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The Conference

The 8 Forces Reshaping the Global Economy
November 6-8

For nearly four decades, the WACA National Conference has brought World Affairs Council leaders and members to engage with top government officials, diplomats, business executives, innovators, journalists, educators, and students on the most pressing global issues and policy choices that impact our lives.

Attendees of the WACA 2019 National Conference in Washington, DC benefited from:

  • Expert opinions, timely insights, and audience dialogue about the United States' role in the world

  • Access to extraordinary speakers, thought leaders, and ambassadors available for local Council programming

  • Bipartisan, diverse, and inclusive perspectives on the Administration’s "America First" philosophy

  • Visits to think tanks and embassies, networking receptions, and dinners

  • Professional development, leadership training, mentoring, and peer-to-peer networking


The Agenda

Program Highlights

Be sure to check back soon, as we will be updating our agenda regularly!

5:30 PM to 8:00 PM


  • 1918 Society Dinner: Members & Sponsors Only

9:30 AM to 8:30 PM


  • WACA National Board Meeting

  • Ambassadors Luncheon (12:00 pm start)

  • Think Tank Off-Sites

  • Annual Membership Meeting

  • Student Scholars & Young Professionals Meeting

  • Awards Dinner and Keynote Program

8:30 AM to 8:00 PM


  • Morning Panels

  • Great Decisions Luncheon

  • Afternoon Panels

  • Chinese Embassy Reception

7:30 AM to 4:00 PM


  • Sponsored Breakfast

  • Leadership Day: Professional Workshops

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8 Nov 2019

7 Nov 2019

6 Nov 2019

5 Nov 2019

The Speakers

Presenting world leaders, policymakers, and experts
2019 Conference Speakers
Sec. James A. Baker, III
61st U.S. Secretary of State
Vivienne Ming
Exec. Chair & Co-Founder, Socos Labs
Secretary Chuck Hagel
24th U.S. Secretary of Defense
Amanda Bennett
Director, Voice of America
Phil Karsting
Interim President and CEO, WFP USA
Sarah Chen
MP, The Billion Dollar Fund for Women
Ralf Fücks
MD, Center for Liberal Modernity
Amb. Kristen Silverberg
Executive VP, Business Roundtable
Richard Stengel
Former U.S. Under Secretary of State
Melissa D. Ho
SVP, Fresh Water and Food, WWF U.S.
John Hughes
VP, Albright Stonebridge Group
Wendy Cutler
VP, Asia Society Policy Institute
Peter Baker
Chief White House Corr., NY Times
Judith Samuelson
Vice President, The Aspen Institute
Karen Kornbluh
Director, The German Marshall Fund for the U.S.
Anna Tunkel
Global Initiatives Head, APCO Worldwide
Richard Kraemer
President, U.S.-Europe Alliance
Kimberly Flowers
Director, CSIS
Susan Schram
Senior Partner, SP Consulting
Juliane Schäuble
U.S. Correspondent, Der Tagesspiegel
Bart Oosterveld
Director, Atlantic Council
Elizabeth Rosenberg
Senior Fellow, CNAS
Tomas Baert
Head of Trade & Agriculture, EU-U.S.
Yaya J. Fanusie
Adjunct Senior Fellow, CNAS
Paul Salem
President, Middle East Institute
Salman Ahmed
Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment
Thomas Wright
Director, Brookings Institution
Karlyn Bowman
Senior Fellow, AEI
Sarwar Kashmeri
Fellow, Foreign Policy Association
Damir Marusic
Exec. Editor, The American Interest
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Past WACA Conference Speakers
Penny Pritzker
38th U.S. Secretary of Commerce
David Abney
Chairman and CEO, UPS
Colin Powell
65th U.S. Secretary of State
Dambisa Moyo
International Economist
Thomas L. Friedman
Author and NYT Columnist
Nina Ansary
Women's Rights Advocate
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World Affairs Councils of America
Amb. Roman Popadiuk
Chairman, WACA National Board
Bill Clifford
President and CEO, WACA
Liz Brailsford
Chief Operating Officer, WACA
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Think Tank Partners


The Mayflower Hotel discounted block expires Tuesday, October 15!

Our Sponsors

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Mr. Matthew G. Butler               Ms. Giosetta Capriati 

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO, at bclifford@worldaffairscouncils.org.

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