This Week

TNWAC This Week

February 8, 2021

Dear Members and Friends:

What an inspiring group of high school students from across America there was on Sunday afternoon for our winter practice match of the Anne Smedinghoff Academic WorldQuest global affairs challenge. TNWAC, in collaboration with sister councils from New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Illinois and New York, organized the opening program of our flagship education outreach.

I had the pleasure of spending several hours in a “virtual team room” with students from Centennial High School in Franklin. Teacher Cassie Bates’ team — Jacob, Lenny, Lia and Carson — was incredibly smart and confident. All of the TNWAC teams did well in the practice match and the March 7th championship looks like it will be a terrific event Our top three teams will advance to the World Affairs Councils of America national championship in April. Registration for new teams is open through March 1st.

If you missed last week’s “Global Nashville with Karl Dean,” you missed Matt Kisber, Chairman of Silicon Ranch, a pioneering solar power production company, and former Commissioner of Tennessee’s Economic and Community Development Department. You missed hearing about Tennessee landing the game changing foreign direct investment by companies like Nissan and Volkswagen. But worry not, you can watch or listen to the GNKD program in our archives. Links below.


Let’s talk about this week. Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. CT I’ll be talking with Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman in a Global Dialogue program. She represents the Kurdistan Regional Government in the United States. Get ready to hear the story of the Kurds, the importance of the US-KRG relationship and a nod to Nashville’s “Little Kurdistan” community. Don’t miss this one! Details and registration below.

And of course, on Wednesday — and every Wednesday — at 1 p.m. Ambassador Dick Bowers, Dr. Breck Walker and I will bring you background and context on today’s news stories. Link below.

Lastly, please consider sending us a Valentine. Your World Affairs Council will be 14 on the 14th. We ask you to consider a $14 gift to sustain what we do for you. Please make that a monthly gift. Link below.

Wishes for a safe and prosperous week ahead.





Patrick W. Ryan
Founding President, TNWAC

p.s. A trove of great programs from around our World Affairs Councils network below. Please share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues.


February 9 | Tuesday| 7:00pm CT | Global Dialogue | Hon. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman | Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States | Register

February 10 | Wednesday | 1:00pm CT | Global News Review | Every Wednesday

February 16 | Tuesday | 7:00pm CT | “Global Nashville with Karl Dean” – Guest TBA |  Every two weeks

February 17 | Wednesday | 1:00pm CT | Global News Review | Every Wednesday

February 25 | Thursday | 5:30pm CT | Global Town Hall: Iran and the Nuclear Deal with Kelsey Davenport | Info & Registration

March 5 | Fridays | 11:00am CT | Great Decisions Weekly Discussion Groups | 8 Fridays | Info | Registration TBD

March 7 | Sunday | 1:00pm CT | Anne Smedinghoff Academic WorldQuest Challenge – Championship | Info & Registration

Mark your calendar for he bi-weekly “Global Nashville with Karl Dean” and “Global Dialogue” (every other Tuesday evening) programs and with the weekly “Global News Review (Wednesdays at 1pm).



Join us for this conversation with the Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the U.S., Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, a great friend of the Tennessee World Affairs Council and homeland connection to the thousands of Iraqi Kurds who call Nashville home as new Americans. TNWAC thanks her for her previous programs with the Council including hosting our visiting student groups in Washington, D.C. February 9th at 7:00 pm CT Register


Join our team of Ambassador Dick Bowers, Dr. Breck Walker and LCDR Patrick Ryan every Wednesday for expert analysis of current global developments. Give Dick, Breck and Pat 45 minutes and they’ll give you the world. Get analysis and commentary on the top events and issues leading global news reports and hard to find insights and perspectives from diplomacy, academia and intelligence. Register Here

This Wednesday at 1pm

  • President Biden’s Foreign Policy
  • George Schultz and America in the World
  • Topic #3: TBD

And a few words about Ambassador Edward Perkins


It’s a birthday gift. Your World Affairs Council is celebrating it’s 14th birthday on February 14th. So, this Valentine’s Day you can show the love to the only nonpartisan organization in Tennessee working to improve the “global literacy” of our community. Please give just $14.00 a month to sustain everything you see us doing. Tell us if your gift is in someone’s name — we’ll send Valentine’s greetings. [mail:]



Global Nashville | Video | Podcast


Global Town Hall: US-Korea Relations (evening program) | Video | Podcast ||

Business Insiders Brief: US and Tennessee Commercial Relations with Korea (morning program) | Video | Podcast


The Anne Smedinghoff AWQ challenge is on. This annual competition among high school students is set for a joint championship match on March 7th with our sister World Affairs Councils in New Hampshire and Maine. We invite students and teachers to form teams and participate in this years program. More information on our page.  


Register for these programs in the links below.


Tuesday 2/9
World Affairs Council of Seattle hosts Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Board Chair of GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance, to discuss their book Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons.
Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy hosts Yanzhong Huang, Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, for “China’s Vaccine Diplomacy.”
WorldBoston hosts John Brennan, Former CIA Director and NBC analyst, to discuss his book Undaunted: My Fight Against Americ’s Enemies, at Home and Abroad.
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S., for “Her Royal Highness Reema bint Bandar Al Saud.”
Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the U.S., for “Global Dialogue.”
Foreign Policy Association hosts Ryan Hass, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, for “A China Agenda for the Biden Administration.”
World Affairs Council of Seattle hosts Dana Tizya-Tramm, Chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin Government, for “The Artic Today: Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and the Environment.”
World Affairs Council of St. Louis hosts Stephen Graves, Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Missouri, for “Reparations to Redress Historical Injustices.”
World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts Colin Moseley, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, for “Delivering Health Care.”
Wednesday 2/10
World Affairs Council of Greater Reading hosts John Walsh, President of UGI Corporation, for “The Future of Energy.”
World Affairs Council of Seattle hosts Jessica Mathews, Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, for “Reviving the Iran Nuclear Deal: The Challenges for the Biden Administration.”
Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts Brad Allenby, Founding Director of the Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management, for “The Rise of Cognitive Ecosystem: Advantage Authoritarianism?
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Alexis Coe, New York Times Best Selling Author, to discuss her book You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington.
World Affairs Council of Columbia hosts Dhabie Brown, Humanitarian Policy Advocate for CARE USA, for “Fighting the Global Impact of COVID-19 Through Advocacy.”
World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts hosts photojournalist Winslow Martin for “Nagorno Karabakh Conflict.”
World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana hosts Christiane Holzinger, Founder of 360 Business Planner, and Jessica Morgan, Development Director of Louisville Tourism, for “The Future of Tourism in a Post-Covid World.”
Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council hosts Trita Parsi, Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, for “America and the Middle East in 2021.”
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Jasmine Plummer, Research Scientist at Cedars-Sinai, and Eric Vail, Director of Molecular Pathology at Cedars-Sinai, for “Covid-19 Mutations.”
World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Robert Paarlberg, professor at Wellesley College, for “The Future of Food: Resetting the Table.”
Thursday 2/11
World Affairs Council Upstate hosts Todd Shaw, Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of South Carolina, and Chris Richardson, Immigration Attorney, for “Global Cry for Racial Justice.”
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosts Major General Paul Ormsby, Canadian Defense Attaché to the U.S., for “The Past, Present, and Future of the U.S.-Canada Defense Relationship.”
Foreign Policy Association hosts Jorge Castañeda, Former Foreign Minister of Mexico, for “America Through Foreign Eyes.”
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Robert Zoellick, Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, to discuss his book American in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy.
World Affairs Council of Charlotte hosts Tom Standage, Deputy Editor and Columnist at The Economist, for “What Will 2021 Bring to the World?
World Affairs Council of Orange County hosts Amb. (ret.) Peter Bodde, former U.S. Ambassador to Libya, for “Libya, a Way Forward Beyond Competing Interests.”
WorldOregon hosts Lavell Wood, Principal at Alder Elementary School, for “What’s Race Got to do with Me?
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Philip Gordon, author, to discuss his book Losing the Long Game: The False Promise of Regime Change in the Middle East.
World Affairs Council of Connecticut hosts a panel of experts for “Chinese Lunar New Year.”
Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts a panel of experts for “President Biden and the World: a View from Europe.”
Friday 2/12
International Relations Council (Kansas City) hosts Kaitlyn Allen, Founder of Global Affairs Associates, for “The Energy Sector.”
Peoria Area World Affairs Council hosts a panel of experts for “Vaccines and Vaccinations From Development to Deployment.”
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts a panel of experts for “How Gen Z Can Shape the Future of Technology.”



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.