Video and Audio of Past Programs
If you haven’t been able to come to hear our Brown Bag luncheon speakers, or other WAC speakers, you can catch them here.
A talk given by Congressman Richard E. Neal at the 91st Annual World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts Meeting & Dinner.
Topic: Brexit and the Implications for Ireland.
Date: Monday, October 30, 2017 in Springfield Massachusetts.
Length: 61 minutes
Congressman Richard E. Neal was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988. Since that time, he has proven to be a champion for the constituencies he serves in western and central Massachusetts.
A native of Springfield, he began his career in public service in 1973 as an Assistant to Springfield Mayor William C. Sullivan. In 1977, he was elected to the Springfield City Council and served as President of the Council in 1979. He was elected Mayor of the City of Springfield and held that position from 1984 to 1988. Congressman Neal is the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee in the House. He is the dean of both the Massachusetts Delegation and the New England Congressional Delegation. He is an At-Large Whip for the House Democrats. Congressman Neal is a co-chairman of the New England Congressional Caucus, where he advocates for the unique regional interests of the six New England States. Congressman Neal is also the Democratic Leader of the Friends of Ireland Caucus. He is a long-time lecturer at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and is a National Trustee of John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
A talk given by Consul General of Israel to New England Yehuda Yaakov
Topic: Israel at 70 Years.
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2017 in Springfield Massachusetts.
Length: 51 minutes
Yehuda Yaakov has been the Consul General of Israel to New England since February 2014. He has focused largely on strengthening values-driven partnerships between Israel and New England in the areas of business, academia and social justice. He is also involved in regionally-based coexistence projects.
Consul General Yaakov has spent most of his diplomatic career on issues pertinent to Israel’s security. This experience has included heading the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s department for non-conventional weapons prevention (2004-2007), as well as establishing and running the homeland security and counter-terrorism unit (2001-2004). In 2012, he received the Ministry’s award for excellence for his work on the Iranian crisis.
He has also served outside Israel in New York and New Zealand.
CG Yaakov’s career has also included academic pursuits. In the spring of 2013 he published a translated version of his Haifa University master’s thesis analyzing the nuclear negotiations strategy of Iran’s currant president Hassan Rouhani.
A talk given by Gregory White, Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of Government at Smith College at a World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts Instant Issues Brown Bag Lunch event.
Topic: Climate Change and National Security. Date: September 27, 2017. Length: 54:16.
White’s research and publications focus on Moroccan politics, environmental politics and international security. He is currently co-editor of the Journal of North African Studies. In 2009–10 he received a New Directions Grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and studied climate and earth science at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
Recent publications have included “Environmental Refugees,” in The Handbook on Migration and Security, Philippe Bourbeau, ed. (London: Edward Elgar, 2017), and “The Specter of Climate Refugees: Why Invoking Refugees as a Reason to ‘Take Climate Change Seriously’ is Troubling,” Migration and Citizenship Newsletter of the American Political Science Association 4:2, Summer 2016.
A popular Instant Issues speaker, Greg White is a former member of the Council’s Board of Directors.
A talk given by Professor Sudha Setty, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Intellectual Life at Western New England University School of Law.
She spoke on Security and Civil Liberties under Trump: What Can We Learn from the First 100 Days? Length: 55 minutes. Date: May 10th, 2017, location: Springfield, MA.
Or view on View on YouTube
Sudha Setty specializes in the areas of comparative law and national security. Her scholarly publications address secrecy, separation of powers and rule of law issues in the comparative constitutional context. Prior to joining the faculty of Western New England in 2006, Professor Setty was a litigator with the New York firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she focused on antitrust and securities regulation matters. She served as defense counsel in civil, regulatory, and criminal matters involving national security issues, including terrorism financing investigations and lawsuits, and a pro bono matter challenging sentencing guidelines for those convicted of terrorist acts. Her pro bono practice also included litigating federal civil rights cases.
Talk given by BBC foreign correspondent Andrew Harding on Friday, December 9, 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel in Springfield, MA.
He spoke about his new book, ‘The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia’ (St. Martin’s Press, 2016).
The ‘Mayor of Mogadishu’ tells the story one family’s epic journey through Somalia’s turmoil, from the optimism of independence to its spectacular unraveling. It is an uplifting story of survival, and a compelling examination of what it means to lose a country and then to reclaim it.
Or view on View on YouTube (1 hour)
Andrew Harding has worked as a foreign correspondent for the past twenty-five years in Russia, Asia and Africa. He has been visiting Somalia since 2000. His television and radio reports for BBC News have won him international recognition, including an Emmy, an award from Britain’s Foreign Press Association, and other awards in France, Monte Carlo, the United States and Hong Kong. He lives in Johannesburg with his family.
2016 WAC of Western Massachusetts’ Annual Meeting with Bill Scher, Contributing Editor to POLITICO Magazine.
How 2016 Turned the Democrats into the National Security Party:
Foreign Policy and the Upcoming Presidential Election.
Or view on View on YouTube (1 hour and 38 minutes)
Bill Scher is also a regular contributor to The New Republic and Real Clear Politics. He is a Senior Writer at OurFuture.org, and co-hosts “The DMZ,” an online TV show with conservative CNN contributor Matt Lewis on Bloggingheads.tv. Bill is the author of “Wait! Don’t Move to Canada!: A Stay-and-Fight Strategy to Win Back America”. He has made appearances on C-SPAN, CNN International, MSNBC and NPR among other TV and radio outlets, and his opinion articles have been published by the New York Times, New York Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Note: This is a video of the 2016 WAC of Western MA’s Annual Meeting. Bill Scheer is preceeded by a number of speakers. To get to a specific speaker, you can shuttle through the videos to a specific time.
2016 Annual Meeting Program:
Opening: Gary Breton, outgoing President of the WAC of Western Mass
10:34: Ken Furst, Past President with Board nominations
20:25: John Morse, New President of the WAC of Western Massachusetts
28:07: Allison Werder, President of MassLive.com introducing Bill Scher
33:13: Bill Scher, Contributing Editor to POLITICO Magazine
Greg Fay, Project Manager – Uyghur Human Rights Program spoke on Monday, May 16th as a part of our brown Bag – Instant Issues Series.
A native of Enfield, Greg Fay is the Project Manager of the Washington, DC-based Uyghur Human Rights Project. Mr. Fay conducted research in Urumqi on a Fulbright Fellowship, and after that he worked in New York for China Labor Watch, then the Committee to Protect Journalists. He has studied Chinese and Uyghur languages at the University of Hawaii, Indiana University, Duke University in Beijing, CET Harbin and Xinjiang Normal University.
Human Rights Abuses of Ethnic Minorities in China
Longtime Council member and friend, Ambassador Mark Hambley with his colleague, Mr. William Morris, Secretary General of the UK-based Next Century Foundation spoke on the origins of Da’ish, its geopolitical implications, and the ideology of the group at a special Instant Issues event on Tuesday, February 23 at the Springfield Sheraton Hotel at Monarch Place.
Syria, Asad and Da’ish: Groping for Answers
Conversation with Juliette Kayyem, the former former Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. She discussed homeland security and the intersection of democracy and counter-terrorism measures in a conversation with political consultant and Council member Anthony Cignoli at the 89th Annual Meeting & Dinner on Thursday, October 8.
Home Sweet Homeland: Lessons for a More Resilient Nation
This video may also be viewed on YouTube here.
Talk by Dr. Laura Reed, Visiting Professor of Political Science, The University of Massachusetts—Amherst, MA. Instant Issues Brown Bag Lunch Series, September 17, 2015
Deal or No Deal: The Implications of the Iran Nuclear Agreement
on U.S. National Policy
The First Annual International Affairs Academic Symposium, Saturday March 7, 2015 at Longmeadow High School
– Lunchtime Keynote address by Ambassador Mark G. Hambley:
Topic: Middle East Perspectives—The Challenges and Prospects for Israel, Egypt, Syria and Iraq. audio podcast
- Morning Panel Discussion:
Muslims, Militants and the Mainstream Media.
To view the video, either click the arrow on the thumbnail above or
Watch the Video on Vimeo
An Evening with NPR International Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
Ms. Nelson appears in conversation with Dr. William Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Amherst College and author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning biography Khrushchev: The Man and His Era. Date: December 11, 2014
Click Here to view the Video
Annual Meeting Speaker, Dr. Okey Ndibe. Dr. Ndibe is a novelist, political columnist, and essayist.
Does Nigeria Have a Fighting Chance Against Boko Haram?
Ambassador Mark G. Hambley (retired) Talk was given as a part of the Glenmeadow Learning Series and took place on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at the Longmeadow Country Club. The video runs one hour and 58 minutes. Click here to view the video.
Here is the PDF of his handout, which he refers to during the talk: Hambley Handout 23 Sept 2014.
Middle Eastern Cauldron: Current Developments and
Their Impact on the U.S.”
Instant Issues Lunchtime Discussion, Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
Speaker: Haroon K. Ullah, who is an international scholar, US diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East.
Pakistan and Afghanistan
View on YouTube (1 hour)
Instant Issues Lunchtime Discussion, Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Speaker: Retired Professor Candida Johnson, Professor of Business Administration at Holyoke Community College
Ukraine, A Country Still in Transition
View on YouTube (1 hour)
Special Instant Issues Lunchtime Discussion, Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Speakers: Mr. William Morris, Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation and Ambassador Mark G. Hambley
Syria and its Civil War – Unique Perspectives on this Raging Conflict
View on YouTube (58:23)
Instant Issues Luncheon Event: Monday, January 27, 2014.
Speaker: State Senator Gale D. Candaras
Human Trafficking in Massachusetts
View on YouTube.com or Vimeo (1 hour, 2 minutes)
The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts is delighted to partner with the Springfield Public Forum to present Hugo Restall, Editorial Page Editor of The Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages in Asia, who will speak on Why Chinese Are Unhappy, May 29, 2013 at CityStage.
View on YouTube.com (1 hour, 13 minutes)
Special Dinner Event, November 12, 2012
A Conversation with Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
Topic: Lessons from a Long War: The US and the Strategic Challenges of the Broader Middle East.
Video: View on YouTube.com (1:34)
You can also listen to the audio here on the New England Public Radio Audio/Files site.
Instant Issues Luncheon Event: Monday, October 22, 2012.
Dr. U Ba Win, Vice President of Early College Policies and Programs at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, and Photographer, Jonathan Doster.
Topic: What’s Going on in Burma/Myanmar?
Video: View on YouTube.com (1:24)
Annual Meeting of the World Affairs Council
October 10, 2012, Sheraton Springfield
Presentation by Jonathan Lash, President of Hampshire College on Living Beyond our Means: Do Global Issues of Sustainability Require Institutions of Global Governance?
Audio Podcast: Jonathan Lash’s Presentation
Instant Issues After Hours, October 4, 2012
The Glass Room at Elegant Affairs
Presentation by Douglas H. Johnson on Oil, People and the Border Conflict between Sudan and South Sudan
Douglas H. Johnson is a scholar specializing in the history of North East Africa, Sudan and the Southern Sudan. He is a former member of the Abyei Boundaries Commission established by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, and the author of When Boundaries Become Borders (2010) and The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars: Peace or Truce? (2011). Dr. Johnson is currently a visiting scholar at Haverford College.
Audio Podcast: Douglas H. Johnson’s Presentation
Instant Issues 4-18-12: Ken Furst on the World Affairs Council Delegation Trip to Afghanistan
Audio Podcast: Ken Furst’s Presentation
View his presentation: The Texas Chain Saw Stopper: One Man’s Mission to Save the Amazon.
Annual Meeting of the World Affairs Council
October 4, 2011, Sheraton Springfield
Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann,
President of the American Academy of Diplomacy
Topic: “Afghanistan: Can We Succeed? At What Cost?”
Audio podcast of his talk (a little over an hour in length)
Brown Bag Luncheon, April 13th, 2011