This Week

TNWAC This Week

February 9, 2021

Dear Members and Friends:

Our 2021 Anne Smedinghoff Academic WorldQuest global affairs challenge champions have been crowned. A team from the Martin Luther King, Jr., Magnet High School in Nashville took top honors, the CIEE scholarships and a trip to the National Championship match in April.

Congratulations to teacher/coach Katherine Prather and her team: Parwan Machingal, Mallory Queener, Michael Xie, and Xiyan Zhu. They topped 26 other teams from seven states at Sunday’s regional championship match. Given COVID restrictions this year WorldQuest, normally in person at Belmont University, was held virtually.

Teams from Centennial High School in Franklin and the Randolph School in Huntsville, Alabama will also advance to the national match representing TNWAC. Advancing from Centennial HS are: Jacob Williams, Lenny Hanson, Lia Milionis and Carson Kokes and teacher/coach Cassie Bates and from the Randolph School: Marko Milenkovic, Harrison Weathington and Alex Covert and teacher coach David Hillinck. TNWAC sponsored teams took 5 of 7 top spots out of a field of 27. Well done!

The National Championship match, including three teams each from many of the 90+ World Affairs Councils, will be battled out on Saturday, April 17th. We wish our teams the best.

[WACA is seeking Zoom room proctors for the National Championship match – contact me at if interested.]

Please don’t forget to sign up at to start a $5 a month gift to help us keep WorldQuest going in the new academic year.

On Monday we shared our wishes to celebrate International Women’s Day. Check out our announcement and the programs (below) featuring incredibly accomplished women from a diverse spectrum of professions at our International Careers Panel and a special program “Women at the Table: The Importance of Women’s Voices in International Affairs.” Thanks to TNWAC Board Member Amanda Knarr and Intern Marilyn Burkhardt for their work on the latter.

Wishes for a safe and prosperous week ahead.





Patrick W. Ryan
Founding President, TNWAC

p.s. The Tennessee World Affairs Council Academic WorldQuest competition is named in honor of Anne Smedinghoff, a young American diplomat who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan while delivering school supplies in 2013.




US-Japan Council, “Shin-Issei Group” Roundtable | 5:00pm CT | You’re invited to join TNWAC Board Member Masami Tyson at an inaugural roundtable that aims to discuss first generation Japanese Americans. Learn more about this vibrant community. [Link]

Japan- America Society of Tennessee (JAST) – “Getting to Know You: Tennessee Japan Sister Cities” | 7:00-8:15pm CT | JAST is excited about shining the spotlight on these organizations and their leaders – community activists and volunteers with a passion for strengthening Tennessee-Japan partnerships at the grassroots level. [Register]

  • Athens Friendly City Sister Cities Committee
  • McMinnville/Mikawa Sister Cities
  • Sister Cities of Nashville
  • The Town of Smyrna Sister City Committee
  • Tsuru-Hendersonville Friendship Committee


U.S. GLOBAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL | “Inside Diplomacy: The Future of U.S. Global Leadership.” | Mar 11 @ 11pm CT | Hosted by American Foreign Service Association President Amb Eric Rubin with USGLC CEO Liz Schrayer. [Register]


International Relations Council Kansas City – Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel – The Global Rebalance of Power | Tue Mar 16, 12-1pm CT | TNWAC is invited to join our sister Council in Kansas City for this conversation with Chuck Hagel. Registration rate for IRC KC members extended to you. [Register]


Register for these programs in the links below.


Tuesday 3/9 
Worchester World Affairs Council hosts Farah Pandith, Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, for “Radicalization and Extremism.”
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Karen Donfried, President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, for “Transatlantic Relations: Cornerstone or Millstone?
Montana World Affairs Council hosts Chuck Hagel, former Secretary of Defense, for “The Future of America’s Global Leadership.”
World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Katie Kirkpatrick, President and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, for “The Business Case for Racial Equality.”
Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council hosts Dorinda Elliott, Director of the Center for Business at the China Institute, for “U.S.-China Relations.”
Colorado Foothills World Affairs Council hosts Mark B. Taylor, consultant to anti-trafficking donors and programs, for “Modern Slavery: Combating Trafficking in Persons.”
World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts William Mallon, a founding member of the International Society of Olympic Historians, for “An Insider Perspective of Olympic History.”
World Oregon hosts author and journalist Julia Cooke to discuss her book Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am.
Wednesday 3/10 
World Affairs Council of Connecticut hosts Ambassador (ret.) Derek Mitchell, President of the National Democratic Institute, for “Myanmar Coup and Threats to Democracy.”
Colorado Springs World Affairs Council hosts Fahad Nazer, Official Spokesperson of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in DC, for “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Outlook on US Relations and Vision 2030.”
World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Professor Séverine Autesserre, Barnard College, to discuss her book The Frontlines of Peace.
Institute of World Affairs (Milwaukee) hosts Dino Mihanović, Counselor of the Delegation of the European Union to the U.S., and Professor Andrei Tsygankov, San Francisco State University, for “The EU and Russia.”
World Affairs Council Upstate hosts Kyle Anderson, Senior Director for the Office of Global Engagement at Clemson University, and Nate Newsome, Research Associate in Virtual Reality, for “Explore the World with VR Mondi.”
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall and World Affairs Council of Orange County host a panel of experts for “Protest & Repression Around the Globe.”
Thursday 3/11
World Affairs (Northern California) hosts Ertharin Cousin, Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, for “No Bread, No Peace: Food Security as Foreign Policy.”
International Relations Council hosts Jack MacLennan, Park University, for “News and Views: U.S.- Canada Relations.”
Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts Steve Herman, Voice of America White House Bureau Chief, for “The Voice of America – How the U.S. Promotes Truth in a World of Disinformation.”
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Maris Briežkalns Quintet, the leader of one of the leading acoustic mainstream bands on the Latvian jazz scene, for “Rothko in Jazz.”
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Darrell West, Vice President of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, to discuss his book Turning Point: Policymaking in the Era of Artificial Intelligence.
Friday 3/12 
International Relations Council hosts Mohammad Asim, Pakistani fashion and jewelry designer, for “International Fashion.”
Peoria Area World Affairs Council hosts Professor Colleen Karn and Professor Octavian Gabor, Methodist College, for “Othering: How Pandemics and Disease May Create a New Class of Untouchables.”
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Daniel Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University, for “Ideas for a Sustainable Future.”
Thank you for your support of global affairs awareness and educaiton!



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.