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As a World Affairs Council member, you join a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about expanding international awareness. Members participate in world class events featuring speakers who provide the stories behind the headlines as well as special receptions and gatherings.

As a member you will have the opportunity to build relationships with other liked minded individuals and professionals that in the local international affairs community. Your membership is valuable in supporting World Affairs Council programming and student outreach in the community.

May 20, 2021: “How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future”

Thursday, May 20, 2021 @ 1:00 PM PST | 4:00 PM EST  The World Affairs Council of Orange County Presents: Purchase Here Purchase Signed Book Here NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Comprehensive, enlightening, and terrifyingly timely.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice) WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITH BOOK PRIZE • SHORTLISTED FOR THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY  The Washington Post • Time • Foreign Affairs • WBUR • Paste Praise for How Democracies Die How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future “If you only read one book for the rest of the year, read How Democracies Die. . .This is not a book for just Democrats or Republicans. It is a book for all Americans. It is nonpartisan. It is fact based. It is deeply rooted in history. . . The best commentary on our politics, no contest.”—Michael Morrell, former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (via Twitter) “A smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world, and in ways that are perfectly legal.”— Fareed Zakaria, GPS, CNN “Two years ago, a book like this could not have been written: two leading political scientists who are expert in the breakdown of democracy in other parts of the world using that knowledge to inform Americans of the dangers their democracy faces today. We owe the authors a debt of thanks for bringing their deep understanding to bear on the central political issue of the day.” —Francis Fukuyama, John’s Hopkins SAIA and author of Political Order and Political Decay.  Daniel Ziblatt is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University and resident faculty at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES). At CES, he co-chairs the Seminar on Democracy – Past, Present, Future. Ziblatt specializes in the study of European politics, state-building, democratization, and historical political economy. His latest book How Democracies Die (co-authored with Steven Levitsky) was on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 22 languages.  His second book Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy (2017) offers a new interpretation of the historical democratization of Europe, drawing lessons for new and old democracies under siege today. His book Structuring the State: The Formation of Italy and Germany and the Puzzle of Federalism (2006) draws lessons from nineteenth century experiences of state-building in Italy and Germany.In recent years he has been a fellow or visiting professor at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy), Center for Advanced Study (Stanford), Max Planck Institute (Cologne), University of Munich, and the Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris). Steve Levitsky is a professor of government at Harvard University and coauthor of the 2018 New York Times bestseller How Democracies Die, with Daniel Ziblatt. In it, they argue that democracies die not because of revolutions or military coups, but due to the slow weakening of critical institutions and the gradual erosion of political norms. Levitsky is a former Kellogg visiting fellow and an expert on Latin American politics. His research interests include political parties, authoritarianism and democratization, and weak and informal institutions. He is researching the durability of revolutionary regimes, the relationship between populism and competitive authoritarianism, problems of […]

May 18 – 20, 2021: Orange County Trade Week Forum

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 to Thursday, May 20, 2021 – 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM PST The World Affairs Council of Orange County Presents: Orange County Trade Week Forum Three Full Days of Content and Networking… Tuesday, May 18: Exporting. Industry Sectors. Country Opportunities. Don’t miss this global 360! Thanks to our regional US Commercial Service and the SBA, industry and exporting experts share their experience, advice and forecasts for Tourism, Med Tech, Aerospace and for Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Wednesday, May 19: China. Ports & Supply Chain. Mexico, Canada and US Trade. Join us for a deep dive into the geopolitical, logistics and trade deals that are impacting the trade landscape and reveals everything you ever wanted to know about exporting in 2021 – who, what, where, when and why – about your exporting decisions. Thursday, May 20: Global Economy. Ask the Experts. Women in Trade. Tune in to learn how the global economy will influence the trade environment and exporting. Spend time with trade, country and financing experts here to help you with your exporting questions. And follow the activities of women in trade.   Participation Requirements: • Reliable and stable internet connection • Computer with audio to participate in the virtual seminar and digital learning exercises This professionally designed and monitored platform will give access to all presentation materials and include real-time question and answer sessions. If you miss one of the days, sessions will be recorded and available for viewing to attendees.   REGISTRATION FEE: The registration fee for this event is $50 which includes all three days of content and exclusive networking opportunities. The registration fee is non-refundable after May 11, 2020. Deadline to register as well as substitutions within the same company can be made online on the registration form up until May 11, 2020. For questions or information regarding registration, please contact: ocwtw@decsocal.org  

June 10, 2021: Hunger and the Climate Crisis in Latin America

Thursday, June 10, 2021 @ 1:00 PM PST | 4:00 PM EST The World Affairs Council of Orange County Presents: Hunger and the Climate Crisis in Latin America About: Climate change is a key driver of hunger globally. Nowhere is that truer than in Central America, where years of extreme weather events, coupled with COVID-19’s economic crisis, is creating severe food insecurity. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, hunger in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua has increased almost fourfold over the past two years—from 2.2 million people in 2018 to close to 8 million people in 2021. Hurricanes, torrential rain, flooding, and recurring droughts have devastated communities and disrupted food production, especially staples like maize and beans which depend on regular rainfall. During the record 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricanes Eta and Iota upended the lives of 6.8 million people who lost their homes and livelihoods. Climate-induced hunger is also driving migration, as people displace in search of food and work. For every 1 percent increase in food insecurity, the U.N. World Food Programme reports a 2 percent increase in migration. Join our panelists as we explore the climate crisis’ interrelated impact on hunger, livelihoods, and migration in Latin America and how the U.N. World Food Programme is building resilience and food security among vulnerable communities.   Panelist Biographies: Mr. Carlos Fuller is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations in New York. He is a meteorologist. His previous positions include Chief Meteorologist in the National Meteorological Service of Belize and International and Regional Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. He has represented Belize in the international climate change negotiations for the past 30 years. He was awarded the George Price Lifetime Achievement Award for Emergency Management and the Officer of the Order the British Empire (OBE) for public service.  Chase Sova is senior director of Public Policy and Thought Leadership at World Food Program USA (WFP USA) and Senior Associate (non-resident) with the Center for Strategic and International Studies Global Food Security Program. Previously, Chase worked with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). He has consulted with the World Bank, Johns Hopkins, and Tufts University. Interested in the intersection of food insecurity and conflict, humanitarian assistance, climate change, and sustainable agriculture, Chase has worked on food systems in 15 developing countries across Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. He has led several major research initiatives including WFP USA’s Winning the Peace: Hunger and Instability flagship report. Chase has served as an expert witness at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his writing has been featured extensively in peer-reviewed journals, and he regularly lectures on food insecurity at Universities in Washington, D.C. He delivered a TEDx talk on “Winning the Long Game in the Fight to End Hunger” in 2018. Chase earned his Ph.D. from Oxford University. Miguel Barreto assumed the position of Regional Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) for Latin America and the Caribbean in January 2014. As Regional Director, he is responsible […]

June 24, 2021: Conflicts in the Horn of Africa and Implications for Regional Security

Thursday, June 24, 2021 @ 1:00 PM PST | 4:00 PM EST  The World Affairs Council of Orange County Presents: Conflicts in the Horn of Africa and Implications for Regional Security Ambassador David H. Shinn was a Foreign Service Officer with US Department of State for 37 years, including assignments as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. Ambassador Shinn is an adjunct professor of international affairs at The George Washington University and received his BA, MA, and PhD from The George Washington University.  He has a certificate in African studies from Northwestern University.  During his tenure in the US Foreign Service, he had assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, and Sudan, outside of his duties as ambassador.  He has been teaching at the Elliott School since 2001 and serves on a number of boards of non-governmental organizations. An expert on the Horn of Africa, Dr. Shinn speaks at events around the world.  He is the coauthor of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement (2012), the Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (2013), Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gulen Movement (2015), and has authored numerous articles and book chapters.   His research interests include China-Africa relations, Chinese diplomacy, East Africa and the Horn, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, conflict situations, US policy in Africa, and the African brain drain.  He speaks several languages including English, French, and Swahili.   Dr. Zainab Usman is a senior fellow and director of the Africa Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. Her fields of expertise include institutions, economic policy, energy policy, and emerging economies in Africa. Her forthcoming book, Economic Diversification in Nigeria: The Politics of Building a Post-Oil Economy, is set to be published by Zed/Bloomsbury Press in November 2021. Prior to Carnegie, Usman was at the World Bank initially as part of the prestigious Young Professionals Program and later as a public sector specialist. At the World Bank, she worked on social sustainability, policy reforms, natural resources management, and disruptive technologies. She has worked on these issues in Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Congo, Serbia, Tanzania, and Uzbekistan. She has also worked at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and has consulted for the Department of International Development (DfID) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Nigeria. Usman’s research has been published on various academic, policy, and media platforms. She is co-editor of the book, The Future of Work in Africa: Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All. She also contributed to World Bank’s flagship report on Rethinking Power Sector Reforms in Developing Countries. Usman’s other analytical pieces have been published with the journal of African Affairs, the World Bank’s Policy Research and Working Paper Series, and as book chapters in edited volumes with Oxford University Press and James Currey. Her written and broadcast commentary has appeared in Al-Jazeera English, African Arguments, CNN, and Washington Post, among others.  She sits on the advisory board of the Energy for Growth Hub in Washington, D.C., and on the editorial board of Premium Times in Nigeria.

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