Academic WorldQuest Returns in February!

Moderator Peter Sokolowski at Academic WorldQuest 2012

Moderator Peter Sokolowski at Academic WorldQuest 2012

After a one year break, the World Affairs Council will be bringing Academic WorldQuest back on Saturday, February 6, 2016 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Chicopee High School.  Four-student teams from any high school, public or private, in the four westernmost counties of Massachusetts or Northern Connecticut are welcome to compete.

Peter Sokolowski, Editor-at-Large for Merriam-Webster will return as moderator.

This year’s topics include:

  • Current Events
  • Great Decisions
  • NATO
  • Asia Matters for America
  • International Trade and Finance
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • Privacy in the Digital Age
  • The Arctic
  • Food Security
  • Organization of American States
Academic WorldQuest 2014 champs: Emily Carson, Danielle Bellefeuille, Brian Popovich, Emily Zeno & faculty coach Gina Markowski

Academic WorldQuest 2014 champs: Emily Carson, Danielle Bellefeuille, Brian Popovich, Emily Zeno & faculty coach Gina Markowski of Wilbraham & Monon Academy

Competing teams will be provided with a study guide to prepare.  The winning team will go on to represent the Council and the region at the The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2016 Academic WorldQuest National Competition hosted by the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington, DC on April 23.

Teams must be registered by December 1 and can get more information by calling our office at 413-733-0110.

To get a sense of what Academic WorldQuest is like, please check out this video from 2014, produced by board member Jeremy Cole, of Jdcole-tv here

Posted in Welcome | Leave a comment

Juliette Kayyem to Speak at 89th Annual Meeting & Dinner

Juliette Kayyem

Juliette Kayyem

We are pleased to announce that former Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem will discuss homeland security and the intersection of democracy and counter-terrorism measures in conversation with political consultant and Council member Anthony Cignoli for our 89th Annual Meeting & Dinner on Thursday, October 8.  The title will be “Home Sweet Homeland: Lessons for a More Resilient Nation”.

Political consultant & Council Board Member Tony Cignoli will moderate

Political consultant & Council Board Member Tony Cignoli will moderate

The event will take place at the Springfield Sheraton and will begin with a cash bar reception at 6:00 p.m. with dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m.  The cost is $45 per person.  Call 413-733-0110 to register or click here.

Juliette Kayyem has spent over 15 years managing complex policy initiatives and organizing government responses to major crises in both state and federal government. She is the founder of Kayyem Solutions, LLC, providing strategic advice to a range of companies in technology, risk management, mega-event planning, venture capital and more.

Currently, Kayyem teaches new leaders in emergency management and homeland security as a faculty member at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Kayyem serves as an on-air security analyst for CNN and is featured in a weekly radio program on Boston’s NPR station WGBH, for whom she also hosts a regular podcast entitled “Security Mom.” In 2013, she was named the Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial columns in the Boston Globe focused on ending the Pentagon’s combat exclusion rule against women, a policy that was changed that year.

Previously, Kayyem was President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. There she played a pivotal role in major operations including handling of the H1N1 pandemic and the BP Oil Spill response; she also organized major policy efforts in immigration reform and community resiliency. Before that, she was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor guiding regional planning and the state’s first interoperability plan, and overseeing the National Guard. She has also served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorism, a legal advisor to US Attorney General Janet Reno, and a trial attorney and counselor in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. She is the recipient of many government honors, including the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Coast Guard’s highest medal awarded to a civilian.

Kayyem is a board member of MassINC, the International Centre for Sport Security, and the Red Cross of MA. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s Homeland Security Advisory Committee.

Anthony Cignoli  is president of the A. L. Cignoli Company, the public relations, political and governmental affairs company he founded more than 20 years ago.  The firm has built a reputation for creating success for clients from challenging situations from referendum campaigns other firms will not touch to assisting in turning around political and corporate campaigns in trouble.  Tony is a veteran of many political campaigns, including elections in Peru and Italy.  Tony is a frequent commentator and political analyst on local radio and television news programs in Western Massachusetts, as well as on New England Cable News, CNN and MSNBC.

Posted in Welcome | Leave a comment

Smith College’s Greg White to Speak on 2015 Mediterranean Migration Tragedy

Professor Greg White of Smith College

Professor Greg White of Smith College

 

Dr. Greg White, Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of Government at Smith College, will speak on The 2015 Mediterranean Migration Tragedy: The European Union’s History of ‘Migration Management’  at an Instant Issues event on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Community Room at One Financial Plaza  (1350 Main Street) 3rd Floor, downtown Springfield.

A longtime member and friend of the Council, Greg White teaches on global environmental politics, international relations, migration and refugee politics, North African politics, and international political economy at Smith.   Recent publications include Climate Change and Migration: Security and Borders in a Warming World (2011) and a co-edited volume with Yahia Zoubir on North African Politics: Change and Continuity (forthcoming 2015). His research and publications focus on Moroccan politics, environmental politics, and international security. He is currently co-editor of the Journal of North African Studies.

The cost for members is $5 without a lunch and $15 with a lunch provided.  Nonmembers cost is $10 without a lunch and $20 with a lunch provided.  To reserve a sandwich–tuna, turkey or vegetarian–reply by email or call the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110.  Register online with a credit card here.

RSVP deadline for this event is Friday, May 22, 2015.

The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Bacon & Wilson PC, Charista Construction,  Cignoli & Company, Prosperity Candle and Sir Speedy  Our media sponsor is BusinessWest

Posted in Welcome | Leave a comment

British Consul General Susie Kitchens to Speak April 15 on Anglo-American Relations

Consul General of the United Kingdom in Boston Susie Kitchens

Consul General of the United Kingdom in Boston Susie Kitchens

Consul General of the United Kingdom in Boston Susie Kitchens will speak on Anglo-American Relations: No longer just special, but essential at an Instant Issues event on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Community Room at One Financial Plaza  (1350 Main Street) 3rd Floor, downtown Springfield.

Susie Kitchens arrived in Boston to become Britain’s Consul General in August 2012. Prior to this assignment, Susie was the Deputy High Commissioner at the British High Commission in Tanzania. Susie’s diplomatic career has also included postings in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London (on bilateral relations with Latin America, Consular policy and on the United Nations Security Council) and also as Political Officer at the British Embassy in Guatemala.

The cost for members is $5 without a lunch and $15 with a lunch provided.  Nonmembers cost is $10 without a lunch and $20 with a lunch provided.  To reserve a sandwich–tuna, turkey or vegetarian–reply by email or call the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110.  Register online with a credit card here.

RSVP deadline for this event is Monday, April 13, 2015.

The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Bacon & Wilson PC, Charista Construction,  Cignoli & Company, Prosperity Candle and Sir Speedy  Our media sponsor is BusinessWest

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

First Annual International Affairs Academic Symposium Set for March 7 at Longmeadow High

Academic WorldQuest 2014 at Wilbraham & Monson Academy

Academic WorldQuest 2014 at Wilbraham & Monson Academy

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts is pleased to present our first International Affairs Academic Symposium for area high school students on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Longmeadow High School, 95 Grassy Gutter Road, Longmeadow, MA,  from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

This program is generously sponsored by Bacon Wilson, PC; MGM Springfield; and Momentum Group.

The program will begin with a conversation on “Muslims, Militants and the Mainstream Media” with Dr. Saud Anwar, Mayor of South Windsor, CT, Dr. Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University, and Mehlaqa Samdani, Executive Director of Critical Connections and a member of the World Affairs Council board of directors.

We will then have a “mini” version of our Academic WorldQuest competition–on hold for this one year–moderated by Merriam-Webster‘s Peter Sokolowski, featuring five rounds of five questions each on Current Events, People in the News, Elections, Europe, and World Sport.

Our lunch time speaker will be longtime Council member and friend Ambassador Mark Hambley on “Middle East Perspectives — The Challenges and Prospects for Israel, Egypt, Syria and Iraq.”

The program will wrap up with a Global Career panel featuring representatives from area organizations to discuss how students can prepare to work in international fields or industries.  We have currently confirmed that Michael O’Connor, President & Chief Executive Officer of MassMutual International LLC. Elizabeth Winship, Assistant Director for International Admissions, Elms College, and Peter Sokolowksi will participate in the panel.

The program is free.  Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch or purchase a box lunch for $15.  (Box lunches must be reserved in advance.)

For more information or to register, please contact the World Affairs Council at 413-733-0110.

Posted in Welcome | Leave a comment