Alabama World Affairs Council
President Bush, above right, spoke to the 2002 WACA national conference; image courtesy of  Terry Wofford.  The other images are by Jeremy Lewis, from AWAC meetings.
World Affairs Councils of America - Alabama World Affairs Council
registered alias: www.awac.us
Alabama World Affairs Council | Affiliated with World Affairs Councils of America
Information below thanks to Gen. Cleveland and Dr. Nathan; speakers revised 23 August 2014, by Dr. Jeremy Lewis
Notes of World Affairs Councils of America's National Meeting, 13-15 Nov 2013, in Washington DC. 
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AWAC office:
Alabama World Affairs Council
Auburn University Montgomery
209 Goodwyn Hall
Mail:
P.O. Box 241462
Montgomery, AL 36124
Ph: (334) 244-3337
Fax: (334) 244-3826
Contact Us.
Executive Director
     Dr. James Nathan
Admin Assistant
     Dahdee Bullen

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The Alabama World Affairs Council (AWAC) presents nationally and internationally known speakers from both civilian and military life. The mission of AWAC is to promote public awareness and understanding of international affairs as they relate to United States interests in the context of the political, economic, cultural, and military issues involved. AWAC is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America and is one of some 96 councils nationwide.  AWAC's individual membership fees are among the lowest in the nation, while the quality of the programs is among the highest in the nation.

Meetings are held six times a year, usually at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in the Wynton Blount Cultural Park. Some presentations in connection with Air University have been held at Maxwell AFB and some at Auburn University Montgomery. The presentations at the Museum are held normally on a Tuesday evening during the period from September through May. An informal reception with a catered buffet (included in the annual membership dues) and a cash bar begins at 5:30.The lecture begins at 6:15, with a question-and-answer period at about 7:00. The evening ends no later than 7:30.

AWAC has attracted some of the leading authors, academics, and practitioners from both the U.S. and abroad. In the last few years, the council has had visits from, among many others, Sir Eldon Griffiths, Jacques Klein, Anthony Lake, British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer, Joseph Nye, John McLaughlin, Korean Ambassador Yang Sung Chul, Brent Scowcroft, General Michael Hayden, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Chas Freeman, and Saudi Ambassador Prince Turki Al-Faisal. The year usually culminates in a May panel session in which the Air War College provides senior instructors as regional briefers recently returned from their travels to critical areas around the globe.

Student Outreach Programs
AWAC has supported occasional Great Decisions in foreign policy programs to reach students at local high schools, both public and private. The 2004 program was conducted at Huntingdon College over eight weeks of 90 minute sessions, with experts from the Air War College, and involved seven different schools. In 2009, AWAC permitted Huntingdon's student-organized Model United Nations team to mount a poster session, and individual members generously sponsored the team to participate in the MUN of New York. In 2011, the Great Decisions program was incorporated into the Huntingdon college core, as part of a new introductory course, World Politics -- and into the HC Honors core for highly qualified students.

Description of AWAC
AWAC has a membership of some 400 families and individuals and is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the South. On any given night, the usual audience turnout is 200 to 250. AWAC enjoys the support of Auburn University Montgomery, Huntingdon College, Air University, and the local business community. The Alabama Humanities Foundation over the last few years has supported AWAC with generous grants from a steadily dwindling source of Federal funds.

The dues structure allows virtually any interested member of the public to participate. E.g., high school students are admitted free as guests of the Board, and college students pay just $30 a year. The annual dues for a senior (65 or over) are $60, which admits the member to any or all of the presentations, including a generous buffet beforehand.  Individuals under 65 pay $80. A family membership for two is $100. A payment of $150 admits three people, and $250 secures four reserved seats. The payment of higher dues results in even more benefits.  The full dues structure and current pledge card is found here

The Board of Directors is made up of representatives from business, the academy, the military, state government, the press, and the education, legal, medical, and non-profit communities. The officers are:

President: Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland USAF (Ret).
Vice President: Maj. Gen. Bowen Ballard USAFR (Ret).
Secretary: Nan Rosa
Treasurer: MaryAnne Douglass
The Executive Director is Dr. James Nathan, Khaled bin Sultan Eminent Scholar at Auburn University Montgomery.



Why, then, the world's mine oyster. Which I with sword will open.
-- William Shakespeare, Pistol to Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 2 Scene 2.



Coming Events, 2014-15: 
5:30 pm, Tuesdays unless noted, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Blount Park, Montgomery.
(Click speakers' names for notes, uploaded a few days after each presentation.)

Tues 23 Sep 2014: Reza Marashi, research director of the National Iranian American Council; prolific writer of opinion editorials; former State Dept officer. 

Tues 14 Oct 2014: PJ Crowley, Professor of Strategy and former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, with prior experience in two administrations at the National Security Council.

Tues 9 Dec 2014: Bret Stephens, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist for the Wall Street Journal

Tues 20 Jan 2015: Valerie Plame Wilson, formerly senior covert officer at the CIA, and the principal American responsible for counter proliferation before 9/11. She was central to the discovery and elimination of an off-the-shelf nuclear weapons smuggling scheme organized by Pakistan.

Tues 24 Feb 2015: Marc Grossman, formerly Ambassador to Turkey and State Dept staff officer

Wednesday 19 April 2015:William Moomaw, professor emeritus of Tufts University and former chair of the UN committee on climate change. 

Tues 12 May 2015: Senior Air War College Instructors, "Report to Alabama" on their recent trips to areas of interest around the globe as part of the AWC Regional and Cultural Studies Program.
 




DIRECTIONS:
Driving time from downtown Montgomery in rush hour will be about 20-25 minutes.

From downtown: take Interstate 85 North (to Atlanta) for about 5 miles to Exit 6 (Route 231 South); take a right off the exit onto 231 South, the East Blvd, then second left onto Woodmere Blvd, (which is at a stoplight, with a Speedy Cash pawn shop (really) on the near corner and a PNC Bank on the far corner), then proceed one-half mile to Blount (Shakespeare) Park on your right. In the park, take the first left to the Museum at the sign for "Deliveries."

From the east: take I-85 South to Exit 6; turn Left onto Route 231 South, the East Boulevard, then continue as above.

From the South: Route 231 North, the Troy Highway, turns right at East Blvd. From there, follow 231 North, the East Blvd, approximately two-and-a-half miles to Woodmere Blvd; turn right and proceed as above.

Accessibility:
The reception area and auditorium of the Museum of Fine Arts are wheelchair accessible, security guards are on hand, and the sound system has been tuned with the active participation of the audience.  There is ample parking available.

The AWAC welcomes those of diverse persuasions who share an interest in world affairs.

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