World Affairs Council

The World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana provides opportunities for the residents of Kentucky and Southern Indiana to engage in international issues and global leaders. Our vision is to be the premier regional organization that enhances global economic and political awareness among our constituents. We bring the world to you!

ABOUT WAC

The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana (WAC) is a non-profit educational organization that promotes global activity. Whether it’s hosting VIP visitors from abroad or organizing speaking events on current international topics, WAC strives to connect Louisville to the world


The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana has opened registration for the 12th annual Academic World Quest (more info at https://www.loipinel-2021.fr/).

The Academic World Quest is a flagship youth education program of the national network of World Affairs Councils. It’s a team game where students compete with other high school teams around the state in rounds consisting of multiple choice questions covering pressing current issues in international affairs. Area high schools can enter up to two teams in the event. Approximately 4,000 students will compete in regional competitions across the country.

What is the World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana?

The World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana (WAC) is a non-profit member-based organization whose mission is to promote cross-cultural awareness, education and tolerance through nonpartisan discussions on current international issues. Through our speaker series, international visitors program and education-centered opportunities, WAC provides the community with the tools and knowledge to develop an informed citizenry and increase the global competency of students, educators and professionals.

As a member of two nationally and internationally recognized networks promoting international exchange of people and ideas, and a respected forum for diverse perspectives, the World Affairs Council:

SPEAKER PROGRAM - WORLD AT HOME MONTHLY SERIES

INFORM. Globalization blurs borders. The World at Home monthly series goes beyond the headlines to explore issues that cross national boundaries. The series brings in diplomats, experts, policy makers, journalists and activists to share with the community their different perspectives and insights into issues that are not easily understood. Each month, we highlight a theme that our world cares about and features speakers that brings it home to us the relevance of that topic to our region. The World Affairs Council is the local forum for international dialogue and diverse perspectives.

INTERNATIONAL VISITOR PROGRAMS

CONNECT. People-to-people exchange promotes peace and prosperity. As the official community-based member to host the U.S. Department of State's prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program, WAC has exclusive access to some of the most promising leaders, dynamic professionals and fearless activists from across the globe. Each year, we bring to our region hundreds of such individuals to engage with their counterparts across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. More than 350 current and former heads of state are counted as alumni of this program. WAC contributes to the diversity and economic development of our region by connecting our international delegates with local businesses and organizations. Through the delegates, we offer unique access to important business, social and cultural connections to the majority of the 195 countries recognized in the world today.

EDUCATION PROGRAMS

ENGAGE. Education is at the heart of WAC's mission. We help students to expand their world through the state-wide Academic WorldQuest Competition, opportunity to study/research abroad through the Hershberg Scholarship, and easy access to our speaker and visitor programs. We work with educators to provide them with opportunities to expand their knowledge and effectively meet their professional goals. We work with educational institutions through the WAC Global Education Consortium to leverage our global programs and networks in achieving their need to create globally competent and competitive students and teachers.

WE BRING THE WORLD TO KENTUCKY & SOUTHERN INDIANA!

Board FY 2021

Chair:
Ingrid Johnson – Civic Leader
Immediate Past Chair:
Haleh Karimi – Surgical Serenity Solutions, CEO

Executive Director:
Xiao Yin Zhao

Treasurer:
Kevin W. Heyde - Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP

Secretary:
Tina Ward-Pugh - WaterStep, Frmr. Councilwoman, 9th District

Board Members at Large:

Deena Kinkade Adams - American Lung Association of Kentucky
Ambassador Pamela E. Bridgewater - Former Ambassador to Jamaica and Ghana
Daniel Castillo - D.D.W.
Graham W. L. Ellis, Ph. D.- Bellarmine University
Tanja Eikenboom
Adel S. Elmaghraby, Ph. D.- Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville
Richard Fitzgerald - Retired Judge
Leslie Geoghegan - Community Advocate
Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr. - Lightbridge Corporation U.S.A.
Roberta Hershberg - Ex Officio and Lifetime Member
Michael Iacovazzi-Pau - Sullivan University
Khalid A. Kahloon - Kahloon Pasic, PLLC
Biba Konieczna - Brown-Forman Corp.
Jean West Losavio - Faceswest Production, Host/Producer Jean West's Medical Digest WAVE 3-TV (NBC)
Judge Angela McCormick-Bisig - Circuit Court Judge, 30th Judicial Circuit
Kara Mackey - Louisville Mayor’s Office
Robert S. Saunders - XLerateHealth
Ambassador Shabazz - Pilgrimmage Foundation, Inc. Xinyi Yan - Brown-Forman Corp.

Staff

Xiao Yin Zhao

Executive Director

Xiao Yin joined the WAC in October 2010 as the Visitor Program Manager. Prior to joining the WAC, Xiao Yin focused her work on corporate social responsibility issues, first as a doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School for Public and International Affairs, and later as a corporate compliance analyst and consultant at Jones Apparel Group. Her studies and work experience has taken her to China and Hong Kong numerous times, working with professionals engaged in managing and monitoring social compliance in factories along the supply chain, as well as exploring ways for companies to be responsible citizens. Having studied and worked on global issues throughout her academic and professional life, Xiao Yin strongly believes in the soft power of international cultural exchange and its transformative effect on those engaged in it.
Xiao Yin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Contact Xiao Yin

Joel Ben Thomas

Program and Communications Manager

Joel Ben Thomas joined the World Affairs Council in June 2015 and currently manages our social media, membership databases, and event logistics. His passion for international affairs has taken him to study in various countries around the world, specifically Morocco and China. A student of the Arabic Language, he has considerable experience and interest in the Middle East and North Africa, where he studied in Morocco at l'Universite Moulay Ismail. His experiences interacting with other cultures in the Middle East and China have made him a strong proponent of developing cross-cultural communication skills; he views technology as one of the greatest platforms to hone these skills and to engage others from all parts of the globe.
Joel Ben holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Political Science from the University of Louisville.
Contact Joel Ben

Brian Easley

Visitor Program Manager
Contact Brian

Stephanie Buckley

Program Assistant

Stephanie Buckley joined World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, September 2015. She is from Syria by birth & from Pakistan by nationality and is Fluent in Urdu. Upon Completion of her Pre-U in Business & information Technology in Malaysia, she moved to Bowling Green Kentucky in 2011. After graduating from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor in Interdisciplinary Studies Concentrating on Social and behavioral sciences, she moved to Louisville May, 2015 with her husband. During her senior year, she worked at the City of Bowling Green, where she focused on the Development of Neighborhood and Community Services by, promoting culture awareness among City staff, educational organizations and the community of Bowling Green through, the new neighbor series program giving them an in-depth look of culture than they would get otherwise. She has done several orientations to raise awareness on City ordinance for ESL International students & Refugees. During her undergrad as an International student, she worked at the International student Office of Western Kentucky University, where she assisted DSOs and several International students.
Contact Stephanie

Public Relations

Registration for the 13th annual Academic WorldQuest Due has begun!

Louisville KY (October 1st) The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana has opened registration for the 13th annual Academic WorldQuest.

The Academic WorldQuest is a flagship youth education program of the national network of World Affairs Councils. It’s a team game where students compete with other high school teams around the state in rounds consisting of multiple choice questions covering pressing current issues in international affairs. Area high schools can enter up to two teams in the event. Approximately 4,000 students will compete in regional competitions across the country.

All high school students in the state of Kentucky can participate, and teams can form in public or private high schools, as well as other venues such as the through the YMCA, community center groups, or home schooling programs.

“This year we would like to see a broader mix of students participating from different groups and interest areas. School teams are the norm, but there are many other groups that take an interest in world events that can form a team to complete. We have also invited all those in home schooling programs to join in,” said Xiao Yin Zhao, Executive Director of WAC in Kentucky/Southern Indiana. “We provide the teams that participate with plenty of guidance through study guides and online resources, including our Tumblr blog, www.worldkentucky.tumblr.com, so that our teams are prepared for both the regional competition and the national level, if they advance,” she added.

Teams from local participating high schools in past years have included: Apollo High School, Owensboro, KY; Assumption High School, Louisville, KY; Atherton High School, Louisville, KY; Louisville Holy Cross, Louisville, KY; Dupont Manual High School, Louisville, KY; Our Lady of Providence, Clarksville, IN; and St. Henry High School, Erlanger, KY.

Topics for Academic WorldQuest 2016:

  1. Current Events

  2. Great Decisions

  3. NATO

  4. Asia Matters for America

  5. International Trade and Finance

  6. Sultanate of Oman

  7. Privacy in the Digital Age

  8. The Arctic

  9. Food Security

  10. Organization of American States

The winning team will travel to the national competition in Washington, D.C. in April 2016 where they will compete with approximately 4,000 students from all over the country! Our local students have had success in previous years; Dupont Manual High School of Louisville, Kentucky won last year's competition.

There are two registration deadlines: October 30th ($50/team) and December 15 ($75/team). Each team will include four students, plus an alternate (not required) with one adult coach. Study guides are now available. Registration is now open online at: http://www.worldkentucky.org/programs/awq.cfm or call (502) 561-5422

The World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana (WAC) is a non-profit member-based organization whose mission is to promote cross-cultural awareness, education and tolerance through nonpartisan discussions on current international issues. Through our Academic World Quest program, World Affairs Council provides students with the opportunity to test their knowledge among their peers and compete at both a state and national level in various topics that coincides with our values and our mission.

Internship Opportunities

Become an intern with the World Affairs Council! The mission of the World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana is to promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding by bringing high-quality international programming to our area.

An internship with the WAC provides students with the opportunity to gain experience in a wide variety of areas, including international affairs through interaction with international visitors, community engagement, educational programs and office administration.

Expectations for all interns:

As an Administration Intern, you will have the opportunity to develop strong organizational, communication, and computer skills; practical skills that are necessary for any work. The intern will have the following responsibilities:

Assist with events preparation and marketing efforts. Responsibilities will include:

As an International Visitors Program (IVP) Intern, you will have the following responsibilities:

As an Education Program Intern, you will have the following responsibilities:

Speaker Programs

"THE WORLD AT HOME" MONTHLY SPEAKER SERIES
The World at Home monthly series goes beyond the headlines to explore issues that cross national boundaries. The series brings in diplomats, experts, policy makers, journalists and activists to share with the community their different perspectives and insights into issues that are not easily understood. Each month, we highlight a theme that our world cares about and features speakers that brings it home to us the relevance of that topic to our region. The World Affairs Council is the local forum for international dialogue and diverse perspectives.

THE WORLD AT HOME CONFIRMED SPEAKERS FOR 2015
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Xiao Yin Zhao
E-mail: xy.zhao@worldkentucky.org

World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana Announces Confirmed Speakers for 2015 World At Home Series

Louisville KY (November 2014) The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana announces confirmed speakers for the upcoming 2015 World at Home monthly series.

The monthly series The World at Home goes beyond the headlines to explore issues that cross national boundaries. The series brings in diplomats, experts, policy makers, journalists and activists to share with the community their different perspectives and insights into issues that are not easily understood. Each month, we highlight a theme that the world cares about and features speakers that brings it home to us the relevance of that topic to our region.

CONFIRMED 2015 EVENTS AND SPEAKERS

Tuesday, January 6
The Future Declassified
Featured Speaker: Mathew Burrows

Wednesday, February 18 [RESCHEDULING]
Battle for Identity & Control: ISIS in the Middle East
Featured Speaker: Ambassador Robert Ford, Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria

Monday, MARCH 23
New Ways to American More Effective in a Chaotic World
Ambassador Rick Barton
TICKETS

Tuesday, April 14
Success in Education: Is STEM the Answer?
Featured Speaker: Aprille Ericsson, Aeorspace Engineer at NASA
TICKETS

Tuesday, May 5
Millennials’ Engagement & Effects on Nation-States
Featured Speaker: John Zogby, Author of The First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing Our Millennial Generation
TICKETS

Tuesday, June 9
Battle for Identity & Control: ISIS in the Middle East
Featured Speaker: Ambassador Robert Ford, Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria
TICKETS

Tuesday, July 21
The Healing of America
Featured Speaker: T.R. Reid

August
EU in the U.S.

September
Spotlight on Turkey

October
Global Epidemics

November
Energy

December
Global Pension Crisis

TICKETING
For information about tickets and pricing, call (502) 561-5422 or email us at contact@worldkentucky.org

SPEAKER INFORMATION

Mathew Burrows serves as director of the Atlantic Council's Strategic Foresight Initiative in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. He was appointed counselor to the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in 2007 and director of the Analysis and Production Staff (APS) in 2010. Burrows is the author of The Future, Declassified: Megatrends that will Undo the World Unless We Take Action. Biography

Ambassador Robert Ford recently retired from the foreign service after serving as U.S. Ambassador to Syria from 2010 to 2014, and previously as Ambassador to Algeria. Shortly after the outbreak of Syria's civil war, Ford traveled to the city of Hama in a show of solidarity with Syrians protesting the rule of Bashar Al Assad. Biography

Ambassador Rick Barton has brought together policy and practice, seeking pragmatic ways to advance peace building in more than 40 war-torn countries over the past two decades. Biography

John Zogby is the founder of the "Zogby Poll" and the Zogby companies, an American public opinion pollster, author, and public speaker. As of October 2014, Zogby is a Senior Analyst with Zogby Analytics. Zogby is the author of The First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing Our Millennial Generation. Biography

Lee Feinstein is the current Dean of Indiana University's School of Global and International Studies. He is the former senior official in the Obama and Clinton administrations and was the United States Ambassador to Poland from 2009 to 2012. Feinstein has written widely on foreign policy and national security and is the co-author of Means to an End: U.S. Interest in the international Criminal Court. Biography

T.R. Reid is an American reporter, documentary film correspondent, and author. He is also a frequent guest on National Public Radio (NPR)’s Morning Edition. Also a member of the board of Health Research and Education Trust, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, the University of Colorado Medical school, and other community and educational institutions. Reid is the author of The Healing of America: A Global quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Healthcare. Biography

The World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana (WAC) is a non-profit member-based organization whose mission is to promote cross-cultural awareness, education and tolerance through nonpartisan discussions on current international issues. Through our speaker series, international visitors program and education-centered opportunities, WAC provides the community with the tools and knowledge to develop an informed citizenry and increase the global competency of students, educators and professionals.

Visitor Programs

"Simple exchanges can break down the walls between us, for when people come together and speak to one another and share a common experience, then their common humanity is revealed."

Our international visitor programs foster people-to-people exchanges to connect current and rising leaders from around the world with their counterparts here in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Believing that every individual has the power to act as a citizen diplomat, WAC organizes programs and experiences to encourage mutual understanding, long-lasting friendships, and deepened partnerships in the spheres of politics, business, media, education, arts & culture, and more. With the ultimate goal of promoting peace in an increasingly connected yet increasingly complex world, WAC recognizes the importance of connecting citizens to their counterparts abroad and encouraging diplomacy "one handshake at a time."

International Engagement Opportunities for U.S. High School Students
Now Accepting Applications for 2016 Programs with World Learning!

The goals of the student exchange programs are to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and South America while preparing youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities. This includes influencing the attitudes of the leaders of a new generation, and fostering relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups and creating networks of youth leaders, within the Western Hemisphere.

To be eligible for the programs, student applicants must me the basic criteria:

Must be 15-17 years old,
Must have at least 1 year of high school remaining after the exchange,
Must attend a Public, Public Charter or Homeschool**
Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply

** See websites for specific guidelines

Check out the information below on each program and click to apply!

THE U.S. - IRAQI YOUNG LEADERS EXCHANGE PROGRAMTHE U.S. - IRAQI YOUNG LEADERS EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Who?
26 Iraqi high school students
10 American high school students
4 adult mentors from Iraq

What?
A four week national youth leadership exchange

Where?
Vermont, Portland, Seattle, or Tulsa, Washington, DC

When?
July 11-August 9, 2016

THE U.S. - BELARUS YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMTHE U.S. - IRAQI YOUNG LEADERS EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Who?
30 high school students from Belarus and 8 from the U.S.

What?
A four week national youth leadership exchange

Where?
University of Virginia, Louisville, Denver, or Tulsa, Washington, DC

When?
July 1-27, 2016

THE U. S. YOUTH AMBASSADORS PROGRAM WITH BRAZILTHE U. S. YOUTH AMBASSADORS PROGRAM WITH BRAZIL
Who?
9 high school students and 1 adult mentor from the U.S.

What?
A three week international youth leadership exchange

Where?
Washington, DC, Brasilia, one of two Host Communities in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

When?
April/May 2016

THE U.S. YOUTH AMBASSADORS PROGRAM WITH ARGENTINA & CHILETHE U.S. YOUTH AMBASSADORS PROGRAM WITH ARGENTINA & CHILE
Who?
8 high school students and 2 adult mentors from the U.S.

What?
A three week international youth leadership exchange

Where?
Washington, DC, Santiago, a Host Community in Chile or Argentina, Buenos Aires

When?
April/May 2016

US Youth Ambassador One Pager

World Learning Youth Programs 2016

Which Program is Right for You?

If you have any questions about the youth exchange programs, please contact Caitlin Ertel at caitlin.ertel@worldkentucky.org

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Become a host family
Provide a Home Hospitality Dinner
Volunteer with visitor groups
And more!
If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please visit our Volunteer web page today!

TYPES OF VISITOR PROGRAMS
International Visitor Leadership Program:
http://eca.state.gov/ivlp
Open World Program:
http://www.openworld.gov/
Youth Leadership Exchange:
http://exchanges.state.gov/non-us/program/youth-leadership-programs
Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Program:
http://eca.state.gov/fulbright/fulbright-experience/enrichment-activities/fulbright-visiting-scholar-enrichment-program

Academic Programs

THE HERSHBERG SCHOLARSHIP

The Hershberg Scholarship Awards are made possible thanks to a generous gift from the Hershberg family. The award is established in the memory of David Hershberg, a Louisville educator, mentor for thousands of students, and guiding force in the creation and development of the Louisville International Cultural Center (now the World Affairs Council of Kentucky/Southern Indiana).

Dr. Hershberg was a career faculty member in Romance Languages at the University of Louisville, and was a key part of the initial group which formed the Louisville International Cultural Center. He served as President of the Board, and as a member of its Board of Directors until his death in December of 2002. He was an exceptional teacher and leader and was particularly known for his dedication to his students and their development.

ACADEMIC WORLDQUEST

Academic WorldQuest is a Flagship Program of the World Affairs Councils of America. The game was invented by the Charlotte Council and is now widely played at the high school level around the country. It is a team game testing competitors' knowledge of international affairs, geography, history, and culture. The World Affairs Councils of America started the national competition in Washington, DC in March 2003. It is unique to the council network and has no direct competitor among K-12 knowledge-based competitions in the US or abroad. Academic WorldQuest is supplementary to Governor’s Cup and does not compete in dates or content.

The winning team from the local competition has the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Academic WorldQuest competition. WAC is proud to recognize, two-time National Academic WorldQuest winner, DuPont Manual High School of Louisville, Kentucky! DuPont Manual has proudly represented Kentucky taking home the first-place WorldQuest trophy in both 2009 and 2010.

Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summit 2021

The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana (WAC) is pleased to announce its hosting of the "Diplomacy Begins Here 2015 Regional Summit" in Louisville, KY on May 19, 2015 at the Muhammad Ali Center and Foxhollow Farm. The Diplomacy Begins Here Summit is one of a series of summits across the United States that will bring together local, national, and international leaders from the business, government, and nonprofit world.

Together, we will foster connections and growth in the international exchange community and celebrate the critical role that public and citizen diplomacy programs play in building a more peaceful, prosperous world at home and abroad.

The Diplomacy Begins Here Summit will offer a chance to:

Connect with the Local Exchange Community

Each summit will bring local and regional leaders from cross-cutting fields together around international exchanges. Executives, professionals, and volunteers from business, local government, international exchange, development, and education NGOs, and the U.S. Department of State will foster closer collaboration and raise awareness and support through the Summit.

Expand and Develop Your Skills

All partners who play a role in exchange programs will receive targeted training in order to help them maximize the impact of every program. These summits will include opportunities for participants to deepen their understanding of U.S. public diplomacy, U.S. foreign policy, and the importance of international exchange programs.

Benefits of Corporate Membership

Corporate membership benefits both your company and your employees.

Membership in the World Affairs Council will:

Levels of Engagement

PRESENTING SPONSORS ($50,000 and above)


World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana
200 West Broadway St,
Suite 607,
Louisville, KY 40202
phone: (502) 561-5422 | fax: (502) 540-5628
Online inquiries | contact@worldkentucky.org