World Affairs Council News – Week of Jan 7-13, 2019

Week of January 7-13, 2019

Dear Members and Friends,

Good day from the Tennessee World Affairs Council and Happy New Year.

The Council had a successful year of delivering events and programs to the community and our schools to build global literacy among our citizens. Our board and staff look forward to the challenges of 2019 — both in terms of an international landscape littered with profound crises and opportunities and how to help you understand a complex world, and in our Council’s work to advance to a more capable and sustainable educational organization for the benefit of our community and members.

I look forward to you becoming part of that work.

But before we turn the page completely let me thank some of the many people who have done so much in service to our mission to bring you the world. Thanks to Logan Monday who joined the staff last February as our Program and Development Manager. Thanks also to our Board of Directors, led by Chairman Jim Shepherd, who provide direction and support to our work, with a special welcome to new board members Kelly O’Connor and Breck Walker. Thanks to Board Members Mark Braden and Amb Charles Bowers for sharing their expertise at speaker programs. The Council is blessed to have hard working volunteers who make things happen: thanks to Catherine Kelly, our Education Outreach Coordinator; Salwa Saba, Bailey Sims, Terry Rustan, and Aubrey Kremer who have pitched in throughout the year. Hat tip to Matthew McDevitt for sharing his IT and Web development expertise. Thanks to Major Saul Briseno, a U.S. Army officer who worked on his MTSU Graduate Practicum with us and shared his expertise with our staff. And thanks to Bill Ryan, a volunteer whose technical support has enabled the Council to launch the “Global Tennessee” Podcast, a terrific addition to our program offerings. And thanks to Podcast “personalities” Lori Odom, Jim Shepherd, Logan Monday, Marieta Velikova and Keith Simmons. Lastly big hat tip to Professor Debbie Barnard at Tennessee Tech who is half of the Quiz Master team that researches, writes and produces the “What in the World? Weekly Quiz,” a time-consuming task that has become a widely recognized (and exported to other World Affairs Councils) educational resource.

I want to thank President Bob Fisher and the many people at Belmont University, and specifically Professor Jeff Overby, Director of the Center for International Business for our partnership. The logistical support from Belmont and the ability to work with Bruin students and faculty have been immeasurable assets for the World Affairs Council.

We also appreciate the partnerships and relationships we have with others in the community including: Consul General Kobayashi and the staff at the Japanese Consulate; the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and its International Business Council; the Baker-Donelson law firm; the Japan-America Society of Tennessee; the UN Association chapter in Nashville and the Society of International Business Fellows. Thank you all.

On to 2019!

I’m pleased to tell you that we have ambitious plans for the year. Our focus is always on hot topics but there’s always room to appreciate international culture, arts, cuisine and the other softer sides of getting to know the world. Look for more members’ exclusive “Global Eats” and getting together to share good food, fellowship and insights. And we’ll be working with legendary photographer Ronald Modra on an international travel photo contest that will allow us to share your views of the world.

Look forward as well to top notch speakers on critical issues in the news – the keystone of our goal of a well-informed community that think critically about the world.

As the European Union is facing a breathtaking split we’ll have Dr. Adam Bronstone on Brexit in January. When the White House tears up nuclear deals with Russia and Iran we’ll have Ploughshares President Joseph Cirincione in February. As Chinese President Xi threatens the United States over Taiwan and the South China Sea I’ll share my expertise on “Storm Clouds in the Western Pacific,” in February. When American diplomacy faces challenges at every turn we’ll have Ambassador Christopher Hill, former Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador to Iraq and U.S. envoy to “Five-Party” talks on Korea, in the spring. We’ll also have experts on Syria, Afghanistan and more. Also look for international ambassadors who we will host throughout the year — connecting you directly with candid conversations about U.S relations in the world.

Don’t forget the World Affairs Council has its sharpest focus on education outreach to bring programs and resources to our schools so the next generation have global literacy skills commensurate with their citizenship responsibilities. In February we’ll host our annual championship match of Academic WorldQuest with the winning team representing our Council in Washington in April. The winner there will go to the Persian Gulf State of Qatar as the reward for their mastery of global affairs topics.  In April we’ll expand our popular International Careers Panel to two locations — bringing global specialists from a wide spectrum of disciplines to both Belmont University and Tennessee Technological University.

The World Affairs Council calendar will keep you up to date on what’s happening. [Link]

That commitment is a heavy lift for small but plucky organization like ours. That’s why we need your support to come to our events, become Council members, ask your businesses to sponsor our programs, volunteer with our staff, and spread the word to your family, friends and colleagues that the World Affairs Council is active and providing world-class community and education events and having fun in the process.

Once again please keep the World Affairs Council in mind as you think about charitable giving. We keep the lights on and programs rolling through your support — memberships and donations. The Council is a 501c3 tax exempt organization that does not receive government support. We rely on you to make what you see here possible.  Check out

Have a great week and have a healthy and prosperous 2019!

Patrick Ryan, President| 615.460.6011

On to the news.


January 17, 2019 | 5:30 p.m. | Global Town Hall — Brexit 101: Unraveling A Thorny Issue — Dr. Adam Bronstone — Massey Board Room, Massey Bldg., Belmont University

January 24, 2019 | 1:00 p.m. | Cover to Cover Teleconference | Talk to Author Francis Fukuyama [Register]

January 30, 2019 | 12:00 p.m. | Global Dialogue — Untangling Syria | Belmont University, Massey Business Center Room 203 [Details TBD]

February 6, 2019 | 1:00 p.m. | Cover to Cover Teleconference | Talk to Author Thomas J. Bollyky

February 11, 2019 | 6:00 p.m. | Global Town Hall — International Nuclear Weapons Developments — Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund — Curb Event Center, Beaman A/B — Belmont University

February 24, 2019 | 12:30 p.m. | Academic WorldQuest Tennessee Championship Match — registered teams, open to the public — Belmont University, Ayres Academic Center

February 27, 2019 | 12:00 p.m. | Global Dialogue — China Rising: Storm Clouds in the Western Pacific — LCDR Patrick Ryan, USN(Ret) | Belmont University, Massey Business Center Room 203

March 27, 2019 | 12:00 p.m. | Global Dialogue — Afghanistan, Washington and the crisis in American civil-military relations – Col Jason Dempsey | Belmont University, Massey Business Center Room 203

April 8, 2019 | International Careers & Jobs Panel – Belmont University, Nashville

April 9, 2019 | International Careers & Jobs Panel – Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville


Join us on January 17th to find out. Dr. Adam Bronstone, Ph.D. will share his expertise on European politics with us in a Global Town Hall at Belmont on all-things Brexit.  With just a couple of month to go before the historic breakaway of the United Kingdom from the European Union not much has been settled in their crucial future relationships. Will there be a deal approved in Parliament? Will it be a “Hard” Brexit? Will there be another referendum altogether? The future of our economic and political relationships with these strategic partners and allies is in the balance.  Register today [Link]


Other than a handful of close calls like during the Cuban Missile Crisis the Cold War nuclear brinksmanship with the Soviet Union was a fairly stable, calm affair with both sides recognizing the existential threat. Arms control, test bans, command and control, and eventually arms reductions were the result. The world of 2019 is a different place. Unpredictable and seemingly implacable North Korea has 20-60 nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to American targets; an agreement preventing a nuclear Iran has been shredded by Washington and a landmark treaty with Moscow banning intermediate nuclear weapons is headed for the trash can. Join us February 11 for a special Global Town Hall with Joseph Cirincione, President of Ploughshares, as we probe the nuclear weapon landscape and the dangers of a non-fiction nuclear future. Register today [Link]


It’s Academic WorldQuest time in Tennessee for high school students and teachers. We’re ready for our February 24th Championship Match. If you’ve been on the fence about getting started now’s the time to get onboard. The winning team in February advances to the National Competition in Washington in late April on a trip that includes visits to international affairs venues in our nation’s capital. The National Championship winning team will enjoy an all-expenses paid visit to the State of Qatar.  By the way, we’ve posted the practice match slides on our pages. So you can start practicing now, but don’t forget to register.  Deadline to register: Jan 31!


“Global Tennessee” our fabulous new Podcast is off and running. Subscribe today through iTunes, and wherever you get your Pods, so you’ll see the new episodes as their launched.  Also take a look at what’s in the archive. Our Pod in your ears is a great way to spend a rush hour drive or a bike ride in the country.  Enjoy, and don’t forget to add your review to the iTunes page for “Global Tennessee.”

EP 10 | Jan 8 | Global Tennessee Podcast – Ralph Schulz, President and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
EP 09 | Dec 27 | Global Tennessee Podcast – Legendary Photog Ron Modra | The Sweet Lizzy Project
EP 08 | Dec 13 | Special Report: Six EU Consuls General Interview — France, UK, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and Greece Talk to Global Tennessee and “The Tennessean”
EP 07 | Dec 11 | Roundtable: Nashville Business with Chamber’s Lori Odom | Conversation: Russia Today: Views from Both Sides of a Divide w/Marieta Velikova and Keith Simmons
EP 06 | Dec 07 | Special Report: Saudi Arabia: Relationship on the Rocks – Interview with Professor David Des Roches, Near East South Asia Center
EP 05 | Nov 27 | Roundtable: Braving the New World – WACA Conference | Conversation: Bart Edes, Asian Development Bank
EP 04 | Nov 19 | Special Report: Afshin Molavi: Where Are We Going?
EP 03 | Nov 05 | Special Report: Senator Bob Corker at the World Affairs Council
EP 02 | Oct 30 | Roundtable: Midterm Elections | Conversation: Qatar Delegation Visit
EP 01 | Oct 16 | Welcome to the Global Tennessee Podcast and the Tennessee World Affairs Council


Resolve to improve you “global literacy.” Take the world famous “What in the World? Weekly Quiz” that reaches your inbox every Monday morning at 10 a.m. We 100% guarantee you’ll know your current events — no “fake news.” Sign up for our newsletter and make sure to update the customizable preferences (link at the top and bottom of every email). Also make sure you’re a TNWAC member to be eligible for the Quiz Prize. [Link]


  • Chairman Jim Shepherd
  • President Pat Ryan
  • Vice President Marieta Velikova
  • Secretary Dr. Susan Haynes
  • Treasurer Mike McCooey
  • Program and Development Manager Logan Monday
  • Education Outreach Coordinator Catherine Kelly

Call or visit our office at 1513 Compton Avenue, Nashville | 615.460.6011 |

That’s it for now. Thanks for your interest in the World Affairs Council and our work bringing the world to Tennessee.  Here’s your homework:

  • Sign up for a our not-to-be-missed Global Town Hall on “Nuclear Weapons Proliferation in a Dangerous World” (Feb 11).  [Here]
  • Teachers and Students!  Academic WorldQuest awaits.  Join the Quest!  [Here]

Best wishes for a great week!


Everyone seems to have “gotten the memo” on Podcast recording attire for our recent conversation with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce President Ralph Schulz. (L-R, TNWAC’s Pat Ryan and Jim Shepherd and Ralph Schulz. Listen to the interview – Podcast list above)

TNWAC’s Board Chairman Jim Shepherd, Program/Development Manager Logan Monday welcomed Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Ralph Schulz for a recent “Global Tennessee” Podcast interview.

After interviewing Lisset Diaz of the Sweet Lizzy Project from Havana, Cuba for our “Global Tennessee” Podcast, we just had to catch the band when they played in Printers Alley. Great show! (Our Episode 9 interview includes several of their songs.)





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.


A well-informed community that thinks critically about the world and the impact of global events.   

Be A Stakeholder In Promoting Global Literacy

Leave a Reply