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

Your World Affairs Council on #GivingTuesday

Please take a few minutes today to JOIN and DONATE to continue the work of your Council. Please share this with at least ten friends in your address book.

Can you answer this question with a “Yes”?

“Do the people in my community have a solid understanding of developments in the world, enough to exercise their role in a free society to take positions, choose leaders and shape the environment their children will grow up in?”

If you can’t answer “Yes” to that question you are a stakeholder in your World Affairs Council.

Study after study and anecdote after anecdote point to the need to better educate Americans on global affairs and the United States’ role in it.

Giving Tuesday (stylized as #GivingTuesday) is a movement for people to pause to support nonprofit organizations and other causes they believe in as we begin the Christmas season.

Today we ask you, a stakeholder in global affairs awareness, to consider the Tennessee World Affairs Council as worthy of your support. Today we suggest you review the programs and resources your Council brings to the community, at all levels and across a wide geographic area, to inspire and educate your fellow citizens to know the world. Today we ask you to make a donation or to become a member of your World Affairs Council, and to share your conclusions about the worthiness of the Council with your family, friends and colleagues.


About us — from the Preamble of the Tennessee World Affairs Council bylaws:

“In the belief that better community education in world affairs is necessary for sound democratic citizenship, and in order to present facts and realistic appraisals and to foster free and informed discussions of problems, issues, and conditions that transcend the national boundaries of the United States, the Tennessee World Affairs Council is formed.”

Your World Affairs Council is a nonprofit (donations tax exempt), nonpartisan, educational charity chartered in Tennessee for the purpose of promoting “study and public education in world affairs, to contribute by proper means, to improve international understanding and relations.” Your Council seeks to foster public knowledge and understanding of world affairs by providing the materials and means for organized study and by encouraging informed and intelligent discussion in public forums, conferences, institutes, study groups, seminars and lectures; by providing publications, information, speaker and library sources, and by disseminating information through public means…”

  • Your World Affairs Council is 100% volunteer operated.
  • Your World Affairs Council is open to everyone.
  • Your World Affairs Council does not receive funds from any city, state or Federal Government sources.
  • Your World Affairs Council operates on a “shoestring” but delivers programs and resources that, taken together, are beyond the capacity of other formal education and information entities.
  • Your World Affairs Council is a dues-paying member of the 96-member network of World Affairs Councils of America, each independent, and each committed to grassroots support of global affairs awareness, each made better by membership in a network that delivers additional programs and resources to the members.
  • Your World Affairs Council is not a political organization. It is strictly nonpartisan. It does not lobby. It does not support any political party, institutions or political causes.
  • Your World Affairs Council is a membership organization that relies on active participation and support from the community it serves to operate and grow.
  • Your World Affairs Council plans to expand its operations to ensure it is a sustainable nonprofit organization that will deliver on its mission for years to come, with your support.

Your Council needs your support. Please take a few minutes today to JOIN and DONATE to continue the work of your Council.

Thank you,
Patrick Ryan
President, Tennessee World Affairs Council

p.s. Below you will find more information about your Council, its program and a current calendar of activities.

World Affairs Councils of America – Join Our Conversation

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Programs like the Academic WorldQuest competition inspire students to learn about the global challenges in America’s future.


TN WAC hosted distinguished visiting speakers like Ambassador Petr Kolar of the Czech Republic who talked at a town hall meeting, civic organizations and classrooms like this International Relations class at Vanderbilt University.


The TN WAC global awareness programs meet the needs of groups large and small, like large groups of Rotarians (above) and small groups of citizens sharing perspectives on hot topics in the news (below).



The Tennessee World Affairs Council is a membership organization. Members participate in determining the direction of the organization and help to sustain its programs and resources. We welcome you to the Council and look forward to your participation in Council events.

Membership terms run one-year, day for day.

What are the general benefits of all membership? Check here.

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The Tennessee World Affairs Council (TN WAC) is expanding the programs and resources it has provided since its establishment in Cookeville in 2007. Now that it is relaunching from a new home in Nashville it has been restructuring its programs. They will include: face-to-face, interactive opportunities such as speaker appearances and discussion groups; remote access programs such as Web casts and Webinars; and ‘exportable’ off the shelf resources that allow schools, civic groups and others to deliver local programs. Some of these are already up and running and some are on the drawing board while others are ready to implement when funding becomes available. (07/15)

Academic WorldQuest

How best to get youth involved? Make it fun. WorldQuest is a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) network. It is a quiz competition that encourages reading and preparation for an academic game. TN WAC hosts a state championship match for the high school version and sponsors the winning team to the national title competition in Washington every April. Past high schools winners include Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet HS and Montgomery Bell Academy.

TN WAC will expand the WorldQuest concept to the university level in Tennessee, providing materials to college students who want to form teams and the Council will host a state championship match. Likewise, TN WAC is developing a format for businesses and young professionals to field teams for fun and rewarding local competitions. The aim is to encourage interest by making it a game.

  • Academic WorldQuest (HS)
  • Academic WorldQuest – University
  • Academic WorldQuest – YP/Public

Distinguished Visiting Speaker Series

Face-to-face with global leaders. The ability of World Affairs Councils to bring foreign affairs officials, business people, military officers, academics and other specialists to our venues contact with our audiences is a hallmark of the WAC network. Past TN WAC distinguished speakers have included Ambassador (now Foreign Minsiter) Erlan Idrissov of Kazakhstan; Ambassador Petr Kolar of the Czech Republic; retired Army General Robert Gard; former Director of the Foreign Service Amb. George Staples; renowned Middle East scholar Dr. Robert Bulliett; journalist and author Thomas Lippman and more.

The Council organizes panel discussions, seminars and symposia under the speaker series, such as a public affairs briefing on Afghanistan by Lt General Keith Huber and a “China Town Hall” national Webcast featuring ex-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and a live speaker at our venue. In addition to officials, business people, scholars, and others who will speak at Tennessee WAC events we will welcome about four visits by foreign ambassadors and are working on a program with U.S. Senator Bob Corker during the 2015-2016 series.

The Council makes the most from visiting speaker opportunities by coordinating multiple events with partner groups and introducing them to local officials and organizations, such as our hosting of the Czech Republic ambassador who met with the Tennessee Governor and the Kazakhstan ambassador who toured the Fedex Global Headquarters and hub operations in Memphis.

International Service Speakers

The Council presents panels of career professionals who brief young people – high school, college and young professionals – on opportunities in foreign service – in the government, in business, in NGOs and in the military. For example career diplomats Amb. Charles Bowers; career United Nations diplomat Dr. Mary Pat Silveira; Amb. Ronald Schlicher and Navy Intel analyst Patrick Ryan have visited schools to discuss international career fields.

Global Focus Webcasts/Webinars

To reach classrooms and communities around Tennessee the Council is developing a Web cast capability to connect international decision and policy-makers, authors, scholars and more to students, community groups and individuals. The concept was proven through an interactive Webinar featuring distinguished Beirut-based journalist Rami Khouri who talked with Tennessee students, Council members and even audiences from around the network of World Affairs Councils about Middle East developments (video archived on TNWAC.org). The Web cast concept is one example of how the Council will use technology as a multiplier to reach the widest audience in its mission to share an understanding of the world.

The Council is building a project to deliver regular Web casts that will be available to Tennessee classrooms and beyond connecting them to young professionals working around the world – in particular junior Foreign Service Officers in American embassies. The object of the interactive link will be to inform students first hand about the countries in which the young diplomats serve, their living and working situations, and how they came to be in those positions. Proposals for funding and State Department coordination are going forward.

Global Dialogue Salons

Local discussion groups – like a ‘salon’ – bring people together for casual conversations about international issues in the news. The Council has a monthly program to facilitate social meetings for that purpose. These groups – usually no larger than about 20 people – are provided readings to prepare for give and take where they share their insights and perspectives in a mutually respectful dialogue.

The Council prepares background materials to prepare the participants – several articles as well as online videos, maps, reference material and a longer list of readings to expand the participants’ knowledge if they want to dig deeper. The roughly one-hour conversations are facilitated by a Council member and sometimes a subject specialist but the focus is on everyone contributing their views. The discussion is guided by a set of key points and may conclude with a poll of members concerning their conclusions – the poll results to be provided to government officials. The venues so far include a downtown coffee shop where food and beverages are available, a public library and a casual college venue. More venues will be added as demand increases and the program is available ‘off the shelf’ for groups to use as global affairs fellowship sessions.

International Film Screening

A community program to screen films with international themes including screening related events such as accompanying conversation with specialists on the film topics.

Speakers Bureau

The Council will help connect the many officials, scholars, business people, military personnel and others in our communities with groups and others seeking speakers on international affairs topics.

Signature / Named Awards Series

The Council organizes an award series to acknowledge achievements enhancing global affairs education and understanding in the community. The council will attract sponsors to support prizes for various categories that will be awarded at an annual spring banquet.

• International Educator of the Year
• Annual Global Affairs Essay Contest
• International Student of the Year (HS)
• International (Small) Corporate Leader of the Year
• International (Medium-Large) Corporate Leader of the Year
• Nashville Music Industry Global Leader
• Tennessee Healthcare Global Leader
• International Citizen of the Year

International Affairs Community Calendar

The Council will help connect people to the many festivals, seminars, and community events on global affairs topics and with an international flavor through a comprehensive on-line listing of events including but not limited to TN WAC offerings.


The Council, as a member of the network of World Affairs Councils of America, has access to programs offered from the WACA National Office and from third parties that seek access to the grassroots members of the network with grants and opportunities.

Examples include the Spotlight on Turkey grant program from the Turkish Cultural Foundation, administered by WACA. The TN WAC has been selected for this program in the past and has been funded for teacher workshops, summer seminar tours in Turkey for selected teachers and public cultural programs. Other WACA hosted events TN WAC has participated in included grants for the “Not My Life” human trafficking film screening, the “Understanding Muslim Societies” scholar speaker program and the American Academy on Diplomacy speaker series.

WACA offers Councils and members regular public affairs programs such as monthly teleconference discussions with authors called “Cover to Cover” and more extensive opportunities to Council members through the “1918 Society.” The WACA network also serves the Council with specialized programs such as customized international travel opportunities organized by the Philadelphia Council. The trips it develops to global destinations, often led by WACA network leaders, feature informational opportunities in addition to world class touring.

The Council will continue to request participation in relevant WACA and 3rd party grants and program opportunities.


• The Global Scholars Diploma Program – adapted from www.GlobalEdNetwork.org

• Global Nashville – www.GlobalNashville.com Web site to showcase Nashville’s place in a globalized world. International business development and promotion.

• Music City Global Affairs Symposium – Annual Conference like www.camdenconference.org

• Global Diplomacy Web Casts – connect classrooms to young diplomats in the field at U.S. posts around the world – see our discussion of Web casts and Webinars above.

• Partnership Programs – Programs/events with our community partners.

CALENDAR 2015-2016


(as of November 30th)

Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available – contact [email protected] (931-261-2353)

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: www.TNWAC.org  — Join / Donate / Volunteer

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