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. Confirmed Speakers and Embassy Receptions
The 2014 National Conference Agenda will examine: 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.
The Fairfax at Embassy Row is a historic Washington, DC hotel is located in the Dupont Circle area. A Washington, DC landmark, the hotel has an intriguing history that spans more than 80 years.
When The Fairfax opened its doors in 1927, distinguished guests were instantly drawn to its stately elegance, and more than willing to part with the outrageous sum of $4.00 per day for a double occupancy suite with a parlor, bedroom, and full bath. Colonel H. Grady Gore and his wife purchased the historic D.C. hotel in 1932, and it was during this decade that congressman, senators, and ambassadors began to make the hotel their permanent residence. More Information
August 26 marked the 50th day of hostilities in the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas. Yesterday, news broke that the two sides have agreed to a long-term truce. Over the past seven weeks, it seems there has been no shortage of false hope and broken ceasefires. The question beckons, is this agreement for real and will it hold?
To help make sense of the current situation, the World Affairs Councils of America hosted Ambassador Martin S. Indyk, Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, former U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, for an off-the-record 1918 Society Conference Callon August 27.
Ambassador Martin S. Indyk, Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy Program, returned to the Brookings Institution on July 1, 2014, after serving as the U.S. Special Envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations. Previously, Ambassador Indyk was a senior fellow and the founding director of the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. He served as U.S. ambassador to Israel from 1995-1997 and from 2000-2001. Full Bio
The National Board of Directors of the World Affairs Councils of America is proud to announce that we will be offering 25 scholarships for college undergraduate students from our national network to attend the 2014 National Conference, America and the World 2015, November 5-7, 2014 at The Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel in Washington, DC.
The National Board of Directors is offering these scholarships in order to fulfill our mission and responsibility as a national association dedicated to the education of the American public and to preparing our future leaders for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. The National Conference promises to be a very special opportunity for our network of Council leaders, members, and friends to engage in a discussion of the critical issues facing us as a nation with many of the leading policy makers and analysts in national security. The National Board of Directors wants to ensure that, in partnership with you, this opportunity is available to our future leaders.
The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce that the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) has agreed to host a Leadership Mission to the People's Republic of China from October 11-19, 2014. Note: Delegates will depart the U.S. on October 11 and arrive on October 12.
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.
Itineraries and meetings are organized by the host. Arrangements will be made for the delegation to interact with selected government agencies, major political parties and NGOs in order to further enhance the delegates' understanding of the People's Republic of China.
The Leadership Mission will include up to 10 delegates. We are currently accepting applications for participants.
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 92 World Affairs Councils will find value in this free weekly service.
The United States, Barry R. Posen argues in Restraint, has grown incapable of moderating its ambitions in international politics. Since the collapse of Soviet power, it has pursued a grand strategy that he calls "liberal hegemony," one that Posen sees as unnecessary, counterproductive, costly, and wasteful. Written for policymakers and observers alike, Restraint explains precisely why this grand strategy works poorly and then provides a carefully designed alternative grand strategy and an associated military strategy and force structure. In contrast to the failures and unexpected problems that have stemmed from America's consistent overreaching, Posen makes an urgent argument for restraint in the future use of U.S. military strength.
Barry R. Posen is the Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the Security Studies Program at MIT. He is also the author of The Sources of Military Doctrine: France, Britain, and Germany between the World Wars (winner of the Furniss Award and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award) and Inadvertent Escalation: Conventional War and Nuclear Risks.Full Bio
The 2014 Academic WorldQuest National Competition took place Saturday, April 26 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC. The World Affairs Councils of America is proud to present the winners of the 2014 Academic WorldQuest National Competition!
Plano West Senior High School
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
Jeffrey Chang, Sidharth Kapur, Qianqian Yang, Catherine Zhang, and Coach John Scott (not ordered above)
pictured with Bill Clifford, President and CEO of the World Affairs Councils of America
Online subscription (12 months) to Rosetta Stone Language Learning. Four students can each choose from over 30 languages.
Second Place Keystone School World Affairs Council of San Antonio Nabil Kabasi, Katie Mansfield, Emily Ye, Chris Zu, and Coach Raymond Boryczka
Online subscription (six months) to Rosetta Stone Language Learning. Four students can each choose from over 30 languages.
Third Place Georgetown Day School World Affairs Council - Washington, DC Adam White, David Bergreen, James Stenger, and Alex Samaha
Special thanks also to Bill and Judy Wheelock, Michael Phillip, and Johnson Sterling, Inc. for their generous financial support, the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore for opening their doors and generously hosting a reception for students and chaperones, and the ONE Campaign for promotional support.
Last but not least, Academic WorldQuest would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of students, teachers, parents, chaperones, and all World Affairs Council staff and volunteers across the country. Thank YOU for helping to make the 2014 Academic WorldQuest National Competition a great success.
With Iraq thrust back into the American foreign policy spotlight, the World Affairs Councils of America hosted Prof. Joshua Landis for a network-wide Hot Topics Conference Call on the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria on June 19. Listen to a recording of the call here.
Joshua Landis is Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma's College of International Studies. He writes Syria Comment, a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts some 50,000 readers a month. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis travels frequently to Washington, DC to consult with government agencies and speak at think tanks. He has won the best teacher prize at his university; raised over $1 million for a new chair in Iranian studies, and helped bring the government funded Arabic Flagship Program to OU. Three Fulbright grants, the SSRC and other awards have helped support his research. He has lived over 14 years in the Middle East. Full Bio
Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation has officially renewed funding of the World Affairs Councils of America's 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. Up to 35 Councils will be selected to participate in the 2014 program. The application deadline has passed and selected Councils will be notified in the coming weeks.
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.
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
The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce a new Engage America Speaker Series in partnership with Google:
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. Click here for more information.
The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce its eighth year of collaboration with the Turkish Cultural Foundation on the national Spotlight on Turkey program. The program runs a full calendar year and focuses on giving an overview of the history of Anatolia and Turkey with a special emphasis on Turkish culture to American educators and the general public.
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
The World Affairs Councils of America has received a grant from Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation to bring attention to the critical issue of human trafficking and modern slavery. The program series features screenings of the documentary film Not My Life by Robert Bilheimer and Worldwide Documentaries in all participating council communities. More Information
Not My Life, directed by Oscar nominee Robert Bilheimer, probes the dark, hidden, and often unspeakable realities of human trafficking and modern-day slavery-- multi-billion dollar global industries that earn their profits, as the film's narration says, "on the backs and in the beds of our planet's youth." The film is part of a global awareness campaign on modern slavery. Watch the Trailer
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
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.
Even though the policy discussion concerning the Mexico-U.S. border is often focused on security and illegal immigration issues, the amount of commerce that occurs on a daily basis between these North American neighbors has been described as “staggering.” In this edition of CONTEXT, you’ll hear from two members of their respective country’s national legislatures. They provide cross-border perspectives on what can be done by both countries to enhance an already productive relationship.
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.
The World Affairs Councils of America conducts a yearly survey asking the World Affairs Councils regional leadership to select the Six Top Issues for the president in the coming year. The annual National Conference in November launches the National Network discussion of the Six Top Issues and frames the yearly national programming. The issues selected for 2014 are Cybersecurity, U.S. Energy Independence, Global Economic Realignment, Middle East, Global Environment Issues, K-12 Education.
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!
L.J. Stambuk, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Charlotte, Croatia and Slovenia: September 7 – 20.
Ambassador Marilyn McAfee, Chair, World Affairs Council of Jacksonville, Inside Iran: October 5 – 19.
Dr. Steven Sokol, President and CEO, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, Turkish Treasures: October 17 – 31.
Ambassador Heather Hodges, President and Ambassador in Residence, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, South American Tapestry: October 16 – November 2.
Ambassador Mark Johnson, Founder, World Affairs Council of Montana, Landscapes of the Mediterranean: October 23 – November 6.
Maria Wulff, President, World Affairs Council of Oregon, Best of Tanzania: November 1-11.
Maria Zammit, World Affairs Council of Hampton Roads, Sri Lanka: February 4-18
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.
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