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  • Friday, July 26, 2019 2:05 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)


                   Iran and the West have long had an increasingly intertwined, and oftentimes combative, relationship. For most of World War I, the United Kingdom occupied most of the nation known at the time as Persia, fully withdrawing in 1921. That same year, however, the British supported a military coup over the ruling Qajar dynasty, which ended in the appointment of Reza Khan as Prime Minister. Four years later he was named the monarch of the country. Throughout the Shah’s rule of Iran, the UK continued to control the country’s oil through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. In the leadup to World War II, Reza Shah preferred doing business and receiving technical expertise from what would soon be Axis nations, rather than the Allies. This preference led to an allied invasion of Iran in 1941 and the forced abdication of the throne from Reza Shah to his son, Mohammad Reza Shah.

    In 1951, Mohammad Mossadeq was appointed as the 35th Prime Minister and later that year took the controversial move to nationalize the oil industry, ending the British monopoly. Two years later, with the assistance of British Intelligence, the CIA carried out its first covert mission to depose a foreign nation’s government, creating a coup and successfully removed Mossadeq. With Mossadeq out of power, the Shah became a more authoritarian ruler, fully secularizing the nation and wielding secret police forces for extrajudicial arrests and tortures. After the oil crisis in 1973 saw oil prices spike, Iran experienced double-digit inflation, and followed that up with a recession.

    Demonstrations against the Shah became serious early in 1978, due in large part to the abuses and alleged assassinations carried out by the secret police, as well as the rapid secularization policies alienating the religious core of the country. After a year, the Shah fled to the United States, Ayatollah Khomeini returned from his exile, and Iran was declared an Islamic Republic in April 1979. Due to their longstanding support for the Shah, as well as the active role they played in the coup against Mossadeq, the United States has been viewed as an enemy of Iran. This view was largely fueled during the Islamic revolution and was put on full display when the US Embassy in Tehran was stormed in November 1979, with 52 people in the embassy being taken hostage, a hostage crisis that lasted 14 months.

    Since then, the tension between the US and Iran has remained.  In his 2002 State of the Union address, then-President George W. Bush included Iran in his ‘axis of evil’ alongside Iraq and North Korea, particularly for their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Later investigations confirmed that the pursuit of nuclear weapons ended that year, but the country continued to pursue civilian nuclear energy. The mere presence of enriched nuclear material in Iran led to several bouts of economic sanctions targeting the nuclear program, which were lifted with the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known colloquially as the Iran nuclear deal, in July 2015.

    After the campaign leading up to his 2016 election, where he ran on the idea that the deal was a bad one for the United States that did little to prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons, President Trump announced that the country would be violating the JCPOA. This would be following a 180-day transition period beginning May 8, 2018, after which “the highest level of economic sanctions” would be imposed on Iran. This announcement was justified on the grounds that, as Trump stated, “we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying, rotten structure of the current agreement,” and that Iran was in fact building a nuclear program; a claim without compelling evidence. At the time, Iran, the deal’s European signatories, and Russia expressed regret at the decision, but Iran stated that the deal could survive without US participation. On November 5, 2018, the United States “fully re-imposed the sanctions on Iran that had been lifted or waived under the JCPOA.” According to the US Treasury Department, “(t)hese are the toughest U.S. sanctions ever imposed on Iran, and will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy, such as the energy, shipping and shipbuilding, and financial sectors.  The United States is engaged in a campaign of maximum financial pressure on the Iranian regime and intends to enforce aggressively these sanctions that have come back into effect.”

    Following the US’s violation of the JCPOA by re-imposing economic sanctions on Iran, the Islamic Republic begun to slowly indicate that it would be straying further from the deal, as well. On May 12, Gulf tensions began to grow as four commercial oil tankers were attacked off the coast of the UAE, “one was flying a UAE flag, two were tankers owned by Saudi Arabia, and the fourth was a Norwegian tanker.” While the culprit remained unknown, it was determined to be a state actor. A month later, on June 13 two more ships were attacked, one a Norwegian oil tanker and the second a Japanese chemical tanker.  This occurred at the time Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on a state visit to the Islamic Republic. The US suspected both targeted attacks were carried out by Iran using limpet mines and announced four days later that an additional 1,000 troops would be sent to the Middle East. A day later, it was announced “(d)uring a news conference at the Arak heavy water reactor facility, that Iran had increased low enriched uranium production fourfold and would exceed the limit of 300 kilograms by June 27,” violating the JCPOA, in response to the US’s sanctions.

    A day after the announcement, Iran shot down an American drone aircraft, with the Revolutionary Guard claiming that it had shot down an "intruding American spy drone" after it entered the country's airspace. A US official disputed this claim, saying that while the drone had been shot down by Iran, it had occurred while the drone was in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. Responding to the drone downing, the US imposed more sanctions and carried out a cyberattack against the computer systems controlling the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s rocket and missile launchers. In April, the Trump administration had designated the Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization (Iran responded with giving the US military the same designation).

    The exchanges between the West and Iran have only continued in the past month. The UK seized an Iranian oil tanker for violating sanctions on Syria, Iran seized an Emirati tanker, a British tanker and a Liberian vessel last week, and the US punished a Chinese company for importing Iranian oil on Monday. Iran announced it had captured 17 American spies and sentenced some to death (disputed by the US), rejected plans for a European-led maritime security force in the Gulf unveiled by the UK foreign secretary on Tuesday, and tested a medium-range ballistic missile on Wednesday.

    It is difficult to see a clear path forward where the tension building up over the past year, especially during the last two months, will be defused soon. The violation of the nuclear deal by the Trump administration was the first domino to fall and lead the Gulf to its current predicament, and it is unclear what the future holds for it. On one hand, Iran said on Wednesday that a formal offer for a ship swap would be forthcoming to swap the British tanker they seized with the Iranian tanker that the UK seized, a sign of potential willingness for compromise. While on the other hand, shipping in the Strait of Hormuz remains tense, Iran tested a ballistic missile this week, and debate continues as to how averse the US and Iran are to actual conflict. The average person must just hope that conflict remains the last option that either nation wishes to follow, but both countries need to demonstrate a maturity to stray from the current ‘tit-for-tat’ strategy that inches both closer to an increasingly inevitable, and very regrettable, end.

    - By Michael Pappas, WACNH Events and Education Coordinator

  • Wednesday, July 24, 2019 8:58 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Hong Kong’s relationship with China is an increasingly peculiar one because the region exists under the “One Country, Two systems” agreement.  In the mid 1800s, China lost a series of Opium wars to Great Britain, and as such they had to capitulate several of their territories and a large sum of money.  The agreement was that Hong Kong would exist as a British colony for 99 years, an agreement that ended in 1997.  When the agreement came to an end, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese President Jiang Zemin agreed that the best course of action was to slowly integrate Hong Kong back into China.  They proposed the “One -Country, Two-Systems” model.  Where Hong Kong would technically be a part of China but exists with its own culture and its own government.  This model will come to an end in 2047 and in the meantime China is meant to respect Hong Kong’s status as an autonomous region.  China, however, is growing increasingly impatient.

    These are not the first protests Hong Kong has initiated as a response to China’s perceived encroachment on their autonomy.  In 2014 the Umbrella Protests occurred in response to China’s meddling in Hong Kong’s elections.  The Umbrella Protests were relatively peaceful until police began spewing tear gas at the crowd, forcing them to use umbrellas to try and block the attack.  China has also recently built the largest maritime bridge (34 miles) between itself and Hong Kong to bring the two regions closer together.  Their have also been recent efforts to bring Hong Kongers into more traditional Chinese culture.  Mainland China speaks Mandarin while Hong Kongers speak Cantonese; the Cinese government has dubbed Cantonese as illegitimate and a bastardized version of Chinese, and has established schools in Hong Kong in a re-education effort.  Hong Kong rejects these re-education attempts and is willing to fight for the preservation of their culture, at least until the agreement ends in 2047.  These are the first protests where nearly a third of the country have taken to the streets to defend their autonomy and it all started with a murder.

    More than a year ago, a Hong Kong couple traveled to Taiwan for a vacation.  Whilst staying at a hotel in Taipei, the man murdered his then pregnant girlfriend before making his way back to Hong Kong where he confessed to the crime  Hong Kong, however does not have an extradition treaty with Taiwan and it appeared as though the man would go free.  To avoid this, the Hong Kong legislature drafted a bill that would allow for extradition with Taiwan, but the bill would also allow mainland China to exercise their extradition rights on any Hong Kong citizen whom Beijing believes to have committed a crime.

    The prospect of their citizens having to face justice in mainland China worried many Hong Kong citizens; Hong Kong is a democratic region with a quasi-bill of rights laid out in the One-Country, Two-Systems agreement, while China is an authoritarian government.  Hong Kong has freedom of speech, press, assembly, and the right to a fair trial.  China, however, has none of these and has been condemned by human rights organizations for their inhumane treatment of prisoners.  Not only that, but Hong Kong protesters also view this as a way for China to wrongfully imprisoned people who speak out against them.  This worry is not unfounded seeing as how bookkeepers who operated a bookstore that sold reading material banned in mainland China, and books that were critical of the Chinese government, mysteriously disappeared.  One of the men reappeared a year later on Chinese state television apologizing for selling the books, and claiming that he is deserving of any punishment the Chinese government should decide for him.

    In response to these impingements 2 million out of 7 million Hong Kong citizens have taken to the streets in protest.  These protests are largely different from previous ones not only because they are comprised of such a large percentage of Hong Kong’s population, but because citizens from the business sector also joined in, as well as an increasing number of young people.  So far, the protests seem to have worked with Hong Kong’s current leader Carrie Lamhas putting the extradition bill on hold.  Despite this, many pro-democracy leaders are not placated because they don’t believe the act goes far enough and they reject Lamhas’ negative response to the protesters by referring to them as “rioters” and refusing to allow them any legitimacy.  The pro-democracy leaders would like to see the bill officially withdrawn from the legislature.  They believe that the bill would pass easily in the legislature because of the majority pro-China influences in the law-making body if it is to remain.  The citizens of Hong Kong dedicate themselves to keep protesting until the bill is officially withdrawn and they no longer have to worry about China’s growing influence in their government.

    By Monericka Semeran, WACNH Intern

  • Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:08 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    As Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston, I frequently have the opportunity to exchange views with friends in the various state and local governments, academia, and the community at large on a variety of issues. Over the past few weeks, I have been asked about recent developments in Hong Kong and how they may affect Taiwan. As such, I would like to touch base with you to convey Taiwans position regarding this important topic.

    Hong Kong has captured international attention recently as more than 2 million citizens took to the streets to oppose an extradition law proposed by Beijing that would require citizens of the former British colony be tried in courts in Mainland China under its framework of one country, two systems. Beijing has proposed the same failed system for Taiwan.

    The 23 million people of Taiwan differ from Hong Kong, however, since they enjoy a robust democracy that ensures individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. The so-called one country, two systems model would require that Taiwan relinquish its democratic way of life in exchange for Beijings authoritarian rule, something Taiwan clearly rejects.

    Taiwan stands with the United States and countries around the world in support of a free and democratic Hong Kong. As the people of Hong Kong have peacefully demonstrated, there is nothing more important than to determine ones own future. In this regard, Taiwan is pleased to serve as a beacon of hope and a model for the people of Hong Kong and the region. Taiwan stands as a reminder of what can be achieved when freedom prevails.  

    I very much appreciate the opportunity to convey Taiwans position on this issue. I welcome your thoughts and meeting in person at your convenience should you have any questions or would like to discuss the topic further. Please feel free to contact me at: 617-259-1367, or by     e-mail at:

    As the Fourth of July is just around the corner, I wish you a very happy celebration!



    Douglas Y.T. Hsu


    Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston

  • Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:50 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    MANCHESTER – His mission is to help entrepreneurs succeed in an unpredictable global market by providing the resources and innovations they need to thrive.  And with initiatives like Cooperatives for a Better World and CCA for Social Good, Howard Brodsky is a shining example of how business leaders can do good, while doing well.  In honor of his good works globally, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire has announced Brodsky as the winner of the 2019 Global Leadership Award.

    On May 19th, at the Annual Global Forum, the Council will present Brodsky, Co-Founder, Chairman, and Co-Chief Executive Officer of CCA Global Partners, with this prestigious award.  Each year, the World Affairs Council presents this award to a local business, organization or individual who has shown leadership in promoting international knowledge and understanding in the community and expanding New Hampshire’s global connections.  By conferring this award to Mr. Brodsky, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire recognizes his efforts to engage the world and help to build a stronger global community in Manchester.

    “I am especially pleased that Howard Brodsky will be this year's recipient of the WACNH Global Leadership Award” said WACNH President, Steve Solomon.  “Although his work at CCA Global has an international impact, he was born in Manchester, started his career in a local family business here, and has a strong commitment to local institutions. He exemplifies New Hampshire's connection to the world through his various international philanthropic programs.” With initiatives like Cooperatives for a Better World and CCA for Social Good, Howard has shown other business leaders what it means to do good, while doing well.

    Since 2014, Howard has been working to bring the idea of Cooperatives for a Better World to life.  This international program is helping small businesses around the globe to work together to create economies of scale. These cooperatives are then able to better market their goods, secure lower costs for their inputs, and reach across oceans to sell their products. Howard recently shared a story about a Shea butter cooperative that was set up in West Africa through Cooperatives for a Better World. With the assistance of this program, the women of Alaffia are now able to sell their products around the world and have increased their profits by 400%.

    “I am truly humbled to receive the 2019 Global Leadership Award from the World Affairs Council. CCA Global takes a worldview on social justice and a more equal society and works to help bring scale and opportunity to family businesses and organizations across the world” said Brodsky, the company’s co-founder, chairman and CEO. “This enables them to better serve their markets by helping them level the playing field. Receiving this prestigious award helps validate that we are doing the right thing and making a positive impact at the global level. On behalf of the entire CCA Global team, I want to thank the World Affairs Council for this recognition.”

    Brodsky will be joined on stage by last year’s Global Leadership recipient, Paul LeBlanc, who will present this year’s award at the 2019 Global Forum.  This annual fundraising event for the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire will feature David Sanger, NY Times National Security Correspondent, who will be discussing the dangers and realities of cyber warfare.  Doors open at 5:00 pm for a reception and the event begins at 6:00 pm at Southern New Hampshire University’s Dining Center Banquet Hall.

  • Monday, March 18, 2019 4:58 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Open to high school students across the country, the challenge is to submit an 800-word Memorandum OR a 5-minute Video to “Advise the Secretary of State: Measures to Strengthen the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Partnership.” A panel of educators and experts in student exchange programs will judge the entries. The top 10 contestants will win an all-expenses-paid Doha Study Tour on June 21-27, 2019. Contest winners will also be eligible for scholarships to attend the WACA 2019 National Conference in Washington, DC on November 6-8, 2019. 


    The 10 high school student winners will be joined by the 4-member champion team of the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018-2019 Academic WorldQuest National Competition, the team's teacher, and two WACA chaperones.  


    Please submit your original essays and videos to Liz Brailsford at


    The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 29.

  • Monday, March 11, 2019 9:26 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    By: Michael Pappas

    Henry Nicholls \\ Reuters file

    On June 23rd, 2016, 51.9% of voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, and Tory Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggered Article 50 on March 28th, 2017, eight months later. Article 50 is the legal mechanism by which a European Union member may leave and, once triggered, a transition deal must be agreed upon within two years. That deadline is now less than three weeks away on March 29th. If the UK requests it, then an extension of this deadline can be granted by a unanimous vote of the European Council. However, if a deal is not agreed to by the deadline and an extension is not sought or granted, then a “No-Deal” Brexit will occur whereby the UK is immediately out of the EU on March 30th without a transition period, guided by WTO trade rules and subject to EU import regulations for non-members.

    Late last year a transition deal was agreed to between the EU and the British government, but when put to a vote in the House of Commons in January, the deal was defeated by the largest margin of any vote in the modern history of British Parliament (202-432). One of the biggest sticking points opponents have with May’s deal is the ‘Irish backstop’, whereby the UK will remain in a customs union with the EU indefinitely to prevent a physical border from being constructed between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Opponents are either completely against the backstop or believe that there needs to be a deadline for it so that the country is not indefinitely linked to the EU even after leaving. The problem necessitating the backstop stems from the 1998 Good Friday Agreements that ended the three-decade-long Troubles in Northern Ireland, part of which phased out all border checkpoints between the two governments on the island. Were a physical border to return, some believe violence would return to the region, and some a united Ireland.

    Despite previous statements, May’s speech in the House of Commons February 26 indicated a shift in the government’s policy by expanding the number of possible paths beyond simply the previously negotiated deal and “No-Deal.” May laid out and promised a scheduled order of votes, whereby her previous deal would be voted on again on March 12. In the seemingly likely case that it fails, then a vote will be held on March 13 on whether the Parliament would allow a “No-Deal” on March 29. If this vote fails as well, then a vote will be held on March 14 on whether to “seek a short, limited extension to Article 50.” This shift came on the heels of reports that government ministers would rebel against May to prevent the possibility of a “No-Deal” Brexit, led by Business Secretary Greg Clark, Justice Secretary David Gauke, and Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, as well as the pressure of resignations by a dozen MPs between the governing Conservative Party and opposition Labour Party last month. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, after Labour’s alternative Brexit plan was also rejected by the House on February 27 and, despite appearing reluctant do so in the past, said the party fully backs a second referendum. One amendment put forward with the support of Labour leadership would, if passed, see Labour abstain from the second ‘meaningful vote’ on May’s Brexit deal if a second referendum is held on those terms.

    Opponents argue that the possible repercussions of a “No-Deal” Brexit are numerous. Most largely surround the dearth of regulations that British exporters to the EU will need to comply with quite literally overnight. This includes British food producers, whose products, the EU has said, may take up to six months to approve for importation. This likely leaves a large sector, such as that of sheep, with four and a half million lambs with no market, necessitating either a large-scale culling or payments to farmers by the government to prevent such a drastic measure. Another major, yet seemingly innocuous, effect of such a Brexit is the serious lack of EU-compliant pallets for shipping. This owes to the fact that as a member, the UK currently benefits from lower regulatory standards for pallet decontamination, but overnight the nation would be subject to the much stricter rules for Eu non-member states.

    A government report released last Tuesday further summarized some of the largest impacts of a “No-Deal” Brexit, indicating that the UK economy will be 6 to 9% smaller in the next 15 years than it otherwise would have been, food prices are likely to increase, large tariffs for exports to the EU will likely be imposed, and only 6 of 40 planned trade deals have been signed. These are just a few examples that demonstrate the type of fallout that could result from a “No-Deal” should the March 29 deadline come without an extension or alternative plan. It is unclear how soon a solution to the current impasse will be found and how the next month and on will play out, but Goldman Sachs revised their Brexit odds after May’s vote schedule announcement at 55% for an Article 50 extension, 35% for no Brexit, and 10% for a “No-Deal” Brexit. Come March 30, the world will know whether the United Kingdom has crashed out of the EU, kicked the can down the road, or planned a second referendum.

  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019 1:06 PM | Anonymous

    February 27, 2019

    Weekly World News Update

    Second Trump-Kim Summit; China Tariff Delay; China Surveils Its Citizens and U.S. Surveils Russia; India-Pakistan Showdown; Crisis in Venezuela; Congress Challenges Trump Over Purse Issue; Drawdown in Syria; Unmanned Boeing Jets

    Quote of the Week

    To maximize the prospects for success, as in the Iran negotiations, the United States needs China, Russia, Japan and South Korea to join in overseeing implementation of any interim deal…Though the Trump administration reflexively scorns multilateral efforts, North Korea is yet another case where going it alone won’t suffice.

    -- Former Ambassador to the UN in the Obama Administration Susan Rice Tuesday in a New York Times op-ed on the second Trump-Kim Summit in Vietnam.

    Trump-Kim Summit: Diplomatic Bromance 

    Second Trump-Kim Summit Kicks Off With a Handshake in Hanoi” Amy Held -- National Public Radio, February 27, 2019

    Is Trump’s Hard Bargaining Fraying U.S.-South Korean Ties?” Scott Snyder -- Council on Foreign Relations, February 21, 2019

    More Is Possible Now to Address North Korea’s Health and Humanitarian Needs” Stephen Morrison -- Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 22, 2019

    What to Expect at the Second North Korea Summit” Victor Cha and Katrin Katz -- Foreign Affairs, February 22, 2019

    The Second Trump-Kim Summit: What Will Success Look Like?” Ashish Sen -- Atlantic Council, February 25, 2019

    Trump Delays China Tariff 

    Trump Delays Increase in Tariffs on China, Citing Progress in Trade Talks” David Lynch -- Washington Post, February 24, 2019

    Cautious Optimism in Beijing for U.S.-China Trade Deal” Zhenhua Lu -- South China Morning Post, February 26, 2019

    China Again - and Again and Again” William Reinsch -- Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 25, 2019

    America Helped China Surveil Its Civilians 

    China's Powerful Surveillance State Has Created at Least Four Billionaires” Blake Schmidt and Venus Feng -- Bloomberg, February 21, 2019

    China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise” Sui-Lee Wee -- The New York Times, February 21, 2019

    U.S. Surveillance Flies Over Russia

    U.S. Flies Military Surveillance Over Russia for First Time in Over a Year Amid Vladimir Putin Missile Threats” Cristina Maza -- Newsweek, February 21, 2019

    India-Pakistan Standoff

    India Pakistan Conflict LIVE Updates: Pilot Captured as Jet Shot Down Over Kashmir” Tom Davidson -- Mirror, February 27, 2019

    " India and Pakistan Have Lost Control of the Narrative” Mihir Sharma -- Bloomberg, February 27, 2019

    India and Pakistan Say They’ve Launched Airstrikes Against Each Other. Here’s What You Need to Know” Saheli Choudhury -- CNBC, February 27, 2019

    What’s Next for Venezuela?

    There Is Still a Way Out of Venezuela’s Stalemate” Michael Albertus -- Foreign Policy, February 26, 2019

    In Venezuela, Time Is Not on Maduro’s Side” Eli Lake -- Bloomberg, February 26, 2019

    What Now for Guaidó and His International Partners?” Félix Rodríguez -- Americas Quarterly, February 26, 2019

    Pence in Bogota to Discuss Ways to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro” Ben Fox -- Associated Press, February 25, 2019

    U.S. Congress Challenges National Emergency 

    House Rejects Trump Emergency Declaration, Setting Up Potential Veto Showdown” Gregg Re; Chad Pergram; Alex Pappas -- Fox News, February 26, 2019

    Congress Is Unlikely to Stop Trump’s “Emergency,” But Lawsuits Could” Marjorie Cohn -- TruthOut, February 26, 2019

    200 U.S. Troops Stay in Syria

    White House: 200 U.S. Troops to Remain in Syria” Ken Schwartz; Carla Babb; Jeff Seldin -- Voices of America, February 21, 2019

    Boeing Flies Unmanned

    "Boeing Unveils Unmanned Combat Jet Developed in Australia" Jamie Freed and Gerry Doyle -- Reuters, February 26, 2019

  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    February 27, 2019

    The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to present two opportunities that arise from our relationship with Liaison America, an international education organization connected to five countries and dedicated to working with young people who want to impact lives and make a change in the world.

    Below, we present the first opportunity: Following presentations by outstanding Brazilian high school students visiting the U.S. in Liaison America's "Triple L" Program - both at WACA headquarters and to Council leaders who attended the WACA Breakfast at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting - we will offer a Liaison America webinar for Council leaders and staff on February 28. This call will provide information for Councils interested in fee-for-service hosting of similar student groups from Brazil in July 2019 and January 2020. It will include information on program goals, administrative responsibilities, logistics, and funding.

    Additionally, WACA, in partnership with Liaison America, is offering a 30-day scholarship opportunity for one (1) university student to live and experience Brazil this summer through immersion in the culture, education, and language! More below and full details here.

    Liaison America Student Exchange Programs for Councils Conference Call: THURSDAY, FEB. 28, at 2:00 PM ET

    WACA will host a webinar led by Liaison America so that Council leaders and program staff can learn more about the opportunity to partner with Liaison America in hosting one of their groups of Brazilian high school students. These are exceptional students with a diverse set of talents who will share their culture and projects during their educational exchange programs in the United States.

    Webinar Details

    Date: Thursday, February 28

    Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET

    Topic: Liaison America High School Exchange Programs - How Councils Can Participate

    Tech: Zoom meeting (instructions will be shared following your registration)

    Register now! Please contact Drew Lorelli at the WACA National Office, indicating your name, title, Council affiliation, phone number, and whether you attended the WACA Breakfast at Global Ties U.S. last month. Email or, if you have any questions, call 202-833-4557.

    WACA-Liaison America Scholarship Opportunity

    June 2019 in Goiânia, Brazil

    Applications Due by March 12

    The World Affairs Councils of America is delighted to announce the Liaison America Trent Argo International Scholarship for a 30- day study tour in Brazil for one lucky student ambassador. This scholarship will be an immersive experience in culture, language, education, and international affairs in the city of Goiânia, one of the richest agricultural districts and a key player in the production of sugar, rum, coffee, tobacco, cotton, cattle, hides, and castor oil. Goiânia is located the state of Goiás, where Brasília, the capital of Brazil, is also located. Goiás is a strong, well-structured state that is growing both socially and economically.

    The scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to meet with university students, business and government leaders, and others who are making a positive change locally and globally.

    This experience will include:

    Living Like a Local

    ·     Be accompanied by a college-aged chaperone

    ·     Live with a host family (includes accommodations and meals)

    ·     Take Portuguese language lessons

    ·     Experience the natural beauty of Brazil’s parks, outdoor recreation, and engage in the culture through food, music, dance, and folklore

    Global Learning 

    ·     Shadow university students studying international affairs or other topics related to the recipient’s area of study

    ·     Meet with faculty and university international affairs officers and representatives from Education USA

    Understanding Government Relations

    ·     Meet with the Secretary of Education

    ·     Learn about Brazil’s approach to immigration and border control

    ·     Learn about the role of the consulates and embassies

    ·     Discover the political role of agri-business and its impact locally and globally

    With this announcement, we welcome submissions including a letter of recommendation. Council leaders: please publicize and share with your local networks and educational partners. We expect to announce the winner on March 22, 2019.

    Read all scholarship details here.

  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019 8:56 AM | Anonymous

    February 26, 2019

    Academic WorldQuest 1st Prize +

    Qatar Essay/Video Contest

    June 21-27, 2019

    Applications Due by March 29

    The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce a truly grand prize for the winning high school team in the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018-2019 Academic WorldQuest National Competition.

    This year's AWQ Presenting Sponsor is The Embassy of the State of Qatar. At the close of the the competition, His Excellency Sheikh Mishal bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Ambassador of Qatar to the United States, will congratulate all AWQ participants and present the championship team with an unprecedented AWQ Prize: all-expenses-paid Study Tour to Doha, Qatar, on June 21-27, 2019.

    The four members of the winning team and their teacher will be joined by the winners of the WACA Essay/Video Contest and two WACA chaperones.

    The Qatar National Football team celebrates its 2019 Asian Cup soccer victory in January.


    Open to high school students across the country, the challenge is to submit an 800-word Memorandum OR a 5-minute Video to “Advise the Secretary of State: Measures to Strengthen the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Partnership.” A panel of educators and experts in student exchange programs will judge the entries. The top 10 contestants will win an all-expenses-paid Doha Study Tour on June 21-27, 2019. Contest winners will also be eligible for scholarships to attend the WACA 2019 National Conference in Washington, DC on November 6-8, 2019.

    The 10 high school student winners will be joined by the 4-member champion team of the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018-2019 Academic WorldQuest National Competition, the team's teacher, and two WACA chaperones.  

    Please submit your original essays and videos to Liz Brailsford at

    The deadline for submissions is March 29, 2019. 

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2019 8:53 AM | Anonymous

    February 25, 2019

    WACA Weekly

    Key Council Programs; Brazil Summer Study Contest; WorldOregon Speaker Series; WorldDenver, WACNH Hiring; WAC Kentucky's Japan-U.S. Program; Great Decisions Teachers Training Institute; Council Highlights and more!

    WACA-Liaison America Scholarship for Brazil Summer Study

    The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to present two opportunities that arise from our relationship with Liaison America, an international education organization connected to five countries and dedicated to working with young people who want to impact lives and make a change in the world.

    The first initiative is a 30-day scholarship opportunity for one (1) university student to live and experience Brazil this summer through immersion in the culture, education, and language! See scholarship details here.

    Also, we present the second opportunity: Following presentations by outstanding Brazilian high school students visiting the U.S. in Liaison America's "Triple L" Program - both at WACA headquarters and to Council leaders who attended the WACA Breakfast at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting - we will offer a Liaison America webinar for Council leaders and staff on February 28. This webinar will provide information for Councils interested in fee-for-service hosting of similar student groups from Brazil in July 2019 and January 2020. It will include information on program goals, administrative responsibilities, logistics, and funding.

    WorldDenver to Hire New Executive Director

    WorldDenver -- Executive Director

    An innovative, visionary, mission-driven, and results-oriented leader to lead the organization into the future is sought. A keen interest in global affairs and promoting greater international understanding, as well as a deep knowledge of our Denver and Colorado environments, will be desired hallmarks. Apply here.

    Listen to Council of the Month's "Global in the Granite State" Podcast

    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire broadcasts a monthly podcast titled, "Global in the Granite State," where you will listen to interesting interviews and learn more about how New Hampshire is connected to the world, how the hot topics of the day are playing out, and why international affairs are important to support. 

    Also, WACNH is hiring! A Program Coordinator is sought to help plan, publicize, and implement the nonprofit’s public events to fulfill the organization’s mission of fostering learning, discussion, and citizen involvement in world affairs around the state. Apply here.

    Save the Date: Council Leadership Meeting in KC on June 13-15

    Mark your calendars now! The World Affairs Councils of America will convene its semi-annual Council Leadership and WACA Board Meetings in Kansas City, MO on June 13-15, 2019.

    We are grateful to Matthew Hughes and his team at the International Relations Council for hosting.

    Click on the flyer to the left for meeting details and other special opportunities! The schedule will be updated periodically, and we will announce exclusive hotel accommodations soon.

    Albright Stonebridge Group VPs Available for Speaking Engagements

    In partnership with Albright Stonebridge Group, we're pleased to present the following speakers. Please contact WACA President Bill Clifford if you are interested in scheduling engagements with them. 

    Molly Montgomery

    Vice President, Europe Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

    Montgomery joined ASG from the White House, where she served as Special Adviser to the Vice President for Europe and Eurasia. She also was Deputy Director of Eastern European Affairs at the State Department. Full bio.

    Sumona Guha

    Vice President, Europe Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

    Guha served as White House special adviser on Europe and at the State Department as special assistant for Europe. She also served at the U.S. embassies in Paris and Moscow. Full bio.

    John Hughes

    Vice President, Europe Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

    Hughes was the Deputy Director in the Office of Sanctions Policy and Implementation in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. In this role, Mr. Hughes helped set policy priorities for sanctions regimes around the globe. Full bio.

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