World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

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Panel Discussion and Reception on the Occasion of  the Council’s 83rd Annual Meeting
Reflecting on a Tumultuous 2014...
...and what it Portends for 2015

December 10, 2014

Online registration for this event is closed. For information about this event, please call Melanie Gulasy at 412-281-7970.

From new threats such as ISIS and Ebola to perennial hotspots like Israel/Palestine and North Korea, and from power plays by countries like Russia and China to festering conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, 2014 has been particularly volatile. Through it all, the United States has struggled to both keep pace with ever-changing international events and to define its role in an increasingly challenging global environment.

Join the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for a discussion with three leading experts who will share their insights on the tumultuous year that was, and offer insights on the economic and geo-political flashpoints for 2015.

William Adams is Assistant Vice President and Senior International Economist for the PNC Financial Services Group. His responsibilities include forecasting economic conditions and exchange rates, covering emerging Asia, the European Union, Canada and Latin America. Mr. Adams serves as the principal spokesperson on global economic issues for PNC, and frequently presents to PNC clients on the international economic outlook.

Dr. Marc Lynch is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, where he directs the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and a contributing editor at the Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. He co-directs the Blogs and Bullets project at the United States Institute of Peace.

Amb. Daniel Simpson is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His career with the U.S. State Department spanned over three decades, during which he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic from 1990-92, as well as Special Envoy to Somalia and U.S. Ambassador to Congo-Kinshasa from 1995-98. He has posted in Burundi, South Africa, Zaire, Iceland, Lebanon, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

This event is free, but registration is required. Refreshments will be provided.

Online registration for this event is closed. For information about this event, please call Melanie Gulasy at 412-281-7970.

This event is supported by the World Affairs Councils of America through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Community Series

William Adams
Senior International Economist for the PNC Financial Services Group

Dr. Marc Lynch
Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science
at George Washington University

Amb. Daniel Simpson
Former U.S. Ambassador and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Columnist

'Preparing for the Future:  The Impact of Global Megatrends'
Public Policy Discussion and Luncheon
'Preparing for the Future: The Impact of Global Megatrends'

December 5, 2014

Online registration for this event is closed. For information about this event, please call Melanie Gulasy at 412-281-7970.

How does one prepare for tomorrow’s world today?

The world is changing at a frenetic pace — faster and more profoundly than ever before in the history of mankind. Five global megatrends are shaping of the world of tomorrow, and in the process they are driving markets and creating challenges and opportunities for both businesses and individuals. Taken together, these overarching trends (demographic shifts, accelerating urbanization, climate change and resource scarcity, global shifts in economic power, and technological breakthroughs) are having — and will continue to have — a profound impact on the complex interconnected global marketplace of the 21st century.

The concept of megatrends is not new. But how companies identify challenges, develop solutions, and create opportunities in light of these forces that are shaping the world is. Join the Council and one of America’s global business leaders to learn how PwC is responding to an ever-changing world.

Robert (Bob) E. Moritz serves as PwC’s U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner, after being re-elected by the U.S. partners to serve a second four-year term that began on July 1, 2013. He is also a member of PwC’s global leadership team, serving alongside the Global Chairman as well as the senior partners from the global network’s four largest territories. Bob has held various leadership positions during his tenure with the firm, including leading the Assurance practice as well as serving as the managing partner for the New York region. He started with the firm in 1985 and was admitted to the partnership in 1995. Specializing in financial services, Bob served some of the firm’s largest clients in banking and capital markets and went on to lead that practice both in New York and for the U.S. firm. Bob also spent some time overseas, serving a three-year tour in PwC Tokyo, where he provided audit and advisory services to numerous European and U.S.-based financial services organizations operating in Japan. 

Bob is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego and is involved in a number of boards, such as the Oswego College Foundation, the Conference Board, Atlantic Council, and the Partnership for New York City. He has two college-age children, enjoys riding motorcycles, and plays the drums.

WAC members: $50 | Non-members: $75 | Table of eight (8): $400

Registration is required. Please advise in advance of any dietary restrictions. No-shows and cancellations after December 1, 2014 will be charged.

Online registration for this event is closed. For information about this event, please call Melanie Gulasy at 412-281-7970.

Community Series

Robert E. Moritz
U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC

World Affairs Institute 2014: Russia¯s Place in the World
44th World Affairs Institute for Student Leaders
Russia’s Place in the World

November 19, 2014

What is the objective of the Institute?
The Institute engages high school student leaders in a discussion of key issues in international affairs so that they can understand and think critically about their world.

Who can attend the Institute?
High school students are selected by local Rotary Clubs (Districts 6650, 7280, 7300, and 7330) in cooperation with schools. Each Rotary Club determines the number of scholarships available.

How many student delegates will attend?
Approximately 350 high school juniors and seniors.

How is the conference structured?
Through panel presentations and small breakout sessions, experts will discuss key issues with the student delegates. Each student will receive a comprehensive background paper prior to the Institute.

Who pays for the scholarships?
Each Rotary Club pays for the number of scholarships it is sponsoring.  The fee of $75 for each delegate will cover the cost of registration, educational materials, all conference sessions, lunch, and refreshments

Tentative Institute Schedule

  9:00 a.m.     Registration
  9:30 a.m.     Welcome and Introduction
  9:45 a.m.     Keynote Speaker or Panel w/ Q&A
11:30 a.m.    
Panel Discussion
12:30 p.m.     Institute Luncheon and Group Discussion Session
  2:00 p.m.     Discussion Group De-Briefing
3:00p.m.      Adjournment

2014 World Affairs Institute Resources
Use the links below to download:

Foreign Policy Scenario: The Global Implications of a Regional Gas Disput

World Affairs Institute Background Paper

How to Register
Student Registration
Registration is closed. If you have questions, please contact Emily Markham at the Council by phone at 412. 281.7027 or by email at

Chaperone Registration
Registration is closed. If you have questions, please contact Emily Markham at the Council by phone at 412. 281.7027 or by email at

Information on This Year's Topic

Since the start of the new millennium, the global community has been watching Russia as it takes on a new role on the world’s stage.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989—with the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Union—marked a decrease in Russia’s power and authority on a global and regional scale. Twenty-five years later, Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the world’s largest oil producer and maintains the second strongest military, behind the United States. As a permanent voting member of the United Nations Security Council, Russia is a global power. Over the past decade Russia has worked to expand its influence abroad by strengthening relations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the annexation of Ukrainian held Crimea brought Russia to the attention of the global community. Russia faced both international and domestic criticism, including civil unrest, for the government’s corrupt motives and laws. Further, as Russia tries to exert control over ethnically-Russian regions outside its border, violent regional conflict continues to grow.  

This year’s World Affairs Institute will look at the growing influence of Russia and its role on geopolitics. Students will explore both the domestic, regional, and international challenges facing Russia, bilateral relations with the United States, and the transformation of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin.

The World Affairs Council will provide participants with up-to-date online resources as well as a comprehensive background paper on the topic. Online resources can be found by visiting

Thoughts on the Institute

“Today, Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress.”
-President Barack Obama  President, United States

“Russia doesn’t consider NATO a partner; Russia considers NATO an adversary.”          
-Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General, NATO

“We will judge Russia’s commitment to peace by its actions, not its words. Peace is still possible, but any new ceasefire must be mutual and monitored.“
- Amb. Daniel Baer, U.S State Dept. Representative,
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Russia is not America’s antagonist...nor is it an ally. The two sides disagree on a wide range of questions. Yet there are critical international issues—such as Iran and Syria—on which progress is not likely without some cooperation.”
-Dr. Angela Stent, Director of Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, Georgetown University

This year’s World Affairs Institute marks the 44th year of collaboration between the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and Rotary International.

About Rotary International
Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. There are 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are non-partisan, non-denominational, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto, “Service Above Self,” Rotary’s main objective is service - in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

About the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a deeper understanding of key contemporary international issues throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1931, the Council has a special focus on secondary schools throughout the region, and works to give students and teachers a more nuanced understanding of the global issues of our time. The Council also is committed to informing opinion leaders and decision-makers about developments around the world as they unfold - and to educating them about the relevance of such developments to the region. 

Contact Emily Markham at the Council by phone at 412. 281.7027 or by email at

School Outreach

David Greene Host of NPR¯s ¯Morning Edition¯ and Author of Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia
Special Member-Only Reception
and Discussion

Reflections on Russia

November 18, 2014

Online registration for this event is closed. For information about this event, please call Melanie Gulasy at 412-281-7970.

The new Russia is a country of contradictions: It boasts open elections and newfound prosperity, but continues to endure oppression, corruption, a shrinking population, and growing inequality. In many ways, it is an enigma.

As analysts and observers try to understand today’s Russia and President, Vladimir Putin, its citizens are often overlooked... Join WESA and the World Affairs Council for a special “members-only” event with NPR’s former Moscow bureau chief who will discuss how the lives of ordinary Russians have changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. After two-and-a-half years in Moscow, David Greene decided to take the Trans-Siberian Railway across the country — a 6,000 mile journey from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. He repeated the journey the following winter. Both trips provide the basis for his book Midnight in Siberia— a gripping and thought-provoking reflection on life in contemporary Russia.  His insights provide valuable context for some of the more dramatic events in Russia.

David Greene is host of NPR's Morning Edition, with Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne. For two years prior to taking on his current role in 2012, he was an NPR foreign correspondent based in Moscow covering the region from Ukraine and the Baltics, east to Siberia. He spent a month in Libya reporting riveting stories in the most difficult of circumstances as NATO bombs fell on Tripoli. He was honored with the 2011 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize from WBUR and Boston University for that coverage of the Arab Spring.

Mr. Greene's voice became familiar to NPR listeners from his four years covering the White House from 2005 to 2008. He was an integral part of NPR's coverage of the historic 2008 election, covering Hillary Clinton's campaign from start to finish.

Before joining NPR in 2005, Mr. Greene spent nearly seven years as a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Sun. He covered the White House during the Bush administration's first term, and wrote about an array of other topics for the paper. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1998 with a degree in government, and was the senior editor at the Harvard Crimson.

This event is for members only. It is free for WESA and World Affairs Council members, but registration is required.

Online registration for this event is closed. For information about this event, please call Melanie Gulasy at 412-281-7970.

With special thanks to:

Community Series

David Greene
Host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and Author of Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia

The Play¯s the Thing:  Vaclav Havel Film Festival
The Play’s the Thing:  Vaclav Havel Film Festival
25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution

November 15, 2014

Presented by

The Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee and Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Pittsburgh in cooperation with the Carpatho-Rusyn Society and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

All films will be shown in the Frick Fine Arts building auditorium and are free and open to the public.

Program of Films

Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The Magical Voice of a Rebel: Marta Kubisova (2014) Czech with English subtitles, 87 min.

Sunday, November 16, 2014 - Two Films at 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Joseph Killian aka A Person to Be Supported (1963) Czech with English subtitles, 38 min.
A Report on Party and Guests (1968) Czech with English subtitles, 71 min.

Two Films at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The Uninvited Guest (1969) Czech with English subtitles, 22 min.
And the Beggar’s Opera Again (1996) Czech with English subtitles, 60 min.

Monday, November 17, 2014 - 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Who Is Vaclav Havel? (1977) Czech with English subtitles, 11 min.
The Power of the Powerless (2009) English, 78 min.

Panel Discussion following Nov. 17th films:
Panelists include

John Allison, Sunday Editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jay Ball, PhD, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Central Washington University
Dr. Steven E. Sokol, President of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Community Series

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