2016 has arrived with a briskness in the air (bear in mind that I am from Minnesota and current temps here would be considered a heatwave there) to jump start the second half of our season. Dr. Burwell spoke to a packed house on the European Refugee crisis to start off Friday Speaker Meetings in the new year. Ambassador (retired) James Jeffrey will discuss Turkey’s Changing Role in the Mideast and kick off our Academic World Quest program for 2016.
World Affairs Councils of America’s flagship education program, Academic World Quest is a competition designed to increase the awareness and importance of global issues in our high school students. We will host the members of the Academic World Quest teams from the Beaufort County high schools and their coaches for Ambassador Jeffrey’s presentation. Board Member Carleton Dallas said it best when he stated that he was glad not to be competing with these young students in a future job market. They are intense, energetic and bright young students that we can all be proud of.
January is a busy month for our Council with the start of our Evening Speaker Series and the opening sessions of our Great Decisions Discussion program.
Addressing the topic of “The Law and Targeted Deadly Force,” Vice Admiral (ret) John Shkor is our initial speaker for the Evening Speaker Series. When you look at the conflict zones in our world today and the asymmetric methods of warfare that are in play, this is a particularly apt topic. We have moved this program to a new larger venue at the Country Club of Hilton Head so there is plenty of room for program participants.
WACHH has conducted the Great Decisions discussion program for our members for over five years. We make use of the Great Decisions book published by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) as the basis for our member discussion. FPA selects the topics and commissions experts in the respective field to write a 10-12 page article on the topic. We, in turn, provide a facilitator to help guide the discussions but rely on you to carry the conversation. When the program started, two different discussion groups were offered. We have since grown it to a Fall session for new members and an evening session, and this year we have added a third morning program with aggregate enrollment approaching 100 members.
Lee J. Wilwerding
President, World Affairs Council Hilton Head