Bookmark and Share

2015-2016 Academic WorldQuest

2015-2016 Academic WorldQuest Topics
Asia Matters for America The Arctic
NATO Food Security

International Trade and Finance

Organization of the American States
Sultanate of Oman Great Decisions
Privacy in the Digital Age Current Events


2015-2016 AWQ Study Guide


2016 National Competition: Register Your Team Now!


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 contribution 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 donation 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

Thank You to Our Sponsors:
Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, CIEE, NATO, East-West Center 
ICI Education Foundation, Johnson+Sterling

About Academic WorldQuest

2016 Spring Leadership Meeting

The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce that the annual Spring Leadership Meeting for Council Executives, Staff, and Board Members will be hosted by The World Affairs Council of Greater Houston. 

This popular professional-development and networking event will take place March 17-18. Details 


Click here to register for the Spring Leadership Meeting 

'Cover to Cover' Monthly Author Series

March's Cover to Cover will feature New York Times bestselling author Clyde Prestowitz on his new book Japan Restored: How Japan Can Reinvent Itself and Why This Is Important for America and the World. Date/Time TBD. WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford will moderate the call. 
WACA's February Cover to Cover featured innovation expert Alec Ross on his new book The Industries of the FutureThe Call was held on Thursday, February 11, at 2:00-2:30 PM ETWACA President Bill Clifford moderated the call.  

Hot Topics on Outlook for Cuba

The World Affairs Councils of America hosted a Hot Topics conference call with James Williams, President of Engage Cuba, on Tuesday, January 26, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET. WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford moderated the call.


December marked the first anniversary of renewed U.S.-Cuba engagement, sparked by President Obama's historic decision. Now, bipartisan congressional support is deepening to open trade and travel between the U.S. and Cuba. Join us for a conversation with James Williams to learn about the movement to completely lift the U.S. trade embargo, normalize relations, and improve Western Hemisphere relations.

James Williams is an experienced public policy advocate and political strategist who assembled and led an under-the-radar $3 million national campaign to successfully convince the Obama Administration to reform U.S.-Cuba relations. Prior to that Williams was the Director of Public Policy of Trimpa Group, a consulting firm where he managed a portfolio of state and federal government relations, strategic political consulting, and philanthropic and political investment advising for institutional and individual clients. (Full bio

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 February 10, 2016

Spotlight on Turkey 2016

The 2016 Spotlight on Turkey program, conducted in partnership with the Turkish Cultural Foundation, was launched this month with the selection of 10 local Councils. 
The 2016 councils are: Santa Fe Council on International Relations, World Affairs Council of Seattle, Pacific and Asian Affairs Council, Dayton Council on World Affairs, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Tennesse World Affairs Council, WorldDenver, International Center of the Capital Region, International Relations Council, and World Affairs Council – Washington, DC.

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

2016 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

WACA National Conference

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.

WACA's 2016 National Conference Will be held on November 16-18, at the Captiol Hilton Hotel, located in the heart of Washington DC and just two blocks from the White House and three Metro Rail stations, makes it the perfect hotel for exploring our Nation’s Capital. It is within walking distance of museums and memorials, theatres and art galleries, shopping, dining, nightlife, and more. 

WACA's 2015 National Conference Was held on November 11-13, titled Leading America: Foreign Policy Challenges and the 2016 Election. The Conference provided original and essential insights. Keynote speakers and relevant panel discussion - on the Middle East, great power rivals Russia and China, the global economy, energy, and transnational challenges from cyber to migration - framed the foreign policy agenda for candidates. Council programs in 2016 will be enriched by the policy conversations and networking that take place here. The Conference were held at The Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel, in Washington, DC. 

WACA 2015 National Conference featured speaker: Jeffrey E. Garten, Dean Emeritus, Yale School of Management, on "The Future of Emerging Markets". Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association  

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.

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

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!

Dr. Jerry W. Leach, former President, World Affairs Councils of America, Legends of the NileFebruary 23 - March 5, 2016.

Megan Torrey, President, World Affairs Council of Connecticut (Hartford), Cultural Cuba: March 13 – 21, 2016.

Ambassador Heather Hodges, President & Ambassador-in-Residence, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Cuba Cruise: March 27 – April 5, 2015.

Mimi Gregory, Vice President and Program Chairman, Naples Council on World Affairs, Cruising the Rivieras & Islands of France, Spain and Italy: October 5 - 13, 2016.

Dr. Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President of Programs, World Affairs Council of Northern California, TanzaniaOctober 29 – November 8, 2016.

Craig Snyder, President and CEO, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Inside Oman, UAE and Qatar: November 2 - 16, 2016.

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

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) 

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


Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center  

Thomson Reuters

Tomassian, Throckmorton & Inouye LLP

Turkish Cultural Foundation

Van Andel Institute