2022 World Affairs Council of the Year
Network of Independent World Affairs Councils of America

A Message from Jim Shepherd and Karl Dean

A Message from TNWAC Board Chair Jim Shepherd and Vice Chair Karl Dean

End of Year Support

Greetings, friends.

The holiday season is a time of hopefulness through the celebration of peace and joy and the prospects for a new year.

It is also a time to reflect on the year now closing, what we experienced and what we may have learned.

As we look around the world we find a community of nations beset with a relentless pandemic that has taken 5.4 million people in two years. The global economy and trade and investment – lifelines for American prosperity – have been battered.

The year was a time when America pulled back from active interventions in the so-called “forever wars” in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we fought terrorist threats to the homeland. However, global politics and “great power conflicts” with Chinese and Russian provocations beg the question – will Americans fight to defend Taiwan and Ukraine in the new year? The canceled nuclear agreement with Iran has given Tehran the space to enrich uranium to the point where it’s weeks not years before they could produce enough fissile material for a bomb. Will America use force to keep its promise of no nuclear-armed Iran?

These are all challenges that we need to take stock of and consider America’s course in the world. In this era of transformation of global politics and economics it is important for us to remain informed and engaged about the decisions being made in our name and with our blood and treasure.

To be informed about the world is what we are about at the Tennessee World Affairs Council (TNWAC). This grassroots organized educational association is nonpartisan and open to all. The TNWAC provides programs and resources to our community to engage people on critical issues and basic knowledge of the world and current events.

The Council organizes community and education outreach programs. The former is mainly speaker events that connect you with diplomats, business people, scholars, military officers and more to develop an understanding of global events directly from the specialists. Since the onset of Covid, TNWAC shifted to virtual programs, providing over 100 speaker program Webinars that are all archived on the YouTube.com/TNWAC channel.

This fall we began a return to our usual in-person events with a Global Town Hall featuring the Japanese Ambassador to the United States at our home-base of Belmont University. TNWAC will continue to balance in-person and virtual events based on future Covid restrictions and continue to reach across the State.

“I’m so thankful to the World Affairs Council for the opportunity it has given me and for lighting the fire underneath me to learn more about the world.” Olivia – from former Cookeville HS student to Doctorate in Persian Gulf studies and fluent Arabic speaker. (Click image to hear her story.)

The TNWAC education outreach addresses the global affairs awareness needs of our youth, with programs for high school and university students. The Academic WorldQuest challenge is a competition that encourages students to master information from ten topics in international affairs. Our annual championship match produces a team that represents Tennessee at the national competition. TNWAC escorts that team to two-days of visits to embassies, think tanks, Capitol Hill and other international affairs venues to round out their Washington, DC experience.

We do these things because there’s a need in the community to understand the world. It would be hyperbole to say this is America’s most dangerous time but it’s accurate to say that this is America’s most globally connected era. When a virus can travel thousands of miles and paralyze the United States or when a supply chain hiccup can shutdown American manufacturers or when leaders will have to consider sending America’s sons and daughters in harms way, that’s a time when knowing the world is an imperative.

COVID-19 and its impact on our region, country, and the world have shown us that knowledge on global issues is paramount to a broader understanding of how interconnected we are as people, communities, and organizations.

So, that’s why we work to bring you the world through our speakers and educational opportunities.

To do that we need you. We need you as a member. We need you as a donor.

Won’t you become a supporter of this work to bring the world to our community?

If you are not already a member, please become one. (Link)

And please make a tax-deductible donation to our 2021 Year-End Appeal Campaign. (Link)

Thank you and best wishes for health and prosperity in 2022.


Jim Shepherd, Chairman of the Board


Karl F. DeanVice Chairman of the Board

The Tennessee World Affairs Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donations to TNWAC are tax free to the extent allowed by law.

Extended tax benefits under the CARES Act for 2021: Individuals can claim up to a $300 top line (dollar for dollar) deduction for a cash donation and married individuals filing joint returns can claim up to $600 without having to itemize these donations.

Any and all donations are critical to continuing the Council’s international education mission and impact in the Charlotte community and are greatly appreciated.


The mission of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.

Ambassadors Circle Series Global Town Hall welcomes His Excellency Koji Tomita, Ambassador of Japan to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, November 2, 2021.
Dr. Breck Walker moderates event.
International affairs career panels like the Fall 2021 session on “Women in International Business” open a world of opportunities for students and young professionals. And virtual programs alongside in-person events allows us to bring you specialists from around the planet. (Click image to see the video.)
Academic WorldQuest is the TNWAC flagship education outreach program for high school students that inspires and informs about global affairs.



THE MISSION of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.

THE VISION of  the Tennessee World Affairs Council is a well-informed community that thinks critically about the world and the impact of global events.