Alabama World Affairs Council (AWAC)
Recent past events
Directions & Access
Voice Tracks List
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 94 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 five or six times a year, usually at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in the Wynton Blount Cultural Park, and occasionally at the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base. The presentations 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.
Coverage of AWAC events by public television and radio has been excellent; guest speakers have been given a half hour on a statewide PBS program, and a twenty minute interview at "drive time"on the local NPR affiliate.
Student Outreach Programs
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 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).The Executive Director is Dr. James Nathan, Khaled bin Sultan Eminent Scholar at Auburn University Montgomery.
Coming Events, 2012-13:
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.)
AWAC members are also invited to hear a presentation by Gen. Richard Myers, former Chair of the Joint Chiefs, at the Capital City Club on 23 May 2013, 11:00-12:30 with a luncheon for $30 per person. Register by 17 May, at (334) 953-3174/5 or at www.AirUniversityFoundation.org.
World Affairs Councils of America's National Meeting, with an absolutely stellar list of speakers, will be held 13-15 Nov 2013 at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel, in Washington DC, for a price of about $500 including some meals. Members' reviews of recent past meetings have been exceptionally positive.
Why, then, the world's my oyster.
-- William Shakespeare.
Click names to view biographies and notes. See Images and Facebook links above for audience photos.
12 February 2013: Ambassador Francois Delattre, "French-American Relations." French Ambassador to the U.S., Former Ambassador to Canada, has held his current post since February 2011.
8 January 2013: Col. Michael Meese, PhD, "The Future of Counterterrorism." Director of Combating Terrorism Center and Head of Social Sciences Department at the United States Military Academy, West Point.
11 September 2012: Brian Latell,"Fidel Castro's Secrets and the Future of Cuba." CIA operative, National Intelligence Officer for Latin America, tracked Fidel for CIA since the 60s. Author of three books.
9 October 2012: Ambassador Edmund Hull, "The Arab revolutions, 2011-12: a tectonic shift." Former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, many high-level posts in State Department. Expert on counterterrorism, fluent in Arabic.
27 November 2012: Dr. Nader Hashemi, "Understanding Muslim Societies." On faculty of University of Denver, expert on the politics of the Middle East and on the nature of Islam.
Click names to view biographies and notes
13 September 2011: Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. , "National Security Legal Issues: What's Hot," (Maj. Gen. USAF, Retired). A faculty member of Duke University Law School, he is a former Deputy Judge Advocate, USAF, who taught at USAF's JAG School at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery.
4 October 2011: Adam Segal, "How we can Overcome the Asian Challenge," Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations. Expert on Chinese policy and cybersecurity.
In October, The Montgomery Advertiser published this column by Gen. Cleveland.
8 November 2011: Peter Evans, "Sources of the US Comparative Advantage in Energy," Director of Global Strategy and Planning, GE Energy Infrastructure. Evans has extensive international energy experience.
AWAC MEMBERS INVITED: On 6-7 December 2011, as part of the Air Force Symposium Series and in support of Air Force Research Institute's research on the development of a long-range strategy for the Asia-Pacific region, Air University hosted a two-day conference designed to bring leading scholars and practitioners together for an open discussion on the future of the region. For more information please visit http://afri.au.af.mil/asiapac.
February 7, 2012: Bing West, Rand Corporation analyst, and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.
6 March 2012: Dr. Susan Kaufman Purcell, Director, Center for Hemispheric Policy, University of Miami. A recognized expert on Latin America, she has served as Vice President of the Council of the Americas.
8 May 2012: Four
senior Air War College instructors report to the Council on their recent
Click names to view biographies, notes
15 March 2011: Col. Andrew Bacevich, PhD, gave the annual Stallworth lecture at Huntingdon College. President West warmly invited AWAC members to this free event, 7pm in Ligon Chapel.
16 November 2010: Dennis Lockhart, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
26 October 26 2010: Amb. Ivan Barbalic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
28 September 2010: Tom
McInerney, conservative commentator on Military affairs.
4 May 2010: Senior Air War College Instructors reported on their regional tours, moderated by Dr. Mark Conversino.
6 April 2010: Dr. William Moomaw, Professor of International Environment Policy and Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, Tufts University. Expert on Global Warming and graduate of Lanier High School.
22 February 2010 (Monday): Dr. Hans Mark, "The Dangers of Nuclear Proliferation." Director of NASA's Ames Research Center (and formerly at Livermore Labs), Secretary of the Air Force, and Chancellor, University of Texas system.
3 November 2009: Amb. Ryan Crocker, "Iraq/AfPak: Retrospects and Prospects." Ambassador to Pakistan, 2004-2007, Ambassador to Iraq, 2007-2009.
1 November 2009 (Sunday), additional event:Gen. Michael Hayden, "The State of US Intelligence." Former director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency. (Alternative location: Taylor center, at Auburn University Montgomery)
13 October 2009: Edward
(Jack) Hardin, top corporate attorney from Atlanta. Member of International
Bar Association, Council on Foreign Relations. (This
speaker has been brought forward.)
29 September 2009: Janet Guyon, "The Web and the Decline of News Outlets."Managing Editor of Bloomberg News; nine years with Fortune Magazine; 18 years with the Wall Street Journal as reporter, editor, and producer
Past events, 2008-09:
Click names to view biographies, notes; and see Images '08-09.
10 March 2009: Dr. Brian Latell, Latin America and Caribbean specialist, particularly on Cuba, for the last four decades. Retired from the CIA where he tracked Fidel and Raoul Castro, he is currently a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a member of the University of Miami faculty. His book, After Fidel, is an insider's view of the future of Cuba.
3 February 2009: Mr. Bret Stephens, "Israel and Hamas: The End Game," Foreign Affairs columnist, and member of the editiorial board for the Wall Street Journal. Named a Young Global Leader by, and a media fellow at, the World Economic Forum, . Former editor-in-chief (at age 28) of The Jerusalem Post.
21 October 2008: Dr.
Lawrence J. Korb,
"Challenges for the Next Administration", defense analyst,
Senior Fellow at American Progress, and Senior Advisor to the Center for
Defense Information. He was a member of the Council on Foreign relations
for many years. Dr. Korb served as Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Manpower and Reserve Affairs from 1981 through 1985. He has spoken
to our Council twice before, is a sought-after analyst and speaker on TV,
and has written 20 books on national security.
Additional opportunity on 23 September 2008: Bret Stephens, "Israel: Challenges at Age 60," foreign affairs columnist for the Wall Street Journal, at 7:30 pm at the Embassy Suites hotel. Courtesy of AIPAC, free access for AWAC members -- but individual reservations required (contact information mailed to our members).
16 September 2008: Lee
Cullum, "World Affairs and Middle America".
Ms. Cullum is a well-known columnist in print (Dallas Morning News),
radio (NPR, All Things Considered) and television (PBS, Newshour
with Jim Lehrer).
Past events, 2007-08:
Click names to view biographies, notes and images.
8 April 2008. Peter Zeihan, "Iraq: From Beginning to End".Director of Global Analysis, Strategic Forecasting, Inc., or Stratfor, a private intelligence agency.
15 January 2008, Amb. Chas. Freeman, "The Middle East: U.S. Policy, Oil and Water," President, Middle East Policy Council and Co-Chair of U.S. China Policy Foundation, former Asst. Secretary of Defense for international affairs, and then US ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf war.
20 November, 2007. John Pomfret, currently the editor of the Outlook section of the Washington Post, is the author of the acclaimed book, "Chinese Lessons." Educated at Stanford University and Nanjing University, he was the chief of the Chinese Bureau of the Washington Post during the Tiananmen Square incident. He speaks Mandarin plus four other languages and is married to a Chinese entrepreneur. He will speak on the new China.
16 October, 2007. Arthur Herman, “Why Iran Acts the Way it Does.” Coordinator of the Smithsonian's Western Heritage Program. Successful author, college professor, and conservative commentator on current issues. Books include "How the Scots Invented the Western World."
11 September, 2007. Major General USA (Ret) William L. Nash, Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention at the Council on Foreign Relations. A West Point graduate, he has a distinguished combat record in two wars and peacekeeping experience in Bosnia and Kosovo.
[images] [High res. images]
Click names to view biographies, notes and images.
24 April, 2007. Four
senior Air War College instructors reported on their recent trips
to hot spots around the globe as part of the AWC Regional Studies Program.
Moderator: Col. Stephen Wright, PhD, Dean of AWC
Additional Opportunity: 15 March 2007. U.S. Energy Security Luncheon, sponsored by the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. Speaker: John Hofmeister, President of Shell Oil Company, 11:30 at the RSA Activities Center, 201 Dexter Avenue. $25 per person. RSVP to Patsy Guy NLT 8 March at 240-9434 or by email at email@example.com.
[Another opportunity, note from Gordon G. Martin: AL Power and AUM held a public affairs forum featuring Dr. David Sorensen on the middle east, substituting for former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey, 22 Feb, at 11:30am]
6 February, 2007. Panel
of speakers, China experts:
23 January, 2007. His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Ambassador to the United States. For 25 years, he was the Chief of the Saudi Foreign Intelligence Service. He spoke on Saudi-U.S. relations in the fight against terrorism.
12 December, 2006. Dr. Richard Millett, specialist on South America, particularly the Andean Ridge. Received his PhD from the University of New Mexico and is a graduate of the Air War College. He spoke on "The Rise of Populist and Anti-American Governments in South America."
17 October, 2006. Dr. Brian Latell, "What Next After Fidel? Latin America and Cuba specialist for the last 40 years, including 35 years in the CIA. An acclaimed author, he he has taught at the University of Miami and Georgetown University, where he earned his PhD.
Past events, 2005-06:
Click some names to view biographies; click speech titles for notes and images.
Dr. Anthony Lake, Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Service includes U.S. State Department 1962-1997; aide to Amb Henry Cabot Lodge in Vietnam; aide to Sec State Henry Kissinger; head of State Department Policy Planning Council 1977-1981; National Security Advisor to President Clinton 1993-1997.
11 April '06
1 Mar. '06, 7:15 for 7:30 am, Breakfast in Montgomery
room, Capital City Club.
1 Mar. '06, 3:30-4:30pm, President's Colloquium,
Flowers Hall, Huntingdon College.
28 February, 7:30 pm, Prof. Carlos Eire, "Is Freedom a Luxury? Confessions of a Cuban Boy," free, public lecture by Dr. Eire in Ligon Chapel of Huntingdon College in Flowers Hall. AWAC members particularly welcome.
6 Dec. '05
8 Nov. '05
(AWAC Board of Directors Meeting : September 14, 2005, United Way Office, 12:00-1:30)
Click some names to view biographies; click speech titles for notes and images.
Tuesday 10 May '05
Tuesday 12 April '05
Tuesday 15 Mar. '05
Tuesday 19 Oct. '04
Tuesday 21 Sep. '04
Click names to view biographies; click speech titles for notes and images.
May 18, 2004
March 2, 2004
February 3, 2004 (at Maxwell AFB)
Nov 18, 2003
Nov 18, 2003
Oct 28, 2003
Sep 30, 2003
Past events, 2002-03:
Click names to view biographies, and click speech titles for notes and images.
Air War College Regional Studies Program Report. Senior War College instructors report on their visits to international hot spots. (Often one of the best received presentations of the year).
Modified in 2003: owing to the cancellation of trips, Dr. Record and Dr. Sorenson spoke on the Middle East.
March 11, 2003
February 4, 2003
December 3, 2002
October 8, 2002
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
The AWAC welcomes those of diverse persuasions who share an interest in world affairs.
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