Video and Audio

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.


Dr. Alejandro Velasco, Associate Professor at New York University’s Gallatin School speaking at a World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts Instant Issues Brown Bag lunchtime discussion series event

Topic: Oil, Socialism and the Crisis in Venezuela.

Date: Friday, February 15, 2019 in downtown Springfield, MA.

Length: 1 hour and 15 minutes


State Senator Eric Lesser in conversation with Dr. Joshua Weiss, Program Director for Bay Path University’s Master of Science in Leadership and Negotiation at an Instant Issues After Hours event hosted by the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts.

Topic: Leadership & Negotiation Challenges in the World of Politics: International Relations Edition.

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at Merriam Webster, Inc, Springfield, MA

Length: 1 hour and 4 minutes



A talk given by Harry Krejsa of the Center for a New American Security in conversation with Politico Magazine’s Bill Scher  at The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts’s 92nd Annual Meeting and Dinner.

Topic: Heartland Security: How Global Engagement Once Fueled the American Middle Class – and Can Again.  

Date: September 17, 2018 in Springfield, MA.

Length: 1 hour and 14 minutes


A talk given by Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic Magazine and a leading journalist on international relations at the Bill & Lynn Foggle Great Issues Lecture Series. This event was co-sponsored by The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts.

Topic: The United States’ New and Controversial Role in the World: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly.

Date: Sunday, April 29th at Temple Beth El in Springfield, Massachusetts
1 hour and 30 minutes


A talk given by Dr. Harry Dumay, President of Our Lady of the Elms College at an Instant Issues luncheon.

Topic:  Higher Education, Immigration, and the Public Good

Date: Thursday, April 12th in Springfield, Massachusetts

Length: 51 minutes

This video is also available on Vimeo.

A talk given by Ambassador Mark G. Hambley (Ret.), and William Morris, Secretary General of the U.K. based Next Century Foundation at an Instant Issues luncheon.

Topic:  Developments on the Arabian Peninsula

Date: Wednesday, March 20th in Springfield, Massachusetts

Length: 1 hour and 13 minutes

 This video is also available on Vimeo.

A talk given by Dr. Haroon K. Ullah, Chief Strategy Officer at the Broadcasting Board of Governors. 

Topic:  How Do We Stop the Next World War: The Weaponization of Information and the Fight for Cyber Supremacy.

Date: Wednesday, February 21st in Springfield, Massachusetts

Length: 53:32

Ullah serves as Chief Strategy Officer at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an $800 million global media agency. He is a scholar, diplomat and policy practitioner with a special focus on digital strategy, countering violent extremism and transmedia engagement. Haroon most recently served on Secretary Tillerson’s Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. State Department. He teaches at Georgetown University and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as senior Harvard University Belfer Fellow, has an MA and PhD in international political economy, and was a William J. Fulbright Fellow, a Harvard University Presidential Scholar, and a Woodrow Wilson Public Service Fellow.  He is the author of Vying for Allah’s Vote: Understanding Islamic Parties, Political Violence, and Extremism in Pakistan and The Bargain From The Bazaar: A Family’s Day of Reckoning in Lahore.  Walter Isaacson describes Ullah’s latest book, Digital World War: Islamists, Extremists, and the Fight for Cyber Supremacy, as “indispensable”. 

A talk given by Dr. Laura Reed of the University of Massachusetts–Amherst Department of Political Science and Legal Studies.
Topic:  North Korea and What Lies Ahead.

Date: Wednesday, January 24th in Springfield, Massachusetts
Length: 53:32

 A frequent Council speaker, Laura Reed has served as Assistant Director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies, a Fellow in the Managing of the Atom Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and as a Research Scientist in MIT’s Security Studies Program.  She was Program Officer at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as Secretary of the U.S. Pugwash Committee (which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995).


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


This video may also be viewed on Vimeo:

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.

A longtime member and friend of the Council, Greg White is the Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of Government, the current chair of the government department and a member of the Environmental Science and Policy Program Committee. He teaches courses on global environmental politics, international relations, migration and refugee politics, and international political economy.

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, 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.

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 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

Greg Fay, Project Manager Uyghur Human Rights Program

Greg Fay, Project Manager – Uyghur Human Rights Program (Click image to view the video)

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

The New Cold War



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)

 Haroon K. Ullah

Haroon K. Ullah, an international scholar, US diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East.

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)

Professor Candida Johnson

Professor Candida Johnson

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)

Mr. William Morris, Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation

Mr. William Morris, Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation

Ambassador Mark G. Hambley

Ambassador Mark G. Hambley

Instant Issues Luncheon Event: Monday, January 27, 2014.
Speaker: State Senator Gale D. Candaras

Human Trafficking in Massachusetts
View on or Vimeo (1 hour, 2 minutes)

Massachusetts State Senator Gale D. Candaras

Massachusetts State Senator Gale D. Candaras


Special Event
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 (1 hour, 13 minutes)

Hugo Restall, Editorial Page Editor of The Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages in Asia, speaking on Why Chinese Are Unhappy

Hugo Restall, Editorial Page Editor of The Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages in Asia, speaking on Why Chinese Are Unhappy


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.
View on (1:34)
You can also listen to the audio here on the New England Public Radio Audio/Files site.

A Conversation with Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker

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 (1:24)

Dr. U Ba Win, Vice President of Early College Policies and Programs at Bard College at Simon's Rock, and photographer Jonathan Doster.

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?

Jonathan Lash, President of Hampshire College

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.

Douglas H. Johnson on Sudan and South Sudan

Audio Podcast:  Douglas H. Johnson’s Presentation

Instant Issues 4-18-12: Ken Furst on the World Affairs Council Delegation Trip to Afghanistan

ken Furst

Audio Podcast: Ken Furst’s Presentation































</cenInstant Issues: Conservationist John Cain Carter on 4-5-12

View his presentationThe 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

Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann

Topic:  Afghanistan: Can We Succeed? At What Cost?” 

Biography (pdf)