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2015 WACA Spring Leadership Meeting

The World Affairs Councils of America's is delighted to invite Member Council executives, staff, and board members to this year's Spring Leadership Meeting. As those of you who have attended past Spring Leadership Meetings in San Francisco, New York, Denver, and Chicago know, the program provides a unique, concentrated opportunity to network with fellow Council leaders and discuss best practices, covered in a variety of workshops. 

This spring, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta will host the program, starting with an Opening Reception on Thursday evening, March 26, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Attendees will enjoy the chance engage with Fed Atlanta President & CEO Dennis Lockhart, who will make remarks. Mr. Lockhart is the founding chairman of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. Leadership Meeting professional development sessions will be held Friday, March 27.

Click Here to Register

More Information

BoardSource Webinars: WACA Councils Attend for Free!

Leaders within the WACA network are eligible to become part of BoardSource's membership community of more than 26,000 nonprofit leaders across the U.S. The National Office encourages all Councils to take advantage and sign up for a complimentary BoardSource membership. Please share the link - with Council colleagues, staff, and all Board members - and enjoy an array of benefits and easy-to-access news, resources, and best-practices webinars in nonprofit board leadership, as well as practical experience and suggestions from other members of BoardSource's community. Be sure to sign up today!
Thursday, February 26, at 2:00 PM ET 
Cost: Organizational Members $0 (WACA saves you $35) REGISTER

1918 Society Conference Call

The World Affairs Councils of America will host Bob Moritz, Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC, for a 1918 Society Conference Call on "How Global Trends Are Affecting the Economy" on Friday, March 20, at 2:00 PM ET.

February's 1918 Society Conference Call featured Scott Carpenter, Deputy Director of Google Ideas, for a 1918 Society Conference Call on "Censorship in the Digital Age." 

Interested in joining the 1918 Society? Learn more here.

2014-2015 Academic WorldQuest

2014-2015 Academic WorldQuest Topics
Russia / Eurasia Human Trafficking
Youth, Jobs, and Social Unrest Future of Energy

Millennium Development Goals: 2015 and Beyond 

Food and Water
Asia and the New Global Economy Great Decisions
Africa Rising Current Events


2014-2015 AWQ Study Guide Available Here

National Competition
The 2015 Academic WorldQuest National Competition will take place Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC.

2014-2015 Program Information

About Academic WorldQuest

'Cover to Cover' Monthly Author Series

Our March Author Series will feature Peter Kornbluh, Senior Analyst and Director of the Cuba and Chile Documentation Projects at the National Security Archive, on his book Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana. The call will take place Thursday, March 19, at 2:00 PM ET. WACA President Bill Clifford will moderate the call. 

Weekly World News Update

The World Affairs Councils of America's National Office is pleased to share with you Weekly World News Update every Wednesday. An initiative of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, this weekly digest of thought-provoking pieces from respected global sources has become very popular with the Pittsburgh Council's members, as well as colleagues across our network, since its launch over 18 months ago. We believe that all 94 World Affairs Councils will find value in this free weekly service.

Read Weekly World News Update for February 25, 2015

February Best Practices Teleconference

WACA's Best Practices Teleconference Series featured Tony Culley-Foster, who in December 2014 succeeded Heidi Shoup as President and CEO of World Affairs Council - Washington, DC. Tony discussed Annual Gala Dinners - How to Achieve Success. WAC-DC is currently preparing for its annual Global Education Gala on March 5. A recording of the call is available here.
Tony Culley-Foster brings 35 years of extensive top-level international business strategy, government relations, brand development, cause marketing, strategic communications, entrepreneurship, fundraising, sponsorship and sales expertise, as well as a "can do" enthusiasm to his business and non-profit activities.
Learn More About WACA Best Practices Teleconferences

Rational Middle Energy Series

The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce a new national program series in partnership with The Rational Middle Energy SeriesWith nearly 2 million views and counting, the 22-film series has sparked a movement based on productive conversation around the current energy challenge and what it will take to achieve a cleaner energy future.
The film screening-and-discussion series, moderated by producer and director Gregory Kallenberg, will be offered to World Affairs Councils across the U.S. through a competitive bidding process. The application period is now closed.

2014 WACA National Conference

The World Affairs Councils of America thanks all sponsors, speakers, embassy reception hosts, and attendees for helping to make the 2014 National Conference a great success.

Whether or not you attended the Conference, we want to hear from you in order to best serve the network next year: 2014 National Conference Survey

Held annually for over two decades, the Conference engages our national network's leaders and members drawn from the business, civic, and education communities with leading policy-makers and experts. Speakers and Embassy Receptions

The 2014 National Conference Agenda (available here) examined: China, the U.S., and Asia; Russia/Eurasia; Cybersecurity; Future of Education; Youth, Jobs, and Social Unrest; Food and Water; Global Economic Realignment; Future of Energy; Africa; and Climate Change. 

We Thank Our Generous 2014 National Conference Sponsors
Google, Chevron, The Gambrinus Company, Shell,
The Rational Middle Energy Series, NATO, Foreign Policy Association,
ExxonMobil, Johnson Sterling, Inc., The Claremont Group
and Global Ties U.S.

World Affairs Councils of America Wins DANDI Award

The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce that it was honored with the Diversity and Inclusion (DANDI) Award in the international category.
Accepting the honor at the 3rd Annual DANDI Awards Ceremony in New York City on December 1st, WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford said:
"The World Affairs Councils of America believes everyone benefits when we create a public environment where a diverse community is challenged to share ideas about international issues while considering other points of view. For our Councils, which put a premium on civil dialogue, the commitment to the values of inclusion and diversity of thought and perspective makes us better learners, employees, leaders, and citizens."
See our video above, submitted following WACA's nomination for a 2014 DANDI Award.
For more on the DANDIs, visit their website here. Read the press release here

Leadership Mission to the People's Republic of China

The World Affairs Councils of America and Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) hosted a Leadership Mission to the People's Republic of China from October 11-19, 2014. The Leadership Delegation attended meetings at government agencies, companies, NGOs and the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies. Stay tuned for the trip report.

A Leadership Mission is a working visit made by a WACA National Leadership Delegation to a foreign country. It is an important membership benefit for our network leaders and sponsors. Missions allow participants to obtain firsthand knowledge of the host country, which helps them to design and operate programs, events and activities for their councils that make a real difference in fostering grassroots understanding and engagement in international affairs. WACA delegates also met with Ambassador Max Baucus at the U.S. Embassy.

Combating Human Trafficking

Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation and the World Affairs Councils of America continue their partnership in a national program on combating human trafficking. More than 30 World Affairs Councils participated in the 2013 program, which featured screenings of the documentary film Not My Life. The 2014 program will feature discussion forums as well as film showings. Click here to see the schedule for the 2014 program.

As you know, WACA's 2013 National Conference in November featured a keynote address by Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former Chairman and CEO, Carlson, Inc. U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Co-chairs of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking, joined the keynote discussion. It is both an honor and a responsibility that WACA embraces to advance public dialogue on this critical topic.

Understanding Muslim Societies

The World Affairs Councils of America, with the generous support of Carnegie Corporation of New York, continues its very successful Engage America Series Understanding Muslim Societies. The program will be held throughout 2014 and focuses on countries in the Middle East, as well as Afghanistan/Pakistan, and those relevant rising economic powers that are competing globally with the United States, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. More Information

Freedom and Power in the Digital Age


Eight councils were selected to host the program, which feature notable Google experts as speakers and is supported by a grant from Google. The program also includes an Educators Seminar with a separate team of Google experts who will address how teachers and students can best leverage the tools of the new digital age to further their educational missions. More Information

Spotlight on Turkey 2015

The 2015 Spotlight on Turkey program, conducted in partnership with the Turkish Cultural Foundation, was launched this month with the selection of 12 local Councils. 
The 2015 councils are: Santa Fe Council on International Relations, World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C., Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (Hawaii), Northern Nevada International Center, Montana World Affairs Council, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, Dayton Council on World Affairs, World Affairs Council of Las Vegas, World Affairs Council of Seattle, World Affairs Council of Houston, World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California.

With a Teachers Workshop in the spring, a Teachers Study Tour in the summer, and public cultural programs in the fall, the program emphasizes classroom learning and public education about Turkey and its contributions to the global community. More Information

Future of Korea 2014-2015

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.

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 60-90 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. 


The application deadline has passed. Participating councils will be informed of their selection shortly.

WACA Virtual Library

Christian Sahner provides insight into Syria’s civil war and the impact of the emergence of the Islamic State through the lens of history. What can the country's past tell us about its future?

Christian Sahner is a historian of the Middle East. He is author of the book, "Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present" (Oxford University Press/ C. Hurst & Co). A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, he is currently completing his doctorate at Princeton, focusing on the role of non-Muslims in medieval Islamic societies. His essays have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.

CONTEXT is distributed in partnership with the World Affairs Councils of America. For more CONTEXT episodes, visit our Virtual Library.

The WACA Virtual Library also contains recordings from the World Affairs Councils of America National Conference, sponsored programs, and recordings from our Hot Topics Conference Calls.

Visit the Virtual Library

World Affairs Council Travel Programs

Travel the World from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia
Just Announced: Council Leaders to Lecture on Travel the World tours!

Anna Berry, Executive Director, World Affairs Council of New Hampshire, Burgundy & Provence River Cruise: May 3-14.

Mimi Gregory, Vice President of Programs, Naples Council on World Affairs, Inside Iran: May 18 - June 1.

Dr. Gail Stevenson, Executive Director, Vermont Council on World Affairs, Norwegian Splendor: June 11 - 26.

Maria Wulff, President, World Affairs Council of Oregon, Coastal Life from the Adriatic to the Aegean, June 15 - 23.

Dr. Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President of Programs, World Affairs Council of Northern California, South Africa: August 17 - 28.

Kay Maxwell, Executive Director, World Affairs Forum Stamford, Viet Nam and Cambodia: October 12 – 27. 

Ambassador Mark Johnson, Board, Montana World Affairs Council, The Mediterranean Through the Centuries: October 14 - 25. 

Contact or call 800-942-5004 x 209 or 217.

There are over 100 World Affairs Council events scheduled this month across the country. Sign up for the WACA Weekly Digest to receive updates from around the network that include programs you can attend, participate in virtually, get ideas about speakers, or model format. We encourage you to follow-up with the sponsoring council for more information. If we missed something or if you have a program that you would like highlighted on our website or in the WACA Weekly, please contact Ian J. Byrne at

The World Affairs Councils of America represents and supports the largest national non-partisan network of local councils that are dedicated to educating, inspiring and engaging Americans in international affairs and the critical global issues of our times.

Log-in for WACA Leadership and Staff: Access the Discussion Board, Resource Materials, Available Authors, Event Calendar Administration, and post your recommended speakers.

1918 Society Members

Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation

Carnegie Corporation of New York


The Claremont Group

The Coca-Cola Company

Delegation of the European Union to the United States

Eden Hall Foundation


Foreign Policy Association

The Gambrinus Company

Global Ties U.S.

Goldman Sachs


The Holmes Organisation

Johnson + Sterling

Mr. Michael Phillip


Rational Middle Energy Series


Rosetta Stone


Thomson Reuters

Tomassian, Throckmorton & Inouye LLP

Turkish Cultural Foundation

Van Andel Institute