Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tennessee World Affairs Council Recognized for Program Excellence

Press release, Nashville, TN – The work of bringing programs and resources to educate and inspire the community to learn and understand international affairs has led to the Nashville-based Tennessee World Affairs Council being named as the “Council of the Month” for January 2017 by the national office of the World Affairs Councils of America, an umbrella group representing the 95 independent councils.

The World Affairs Council recognition was based on the community programs and education outreach accomplished during 2016 including the distinguished visiting speaker program which hosted, among others: Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak; Irish Ambassador Anne Anderson; Japanese Consul General Masami Kinefuchi; U.S. Ambassador (Ret.) Thomas Pickering; Kurdish Government Representative Bayan Abdul Rahman, and many others. “The town hall meetings where the public can meet important decision makers and officials are hosted with our partner Belmont University, where we have our office,” said Patrick Ryan, World Affairs Council President who noted, “We also extend invitations to universities, high schools, business and civic organizations and Rotary Clubs to receive many of these speakers while they are in Middle Tennessee.”

The Council’s education outreach includes the Academic WorldQuest program, open to high school students across the state, which encourages global affairs awareness and offers a state championship match. It brings the winning students and teacher-coach on a trip to Washington for the national title competition and visits to international organizations, think tanks and embassies. The Council also organizes a popular semi-annual panel of international affairs specialists to talk with college students about careers and jobs in the global arena.

A town hall with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and moderator Dr. Mimi Barnard of Belmont University was one of the distinguished visiting speaker programs organized by the World Affairs Council in 2016.

The World Affairs Council is an independent, nonpartisan, educational nonprofit organized to “bring the world to Tennesseans” according to Ryan, who said, “On behalf of the World Affairs Council and our host, Belmont University, we were pleased to learn we have been selected for this honor from among the 95 network members around America.” He added, “As we celebrate our 10th anniversary it’s gratifying that our 100% volunteer Council’s work is highlighted in this way.”

The World Affairs Council founded in Cookeville in 2007 but based at Belmont University the last two years, has enjoyed increased support in Nashville as noted by Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a member of its board, who said, “It has incredible potential.” He added, “The World Affairs Council will make our city a stronger, better place; it will contribute to our economic well-being; it is going to make Nashville a more interesting place; and it’s going to be good for our kids.”

The World Affairs Council's "WorldQuest" competition encourages Tennessee high school students to increase their "global competency."

The World Affairs Council is already off to a fast start in 2017 with the speaker series featuring a specialist on the topic of US-Russian relations in January and upcoming programs with Ambassador Charles Bowers and Ronald Schlicher talking about the Trump Administration’s first month in global affairs in February and a town hall with the South Korean Ambassador in March. The annual WorldQuest high school championship match will be held at Belmont on February 12th. Ryan said the TNWAC.org web site  has details on all the programs and visitors can join the Council, make a donation and sign up for its email newsletter. The Council, he said, “Is 100% independent and relies on public support for its operations.”

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.

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