This Week

TNWAC This Week

April 6, 2021

Dear Members and Friends:

Two weeks ago your World Affairs Council hosted U.S. Foreign Service Officer Allen DuBose, Diplomat in Residence for this region, as part of our Spring 2021 International Careers Program. [Link] We thank him for the program in which he described the process to become an American diplomat, the career tracks and the types of duties to be expected.

Allen and I didn’t address the service and sacrifice Foreign Service Officers perform protecting Americans and U.S. interests in global hot spots. Last month our sister World Affairs Council in Dallas/Forth Worth talked about the work these men and women do in places of extraordinary danger in a program featuring “expeditionary” ambassadors. The conversation was moderated by author Paul Richter who wrote about “America’s Diplomats on the Front Lines.” You should watch the program [Link] and read the book.

In that conversation you will get a sense of American diplomats’ hazardous assignments, more than evidenced by the 250 names on the American Foreign Service Association’s Memorial Plaque commemorating those lost in the line of duty. It extends back to 1780 and the loss of William Palfrey. [Link]

Eight years ago today Anne T. Smedinghoff’s name was added to that honor roll. Anne was the first American diplomat to die in the line of duty after the much publicized and politicized 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya.

The 25-year-old Foreign Service Officer was killed in a car bomb blast in southern Afghanistan. Anne was one of five Americans targeted by a suicide bomb attack in Qalat, Zabul Province. Working as a press officer for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, she was helping Afghan journalists cover an event at a school where the local Provincial Reconstruction Team was to donate math and science books.

Two years ago your World Affairs Council, with permission from Anne’s family, named the Academic WorldQuest Global Affairs Challenge in honor of her memory as an example to the youth who participate. [Link to Anne’s Story] TNWAC is pleased to share her story and that of her compatriots who go in harm’s way with the students we seek to inform about the world.

So, on Saturday, April 17 while we root for the teams representing TNWAC at the National Championship Match of Academic WorldQuest, we’ll be mindful that they carry the name of Anne Smedinghoff. 

We salute the men and women of the United States Foreign Service.

Good luck to the WorldQuest teams from Martin Luther King, Jr., Magnet H.S. in Nashville; Centennial H.S. in Franklin; and the Randolph School in Huntsville, who won the right to represent TNWAC at a regional tournament last month. And thanks to the teachers who guide these students: Katherine Prather, Cassie Bates and David Hillinck.

If you haven’t seen the comments from Olivia, an alumna of TNWAC programs, you should watch this brief video to see the impact these programs can have. [Olivia’s Story]

As we look forward to a good result at the 2021 Championship we’ll be closing out this year’s WorldQuest cycle and making plans for the 2021-2022 season. We’re optimistic the new WorldQuest high school challenge year will be less challenging to manage than the all-virtual pandemic year’s competitions. We’re also optimistic about and making plans to increase student participation, expanding our education outreach. To make that possible we rely on our members and friends to keep global affairs awareness programs funded. That means you and your friends, family and colleagues becoming members and donors.

Today we’re pleased to offer thanks to friends of the World Affairs Council who have stepped up to help make TNWAC education programs possible. We thank the Amy and Overton Colton Family Advised Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Their $1,500.00 grant to youth education is a generous indication of their belief that we must be prepared, especially the next generation of American leaders, to deal with an increasingly complex world if we are to obtain security and prosperity. So, thank you Amy and Overton Colton for your vote of confidence in the World Affairs Council through your generosity.

Thanks again for everyone who supports the works of the World Affairs Council.  [Donate Here]

Please take a look below at the broad selection of programs our World Affairs Council and our sister councils are offering in the coming weeks. There is something for every area of interest and each will advance your knowledge of the world.

Wishes for a safe and prosperous week ahead.





Patrick W. Ryan
Founding President, TNWAC



Join your World Affairs Council on Tuesday, April 13, at 7:00 p.m. as former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean hosts Dr. Rolando Toyos, Chairman and Yuri Cunza, President and CEO, both of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. They will talk about the growing Hispanic business community and how that sector has coped with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Toyos will add his insights, from his recent book, on the history, health and politics of pandemics. [Details/Register Here]


TNWAC Board Member Amanda Knarr will lead a conversation with six distinguished women from multiple professions and countries in a panel examining this issue on Wednesday, April 21, at 12:00 pm. Join us for this insightful discussion of economic and political issues in the context of women’s global affairs leadership. Visit THIS video for an introduction to the program with Amanda and panelist Lorelei Higins, Metis Canadian Cultural Mediator, Rotary Peace Fellow and Positive Peace Activator.  [Details/Register Here]


We invite businesses, organizations and individuals to sponsor these events. It is through your support that we are able to bring quality global affairs programs to the community. Your sponsorship also highlights your commitment to education and global affairs awareness in the community. For information about sponsoring other programs and series of events contact Patrick Ryan, TNWAC President @ 931-261-2353,


Your World Affairs Council is taking a look at the programs we produce for you and our community to inform people about the world, challenges to the United States, and global issues of security and prosperity that affect all Americans. To make sure we’re presenting the right programs with the right speakers at the right times and in the right formats we need you to give us your input on our programs. So, we’d like you to complete our Spring 2021 Program Survey. It will take you 3-5 minutes to share your ideas with us. [Take the survey]



Tuesday 4/6
World Affairs Council of Palm Beach hosts Patrick Clawson, Director of Research at the Washington Institute, for “How Far Will Iran Go and Can We Avoid Conflict?” 
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Alan Steinberg, Ph.D, Chief Executive Officer for West Houston Association, for “Conversations with a Conscience: Civic Engagement.” 
Montana World Affairs Council hosts Dexter Roberts, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Asia Security Initiative, for “Unequal and Unbalanced: China’s Challenge.” 
World Affairs Council of Austin hosts Donovan Blaylock, Research Principal with Sailpoint, for “Kozmetsky Forum on Cybersecurity Threats and Challenges.” 
Indiana Council on World Affairs hosts Professor Sangwon Lee, Ball State University, for “Korean Peninsula.”  
Cleveland Council on World Affairs hosts Professor Jeffrey Anderson, Georgetown University, and John Austin, Director of Michigan Economic Center, for “Why Rust Belts Matter Around the World.” 
Wednesday 4/7
World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts John Hope Bryant, CEO of Operation Hope, for “Building the Black Middle Class.”
WorldOregon hosts Tom Colicchio, acclaimed restauranteur and Top Chef lead judge, for “Hunger, Rood & Human Rights.” 
WorldBoston hosts Victor Cha, Senior Vice President and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, for “The Two Koreas.” 
World Affairs (Northern California) hosts H. R. McMaster, Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, for “Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World.” 
World Affairs Forum (Samford) hosts Constanze Stelzenmüller, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, for “The End of the Merkel Era: What It Means for Transatlantic Relations.”  
Institute of World Affairs (Milwaukee) hosts Abderrahim Foukara, Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera, for “The Middle East.” 
World Affairs Council of the Desert hosts Larry Arnn, President of Politics and History at Hillsdale College, for “What Would Winston Churchill Say to the World Today.” 
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts author Amelia Peng to discuss her book Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods
World Affairs Council of New Hampshire hosts Liz Schrayer, President of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, for “A Roadmap for U.S. Global Leadership.” 
World Affairs Council of New Jersey hosts Basant Sanghera, Foreign Service Officer, for “Prospects for U.S.-India Strategic Cooperation.” 
Columbia World Affairs Council hosts Michel Gerebtzoff, Consulate General of Belgium in Atlanta, for “Covid Crisis from an International Perspective: Competing Models, Scars and Silver Linings.” 
Thursday 4/8 
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts author and reporter Dan Morain to discuss his book Kamala’s Way: An American Life
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Dana Perino, co-host of Fox News’ The Five, and Charity Wallace, founder of Wallace Global Impact, for “Everything Will Be Okay.” 
Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts Fiona Hill, former National Security Council and National Intelligence Official, for “The Russia Disruption 3: Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges with Putin.”
WorldDenver hosts Lisa Curtis, Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, for “Managing Great Power Competition in the Indo-Pacific.”
World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Ambassador Thomas Shannon, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, for “The Iran Nuclear Deal Under Biden.” 
World Affairs Council of Maine hosts Karim Haggag, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Cairo, for “The Middle East: Biden’s Burden or Backwater?” 
World Affairs Council Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Steven Cook, Enri Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, for “The Arab Spring: 10 Years Later.” 
Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy hosts Bonnie Baxter, Westminster College, for “The Search for Life on Mars & How it Begins on Earth.” 
Dayton Council on World Affairs hosts “Virtual Voyages.” 
Friday 4/9
World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts author Nina Jankowicz, Disinformation Fellow at the Wilson Center, to discuss her book How to Lose the Information War
Peoria Area World Affairs Council hosts Jihyun Kim, Bradley University Institute of International Studies, for “Security on the Korean Peninsula: Challenges for the U.S.-Led Regional Order in East Asia and Beyond.” 
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts David Michels, Vice President and CFO of Kinder Morgan, for “Midstream View of Energy, Innovation, and Global Trends in 2021 and Beyond.” 
Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts Professor Joe Parrot, The Ohio State University, for “China’s Role in Africa.” 
Thank you for your support of global affairs awareness and education!



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.