World Affairs Council Welcomes Ms. Samar Ali to the Board of Directors

World Affairs Council Welcomes Ms. Samar Ali to the Board of Directors
September 24, 2015

NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s World Affairs Council announced today that Ms. Samar S. Ali, distinguished local attorney and former Assistant State Commissioner for International Affairs, has been elected to the Board of Directors. Ali is a member of the Nashville law firm Bone, McAllester and Norton where she concentrates on cross-border transactions, international law and private diplomacy.

In making the announcement Council President Patrick Ryan said, “The Tennessee World Affairs Council’s ability to deliver global awareness education programs and resources to the community is greatly enhanced by the addition of Ms. Ali to our board.” He added, “She has built a sterling record of accomplishments advancing public and private interests in the global arena in Washington and in Tennessee and we are thrilled to have her as a member of our board.”

Samar-Ali_cropped1-350x175Ms. Ali, a Vanderbilt University alumna – undergrad and Law School – worked as a White House Fellow and adviser in the Homeland Security Department in Washington and in Doha, Qatar before being named by Governor Bill Haslam as an assistant commissioner in the Tennessee Economic and Community Development Department. There she managed the state’s global economic relations overseeing an international strategic plan to build international commerce related jobs and opening and managing offices around the world to boost Tennessee trade and investment.

In addition to working in Administrative Law, Business and Corporate Law and International Law practices at Bone, McAllester and Norton, Ms. Ali is Director at Lodestone Advisory Group in Nashville, specializing in international business development. “Ms. Ali’s work in the community includes numerous boards and projects serving public interests and we’re gratified that Nashville leaders of her caliber count the World Affairs Council as among the educational organizations that have earned their support,” said Ryan. “The Council’s mission of educating and inspiring people, especially youth, to learn more and engage more in global affairs is an important element of citizenship and I’m sure Ms. Ali’s time and talents will make a difference in tackling that challenge.”

The World Affairs Council is an independent, nonpartisan educational organization that is part of a 96-member network of similar grassroots organizations in the United States, the World Affairs Councils of America. They serve to educate Americans on international developments. “Although some of the country’s world affairs councils are almost 100 years old there had never been one in Tennessee until we established our Council several years ago in Cookeville,” said Ryan. “We’ve recently launched from Nashville after several years in Cookeville and it’s rewarding to know that leaders like Ms. Ali are directly supporting our service to the community and we can benefit from their vision.”

The Tennessee World Affairs Council, a nonprofit group, hosts town hall meetings where visiting speakers share insights and perspectives on global issues; small group discussions at venues around the city; and global awareness programs in schools like the WorldQuest program for students that encourages world affairs familiarity through competition. WorldQuest, which includes a trip for the state’s winning team to a national championship match in Washington, recently launched the 2015-2016 season. Past Nashville winners have included teams from Martin Luther King, Jr., Magnet High School and Montgomery Bell Academy.

The speakers program, which is hosted at Belmont University, is very popular, said Ryan. He noted that visits from foreign Ambassadors, like past events with the Kazakh and Czech envoys, were popular and insightful. In addition other leaders and specialists are regularly featured and provide equally informative presentations. “We aim for monthly speaker events including about four ambassadors this year, and we’re in talks with the embassies of Russia, South Korea, Italy and others for visits.” On October 5th the Council and Belmont will host a Town Hall on US-China economic relations.

A complete calendar of World Affairs Council events is on the web site.


Tennessee World Affairs Council – Board of Directors

  • LCDR Patrick W. Ryan, USN (Ret), President
  • Col Beverly Lee, USAF (Ret), Vice President
  • Ms. Samar Ali
  • Amb. Charles Bowers
  • Mr. Karl F. Dean
  • Dr. Susan Haynes, PhD
  • Ms. Lori Odom
  • Dr. Jeffrey Overby, PhD
  • Dr. Charles Womack, MD

(As of October 1, 2015)


The Tennessee World Affairs Council is a nonprofit (501c3), nonpartisan educational charity based in Nashville that works to build understanding of global issues in our communities. Learn more about the Council and find how you can join, donate and volunteer at:  — Join / Donate / Volunteer

Logo TNWAC 480x151

Leave a Reply