World Affairs Council News Week of November 19-25, 2018

November 19, 2018

Dear Members and Friends,

Good day from the Tennessee World Affairs Council.

We thought October was a busy time with Membership Month activities and six programs for members, the community and students. Then we got past our terrific luncheon event with Senator Bob Corker on the 31st and November had more challenges in store. There were more events on the calendar, welcoming volunteers and interns, planning the spring calendar, a fantastic three-day national conference of the 90+ World Affairs Councils in Washington, roll outs of more Podcasts and, well you get the idea — we’re busy bringing the world to our community.

Before we break for Thanksgiving this week allow us to share an update to what we’re up to at your World Affairs Council. Check the calendar below and quickly RSVP for two insightful events that could not have been timed any better. On Monday Colonel David Des Roches (Army, Retired) and Professor at the Near East South Asia Center of the National Defense University in Washington will present on US-Saudi relations and take your questions. More info is below. On Wednesday Dr. Adam Bronstone, an expert on European politics will tackle the question of Brexit. Make sure you attend both of these hot topic presentations — Monday evening and Wednesday at lunchtime, both at Belmont University.

Later this week as you’re driving over the river and through the woods for a Thanksgiving visit road trip make sure to take along our two newest “Global Tennessee” Podcasts. There’s our Friday release (episode 4) of a special edition with Afshin Molavi, Senior Fellow at the John Hopkins University School of Advance International Studies and co-creator of the Emerge 85 lab (check it out too). Afshin expertly walks us through the global trends, factors and developments that help us to understand “Where Are We Going?” Tomorrow you can download our regular scheduled episode (#5) of Global Tennessee. It includes our Roundtable with Jim Shepherd, Logan Monday and Pat Ryan debriefing the national conference of World Affairs Councils in Washington and an insightful interview about Pacific trade and global development issues with Bart Edes of the Asia Development Bank.  Subscribe to the “Global Tennessee” Podcast on iTunes, or wherever you get your favorite Podcasts.

And a quick Email preferences reminder. You can get World Affairs Council happenings in one place (“Only Weekly News”). You should check your subscription preferences. Just link to “Update Your Email Preferences” at the top of your newsletter to customize what arrives in your inbox and reduce unwanted email.

We’ll pause this week for the Thanksgiving holiday to reflect with families and friends on all that we individually, as a community and as a nation are grateful for. Among them are the people who have come together as members, volunteers, interns, donors, corporate supporters and our partnering organizations to make the World Affairs Council an important, relevant, contributor to the quality of life and citizenship in Nashville and across the state. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Patrick Ryan, President| 615.460.6011

p.s. If your shopping for that special Thanksgiving meal takes you to Kroger please make sure your rewards card is connected to TNWAC. Your purchases earn rewards for your favorite global affairs education organization.  How to do it? Here

On to the news.


November 26, 2018 | Global Town Hall — “U.S.-Saudi Relations and America’s Adventures in the Middle East” — Col David DesRoches, US Army (Ret), Associate Professor and Senior Military Fellow, National Defense University — Belmont University, Nashville

November 28, 2018 | 12:00 p.m. | Global Dialogue — “Brexit 101: Unraveling a Thorny Issue” with Dr. Adam Bronstone — Belmont University, Massey Business Center Room 203, Nashville

December 2, 2018 | Academic WorldQuest Tennessee Practice Match, Knowledge Academy, Nashville

February 11, 2019 | Global Town Hall – Joseph Cirincione — International Nuclear Weapons Developments — President, Ploughshares | at Belmont University


It’s Academic WorldQuest time in Tennessee for high school students and teachers. We’re ready for our December 2nd Practice Match for the students who are honing their global knowledge for the February 24th Championship Match. It’s optional but if you’re interested in WorldQuest give us a call to get connected to this fun and informative program.  If you’re in that category check out the programs on the web site such as Academic WorldQuest, the “What in the World? Weekly Quiz and the Tennessee Global Scholar Certificate program. Check the web site or check with us at / 615-460-6011.  A big hat tip to Knowledge Academy for hosting the December 2nd match.


The 70 year-old government to government relationship between Washington and Riyadh is said to be like a rocky marriage in which the partners stick it out through thick and thin because of underlying interests. The murder of American-resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi last month has opened the relationship to examination at the White House, in Congress and among the American public. There could be no more timely Global Town Hall topic than this relationship and no better expert to speak on the issues than Colonel David Des Roches, US Army Retired, Professor at the Near East South Asia Center at NDU Washington. Des Roches, who is in Saudi Arabia this week and will have fresh observations of the crisis, along with TNWAC’s President Patrick Ryan are both long-time Saudi specialists and both were well acquainted with Mr. Khashoggi. They will give you information and perspective on this crisis that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else.  Join us next Monday (Nov 26th) at 6 p.m. at Belmont University. Details and RSVP link here.


Just when you thought you figured out the British Exit (BREXIT) from the European Union… …not so fast. The British Prime Minister’s tenure is at risk. Cabinet ministers are dropping like flies. A movement for a redo on the Exit referendum is building momentum. And the lights get turned off just four months from now. Well, we have just what you need to understand this very important political phenomenon rocking European institutions. Dr. Adam Bronstone will explain all things Brexit at Belmont University at 12pm on Wednesday, November 28th. Details and RSVP link here.


Are you keeping up with the avalanche of news on the international front? Check out our “What in the World?” Weekly Quiz. It’s not just for WorldQuest student teams. Everyone’s invited to try out the ten questions “ripped from the headlines.”  Test your knowledge and be eligible for a quiz prize. You can increase your chances to best your friends on the quiz by following us @TNWAC where we curate news articles (#TNWACquiz) that find their way into the quiz. Get the quiz from us via the Web site and email list — check your email preferences (link above) to make sure you get it. Yes, there’s a prize, but you must be a TNWAC member to be eligible.


  • 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 town hall on Saudi Arabia on Nov 26 and on Brexit on Nov 28.

Best wishes for a great week!


A few snapshots from the Nov 7-9, 2018 National Conference of the World Affairs Councils of America — we hope you’ll join us there in 2019!

TNWAC Chairman Jim Shepherd and President Patrick Ryan hosting a table at the Ambassador’s Luncheon with H.E. Ambassador Erzhan Kazykhanov.

TNWAC at the National Conference of WACA. Dr. Marieta Velikova, President Patrick Ryan, Chairman Jim Shepherd, Dr. Chuck Womack, Program-Development Manager Logan Monday.

Jim, Marieta, and Pat at the conference reception at the Organization of American States marking the 100th anniversary of world affairs councils.

Think-tank visits like the briefing at the Center for a New American Security in Washington are all part of the WACA National Conference agenda.

TNWAC thanked WACA for selecting its nominee, Belmont University student Sophie Reichert, as one of 25 scholarship students who attended the National Conference, seen here with Belmont professor and TNWAC Board Member Dr. Marieta Velikova.








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