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

TNWAC This Week | February 20-26


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Help celebrate the Tennessee World Affairs Council’s 16th anniversary this month, by becoming a member and a donor to support global education in the public interest.

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In Case You Missed It

In Focus: Russia’s Invasion | Ukraine Update | The Humanitarian Dimension

Incredibly powerful stories. | The unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine has been catastrophic for the Ukrainian people. Millions of refugees have fled to neighboring nations to the west, horrendous war crimes have been committed in areas controlled by Russian forces and nation-wide attacks against civilian areas and infrastructure have caused extreme hardships in cities large and small. We continued our “In Focus” series on Russia’s invasion with a conversation with Anna Novosad, former Minister of Education and Science from Ukraine and an education activist working to rebuild and restore schools and education infrastructure. She joined us from Kyiv where she is among her countrymen under constant Russian bombardment. Novosad had to navigate Kyiv neighborhoods in her car to find a neighborhood that had electricity to power cell phone towers and was interrupted by sirens warning of a Russian missile attack. We were also joined by Elena Byrd and Dr. Madeleine Byrd, a Nashville mother-daughter team who put everything else on hold to go to Warsaw, Poland to work in a refugee center aiding Ukrainian refugees.   [Video/Podcast Link]

Nashville Hosts Diplomats

TNWAC participated in programs organized by our partner the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce International Business Council hosting the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States and the Consul General of Canada to the Southeast U.S. Check out our interviews with these important commercial and political partners.

Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason | In this interview with TNWAC President Pat Ryan, Ambassador Byrne Nason talks about the transformation in relations — both Irish-US and Irish-Tennessee ties — including the economic, political and cultural ties alongside people to people and business to business connections. The conversation includes discussion of Ireland’s reaction to Brexit and its leadership in the European Union. Ryan and Byrne Nason conclude with questions on the nature of global stability and security in light of recent tumult in regions and on critical issues — areas she is able to expertly comment upon. Don’t miss this enlightening conversation about Ireland and Tennessee, the US and the world. [Link to Video and Transcript]

Consul General James K. Hill | Did you know Tennessee-Canada trade is $14.9 billion of the major economic base of U.S.-Canada ties. Learn about the Tennessee and the United States trade with Canada, the brotherly relationship between these partners that share the world’s longest border and much more. CG Hill is an expert on international issues and Canada’s role in the world, having served as a diplomat in many of the world’s difficult posts — Afghanistan, Libya and Tehran. He also served in Costa Rica as Canada’s Ambassador with the Honduras and Nicaragua portfolio. Hill’s earlier assignments included posts in Mozambique, Brazil and Kosovo. [Link to Video]

On the Calendar

Distinguished Speakers

KURDISTAN | Hon. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman | March 8, 2023 @ 12:00 pm CT | Kurdistan Region: The View from the KRG Rep to the United States. | Zoom | Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman is the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representative to the United States of America. Key to her role are strengthening ties between Kurdistan and the United States, advocating her government’s position on a wide array of political, security, humanitarian, economic, and cultural matters and promoting coordination and partnership. Prior to her US appointment in 2015, Ms. Abdul Rahman was the High Representative to the United Kingdom. She was elected to the Leadership Council of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in 2010. [Register Here]

RUSSIA/UKRAINE | “In Focus” Series | Ambassador John Kornblum and Dr. Liana Fix | Mar 14, 2023 @ 10:00 am CT | European Perspectives | Zoom | TNWAC and the American Council on Germany present a distinguished panel of experts on the European perspective of the Ukraine war. As the unprovoked, brutal invasion of Ukraine runs into its second year there’s more attention than ever on the staying power of the NATO partners who support Kyiv. You’ll find no better analysis of the European perspective on the war in Ukraine than former U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Kornblum and Dr. Liana Fix, Resident Fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Washington office [Register Here]

CHINA | Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor in Chief of the China Project, co-founder of the Sinica Podcast | Mar 22, 2023 @ 12:00 pm CT | Zoom | Across the commercial, political, military and cultural landscapes the relationship with China has become increasingly tempestuous. From the fall 2022 Communist Party Congress, and a remarkable third term for Xi Jinping to the recent balloon episodes there’s much to talk about concerning U.S.-China relations and Jeremy Goldkorn is the exact right experienced commentator for us to talk to. [Register Here]

Education Outreach

ACADEMIC WORLDQUEST | The Tennessee World Affairs Council will host the annual Anne Smedinghoff Academic WorldQuest global affairs challenge on March 5, 2023 at Belmont University. Over 20 teams will compete for the title of State Champions and a ticket to the national competition in Washington, DC in April. There they will visit embassies, think tanks, Capitol Hill and other international affairs venues in addition to competing with teams from around the network of 95 World Affairs Councils. You are welcome to come out and watch the students tackle 100 questions from ten challenging global affairs topics. Link here for info on WorldQuest. Email here for information about attending. The TNWAC WorldQuest competition is named in honor of Anne Smedinghoff, a young American diplomat killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan in 2013.

INTERNATIONAL CAREERS PANEL | Join Dr. Gretchen Neisler, UT Knoxville Vice Provost for International Affairs and TNWAC Member of the Board of Directors as she moderates one of our favorite programs — a panel of professionals from various international affairs jobs. This edition features U.S. Peace Corps Regional Recruiter Terrance Fluker; U.S. State Dept. Foreign Service Officer and regional Diplomat in Residence Saúl Hernández; Pinnacle Financial Partners SVP Sabrina Miller and United Nations USA Executive Director Rachel Bowen Pittman.  [Register]

CAREERS | WOMEN IN NATIONAL SECURITY | Join TNWAC Board of Directors Member Amanda Knarr, moderating a special edition of the careers panel series. The panelists will include professionals from think tanks, the Intelligence Community and intelligence professionals from the Armed Forces. [Register]

What in the World? Weekly Quiz

Every Monday morning we challenge you with ten questions from the news. Are you keeping up with the world? Here’s one measure of your “global IQ.” Sign up for the TNWAC newsletters and you’ll have the Quiz in your inbox once a week. And if you are a TNWAC member you’re eligible for our quiz prizes.

Daily Chatter

Among the benefits you’re eligible for as a TNWAC member is a courtesy subscription to the weekday special newsletter, DailyChatter. It’s the largest independent newsletter devoted exclusively to world news, with more than 370,000 subscribers in 38 countries. Entirely original and drawn from news sources all over the world, DailyChatter is published every weekday of the year and arrives in you inbox at 6am Eastern Time. An annual subscription would cost you $29.95. As a TNWAC member it’s free. Already a member? Email [email protected] to get your registration link.


TNWAC Recommends

You are invited to a symposium hosted by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, “The U.S. – Japan Security Alliance and Economic Relations at Work in Tennessee,” part of Sasakawa USA’s U.S. – Japan Strategic Alliance Series, on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The symposium features military, economic, and political experts from the U.S. and Japan and remarks by Japanese Consul General Yoichi Matsumoto. For more information about the symposium, contact [email protected] [Register]

AND MUCH MORE…  Follow the Tennessee World Affairs Council on Twitter @TNWAC for information and links to numerous programs available at think tanks, government agencies and fellow World Affairs Councils network groups.


Thank you for your support of global affairs awareness and







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.