CHINA Town Hall | Local & National Perspectives

10/19/2021

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts and the Five College Center for East Asian Studies are pleased to present National Committee on U.S. China Relations (NCUSCR) CHINA Town Hall virtually on Tuesday, October 19. The local program will start at 6:00 PM EDT with Smith College Associate Professor of Government and NCUSCR Public Intellectuals Program Fellow Sara Newland on Taiwan and the future of US-China relations. At 7:00 PM EDT we will join the NCUSCR 's broadcast, featuring CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria on how the U.S.-China relationship affects our cities, towns, and communities. From supply chains to national security, new technologies to climate change, the future of both countries will be determined by their relations with one another and the global community. Zakaria will examine the challenges and opportunities for both countries as they confront the most critical issues of the 21st century.

Global Security Forum 2021

10/02/2021

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts is pleased and proud to join the World Affairs Council of Connecticut in presenting Global Security Forum 2021 on October 1 & 2. The Global Security Forum brings the world's top leadership directly to the citizenry. Generals, experts, policymakers, and foreign leaders convene in Connecticut, a center for national defense, to address the most critical global security issues of today and the opportunities of tomorrow. Previous Global Security Forums have featured speakers including current Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, General Daniel Hokanson, 29 th Chief, National Guard Bureau, General David Petraeus, U.S. Army (Ret.), Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, nominee, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Dr. Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations, and more. GSF 2021 will be hosted virtually and in person to address the central theme: Competing for the future. GSF2021 will explore emerging technologies, evolving battlefronts, and shifting global power centers to address why nations must innovate to day in order to compete for tomorrow.

State Department's Ryan Murphy on Sports Diplomacy in Western Massachusetts & Beyond

09/22/2021

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts and Springfield will co-present a virtual event titled "Sports Diplomacy in Western Massachusetts and Beyond," scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 22, starting at 7 p.m. The evening will feature Ryan Murphy, Program Officer in the Sports Diplomacy Division of the State Department. Since 2009, Murphy has been directly overseeing the International Sports Programming Initiative (ISPI) for the Sports Diplomacy Division of the State Department, the division’s annual sports grant competition portfolio. In addition, he also serves as a liaison with the United States Olympic Committee and National Governing Bodies of Sport. Mr. Murphy will be in in conversation with Ms. Irene Rotondo ’22, Editor-in-Chief of The Springfield Student and a Communications/Sports Journalism major.

Dr. Katherine Brown on Afghanistan: How to Keep Supporting Our Allies

09/09/2021

Dr. Katherine Brown, President and CEO of Global Ties US and author of "Your Country, Our War: The Press and Diplomacy in Afghanistan", will on Thursday, September 9 at 2:00 PM EDT on "Afghanistan: How to Keep Supporting Our Allies" via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public. Before joining Global Ties US--the largest and oldest citizen diplomacy network in the United States--in 2018, Dr. Brown was a Public Policy Manager at Facebook, Inc., where she was also in residence as a Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) International Affairs Fellow. From 2013-2016, she served as the Executive Director of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State, an office authorized by Congress to appraise and strengthen U.S. engagement activities with foreign citizens. Dr. Brown previously served in the U.S. government as an assistant to the National Security Advisor at the White House; as a communications advisor at the American Embassy in Kabul; and as a Professional Staff Member at the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Instant Issues Online: Mexico/US Today: Neighbors, Partners and Friends

06/09/2021

Consul General of Mexico Alberto Fierro Garza will speak at an Instant Issues Online event on Mexico/US Today: Neighbors, Partners and Friends on Wednesday, June 9 at Noon (EDT). Consul General Fierro was previously the Minister for Culture and Education at the Mexican Embassy to the United States and Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute. He has been a member of Mexico's Diplomatic Corps since 1993. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has served as Director General for Educational and Cultural Cooperation and Deputy Director General for North America. He was the Consul of Mexico in Orlando, FL and in St. Paul, MN. Early in his career he served as Deputy Cultural Attaché at the Mexican Embassy in Washington and as Cultural Attaché at the Mexican Embassy in Canada. If you have difficulty registering, try using a browser such as Chrome or a different device. If you do not have a PayPal account, you can click through when paying and check out with a regular credit card as a guest. Contact us if you continue to have trouble and we will get you registered. This event is generously sponsored by Glenmeadow, Sir Speedy, and Wilbraham and Monson Academy.

Instant Issues Online: UK CG Peter Abbott on Global Britain and the UK-US Special Relationship

05/04/2021

Dr. Peter Abbott, OBE, British Consul General to New England will speak to us on Tuesday, May 4 at 2:00 PM EDT on Global Britain and the UK-US Special Relationship. Dr Abbott has been a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service for 15 years. Before becoming British Consul General to New England in 2020, he served as Counsellor at the British High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, with operational oversight of the largest mission in the UK’s overseas diplomatic network. Deputy Consul Tom Nickalls will also take part in this presentation. This event is free.

Instant Issues Online: Dean Sudha Setty on National Security Priorities in Biden's First 100 Days

04/15/2021

Western New England University School of Law Dean Sudha Setty will speak at a virtual event on National Security Priorities in Biden’s First 100 Days on Thursday, April 15, 2021 at Noon (EDT). Sudha Setty became Dean of the School of Law in 2018, and has served on the faculty since 2006. Dean Setty has taught courses in Constitutional Law, Law & Terrorism, National Security & Government Accountability, Contracts, and Business Organizations. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town Faculty of Law in 2018, a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law in 2014, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2011. She was awarded Western New England Law School's Catherine J. Jones Professor of Year Award in 2009, 2016, and 2018, was recognized in 2015 as Trailblazer by the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut, and received the 2017 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award from the Connecticut Bar Association. In July 2018, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute.

Former CNN Asia Correspondent Mike Chinoy on the Rise of the Human Rights Movement

03/24/2021

Former CNN Asia Correspondent--and Northampton native--Mike Chinoy will speak to us at a virtual event on his new book Are You With Me?: Kevin Boyle and the Rise of the Human Rights Movement on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 7:30 PM. This event is presented in cooperation with the Western New England University School of Law. As a foreign correspondent for CNN for 24 years, Mike Chinoy won Emmy, Peabody and Dupont awards for his journalism. While he worked primarily in China and North Korea, he also reported on the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 80s. It was during this time that he met Kevin Boyle. Chinoy is currently a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the University of Southern California’s US-China Institute and is based in Hong Kong. His books include China Live: People, Power, and Television Revolution (1999), Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis (2008), and The Last POW (2014). Are You With Me? is currently available in Kindle format in the US with the paperback due to be released here on March 1. Generously sponsored by Glenmeadow and Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

Instant Issues Online: Photojournalist Winslow Martin on Nagorno Karabakh Conflict

02/10/2021

Documentary photographer Winslow Martin will speak at an Instant Issues Online event on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at noon ET on Behind the Soldier: A Journal of the War over Nagorno Karabakh. In Behind the Soldier Martin chronicles with words and pictures what he witnessed in Armenia, during its war against Azerbaijan. The war was fought over the long-disputed territories of Nagorno Karabakh. Martin stayed in the capital of Yerevan, realizing that everyone, everywhere was in the war. Armenia is a small country, so the battle front was always close to home. His photos of volunteers helping the cause, soldiers going and coming from war, refugees, street demonstrations, funerals, etc. combined with this commentary tell a compelling story about Armenia and life during war. (Pictured here: Volunteers prepare Yerevan’s Yerablur Cemetery for multiple burials a day.) Martin will be in conversation with longtime friend of the Council, Elizabeth Winship, former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Elms College and current Head Librarian at Wroclaw International School in Poland. The cost for this event is $10, free for students. Generously sponsored by Glenmeadow and Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

Dr. Dan Shapiro on Negotiating the Non Negotiables in the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Beyond January 26

01/26/2021

We're pleased to partner with the MS in Leadership and Negotiation at Bay Path University in presenting Dr. Daniel Shapiro at virtual presentation on Negotiating the Non Negotiables in the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Beyond on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 7:00 PM EST. Our world is awash in conflict–from the on-going Arab-Israeli conflict to the combusting mix of the pandemic, economic turmoil, and political divisiveness. Why are modern conflicts so difficult to resolve, and what can we do about it? Drawing on his work in the Middle East and elsewhere, Dr. Shapiro will present a framework he has developed to illuminate underlying psychological complexities fueling present-day conflict—and will offer insight on how to move forward. Dr. Daniel Shapiro is the founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program. Dr. Shapiro teaches a highly evaluated course on negotiation at Harvard College; instructs psychology interns at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital; and leads executive education sessions at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital. He has served on the faculty at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and at the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is author of Negotiating the Nonnegotiable, which Matthew Bishop of the Economist Group called, “Quite simply, the best book I have ever read on negotiating in situations of extreme conflict,” and is coauthor with Roger Fisher of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate. Dr. Shapiro has launched successful conflict resolution initiatives in the Middle East, Europe, and East Asia and for three years chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Conflict Resolution. He developed a conflict management curriculum that has reached one million youth across more than 20 countries. He is recipient of numerous awards, including the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award and the Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award.

The State Department's Deputy Director for Venezuelan Affairs Marlaina R. Casey on Venezuela & US Foreign Policy in the Region

12/09/2020

The US Department of State Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Deputy Director for Venezuelan Affairs Marlaina R. Casey, will address community members of the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts on December 9 at 4:00 PM EST. Ms. Casey will provide insight into the ongoing situation in Venezuela and US foreign policy in the region. Marlaina Casey has worked for the State Department since 2007 in various capacities including as Director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Migration and Security Advisor for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs; Strategic Communications Officer for Mexico and Canada; Deputy Political Chief and Deputy Consular Chief in Amman, Jordan; Desk Officer for Rwanda and Burundi; and Special Assistant to the U.S. Special Envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes Region. Ms. Casey obtained her MPA and BA from the University of Delaware and studied Spanish at the University of Modern Languages in Granada, Spain. The cost for this event is $5, free for students. Generously sponsored by Glenmeadow and Wilbraham & Monson Academy

KRG US Rep Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman on US and Kurdistan Region, Iraq: A Growing Partnership

11/12/2020

Members of the Council who attended the World Affairs Councils of America National Conference in 2018 may remember we hosted Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, US Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government, at our table during the Ambassadors Luncheon. (She is pictured here with board member John Perez, Sr.) We are pleased to welcome her to speak to us on "US and Kurdistan Region, Iraq: A Growing Partnership" at a virtual event on Thursday, November 12 at 6:30 PM. 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. The event is free, but we hope you will consider making a donation to support the work of the Council. (The program can also be viewed on Facebook Live and a video will be available afterwards.) This program is generously sponsored by Bacon\Wilson PC

BBC Correspondent Andrew Harding on the US-China Rivalry for Influence in Africa

10/27/2020

BBC Correspondent Andrew Harding will speak about the rivalry between the United States and China for influence in Africa as well as his new book, These Are Not Gentle People: Two murders. Forty suspects. The trial that broke a small South African town to be published in audio and ebook formats in the US October 1. Andrew Harding is a British journalist and author. He has been living and working abroad as a foreign correspondent for the past 30 years. Since 1994 he has been working for BBC News. He began his career in Moscow in 1991 as a freelancer, working for IRN, NBC Radio, Monitor Radio, FSN, The Evening Standard and later for The Guardian and The Economist. Since then he has lived in Tbilisi, Nairobi, Singapore, Bangkok, and for the past 12 years in Johannesburg. Andrew has covered many International events, from the end of the Soviet Union and Russia's parliamentary rebellion to the Asian tsunami and west Africa's Ebola outbreak. By accident, rather than design, much of his work has been in conflict zones - in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Abkhazia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, Darfur, DR Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, South Sudan, Cote D'Ivoire, CAR, Burundi, Uganda, Libya and elsewhere. Andrew has been living in South Africa since 2009. He reported on the Oscar Pistorius trial in Pretoria. It was partly that experience that prompted him to search for another murder case, that might dig deeper under the skin of modern South Africa. Early in 2016 he read about an incident in the Free State and decided to investigate. The result, four years later, was his new book, These Are Not Gentle People. A BBC Radio 4 series and podcast is in the works.

Global Security Forum 2021

10/02/2020

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts is pleased and proud to join the World Affairs Council of Connecticut in presenting Global Security Forum 2021 on October 2nd & 3rd. The Global Security Forum brings the world's top leadership directly to the citizenry. Generals, experts, policymakers, and foreign leaders convene in Connecticut, a center for national defense, to address the most critical global security issues of today and the opportunities of tomorrow. Previous Global Security Forums have featured speakers including current Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, General Daniel Hokanson, 29 th Chief, National Guard Bureau, General David Petraeus, U.S. Army (Ret.), Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, nominee, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Dr. Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations, and more. GSF 2021 will be hosted virtually and in person to address the central theme: Competing for the future. GSF2021 will explore emerging technologies, evolving battlefronts, and shifting global power centers to address why nations must innovate to day in order to compete for tomorrow.

Instant Issues Online: Javier Corrales on Why Populism is the Sugar Salt Fat in Our Politics

06/30/2020

We’re pleased to welcome back Dr. Javier Corrales, Dwight W. Morrow 1895 professor and chair of Political Science at Amherst College, for an Instant Issues Online event on Why Populism is the Sugar Salt Fat in Our Politics: Examples from the US, Europe, and Latin America on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 12:15 PM. The event is free, but you must register online. Javier Corrales's research focuses on democratization, presidential powers, democratic backsliding, political economy of development, ruling parties, the incumbent's advantage, foreign policies, and sexuality. He has published extensively on Latin America and the Caribbean. His latest book, Fixing Democracy: Why Constitutional Change Often Fails to Enhance Democracy in Latin America, was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. He is the co-author with Michael Penfold of Dragon in the Tropics: Venezuela and the Legacy of Hugo Chávez (Brookings Institution Press, 2015), now in its second edition; with Daniel Altschuler, The Promise of Participation: Experiments in Participatory Governance in Honduras and Guatemala (Palgrave/Macmillan 2013), and with Carlos A. Romero, U.S.-Venezuela Relations since the 1990s: Coping with Midlevel Security Threats (Routledge, 2013). He is also the co-editor with Mario Pecheny of The Politics of Sexuality in Latin America: A Reader on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), and author of Presidents Without Parties: the Politics of Economic Reform in Argentina and Venezuela in the 1990s (Penn State University Press, 2002). He is a frequent and popular speaker at the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts as well as other Councils throughout the WACA network. The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Glenmeadow Greenfield Savings Bank Wilbraham & Monson Academy & Sir Speedy Special thanks to Consilium Opis.

Instant Issues Online: Mahsa Khababai on "Can the Coronavirus Cure a Broken Immigration System?"

06/24/2020

Attorney Mahsa Khanbabai will return for an Instant Issues Online event Thursday, June 24 from 12:15-1:00 PM on "Can the Coronavirus Cure a Broken Immigration System?" This event is free but you must register online. Attorney Mahsa Khanbabai has dedicated her legal career to immigration and naturalization issues, representing individual, nonprofit, educational and business clients. She assists clients with employment visas, family petitions, and citizenship applications, as well as other immigration related matters. A significant part of her practice is devoted to assisting foreign dental students, international medical graduates with J-1 Waiver issues, as well as other employment related work visa matters. She has been an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association for over 20 years and currently serves as the Chair of the New England Chapter and is a member of the AILA Department of State liaison Committee. In her capacity as member of the Congressional Liaison committee she has worked closely with congressional offices to advise on legislative policy and as a CBP Liaison worked with CBP officials on issues related to visa entry at airport and border posts. Attorney Khanbabai is an active member of the International Medical Graduate Taskforce, an association of immigration attorneys specializing in physician related immigration. The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Glenmeadow Greenfield Savings Bank Wilbraham & Monson Academy & Sir Speedy Special thanks to Consilium Opis.

Instant Issues Online: Lisa Napoli on CNN & the Impact of the 24-Hour News Cycle on Global Events

05/28/2020

Journalist Lisa Napoli will speak at an Instant Issues Online event Thursday, May 28 from 1:00-1:30 PM on her new book Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News. This event is free. Registration and instructions on how to connect to the Zoom call will come soon, but please get this on your calendar. In over three decades as a journalist, Lisa Napoli covered presidential campaigns, a hostage standoff, an outdoor hacker convention and the culture of technology, all at a wide variety of news outlets (some which no longer exist) including the New York Times CyberTimes , MSNBC , and the public radio show Marketplace . For five years, she also covered arts and culture at KCRW . Her first book, Radio Shangri-La , is about the impact of media culture on the Kingdom of Bhutan, where she was invited to help start a radio station at the dawn of democratic rule. Ray & Joan is about the late philanthropist Joan Kroc and her husband, the founding chairman of the McDonald’s corporation. Lisa is the founding board president of the Bhutan Media Service, an all-volunteer news outlet created by Bhutanese refugees in diaspora . The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Glenmeadow Greenfield Savings Bank Wilbraham & Monson Academy Sir Speedy

Instant Issues Online: Charlie Epstein on the Impact of COVID-19 on Global Markets

05/11/2020

We will be presenting our first Instant Issues Online event this Monday, May 11, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:00 PM. Our speaker will be financial advisor Charlie Epstein on The Coronavirus Playbook - Where Do We Go From Here. This is event is free, but you must register online to participate. Charlie Epstein founded Epstein Financial Services in 1981. As The 401k Coach he has been recognized nationally as one of the industry’s most influential individuals. Charlie established the Family Business Center in Amherst. He has appeared on Fox Business and many local media outlets. The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Glenmeadow Greenfield Savings Bank Wilbraham & Monson Academy & Sir Speedy Special thanks to John Perez, Principal Consilium Opis for hosting this event
Instant Issues Lunch: Dr. Vinnie Ferraro on America & The Middle East

03/03/2020

Dr.Vincent Ferraro, Professor of Politics, Emeritus at Mount Holyoke College, will speak at an Instant Issues brown bag lunchtime discussion series event on America and the Middle East: Will the Wars Ever End? on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 in the 3rd Floor Community Room of the MassLive Building at 1350 Main Street, in downtown Springfield. The RSVP deadline is Friday, February 28. For more information and to register online with a credit card, please click the button below. A longtime member and friend of the Council and frequent speaker, Vinnie Ferraro taught at Mount Holyoke for 40 years before retiring in 2016. His studies specializes in International Relations and American Foreign Policy; focusing in the areas of global poverty, third world development, and global development. The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Glenmeadow, Greenfield Savings Bank, Wilbraham & Monson Academy & Sir Speedy. Special thanks to NAI Plotkin and 1350 Main Street, LLC.

Adventures in International Dining: Oriental Flavor in Amherst

02/25/2020

Enjoy sampling Chinese cuisine with members and friends of the World Affairs Council. Socializing at 6:00 pm Cash bar. Dinner at 6:00 pm Menu coming soon Parking in munuicipal lot across from restaurant Seating is limited. Please register quickly.

Michael Klare Returns to Instant Issues with New Book on the Pentagon's Perspective on Climate Change

02/20/2020

Dr. Michael T. Klare, Five College professor emeritus of peace and world security studies, and director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies, will speak at an Instant Issues brown bag lunchtime discussion series event on on his new book, "All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon's Perspective on Climate Change".

Instant Issues Lunch on Hong Kong in January with Dr. Sara Newland

01/30/2020

Dr. Sara Newland, Assistant Professor of Government at Smith College , will speak at an Instant Issues brown bag lunchtime discussion series event about ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

Instant Issues brown bag lunchtime discussion series

11/04/2019

Dr. Kavita Khory, Ruth Lawson Professor of Politics and Carol Hoffmann Collins Director of the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives at Mount Holyoke College, will speak at an Instant Issues brown bag lunchtime discussion series event on security challenges and ethnic conflicts in South Asia.

93rd Annual Meeting with Katherine Brown on the Press & Diplomacy in Afghanistan

10/02/2019

The World Affairs Council’s 93rd Annual Meeting and Dinner will take place on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at the Springfield Sheraton at Monarch Place at 6:00 PM. Dr. Katherine Brown, President & CEO of Global Ties US, will speak on her new book, Your Country, Our War: The Press and Diplomacy in Afghanistan.
World Affairs Council of Western MA Strategic Planning Community Forum

09/25/2019

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts is holding a series of community forums to help us develop our five-year Strategic Plan. Please join us and help us shape our vision for the future of the organization. Light refreshments will be provided. Special thanks to NAI Plotkin
World Affairs Council of Western MA Strategic Planning Community Forum

09/24/2019

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts is holding a series of community forums to help us develop our five-year Strategic Plan. Please join us and help us shape our vision for the future of the organization. Light refreshments will be provided. Special thanks to NAI Plotkin