W. Stuart Symington, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, to Deliver Keynote Address at Washington University

W. Stuart Symington, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, will deliver a keynote address at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 1, 2018.

His address, titled, “A Transatlantic Partnership of Global Importance,” will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Knight Hall’s Emerson Auditorium on the Danforth Campus; a reception will follow. The event is free and open to Washington University and St. Louis community, but RSVPs are encouraged to ensure seat availability. Please use the link for registration. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/keynote-address-by-us-ambassador-to-nigeria-w-stuart-symington-tickets-50248135526

Ambassador Symington is a St. Louis native and long-time career United States diplomat in Africa. He previously served as the United States Ambassador to Rwanda and Djibouti. He was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Africa and African Security affairs.

“We are delighted that Ambassador Symington will visit our campus and provide important insights into America’s relationship with Africa, especially as it relates to the future,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said.

“We are connected to Africa by profound ties of family and friendship, principle and interest,” Symington said. “Americans, including many at Washington University, are working to save lives from disease, hunger, and violence. Today, from one end of Africa to the other, we are doing something more. We are investing resources and expertise to create profitable employment in a concerted effort to make true hope rise as fast as expectations and to meet growing demand with concrete opportunity.

“This work matters,” Symington continued. “What happens in Africa will affect profoundly the prospect for global peace, freedom, and prosperity.”

The Africa Initiative organized Symington’s visit, which will include meeting with students and faculty involved in studying, teaching, and research pertaining to Africa. The Africa Initiative is charged with strengthening Washington University’s efforts in Africa, by harnessing and expanding faculty and student engagements on the continent.

Benjamin Ola Akande, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Director of the Africa Initiative noted that “Ambassador Symington’s visit validates our commitment to continue to have a meaningful impact on Africa and Africa to impact us.”

Learn more about Washington University’s Africa Initiative here.

Join us in Celebrating Gateway Globe Winners Nov. 1!

The World Affairs Council of St. Louis, in collaboration with the St. Louis Regional International Partnership, cordially invites you to recognize individuals and organizations within the St. Louis area as the first recipients of its new Gateway Globe Awards program. The awards, designed to honor those who are connecting the St. Louis region to the world, will be presented annually and cover categories such as global commitment, culture, policy, and business.
Join us on:
November 1, 2018
5:30 pm to 9:00 pm

The Coronado Ballroom
3701 Lindell Blvd. St. Louis MO 63108

Join us for a private VIP-only reception with award finalists, and special recognition, immediately prior to the main event.
General admission tickets to attend the event may also be purchased, for $80. With any ticket, you get complimentary valet parking, access to an exhibit hall of local internationally themed organizations, food stations representing world cuisines, and open bar and dessert/coffee bar.
Catering by the renowned Butler’s Pantry.

To purchase tickets please click here.

Award recipients will be determined by a judging panel, with multiple awardees in each category of global commitment, culture, policy, and business. Finalists for the 2018 Gateway Globe awards will be announced in early October.

Nominations for the 2018 Gateway Globes are currently being accepted and can be made on the event page.

To see the agenda for the evening, and all other information click here

Thank you to our sponsors:


IVLP Home Hospitality Request!

Have a specialty American dish you would love to showcase to those from foreign nations? Want to hear about life in Europe? Do you have a strong interest in media and journalism?

If you said YES to any of those questions you need to host home hospitality! 

Ten media professionals from Europe are traveling to St. Louis to exchange with their American counterparts ways to foster a discerning audience of media consumers. The IVLP is requesting that this group be hosted by an American person, group or family for a home-made American dinner.

Busy schedule? We understand. Here is a choice of dates: Friday, October 19, Saturday, October 20 or Sunday, October 21.

The evening would entail picking up the visitors from The Moonrise Hotel in the the Delmar Loop, taking them to your home, providing dinner and then returning them to the hotel at the end of the evening, filled with joy from a lovely evening full of laughs and conversation.

Please fill out the form below if you are interested in this unique experience of hosting 2-3 of our English speaking visitors.


Armenia –Mr. Daniel IOANNISYAN –Co-Founder and Programs Director, Union of Informed Citizens

Bulgaria- Mr. Lyubomir LYUBOMIROV- Reporter, Bulgarian News Agency

Hungary- Dr. Gabor POLYAK-Chairman, Mertek Media Monitor

Ireland- Ms. Stephanie COMEY- Senior Manager, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Italy- Mr. Antonio FRASCHILLA –Editor, La Repubblica, Palermo Edition

Latvia- Ms. Renate LAZDINA- Director, Latgale Regional Studio, Latvian National Radio

Poland- Mr. Michal GIERSZ- Reporter, Polsat News TV

Slovenia- Ms. Barbara STRUKELJ- Editor‑in‑Chief, Slovenian Press Agency

United Kingdom- Mr. Adam DONALD- Broadcast Journalist, BBC News

UNESCO- Ms. Saorla MCCABE- Program Specialist, Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, UNESCO


WAC Welcomes its New Fall Interns!

We are proud to announce our two interns that will be with us through the fall semester.

Hannah Voudrié is a senior at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois. She is majoring in International Relations and has a minor in Religious Studies. Alongside interning with the World Affairs Council, Hannah participates in Model United Nations at McKendree and is in several honor societies. In Model United Nations she acts as the General Assembly president for the high school conference and also as the Security Council delegate during college conferences in Chicago and St. Louis. Her passion for international relations began during Model UN in high school and grew while attending the National Youth Leadership Conference for National Security in 2015. Hannah will be continuing her education in the fall at Webster University to receive her masters in International Relations.

Angel Moss is a senior at Lindenwood University. She is studying Business Administration with a double emphasis in Human Resource Management and Marketing.  After she receives her bachelor’s degree, she plans to continue her education and pursue a master’s degree in Business Leadership. Currently, she lives in St. Charles County, where she was born and raised. In her free time, She enjoys riding bicycles on the Katy Trail with her son. She also loves to travel. She has traveled within the U.S., Germany, and the Czech Republic. If given the opportunity, she would love to return to Germany so that her son could learn and experience the culture of her family. She is excited and grateful for the opportunity to intern here at the World Affairs Council of St. Louis and looks forward to learning more about global culture and international matters as they relate to the St. Louis area.

Please contact ehatfield@wac-stl.org if you want to be a part of the World Affairs Council of St. Louis internship program!

IVLP Alumni in the Spotlight

Nkole Mwamba with his IVLP colleagues while visiting The Gateway Arch in March 2016.

In 2016, the World Affairs Council of St. Louis was pleased to host the director of the Savannah Project in Zambia, Nkole Mwamba, through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Prior to Mwamba’s visit to St. Louis, his work with the Savannah Project was primarily focused on the addressing issues such as civil rights, environmental conservation, and education. With the use of his degree in Project Management and Business Management, Mwamba has collaborated alongside the U.S. Embassy to provide training in the financial literacy and entrepreneurship departments.

While in St. Louis with other IVLP participants, Mwamba met local experts in non-governmental organizations (NGO) and civic activism, including a meeting on fundraising with author Carol Weisman, a professional meeting with UM-St. Louis’ academic coordination and community engagement manager, Daniel Sise, and various cultural activities.

After his visit in St. Louis through the IVLP, Mwamba continued his work with the Savannah Project, developing a new initiative called “Communities of Influence.” This initiative integrates knowledge of many topics including healthcare and environment to solve issues in Zambia.

In an article posted on Global Ties website months after his visit to St. Louis, Mwamba writes, “many communities will benefit and many lives will be touched in Zambia through the Savannah Project’s Communities of Influence just as I have been influenced by the IVLP and my American counterparts.”

Just as Mwamba’s experience changed many lives in Zambia, Mwamba exchanged his expertise with those individuals he met in St. Louis.

Professionals from Nepal discover new techniques in cultural heritage preservation

Individuals specializing in archaeology and culture from Nepal met with cultural preservation specialists and visited some of the St. Louis area’s preserved historic sites in the past week. While participating in this program the visitors had the opportunity to meet with:

  • Dan Krasnoff- Director of the Cultural Resources Office of St. Louis city
  • Bill Iseminger- Assistant Site Manager at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
  • Riley Price- Administrator for the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation
  • Susie Cobbledick- Book Conservator at Missouri
    Visitors from Nepal gather at one of Missouri’s well-preserved historical sites, the Old Courthouse, on September 7th.

    Botanical Garden Library

While in St. Louis,the group visited the Cahokia Mounds, the Old Courthouse, and Missouri Botanical Garden for various meetings. They also experienced home hospitality in various homes in the St. Louis area as well as a trip to the Gateway Arch.

About the International Visitors Leadership Program
The U.S. State Department annually brings about 4,000 “high-potential” middle managers from around the world for a three week program to the United States. They are selected by U.S. Embassies abroad and represent all disciplines, i.e., business entrepreneurs, academics, journalism, law enforcement, medicine, engineering, agriculture and government. During their first week they are introduced to the workings of Washington, D.C.; then they exchange ideas, practices and challenges with their selected professional U.S. counterparts in two or three locations across the States for 2-3 days each.

The World Affairs Council of St. Louis hosts about 250 of these foreign citizen ambassadors in groups of one to 15  per year. Among IVLP’s alumni are 192 current and former heads of state including former Prime Minister Tony Blair of England, former President F.W. de Klerk of South Africa, and the late President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat.

The IVLP allows the visitors to see grassroots America at work, in schools and in the community. The American host has an unequaled opportunity to enrich his/her knowledge of the visitor’s homeland, form a new friendship and to continue exchanging ideas even after the visit is concluded.

June 2018 IVLP Update

This month your WAC-STL has hosted three IVLP groups learning about a wide variety of topics. In the first week of June, we had two groups, one from Russia and one from the Lake Chad Basin in Africa. This week, a group from Tajikistan and a group from China finished up their visit in St. Louis.

The group from Russia was focused on Preventing Trafficking in Persons: Partnerships, Sustainability, and Advocacy. Highlights of their visit included a conversation with Whitney Howland from the International Institute of St. Louis on engaging foreign-born communities in anti-trafficking efforts, visiting the Arch, and home hospitality visits with two community members.

Our visitors from the Lake Chad Basin in Africa met with organizations and departments in St. Louis to discuss the role of Community Relations in the Fight Against Terrorism. The visitors said they especially enjoyed the meetings with Dr. John Doggette and Karen Kalish. The group was able to visit the Arch, which they really enjoyed.

The visitors from Tajikistan were focused on Media Management in a Digital Era. They toured St. Louis Public Radio and learned about Journalism Education at Mizzou. Cultural highlights included an excellent home hospitality visit.

The group from China also learned about Media management, with a focus on New and Traditional American Media in the Digital Age. The group listened to Robert Patrick from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, had a great conversation with the St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists, and talked with professors and faculty at Mizzou’s School of Journalism. The group was excited to attend a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium! This exchange also touched some of the presenters from St. Louis, check out a blog post about presenting to the visitors here!

Novus Corporate Breakfast: Facts on Food

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Over 30 community members attended the Corporate Breakfast hosted by WACSTL and Novus this morning. The breakfast of bagels and coffee was followed by an engaging presentation by the President and CEO of Novus, François Fraudeau.  Visitors were able to ask questions after the presentation, leading to more specific answers on topics like food dye, food packaging and health concerns related to food sources.

Novus focuses on the triple S Bottom Line, which stands for Solutions, Service, and Sustainability. Novus works on finding solutions to existing industry issues, providing excellent customer service, and working towards the ultimate goal of providing the world with affordable and wholesome food.

Attendees had the opportunity to tour the facility, everyone was impressed by the modern designs. The office space was a great example of innovation, with clear examples of work towards creating an efficient and welcoming environment for employees.

Preventing Trafficking in Persons: Advocacy, Partnerships, and Sustainability

This past week, WAC-STL hosted seven visitors from Russia and two interpreters through the International Visitors Leadership Program. The visitors were from all over Russia, and most of their work deals with the prevention of trafficking in persons. While in St. Louis, they met with Washington University’s Human Trafficking Collaborative Network, the St. Louis County Police Special Investigations Unit, the Child Protection Department of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court, a representative from the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College, The Covering House, Healing Action Network, Gateway Human Trafficking, and a representative of the St. Louis Rescue and Restore Coalition from the International Institute of St. Louis.

The first meeting was with a wide variety of St. Louis focused resources that work to prevent human trafficking and really offered a wider picture of human trafficking in St. Louis. During their meeting with Healing Action Network, the group discussed the merits of peer to peer work with victims of human trafficking and the importance of collaboration with law enforcement. The meeting with the St. Louis Rescue and Restore Coalition highlighted the importance of building trust in foreign-born communities as the first step to preventing human trafficking in those communities. The meetings all concluded with engaging questions and dialogue.

The visit was made possible through the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Meridian International. WACSTL hosts more than 150 visitors a year through IVLP, offering a wide range of local and global exchange on a diverse range of issues. If you are interested in supporting WACSTL’s work with IVLP as a volunteer or in other capacities, consider becoming a member!

World Affairs Council of St. Louis Hosts Visitors from Latin America

Focusing on combating international crime, from April 25 to 27, the World Affairs Council of St. Louis hosted 7 visitors from several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Peru, through the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

These visitors were a diverse group of individuals whose professions were varied in relation to fighting transnational and organized crime. The group was in Saint Louis to learn more about moving toward a more safe and secure world, and their meetings ranged from a Federal Bureau of Investigation employee’s discussion about Latin American gangs to learning about a unique case pertaining to money laundering from St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Robert Patrick.

The visitors were able to discuss the improvements in communications between Latin American countries and United States agencies. The FBI employee highlighted the success stories of the Transnational Anti-Gang Task Force, which provides technical expertise, training, and specialized equipment to vetted teams in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Robert Patrick, a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, shared information about the money laundering investigation linked to Venezuelan nationals Hjalmar Gibelli-Gomez and Fabrizio Della Polla De-Simone.  In addition, the group spent quite a bit of time discussing in detail the confidentiality of sources and their roles.

Our visitors had the opportunity to ask questions about the case and how Saint Louis officials handled the publicity of this national story.

This group also met with Professor Leila Sadat, a human rights expert from Washington University, who teaches her students topics such as Intellectual Property & Technology Law and U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers. Nicole Dawsey, the Executive Director for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, also met with the group and spoke with them about NCADA’s impact on youth and prevention strategies for substance abuse.

Other speakers that the group had an opportunity to meet included an employee from the Bureau of Drug Enforcement and an employee from The Drug Enforcement Agency-St. Louis Division.  The group’s next stop is New York.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. The mission of the IVLP is to advance U.S. foreign policy goals by providing firsthand knowledge of the society, culture, political system, and economy of the United States while cultivating professional relationships and networks.