World Affairs Councils of America
This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Type||Non-profit educational/cultural organization|
|Headquarters||Washington, DC United States|
President & CEO
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. The network consists of almost 100 councils in over 40 states. Each non-profit, non-partisan council is autonomous with respect to their governance, financing and programming but share common values. Founded in 1918, it has grown to become the United States' largest non-profit international affairs organization.
In mid-February 2011, Chairman of the Board Ambassador Marc Grossman stepped down to become the United States Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, replacing Richard Holbrooke. In June 2011, Ambassador Paula Dobriansky filled the position of Chair of the National Board. In June 2015, WACA announced that Ambassador Roman Popadiuk who served as the first United States Ambassador to Ukraine under George H.W. Bush, from 1992 to 1993, has been elected the new chairman of the national Board of Directors.
In 2014, the World Affairs Councils of America won the Diversity and Inclusion (DANDI) Award in the international category. The DANDI rewards "individuals and organizations for demonstrating outstanding commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive world".
The World Affairs Councils of America is a national association that supports a group of 98 councils who present programs annually. The Councils sponsor international exchanges, school programs, teachers workshops, foreign policy discussions, national opinion polls, travel programs, young professionals’ programs, conferences, and corporate programs.
The national association organizes an annual conference, leadership missions to other nations, a speaker referral system, international speaker exchanges, people-to-people diplomacy missions, educational workshops, book tours, subscription discounts, operations workshops, and video-conferences. It has also run national program series such as World Bank Town Meetings, Two Koreas, Future of Russia, Western Hemisphere, Human Rights Worldwide, the EU, Rising Anti-Americanism, American Security, UN Reform, and The People Speak.
WACA has eight flagship programs: Academic WorldQuest, Great Decisions, the NPR radio program "It’s Your World," Leadership Missions, the annual National Conference, Travel the World, and World in Transition.
The National Conference is a 20 years old annual event engages diplomats, experts, members from the business, civic and education communities with leading policy. During three days, keynote speakers discuss about current international events with students and professionals. Policy conversations and networking also take place during the Conference.
Academic WorldQuest is an annual team-based international affairs, geography, history and culture competition sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America. The WorldQuest, held every year since 2003, has two different levels open to competitors: high schools and adults.
WorldQuest was created in 1995 by Jennifer Watson Roberts of the World Affairs Council of Charlotte. It was created to help closing the gap in students` knowledge about global affairs. The national competition began in 2003.
Carlos Alvarez, a businessman, philanthropist and member of the WACA National Board Directors, made a donation of $500.000 with his wife Malú. This generous donation was the largest ever made to a World Affairs Councils of America fundraising initiative. Thanks to this gift, WACA is able to sustain and expand the Academic WorldQuest national competition while supporting programs organized by the 96 local World Affairs Councils.
In order to compete at the national competition, held each spring in Washington, D.C., teams must first win at their regional council level (usually held from November to March). Every year, 4,000 high school students across the country participate in local competitions hosted by their World Affairs Council. Each 40 teams consists of four students answering 100 questions.
|2016||Keystone School||World Affairs Council of San Antonio|
|2015||DuPont Manual High School||World Affairs Council of Kentucky and S. Indiana|
|2014||Plano West Senior High School||World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth|
|2013||East Aurora High School||International Institute of Buffalo|
|2012||Plano Senior High School||World Affairs Councils of Dallas/Fort Worth|
|2011||Plano Senior High School||World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth|
|2010||DuPont Manual High School||World Affairs Council of Kentucky and S. Indiana|
|2009||DuPont Manual High School||World Affairs Council of Kentucky and S. Indiana|
|2008||North Carolina School of Science and Math||International Affairs Council of Raleigh|
|2007||Daniel Hand High School||World Affairs Forum (Stamford)|
|2006||Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology||World Affairs Councils of Washington D.C.|
For more than a decade, the WACA has been invited to bring small delegations of council leaders to learn about a host country. A leadership mission consists of an overseas fact-finding visit to a city, country or organization by a delegation of the World Affairs Council.
|Northern Ireland||South Korea|
Engage America Speakers Series
The Speakers Series includes partnerships between the National Office and think tanks, foundations, publishing companies and government agencies to provide speakers to America’s communities through our local councils on the critical global issues of our times.
Members councils are located in 40 states, as well as in D.C. and Puerto Rico. Councils are funded through membership dues, corporate sponsorship, grants, in-kind donations, fundraising events, and fee-for-service activities. Over 2,000 corporations, foundations, and individuals help support council work.