Consul General of the United Kingdom Harriet Cross to Speak on British-US Relations


Consul General of the United Kingdom in Boston Harriet Cross, will speak on US-UK relations  on Tuesday, March 21 at noon in the third floor Community Room at One Financial Plaza,1350 Main Street (Corner of Main & Court), in downtown Springfield.

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–email or call the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110.  You can register online with a credit card here.

The registration deadline for this event is Friday, March 17.

Harriet Cross has been a member of the UK Diplomatic Service for 18 years. Her most recent position was as Deputy Ambassador in the British Embassy in Sana’a. Due to the conflict in Yemen, she had to organize the evacuation of the Embassy and subsequently spent the rest of her posting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

In her diplomatic career Harriet has served at the British Embassy in Morocco and at the UK Mission to the UN in New York. She has also worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London covering EU relations, and human rights policy. During her career Harriet has taken time out from diplomacy to work as an International Policy Adviser for the UK’s National Crime Squad. She has also worked in the International Relations Department at the University of York. With her husband she helped establish a micro-brewery in Yorkshire which is now a thriving business.

The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Charista Construction,  and Sir Speedy .

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BBC Foreign Correspondent Andrew Harding on Somalia December 9

BBC Foreign Correspondent Andrew Harding

BBC Foreign Correspondent Andrew Harding

The World Affairs Council is pleased to present BBC foreign correspondent Andrew Harding at supper event on Friday, December 9, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Springfield Sheraton, One Monarch Place, in downtown Springfield.  He will speak about his new book The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia (St. Martin’s Press, 2016).

Tickets are $30 per person.  A light buffet supper will be provided.  Register by calling or emailing the World Affairs Council office or online with a credit card here.

Please register by Friday, December 2.

Andrew Harding MAYOR OF MOGADISHU coverThe 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.

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.

Copies of Andrew Harding’s book will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of The Odyssey Bookshop.

Many thanks to our media sponsor, New England Public Radio.  NEPR logo

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90th Annual Meeting & Dinner to Feature Bill Scher on Foreign Policy & the Presidential Election


The World Affairs Council’s 90th Annual Meeting and Dinner will take place on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at the Springfield Sheraton at Monarch Place at 6:00 PM.  Bill Scher, Contributing Editor to POLITICO Magazine, will speak on “How 2016 Turned the Democrats into the National Security Party: Foreign Policy and the Upcoming Presidential Election”.

Please register by Thursday, October 6.

The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a cash bar reception.  Dinner and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $50 per person and entree choices are chicken, vegetarian or fish.  Register online with a credit card here or call the office at 413-733-0110.

Bill Scher is also a regular contributor to The New Republic and Real Clear Politics. He is a Senior Writer at the Campaign for America’s Future, and co-hosts “The DMZ,” an online TV show with conservative CNN contributor Matt Lewis on 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.

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Rio 2016 Summer Olympics Watch Party


World Affairs Council board member Rich Rediker and his wife Gayle are generously opening up their lovely home—38 East Brook Drive in Hampden, MA—to the World Affairs Council for a relaxed and fun evening to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympics on Friday, August 5, 2016.  Social Time begins at 5 p.m. with dinner at 7.  (Rich says it will end when the last person leaves:  “We never close.”)  If you would like written directions to the Redikers’ home, please contact the World Affairs Council office.

This event is free, but you are invited to bring a dish to share if you would like. Please call the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110 or email by Friday, July 29 to let us know how many people are in your party and if you plan to bring any of the following: Entrée, Side Dish, Appetizer, Dessert, Beer, or Soda.    You can also register on our Facebook page.

There is also a pool so please bring a suit and towel if you’d like.

This promises to be a wonderful evening so please join us and feel free to bring a friend or two.

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Longmeadow Wins Academic WorldQuest 2016

Longmeadow Team  (l-r) Coach Ellen Freyman, Jordan Kei-Rahn, Michael Reyes, Mohammed Fazaeli, Lee Duan, Eugene Shao (alternate), Jerold Duquette (alternate)

Longmeadow Team (l-r) Coach Ellen Freyman, Jordan Kei-Rahn, Michael Reyes, Mohammed Fazaeli, Lee Duan, Eugene Shao (alternate), Jerold Duquette (alternate)

On Saturday, February 6, five local high schools participated in the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts Academic WorldQuest competition at Chicopee High School.  The four-student teams tested their knowledge of international affairs and current events, answering questions on a variety of topics including NATO, International Trade and Finance, the  Sultanate of Oman, Privacy in the Digital Age, The Arctic,  and Food Security Organization of American States.

The event was moderated by Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large of Merriam-Webster, and was sponsored by Bacon\Wilson Attorneys at Law, MomentumGroup, and MGM Springfield.

Longmeadow High School emerged as the winner.

Second Place Holyoke High

Second Place Holyoke High

Newcomers Holyoke High placed second, and hosts Chicopee High came in third.  Springfield Renaissance High School and the Springfield High School of Science and Technology also competed.

Rich Rediker and Bill Keyes of Rediker Software dragged us into the 21st Century this year by developing and implementing an electronic scoring system.

Longmeadow has participated in Academic WorldQuest since 2012 and placed second in 2013 and 2014, but this is their first win.  They will now go on to represent the Council and the region at The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2016 Academic WorldQuest National Competition hosted by the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington, DC at the National Press Club on April 23.

Chicopee High's Trophies from Previous WorldQuest Competitions

WorldQuest Host Chicopee High’s Trophies from Previous Competitions

Any public or private high school in the four westernmost counties of Western Massachusetts or in northern Connecticut is welcome to compete.  For more information, please contact the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110.


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