World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

Upcoming events

    • 01 Feb 2021
    • (EST)
    • 22 Mar 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 8 sessions
    • Zoom Webinar
    • 4

    Group I will meet Mondays at 10:00 am- 11:30 am.

    The meeting location is the Community Room at the Hargray Building, 862-A William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island

    • 04 Feb 2021
    • (EST)
    • 25 Mar 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 8 sessions
    • Zoom webinar
    • 3

    Group III will meet on Thursdays at 10:00 am- 11:30 am.

    The meeting will be held via Zoom webinar. Credentials will be emailed to you before each meeting.  

    • 04 Feb 2021
    • (EST)
    • 25 Mar 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 8 sessions
    • Zoom Webinar
    • 5

    Group II (an Evening Group) will meet on Thursdays at 7:00 pm- 8:30 pm.

    The meeting is a Zoom webinar. Credentials will be emailed to you before each meeting.

    • 05 Mar 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (EST)
    • Zoom Webinar


    Madame Tsai Ing-wen won a second term in January 2020 to serve as the president of Taiwan for another four years. The first term of her presidency saw steady improvements in US-Taiwan relations and a deterioration in cross-Strait ties as Beijing ramped-up diplomatic, military, and economic pressure on Taipei to accept its terms for unification. As the power disparity between Taiwan and China widens, Taipei is becoming more susceptible to Chinese coercion and CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping may become more emboldened to use military force. What are the implications for the Taiwan Strait over the next four years and beyond? 


    Russell Hsiao Russell Hsiao is the executive director of GTI and adjunct fellow at the Pacific Forum. He previously served as a senior research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute, National Security fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Penn Kemble fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy. Prior to those positions he was the editor of China Brief at The Jamestown Foundation from October 2007­ to July 2011 and a special associate in the International Cooperation Department at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. While in law school, he clerked within the Office of the Chairman at the Federal Communications Commission and the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

    Mr. Hsiao received his J.D. and certificate from the Law and Technology Institute at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology. He received a B.A. in International Studies from the American University’s School of International Service and the University Honors Program.

    • 09 Mar 2021
    • 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM (EST)
    • Zoom Webinar
    • 92

    An Insider Perspective of Olympic History

    Our fears have become reality as the spread of COVID-19 has forced the IOC and Japanese organizers to postpone the Tokyo Olympics by a year. This was a decision unique in Olympic history. The Games are now scheduled to take place from 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

    Dr. Bill Mallon, a founding member of the International Society of Olympic Historians, will look back to the example of Berlin 1916, when the Games were cancelled because of the World War 1. There were few who imagined that the next Olympics would take place in 1920, only two years after the armistice. It was virtually a miracle that Belgium, the nation which had suffered most, agreed to be the host. The 1920 Games in Antwerp add resonance because they were also overshadowed by a pandemic that claimed more lives than the First World War. And still, the Games went ahead. This should encourage us as we take on and cope with an epochal challenge such as the coronavirus crisis.

    The 100th anniversary of those Games is a perfect time to have Dr. Mallon share the history of the Olympics and his unique stories gathered over 40 plus years of attending and chronicling the games. 

    About the Presenter

    Dr. William James Mallon Dr. William James Mallon is an American orthopedic surgeon, former professional golfer and a leading authority on the history of the Olympic Games.

    Mallon played on the PGA Tour from 1976–79, posting three top-10 finishes. After leaving the PGA Tour he returned to Duke University to study medicine graduating as an M.D. in 1984. He specializes in complex reconstructive shoulder and elbow surgery and is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He has written widely on the subject of sporting injuries and has been the medical editor of Golf Digest since 1987. Previously North American editor of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, he has been editor of that publication in 2009.

    Mallon is also a leading authority on the history of the Olympic Games and has written 24 books on the subject. He was a co-founder and later president of the International Society of Olympic Historians and was historical consultant to the organizing committees of both the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics. Mallon has also been a consultant statistician to the IOC and was awarded the Olympic Order in silver in 2001 for services to the Olympic movement.

    • 19 Mar 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (EDT)
    • Zoom Webinar


    Although usually described as an “Eastern European” or “Eurasian Power,” contemporary Russia in the past decade has emerged as major actor in the Middle East. Moscow has demonstrated an unusual ability both to apply military force effectively and to practice diplomacy deftly, juggling and expanding ties not just with American adversaries like Syria and Iran, but also with American partners such as Israel, Turkey, and Egypt. Russia’s seeming success appears all the more remarkable given the routine dismissal of Russia by American observers as a declining power. What is the historical background of Russia as a Middle Eastern power? Is Russia’s success in the region real and what explains it? How sustainable is it? And what does Russia’s role in the Middle East mean for America?


    Michael A. Reynolds

    Michael A. Reynolds, a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, is Director of Princeton University’s Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and Associate Professor in Princeton’s Department of Near Eastern Studies. His teaching and research ranges over the geography of the Middle East and Eurasia and covers the themes of empire,  international relations, nationalism, geopolitics, ethnic conflict, and religion and culture. He is the author of Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 2011), co-winner of the 2011 American Historical Association’s George Louis Beer Prize, a Financial Times book of the summer, and a Choice outstanding academic title, and is the editor of Constellations of the Caucasus: Empires, Peoples, and Faiths (Markus Weiner, 2016). Currently he is at work on a biography of Enver Pasha, hero of the Young Turk Revolution and Ottoman Minister of War during WWI.

    In addition to his historical research, Reynolds writes on contemporary issues related to Turkey, Russia, the Kurds, Azerbaijan, the North Caucasus, and US foreign policy. He has written for The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, and Newsweek.  He has held fellowships and grants from the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, the Smith Richardson Foundation, Harvard University’s Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Fulbright IIE, American Research Institute in Turkey, IREX, and NCEER and others. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton, an MA in Political Science from Columbia, and a BA in Government and Slavic Languages from Harvard.

    • 09 Apr 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (EDT)
    • Zoom Webinar


    Book coverSince the start of the Trump era, the United States and the Western world have finally begun to wake up to the threat of online warfare and the attacks from Russia. The question no one seems to be able to answer is: what can the West do about it?

    Central and Eastern European states, however, have been aware of the threat for years. Nina Jankowicz has advised these governments on the front lines of the information war. The lessons she learnt from that fight, and from her attempts to get US congress to act, make for essential reading.

    How to Lose the Information War takes the reader on a journey through five Western governments' responses to Russian information warfare tactics - all of which have failed. She journeys into the campaigns the Russian operatives run and shows how we can better understand the motivations behind these attacks and how to beat them. Above all, this book shows what is at stake: the future of civil discourse and democracy, and the value of truth itself.


    Nina Jankowicz is a Washington DC-based writer and analyst who studies the intersection of technology and democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and Beyond. She currently serves as Disinformation Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Previously, she served as a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow, a role in which she provided strategic communications guidance to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. She has also managed democracy assistance programs to Russia and Belarus at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, a frequent target of Russian disinformation. Her writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed News, Foreign Policy and others.

    Nina received her MA in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she was a Title VIII and FLAS scholarship recipient, and her BA in Russian and Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, where she graduated magna cum laude. She has lived and worked in Russia and Ukraine, and speaks fluent Russian and proficient Polish and Ukrainian. Nina was a 2017 Foreign Policy Interrupted Fellow.

    • 30 Apr 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (EDT)
    • Zoom Webinar


    Robert S. Spalding will discuss the coronavirus outbreak; its spread and the CCP’s responsibility. He will also talk about the evolving rivalry and entry into a Cold War bipolar world. He will also touch on the implications of Artificial Intelligence, data, and 5G on national security and economic competitiveness.


    Robert Spalding

    Dr. Robert S. Spalding III, Brig Gen, USAF (R) is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute. His work focuses on U.S.-China relations, economic and national security, and the Asia-Pacific military balance.

    Spalding has served in senior positions of strategy and diplomacy within the Defense and State Departments for more than 26 years and is an accomplished innovator in government and a national security policy strategist. As Senior Director for Strategy to the President, he was the chief architect of the framework for national competition in the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy (NSS). He has earned recognition for his knowledge of Chinese economic competition, cyber warfare, and political influence, as well as for his ability to forecast global trends and develop innovative solutions.

    Spalding’s relationship with business leaders, fostered during his time as a Military Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, allowed him to recommend pragmatic solutions to complex foreign policy and national security issues, which are driving positive economic outcomes for the nation. Spalding’s groundbreaking work on competition in Secure 5G has reset the global environment for the next phase of cyber security in the information age.

    Spalding is a skilled combat leader, promoter of technological advances to achieve improved unit performance, and a seasoned diplomat. Under Spalding’s leadership, the 509th Operations Group—the nation’s only B-2 Stealth Bomber unit—experienced unprecedented technological and operational advances. Spalding’s demonstrated acumen for solving complex technological issues to achieve operational success, was demonstrated when he led a low-cost rapid-integration project for a secure global communications capability in the B-2, achieving tremendous results at almost no cost to the government. As commander, he led forces in the air and on the ground in Libya and Iraq. During the UUV Incident of 2016, Spalding averted a diplomatic crisis by negotiating with the Chinese PLA for the return of the UUV, without the aid of a translator.

    Spalding has written extensively on national security matters. He is currently working on a book concerning national competition in the 21st Century. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, War on the Rocks, FedTech Magazine, Defense One, The Diplomat, and other edited volumes. His Air Power Journal article on "America’s Two Air Forces" is frequently used in the West Point curriculum.

    Spalding is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has lectured globally, including engagements at the Naval War College, National Defense University, Air War College, Columbia University, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and other Professional Military Educational institutions. Spalding received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Agricultural Business from California State University, Fresno, and holds a doctorate in economics and mathematics from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He was a distinguished graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey and is fluent in Chinese Mandarin.

    • 07 May 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (EDT)
    • Zoom Webinar


    Russia and China: Benign Friendship or Malignant Gamechanger?

    Recent years have seen the old Communist enemies grow closer five decades after Kissinger’s opening to China.  Are we back to a new Cold War with the US and the West facing an united Russo-China front?  Both Moscow and Beijing share a deep resentment against Washington, propounding an alternative vision of a non-US-dominated world order.  But, in a switch, is Moscow willing to be the junior partner to China?  Or is the growing friendship a tactical move until Russian sanctions are dropped and China attains better terms with the US?  A real alliance or a marriage of convenience?    


    Dr. Mathew J. Burrows serves as the director of the Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He was appointed counselor to the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in 2007 and director of the Analysis and Production Staff (APS) in 2010. As director of APS, Burrows was responsible for managing a staff of senior analysts and production technicians who guide and shepherd all NIC products from inception to dissemination. He was the principal drafter for the NIC publication Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, which received widespread recognition and praise in the international media and among academics and think tanks. In 2005, he was asked to set up and direct the NIC’s new Long Range Analysis Unit, which is now known as the Strategic Futures Group.

    Burrows joined the CIA in 1986, where he served as analyst for the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), covering Western Europe, including the development of European institutions such as the European Union. From 1998 to 1999 he was the first holder of the intelligence community fellowship and served at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Other previous positions included assignments as special assistant to the US UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (1999-2001) and Deputy National Security Advisor to US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill (2001-02). He is a member of the DI’s Senior Analyst Service.

    Burrows graduated from Wesleyan University in 1976 and received a PhD in European history from Cambridge University, England in 1983.

Past events

19 Feb 2021 Joseph Yun: Biden Administration’s Approach to Asia
09 Feb 2021 Evening Speaker Series - Colin Moseley
05 Feb 2021 Steven Olikara: How the Rise of Millennials and Gen Z Will Shape American Foreign Policy
22 Jan 2021 Col. David Maxwell: Developments in North Korea
12 Jan 2021 Evening Speaker Series 2021 (Subscription)
12 Jan 2021 Evening Speaker Series - Jonathan Haupt
08 Jan 2021 David Eisenhower: Great Power Rivalries - Through the Rear-view Mirror
04 Dec 2020 Alexandra Bell: Nuclear Weapons Policy in the Next Administration
20 Nov 2020 Richard MacGregor: Australia and China - The West’s Tipping Point
06 Nov 2020 Maud Olofsson: Will the Nordic Model Survive?
23 Oct 2020 Matthew Kroenig: The Return of Great Power Rivalry
08 Oct 2020 Fall Forum 2020 - Group 3
07 Oct 2020 Fall Forum 2020 - Group 2
06 Oct 2020 Fall Forum 2020 - Group 4
06 Oct 2020 Fall Forum 2020 - Group 1
02 Oct 2020 Doug Lute: How the West Lost Its Way
16 Sep 2020 Summer Forum: George Kanuck
19 Aug 2020 Summer Forum: Rich Thomas
15 Jul 2020 Summer Forum: Ashely Jenkins
01 May 2020 Global Speaker Meeting: Jonatan Vseviov, Estonia's Ambassador to the United States
25 Apr 2020 National AWQ Competition
24 Apr 2020 LTG H.R. McMaster - Battlegrounds: The Fights to Defend the Free World
21 Apr 2020 Evening Speaker Series: Janet Mancini Billson, PhD
20 Mar 2020 Henri Barkey: Kurds and the New Geopolitics of the Middle East
07 Mar 2020 AWQ County Competition
06 Mar 2020 Sheila A. Smith: Japan Rearmed - The Politics of Military Power
05 Mar 2020 Evening Speaker Series: Kathleen Biggins
21 Feb 2020 Joby Warrick - Black Flags and Red Lines
20 Feb 2020 AWQ Mock 2
18 Feb 2020 Evening Speaker Series: Alex Kershaw
07 Feb 2020 Dr. Bhavya Lal: The Changing Landscape of Space
06 Feb 2020 Great Decisions Group IV, Thursdays at 7:00 pm
05 Feb 2020 Great Decisions Group III, Wednesdays at 10:00 am
04 Feb 2020 Great Decisions Group II, Tuesdays at 10:00 am
03 Feb 2020 Great Decisions Group I, Mondays 10 am
31 Jan 2020 Model UN Regional Conference
24 Jan 2020 Sean McFate: The New Rules of War
21 Jan 2020 2020 Evening Speaker Series - 4 events
21 Jan 2020 Evening Speaker Series: Bing West
10 Jan 2020 Admiral Cecil Haney: China’s Doctrines on Space, Cyberwarfare and its Nuclear Program
06 Dec 2019 Michael Shifter: The Chaos in Venezuela
15 Nov 2019 Sulmaan Khan: Haunted By Chaos - China’s Grand Strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping
01 Nov 2019 Global Speakers Program: Monica Araya
25 Oct 2019 Ambassador Peter Ammon: US and German Relations, Post 1989
04 Oct 2019 General Wesley Clark - Deglobalization: Threats and Opportunities
03 Oct 2019 Fall Forum - Group 3: THURSDAYS
02 Oct 2019 Fall Forum - Group 2: WEDNESDAYS
01 Oct 2019 Fall Forum - Group 4: TUESDAY EVENINGS
01 Oct 2019 Fall Forum - Group 1: TUESDAYS
27 Sep 2019 Annual Meeting - World Affairs Council of Hilton Head
14 Aug 2019 Summer Forum: David Lauderdale
17 Jul 2019 Summer Forum: Lynne Cope Hummell
19 Jun 2019 Summer Forum: Larry Kramer
17 May 2019 John Gilbert: North Korea and the Nuclear Threat
16 May 2019 Cocktail Reception for David Eisenhower
03 May 2019 Alyssa Ayres: India’s Rise on the World Stage
09 Apr 2019 Evening Speaker Series: Allison Stiller
05 Apr 2019 Global Speakers Program - Ambassador Jerzy Pomianowski: Supporting Democracy in Eastern Europe
15 Mar 2019 Ambassador Roman Popadiuk: The Ukraine Russian Crisis
12 Mar 2019 Evening Speaker Series: Patrick Skinner
01 Mar 2019 Robert Mallett: Africa - Familiar Challenges, Rewarding Opportunities
15 Feb 2019 Christopher Alexander: Canadian and U.S. Relations
12 Feb 2019 Evening Speaker Series: Amb. Everett Briggs
07 Feb 2019 Great Decisions Group IV: Thursday evenings, 7:00 pm
06 Feb 2019 Great Decisions Group III: Wednesdays, 10 am
05 Feb 2019 Great Decisions Group II: Tuesdays, 10 am
04 Feb 2019 Great Decisions Group I, Mondays 10 am
01 Feb 2019 Dr. Soner Cagaptay: The New Sultan and Turkey’s Foreign Policy
25 Jan 2019 Trita Parsi: Iran’s Strategy in the Middle East
11 Jan 2019 Josh Michaud:Global Health
08 Jan 2019 2019 Evening Speaker Series - 4 events
08 Jan 2019 Evening Speaker Series: Larry Kramer
07 Dec 2018 Michael Auslin: Asia and America in the Age of Trump - War, Retreat or Recommit?
16 Nov 2018 Luncheon with Dr. Jennifer Keene
16 Nov 2018 Dr. Jennifer Keene: World War I and the Dawning of the American Century
02 Nov 2018 Global Speakers Program- Ambassador Pierre Vimont: President Macron’s France
26 Oct 2018 Bruce Hoffman: Inside Terrorism Today
05 Oct 2018 Larry Diamond: The Liberal Democratic Order in Crisis
04 Oct 2018 Fall Forum - Group 3, Thursdays
03 Oct 2018 Fall Forum - Group 2, Wednesdays
02 Oct 2018 Fall Forum - Group 1, Tuesdays
21 Sep 2018 Annual Meeting
15 Aug 2018 Summer Forum: Dr. Sally Mason
11 Jul 2018 Summer Forum: Richard J. Gough
20 Jun 2018 Summer Forum: Dr. Jim Wagner
04 May 2018 Todd S. Sechser: Nuclear Security
20 Apr 2018 Mohamed Razeen Sally: Asia Rising: Past, Present and Future
10 Apr 2018 Evening Speaker Series: Ben Kinnas
06 Apr 2018 Ray Toll & RADM Ann Phillips, USN: Rising Sea Levels and Their Impact on the Navy
16 Mar 2018 Anthony Zinni: A New Military Strategy
05 Mar 2018 Evening Speaker Series: Katherine Canavan
02 Mar 2018 Sarah Chayes: The Real Cost of Corruption
16 Feb 2018 Amb. Christopher Hill: Outpost, A Diplomat at Work
13 Feb 2018 Evening Speaker Series: Don Paul Colcolough
02 Feb 2018 Amb. William "Bill" Richardson III: North Korea
26 Jan 2018 Ivo Daalder: Trump’s Foreign Policy
12 Jan 2018 Benjamin Buchanan: The Cyber Security Dilemma
09 Jan 2018 Evening Speaker Series: Hazel O’Leary
09 Jan 2018 2018 Evening Speaker Series
01 Dec 2017 Edward Alden: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy
17 Nov 2017 Dr. Andrew Selee: Mexico’s Relations with the United States in the Administration of Trump
03 Nov 2017 Amb. James Jeffrey: The Middle East
13 Oct 2017 Anand Menon: The Future of the European Union
06 Oct 2017 Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley: American Foreign Policy in a Time of Fractured Politics and Failed States
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