to the WACA website.
b) Councils represented by delegates are required to host at least one program on Qatar or U.S.-Qatar relations within 3-6 months of the trip. The program should include a large public forum plus a roundtable, and the public event should strive for media coverage (op-ed and feature articles, broadcast interviews, etc.). Councils should report such program activities and outreach to the WACA National Office.
The generous sponsorship of the Embassy of Qatar will cover international airfare and in-country expenses for the delegation, including hotel accommodation, most meals, and local transportation.
An administrative fee of $2000, made payable to the World Affairs Councils of America, is required from each selected participant.
Delegates are responsible for making any travel insurance arrangements at their discretion. Delegates are also responsible for any souvenirs and incidentals.
Applicants are asked to submit the following to the WACA National Office by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the close of business on Monday, August 24, 2018:
· Application Form (Download Here) and Release of Liability Form (Download Here)
· A color copy of the photo page of your passport
· A letter of reference from your local Council CEO. If you are a Council CEO, please submit a letter of reference from the Chair of your Board of Directors
Delegates will be selected based on their demonstrated involvement with their local Councils and WACA, as well as their commitment to public engagement following the WACA Leadership Mission.