Election2020 Wrap Up | Global Challenges Ahead | EVERYTHING You Need To Know

November 5, 2020

The Presidential contest of 2020 in its final hours is marked by fierce partisan politics and cliff hanger vote counts. In just hours we will have a new President-Elect or an incumbent returning to power. Either way come January 21, 2021 the President will wake up to a world that didn’t hit the “Pause” button while America fought through the campaign cycle.

Great power competition, existential climate change threats, enduring terrorism threats, growing global nativism and bigotry, persistent regional nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, stability shattering refugee and migrant flows, erosion of international institutions and more challenges will be on the plate from day one. America’s Chief Executive will tee up these challenges in a period of transformation and lingering damage from four years of U.S. global leadership slippage.

Over the last three and a half months the Tennessee World Affairs Council has produced a series of Webinars touching on these topics and more. Our focus has been to provide our community — in Nashville, across Tennessee, and our new friends around America and overseas — the background and context to be informed voters as we all exercise a critical responsibility of our citizenship. We worked in concert with Belmont University, our key partner, which was hosting one of the Presidential Debates. 

In the process of presenting the challenges facing POTUS on January 22nd we were fortunate in assembling truly world-class panels of experts. Ambassadors, foreign service officers, business people, scholars, military officers, NGO officials and more. They joined our panels from across the United States and multiple continents.  These were chaired by specialists from TNWAC’s Board of Directors and other friends of the Council and supported by our intrepid staff. Special thanks to our technical director, Bill Ryan.

We thank them all, named below, for the generosity of their time and talents and their good spirits in helping us inform our fellow citizens.

Today, we present a compilation of the TNWAC Election 2020 programs. They are all archived on our YouTube.com/TNWAC video channel (links embedded in the images) and in Podcast form in our “Global Tennessee” series listing. You can access “Global Tennessee” Podcasts at SoundCloud.com/TNWAC and wherever you get your Pods.

Please share these resources with your friends, colleagues and others in your network. Also, please consider — if you like what we are doing for the community — becoming members of the World Affairs Council or showing your support with a financial gift.  Thank you.

We have more to do.




Oct 29 (Thu) – America’s Place in the World, II – Panel Chair: Dr. Thomas Schwartz

  • Amb John Kornblum, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany
  • Amb Thomas Pickering, Vice Chairman, Hills & Co.; State Dept., former US Ambassador to the United Nations and to: Russia, Israel, El Salvador, Jordan, Nigeria and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Pickering Scholarship namesake.


Oct 15 (Thu) – America’s Place in the World, I – Panel Chair: Dr. Thomas Schwartz, PhD

  • Jessica Tuchman Matthews, Mathews, Distinguished Fellow and former President at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • General John Allen, USMC (Ret), President, Brookings Institution, former Commander, International Security Force, Afghanistan; former Commander U.S. Central Command


Oct 22 (Thu) – Presidential Debate Watch Party

  • David Plazas, Opinion Engagement Editor, “The Tennessean” (moderator)
  • Mark Braden, Senior VP, Mercury LLC, former campaign manager for Senator Lamar Alexander.
  • Rachael Dean Wilson, Director of External Affairs, Alliance for Securing Democracy, former Senator John McCain staff member and press assistant in McCain 2008 campaign
  • Holly McCall, Editor, “Tennessee Lookout” online news
  • Sarah Lingo, Executive Director, Sister Cities of Nashville
  • Amanda Knarr, Global Account Manager, Forrester Research; TNWAC Board
  • Campbell Lahman, Academic WorldQuest Program Rep
  • Patrick Ryan, President, Tennessee World Affairs Council


Oct 8 (Thu) – International Careers Panel

Chair: Dr. Susan Haynes, PhD; Assistant Professor of Political Science, Lipscomb University

  • Lindsay L. Rodman, [National Security] Executive Director, The Leadership Council on Women in National Security (LCWINS); Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security (CNAS); United States Marine Reserve JAG
  • Nancy Youssef, [Business] Chief Business Development Officer, Soles4Souls, Nashville
  • Daniela Segovia, [NGO] Coordinator, NGO Magnolia Foundation for Peace & Wellness
  • Francine Uenuma, [Development] Humanitarian Assistance Advisor to the Military with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance
  • Amanda Knarr, Global Account Manager, Forrester Research


Oct 1 (Thu) – The Middle East: Iran, Syria, Iraq — Panel Chair: LCDR Patrick Ryan, USN(Ret)

  • Rami Khouri, Senior Public Policy Fellow, Professor of journalism, Journalist-in-Residence, American University in Beirut
  • Mona Yacoubian, Senior Advisor, Syria, Middle East and North Africa at USIP
  • Paul Pillar, Senior Fellow, Georgetown University, Center for Security Studies; Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution’s Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence; Career officer Central Intelligence Agency


Sep 24 (Thu) — Global Issues: Globalization, Trade, Climate and Black Swans – Panel Chair: Dr. Jeff Overby

  • Gary Garfield [Climate] former CEO Bridgestone Americas
  • Richard Wike, PhD, [Globalization] Director Global Attitudes Research, Pew Research Center
  • Trade: Dr. Erica Owen, PhD, (Trade)Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh


Sep 22 (Tue) – U.S.-Saudi Arabia Relations – David Rundell

Moderator: Patrick Ryan | Book: “Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads”

  • David Rundell, U.S. Foreign Service (Retired), author.


Sep 17 (Thu) – Foreign Policy Challenges:  Russia, North Korea, and Afghanistan – Panel Chair: Dr. Breck Walker, PhD

  • DAS Annie Pforzheimer [Afghanistan] U.S. Foreign Service (Ret) Rank of Minister Counselor, former Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Afghanistan; former Deputy Chief of Mission, Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Svetlana Savranskaya, PhD., [Russia] Senior Analyst, National Security Archive
  • Ambassador Christopher Hill [North Korea] U.S. Foreign Service (Ret); Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement; former Asst Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; former Ambassador to four countries including South Korea


Sep 10 (Thu) – China: Cooperation, Confrontation, Conflict – Panel Chair: Dr. Susan Haynes, PhD

  • Yang Zhong, PhD, Professor of Political Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor in Chief, SupChina.com
  • John Scannapieco, Chair Global Business Team, Baker Donelson, Nashville
  • Bonnie S. Glaser, Senior Adviser for Asia; Director, China Power Project; Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington


Aug 25 (Tue) The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump

  • Former Secretary of Defense William Perry
  • Tom Collina, Director of Policy, The Ploughshares Foundation
  • Lisa Perry, Communications Director, W Perry Project


The World Affairs Council needs your support now more than ever. With a suggested donation of $100, you can help the Council continue to offer free and public programming to discuss critical global issues affecting Americans’ security and prosperity.

You can give in one of several ways:
  • Pay with your credit card via the donation button below.
  • Mail a check to the TNWAC Office (Fidelity 304A, Belmont University, 1900 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212)
  • Planned giving through a bequest. Consult the attorney who assisted with your estate planning.
  • Request a distribution from your Donor Advised Fund
  • Check with your employer to see if they will match your gift!
With the passing of the CARES Act, most individual taxpayers will become eligible for significant tax benefits for charitable contributions made this year. Two of these benefits will be:
  • A $300 Above-the-Line Charitable deduction, meaning that individuals who do not itemize their deductions will be eligible to claim up to $300 of charitable deductions in 2020, on top of the standard deduction
  • Modified Limitations on Cash Charitable Contributions – for 2020, the 60% AGI limitation on cash contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations, such as WACA, is suspended

Please give to support global affairs awareness programs in the community and in your schools


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.