World Affairs Council Hilton Head

News and updates

  • 05 Jan 2020 5:31 PM | Anonymous

    Razeen Sally, a Friday Speaker Series presenter in April 2018, has just published a new book,  Return to Sri Lanka: Travels in a Paradoxical Land Sri Lanka seemed like a version of paradise to Razeen Sally as a child, but conflict was soon to follow, tearing the family apart and severing their bond with Sri Lanka. Return to Sri Lanka is the story of a twenty-first-century reconciliation between Sally, now an academic and political adviser, and the land of his birth.

    To preview the book, visit

    Return to Sri Lanka Book Cover

  • 16 Dec 2019 11:01 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Dr. Sean McFate, our upcoming speaker on January 24, 2020. The Economist magazine recognized his book, The New Rules of War, as one of their "Books of the Year"! 

    Some of the principles of warfare are ancient, others are new, but all described in The New Rules of War will permanently shape war now and in the future. By following them Sean McFate argues, we can prevail. But if we do not, terrorists, rogue states, and others who do not fight conventionally will succeed—and rule the world.

    Sean McFate has spoken at our council before and his presentations are standing room only.

  • 13 Nov 2019 10:05 PM | Anonymous

    Monica Araya, our speaker on November 1st, received the 2019 Crusader of the Year Award from the CRUSA Foundation. CRUSA is a non-profit organization that was established in 1996 to further cooperation between the US and Costa Rica.

    Congratulations Monica!

  • 01 Nov 2019 11:07 PM | Anonymous

    WACHH speaker Monica Araya was interviewed on Coastal Sunrise about Costa Rica's quest to become energy independent. View the interview online here: WSAV Coastal Sunrise_2019_11_01.mp4

  • 28 Oct 2019 9:55 PM | Anonymous

    On October 25, Amb. Peter Ammon spoke to a packed house of more than 600 at the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head’s Friday Speaker Meeting. Amb. Ammon, who served as German Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2014-2018) and to the United States (2011–2014), now lives part of the year in Hilton Head and spoke of the welcome he has found in the community here.

    Amb. Ammon thanked America, particularly its service members, saying, “Together we won the Cold War.” His speech addressed the complex issues that have arisen in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall and cautioned that we are now at a critical juncture as America becomes more isolated from world affairs. “We should not put doubt in a Trans-Atlantic alliance for which many of you have worked so hard… The world needs American leadership,”  he concluded.

    A program hosted in partnership with Wunderbar Together, World Affairs Councils of America, and the American Council on Germany.

  • 12 Oct 2019 11:35 AM | Anonymous

    HILTON HEAD, October 10, 2019—The World Affairs Council of Hilton Head announces the appointment of John Gilbert as the new President of the Board of Directors. Mr. Gilbert has been a board member for two years, managing the in-reach member programs for the council. He is replacing Lee Wilwerding, who graciously served six years as president on the WACHH Board.  

    John Gilbert is a retired U.S. Air Force officer with over 40 years of experience in strategic operations, intelligence, and arms control.  While on active duty, he traveled widely in Europe and Asia, including numerous visits to the former Soviet Union as an inspector at long-range missile facilities.  He also served on U.S. delegations negotiating arms control agreements in Geneva, The Hague and Moscow.

    Since retirement from active duty, he has been an advisor and consultant to several U.S. government and industry organizations and foreign governments on arms control issues. He appeared on a CNN segment regarding an al Qaeda chemical weapon program in Afghanistan and presented several papers on arms control at international conferences.

    Gilbert semi-retired to Hilton Head Island with his wife Lesley in 2007. He teaches courses on arms control and intelligence at Lifelong Learning of Hilton Head and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

  • 08 Aug 2019 7:46 PM | Anonymous

    A Thank You note….

    To the members of the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head.

    Thank you for the opportunity of a life-time…accompanying thirteen high school students from across the country as the guests of the Foreign Ministry of the State of Qatar for a week of high-level briefings and cultural tours of Doha, Qatar and the desert.

    But wait…you say…I had nothing to do with that!

    Oh, but you did!


    By virtue of your membership in the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head, you support the mission and programs of a national organization…the World Affairs Councils of America. This trip was made possible by a grant received by WACA from the Foreign Ministry of Qatar.


    Three of the students treated to this great adventure were the 2019 national winners of the Academic WorldQuest competition, a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America.  The winning team was from Jasper High School in Jasper, Texas.  The Hilton Head Council participates in this program and sends its winning team to the national competition, this year our winning team was from Bluffton High School. Your financial support of the WAC HH high school outreach programs makes that possible!

    As a WACA National Board member with long-time involvement with AWQ, I was invited to be a chaperone for this wonderful group of teenagers.  So that’s why I am thanking you for the opportunity to go to Doha, Qatar. 

    And…like anyone who’s had a great trip, I have lots of photos and stories to tell.  Our trip was chronicled on Flickr….here’s the url if you’d like to see some photos:

    And….I’ve attached a link to a slide show  (PDF) which I have prepared as I share my experience when invited to speak.

    Once again…Thanks!

    I’ll see you in September,
    Joan Apple Lemoine

  • 06 Aug 2019 9:00 PM | Anonymous

    Margaret McManus, WACHH Vice President, was interviewed on WHHI TV this week. Hear all about the good things happening at WACHH.

  • 29 Jul 2019 10:23 PM | Anonymous
    Alyssa AyresCheck out the Council on Foreign Relations blog posted by our April 2019 speaker, Alyssa Ayres, concerning the recent meeting between President Trump and  Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan.  Alyssa Ayres is senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Her work focuses on India’s role in the world and on U.S. relations with South Asia.  Click here to read the blog.

  • 26 Jul 2019 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    Dear WACHH Members,

    Lee WilwerdingThe Program Committee, once again, put together a stellar Speaker series for 2018-19 capped off by a mad scramble at the last minute to find a speaker replacement for David Eisenhower.  The combination of John Gilbert and Bill Pendley covered the very timely topic of a Nuclear North Korea in a strong fashion that elicited comments from many of you about the depth of talent in the membership.  I have attached the 2019-20 Speaker’s List for your review, and I think you will agree that once again the quality is high, and the topics are timely.  You get all 14 of these and more for only $100.

    The big highlight of the year is that we Met the $50K Match challenge from our member couple who have donated $150,000 that funds our Global Speakers Program.  This ensures that we can continue to seek out international speakers at the rate of two per year for the next several years.  So, for the coming season you can plan on a visit to Costa Rica in the Fall and Down Under to Australia in the Spring.

    As you know, we are a membership driven organization and are always looking for new members.  The number one reason that new members join WACHH is their friends/neighbors, our wonderful members, told them about the organization.  So, I am asking our Marketing/ Membership Department, that would be YOU, to help us by talking to your friends and neighbors, who are not members, and solicit them to become members.  To that end we will hold a free guest day this Fall for Ambassador Peter Ammon’s presentation on 25 October.  While serving in the German Foreign Office Amb. Ammon served three “hardship” Ambassadorial tours first in Paris, then in Washington DC and finally London.  While serving in Washington DC, Amb. Ammon and his wife ventured down Interstate 95 spent some time on the Island and bought a condo here.  They now split their time between Berlin and Hilton Head so come listen to a fellow Islander and bring a friend/future member --  we will have the capability to sign them up on the spot.

    On the Education front, we have invited Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, the new Beaufort County School Superintendent, to our opening Speaker Presentation on 4 Oct.  He has accepted and I booked his calendar starting at 9:00 AM so that you and he can have informal chats in the Gathering Space at First Presbyterian before the presentation starts.  I am meeting with him in mid-August to explain who we are, what we offer our members and how we support the Beaufort County School System.

    One final item, Carlton Dallas, Margaret McManus and I will complete our second tour of duty on the Board in December.  Succession planning is critical to the ongoing success of all voluntary organizations.  With that in mind, Ivan Bennett, a retired educator, joined the Board in June and will take on the Academic World Quest portfolio so capably filled by Carlton these past four years.  John Gilbert will be the new President and will select a new VP in the near future.  Not being a fan of changing horses in the middle of the stream, we will make the leadership change at the Annual Meeting in September rather than waiting until December when terms are completed.  I invite you to come to the “Change of Command” at 10 am on 27 September in Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian.  This will give you an opportunity to meet John and the other Board members and we will preview all the Programs for the coming year. 

    Finally, I wish to thank all of you members for your support these past four years.  Because of the size of our active membership we are a different organization today than previously.  The quality of our Speaker Programming remains high due to the dedication and hard work of the Program Committee and successive chairs.  We transitioned from an active and hard-working Joan Lemoine to an active and hard-working Maureen Korzik as Executive Director with nary a hiccup which is a tribute to the two of them and the Board’s Selection Committee.  We converted to/built a new Internet presence that allows us to better communicate with you and we now have an active Facebook presence.  We have upped our game with the Beaufort County School System with both Academic World Quest and Model UN.  All of this is possible because of you, our members, when we ask you to volunteer you do, when we ask for financial support you open your wallet but most important you come every Friday when we have a speaker.  Along with our demographic twin, Naples/Marco Island we are the envy of the WACA Network with our ability to turn out 600 informed and interested members for a presentation.  You are the compelling piece of our Speaker recruiting efforts.  You made being President interesting and rewarding and for that I thank YOU!


    Lee Wilwerding

World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

Office: 200 Main St. #201 M, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Mail: PO Box 22523, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925

843-384-6758  |

Member, World Affairs Council of America

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