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Ambassador Roman Popadiuk Elected Chair of the WACA National Board

The World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) has announced that Ambassador Roman Popadiuk, a principal at Morgan Lewis Consulting, has been elected as chairman of the national Board of Directors of WACA, the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit network in the United States dedicated to educating the public on global issues.


"Ambassador Popadiuk brings the complete package to this position - high-level experience in business and in government, expertise in nonprofit leadership, and the vision to strengthen and grow our nationwide network of World Affairs Councils," said WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford. Read More

'Cover to Cover' Monthly Author Series

Our August Cover to Cover will feature Dominic Tierney , Swarthmore professor and author of The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts . The call will take place on Wednesday, August 5, at 2:00 PM ET .
WACA's July Cover to Cover featured journalist Nina Ansary on her new book, Jewels of Allah: The Untold Story of Women in Iran. The call was held on Tuesday, July 14 and WACA President Bill Clifford moderated the call.

1918 Society Conference Call

The World Affairs Councils of America hosted a 1918 Society Members Conference Call with Ambassador Ron Kirk, Co-Chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy Coalition), and former U.S. Trade Representative for President Obama and Mayor of Dallas, on Wednesday, June 24, at 3:30 PM ETAmbassador Roman Popadiuk, WACA Chair-Elect, moderated the call. 

Ambassador Ron Kirk joined The CASEnergy Coalition as a Co-Chairman on January 2014. In that role, he promotes the coalition's message regarding the benefits of nuclear energy, and its importance in our future energy portfolio. Amb. Kirk most recently served in the cabinet of President Barack Obama as his U.S. Trade Ambassador. Amb. Kirk served as the Mayor of Dallas from 1995 to 2001. He was the first African-American elected to the position. Prior to that, Ambassador Kirk served as the Texas Secretary of State under Governor Ann Richards, as well as chair of the Texas General Service Commission.

He is currently Senior of Counsel at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Dallas and Washington, D.C. offices.

Ambassador Ron Kirk kindly filled in on this call for Governor Christine Todd Whitman. Gov. Whitman was unable to make the call as scheduled due to a last-minute family emergency. 

Interested in joining the 1918 Society? Please contact Althea Georgantas at 202-833-4557.

2015 WACA National Conference

Leading America: Foreign Policy
Challenges and the 2016 Election

November 11-13, 2015
Washington, D.C.

Held annually for over two decades, the World Affairs Councils of America's National Conference engages our regional leaders and members drawn from the business, civic, and education communities with leading policy-makers and experts.

Last year's conference hosted keynotes General David G. Perkins, Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; Vali Nasr, Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; and Moisés Naím, best-selling author, and Distinguished Fellow in the International Economics Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Click here to see our 2014 speakers and agenda.

Staying at the Fairfax

We have secured a special group rate at The Fairfax at Embassy Row:

  • Superior King: $249 per night (Single/Double Occupancy)
  • Superior Two Doubles: $269 per night (Single/Double Occupancy)

Click here to reserve your room!

The Fairfax at Embassy Row is conveinently located in the Dupont Circle area. A Washington, DC landmark, the hotel's intriguing history spans more than 80 years.

Global Education Task Force Survey

WACA Board Members and Council Leaders, please participate in a survey to collect education program models from various World Affairs Councils in order to facilitate the sharing or scaling of global ed programs via the WACA network. Feel free to share more than one program. After submitting your response, you can generate a new form by clicking on the survey link in the confirmation message. Your voice is vital!  Please complete the survey by August 1.


Global Education Task Force Members 

Chair: Patrick Terrien, President & CEO, Columbus Council on World Affairs
Vice Chair: Xiao Yin Zhao, Executive Director, World Affairs Council of Kentucky and So. Indiana
Jennifer Bowden, M.Ed., Executive Director of Education, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
Uli Decker, Director of Education and Community Outreach, World Affiars Council of Jacksonville
Kevin Draper, Director of Global Education, Columbus Council on World Affairs
Jacqueline Miller, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Seattle
Maura O'Donnell-McCarthy, CEO, Cleveland Council on World Affairs 
Craig Perrier, High School Social Studies Specialist, Fairfax County Schools
Annie Prucey, Vice President, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
Don Samford, President, Peoria Area World Affairs Council
Megan Torrey, Executive Director, World Affairs Council of Connecticut


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 in 2013. We believe that all 96 World Affairs Councils will find value in this free weekly service.

Read Weekly World News Update for July 22, 2015

Diplomacy Begins Here: Upcoming Summits

Global Ties U.S. and our members, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, are hosting a series of summits across the United States that will bring together local, national, and international leaders from the business, government, and nonprofit world.
Upcoming Summits
July 23: Denver, CO hosted by WorldDenver and the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council.   Click here to register.
August 27: Manchester, NH hosted by WorldBoston and theWorld Affairs Council of New Hampshire.

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

Congratulations to Academic WorldQuest 2015 Winners and Participants
The World Affairs Councils of America is proud to present the winners of the 2015 Academic WorldQuest National Competition! Congratulations to First Place duPont Manual High School from the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana. See all winners and more details.

Academic WorldQuest Endowment Campaign 2015-2016
Academic WorldQuest, a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America that engages more than 4,000 high school students annually across the U.S. to test their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy, has received a $500,000 commitment from a generous supporter. Carlos Alvarez of San Antonio, Texas, a businessman and philanthropist who serves on the WACA National Board of Directors, made the pledge as part of the nonprofit organization’s campaign to endow the Academic WorldQuest national competition. He is making the gift with his wife, Malu – the gift would be the largest to date for any World Affairs Councils of America fundraising initiative.

“Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez’s generosity is an inspiring affirmation of the purpose of Academic WorldQuest – to offer young people a fun and interactive way to learn about critical challenges facing the U.S. and the world – and their gift will enable WACA to sustain and expand the Academic WorldQuest national competition while enhancing support for educational programs provided by 96 local nonprofit World Affairs Councils,” says Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO. “They truly understand the value of educating and engaging the public, and especially students, in international affairs and we are incredibly grateful for their commitment.” Read More

National Competition

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

Thank You to Our 2015 Sponsors:
NATO, Johnson+Sterling, ICI Education Foundation,
Carlson and the Carlson Family Foundation, and CIEE
Embassy Reception Host: Delegation of the
European Union to the United States

2014-2015 Program Information

About Academic WorldQuest

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


The Center for Complex Operations at the National Defense University is pleased to offer a free subscription of their quarterly journal, PRISM, to World Affairs Councils and their members. PRISM is a security studies journal chartered by the Department of Defense to inform policymakers, allies, and academics on complex and integrated national security operations; reconstruction and state-building; and developments in training and education. Each journal features academic and policy-driven articles, book reviews, commentaries, and lessons from the field. Recent contributors include former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, former U.S. Army General and CIA Director David Petraeus, former DIA Director Michael T. Flynn, and former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James F. Dobbins.

Click Here to Subscribe/Renew!

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!

Leadership Mission to Taiwan

The World Affairs Councils of America Leadership Delegation visited Taiwan. The Leadership Mission took place through June 21, 2015. The delegation included:
Mr. Bill Clifford - Head of Delegation
President & CEO, World Affairs Councils of America

James Allen
Chair, Colorado Springs World Affairs Council
Chad Bettes
Director & Past President, International Relations Council of Kansas City

Shelby Kardas
Vice President, Administration & Development, World Affairs Council of Oregon

Farah Killidar
CEO, World Affairs Council of Houston

Kimberly McLaughlin
Assistant Treasurer, World Affairs Council of Maine

Roger Naik
World Affairs Council of Atlanta

Judy Rubinstein
Board Member, Naples Council on World Affairs

Alida Skold
Board Member, World Affairs Council of Seattle

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

1918 Society Trip to Centro Fox

The World Affairs Councils of America hosted a 1918 Society Members Trip to Guanajuato, Mexico to visit Centro Fox, the presidential library of former Mexican President Vicente Fox. The trip was held May 21-24, 2015.

During the four-day visit, attendees dined with President and Mrs. Fox, received tours of Guanajuato City and Centro Fox, and visited the tequila distillery Corralejo Hacienda.
Those interested in learning more about or joining the 1918 Society should contact
Althea Georgantas at 
or 202-833-4557. 
About Guanajuato
Located in the state of the same name, the city of Guanajuato is a World Heritage Site and a historically rich area. Guanajuato is known for its fascinating architecture, which was heavily influenced by its background as a mining town, and its unique layout, which follows the natural terrain of the valley instead of the standard grid plan of colonial towns in New Spain.

About Centro Fox
Centro Fox, official name The Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum, is a presidential history center founded by former President of Mexico Vicente Fox on the site of his childhood home in San Cristobal. The mission of Centro Fox is to "contribute to the training of leaders based on social values."

2015 WACA Spring Leadership Meeting

The World Affairs Councils of America hosted Member Council executives, staff, and board members at this year's Spring Leadership Meeting. The program provided a unique, concentrated opportunity for fellow Council leaders to network and discuss best practices. 

The World Affairs Councils of America thanks the World Affairs Council of Atlanta for hosting the program, including an excellent Opening Reception on Thursday evening, March 26, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Attendees enjoyed engaging with Fed Atlanta President & CEO Dennis Lockhart. Mr. Lockhart is the founding chairman of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.

2015 European Union Outreach

Using the time period on or around May 9, Europe Day, as a focal point, this Engage America program is designed to raise awareness, knowledge, and understanding about EU policies, the EU's role as an international actor, and the value of the EU-US relationship. Events will have a wide European scope rather than focusing exclusively on one Member State of the EU, or bilateral relations between the US region and one Member State. Activities will highlight local and regional economic, social, and cultural connections to Europe and the local and regional impacts of those connections. 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.

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!

Maria Wulff, President, World Affairs Council of Oregon, Coastal Life from the Adriatic to the Aegean, June 15-23, 2015. 

Mimi Gregory, Vice President, Naples Council on World Affairs, Grand Danube: August 8-23, 2015. 

Kay Maxwell, Executive Director, World Affairs Forum Stamford, Vietnam and Cambodia: October 12-27, 2015. 

Dr. Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President of Programs, World Affairs Council of Northern California, Cuba: December 6-14, 2015. 

Ambassador Mark Johnson, Board, Montana World Affairs Council, The Mediterranean Through the Centuries: October 14-25. 2015. 

Dr. Jerry W. Leach, Former President, World Affairs Councils of America, Turquoise Coast Cruise, October 27-November 4, 2015. 

Contact or call 1-800-942-5004 x209 or x217.

There are over 80 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 Althea Georgantas 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