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Registration Now Open: 2014 WACA National Conference

The World Affairs Councils of America will host its 2014 National Conference, America and the World 2015, on November 5-7 at The Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel.

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.

Register Now

Staying at The Fairfax 

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

Superior King: $234 per night (Single/Double Occupancy)

Superior Two Doubles: $254 per night (Single/Double Occupancy)

Reserve Room Here

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

Cover to Cover

September's Cover to Cover featured Dr. Mathew J. Burrows, Director of the Atlantic Council's Strategic Foresight Initiative in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, and author of The Future, Declassified: Megatrends That Will Undo the World Unless We Take Action. The call was held September 17and was moderated by WACA President Bill Clifford. A recording of the call is available here.
Mathew Burrows is the director of the Atlantic Council's Strategic Foresight Initiative. He has served as the National Intelligence Council's counselor and director of analysis and production for the last decade. He served as the intelligence advisor to Richard Holbrooke when he was the US Ambassador to the UN. After 9/11, he became deputy national security advisor to US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. Full Bio

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

1918 Society Conference Call on Energy in the 21st Century

The World Affairs Councils of America hosted Karen Alderman Harbert, President and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for a 1918 Society Conference Call on September 9. The call was moderated by WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford.

Karen Alderman Harbert
 is president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy (Institute). Harbert leads the Institute's efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally through policy development, education, and advocacy. Under Harbert's leadership, the Energy Institute has evolved into a premier national and international organization dedicated to advancing a constructive energy agenda with the business community, policymakers, and consumers. Harbert frequently testifies in front of Congress and provides analysis to the media, policymakers, and industry leaders. Full Bio
Interested in joining the 1918 Society? Learn more here.

Leadership Mission to the People's Republic of China

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. Stay tuned for the announcement of the delegation.


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 92 World Affairs Councils will find value in this free weekly service.

Read Weekly World News Update for September 17, 2014

Hot Topics Call on ISIS in Iraq and Syria

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

Program Announcement: Combating Human Trafficking

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.

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

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.

Spotlight on Turkey 2014

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

"Not My Life": U.S. Awareness Campaign

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

2014 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 2013-2014

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

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.

Visit the Virtual Library

Six Top Issues 2014

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

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

Please check back for August 2014 events.

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

Duke Energy

Eden Hall Foundation


The Gambrinus Company

Goldman Sachs


The Holmes Organisation

Johnson + Sterling

Mr. Michael Phillip



Rosetta Stone

Steelcase, Inc.

Thomson Reuters

Tomassian, Throckmorton & Inouye LLP

Turkish Cultural Foundation

Van Andel Institute