November 2020 at WorldBoston

November at WorldBoston
Dear Friends,

So, the people spoke, Biden’s election was called, and that’s it.

Um, maybe?

This will surely be the most unusual Presidential transition in our Republic’s history, with ramifications for our foreign relations, for our approach to global issues such as climate change and migration, and more.

Good thing we have outstanding programs this month to help us grasp our situation. 

On Thursday, our Mission Persists series turns to national security with General H.R. McMaster. Then on Monday, Nov. 16, the Mission Persists persists (sorry!) with The State of the State Department and Transatlantic Diplomacy, featuring Amb. (ret.) Nicholas Burns, and H.E. Stavros Lambrinidis, Ambassador of the European Union to the U.S. From there, we can dive right into the World Affairs Councils of America 2020 National Conference, New Frontiers in Diplomacy and National Security, Nov. 16-20, a must-do annual gathering of thinkers — and doers — in international affairs.

We round out the month with a Chat & Chowder on Brexit and Northern Ireland and a Great Decisions on the Northern Triangle. December will bring Chat & Chowder and Great Decisions installments, and then … onward to 2021. By the way, for a preview on our Great Decisions programming, have a look at the just-released 2021 topics, in this newsletter, below.

There is a lot for us to think about regarding America’s place in the world. Good thing our international visitors keep coming, to share their perspectives and trade experiences with their peers in our area. See below for information on an array of upcoming virtual Citizen Diplomacy programs.

Let’s persist.
Mary P. Yntema
President & CEO
Help WorldBoston bring the world to you! 

As a non-profit organization, WorldBoston relies on the generosity and support of members, donors, and sponsors to accomplish our mission: foster engagement in international affairs and cooperation between people of all nations.
This month WorldBoston launches a series of special events to highlight the mission of international engagement. For sponsorship information, please contact Elise Pitcairn ( or Mary Yntema (

Thursday, November 12th 
5:00-6:00 PM ET 

We are pleased to announced that Gen. H.R. McMaster will join us to discuss his new book BATTLEGROUNDS: The Fight to Defend the Free World. 

H.R. MCMASTER is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institution and Lecturer at Stanford University School of Business. He was the 26th Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. McMaster served as an active duty Army officer for thirty-four years after graduation from the United States Military Academy.
Defend the Free World, H.R. McMaster lays out a comprehensive indictment of a quarter century of flawed policies and strategies, told from his perspective as a soldier, commander, scholar, and national security advisor.

Monday, November 16th 
12:00-1:00 PM ET 

Ambassador Nicholas Burns will be joined by E.U. Ambassador to the U.S. Stavros Lambrinidis for an exciting conversation about the dynamic between the State Department and transatlantic diplomacy. In addition to critically evaluating the current state of the State Department, we will also look at U.S. diplomacy through the lens of the transatlantic relationship. 

Ambassador Nicholas Burns is the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy & International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Stavros Lambrinidis is the Ambassador of the European Union to the United States, as of March 1, 2019. From 2012 to February 2019, he served as the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights. Read more about the speakers here.
WorldBoston’s The State of the State Department is a high-level speaking event, serving as an annual occasion to assess the strength of a critical instrument in the pursuit of U.S. national interest, within a policy context.

Monday, November 23rd
6:00-7:00 PM ET
Even virtually, the spirit of Chat & Chowder persists! We encourage everyone to BYOCB (Bring Your Own Chow(der) & Beverages), and also to join us for the informal post-Chat Chat with WorldBoston members and other friends (separate Zoom link will be provided). Longtime and first-time chatters alike are welcome!

Professor Feargal Cochrane was born and educated in Belfast and has been publishing and teaching on Northern Ireland and wider themes of violent political conflict and peacebuilding for 30 years. He is now a Senior Research Fellow of CARC and Professor Emeritus at the University of Kent.  

This event is hosted and produced by our partner GBH Forum Network. 
Feargal Cochrane’s urgent analysis argues that Brexit is breaking peace in Northern Ireland, making it the most significant event since Partition. Endless negotiations and uncertainty have brought contested identities back to the forefront of political debate. Always so much more than a line on a map, the border has become an existential marker of identity as well as a reminder of the dark days of violent conflict.
Combatting illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which hold the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the U.S. With funds from the U.S. cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration?

This event is produced by our partner GBH Forum Network. 
Lisa Haugaard, the co-director of the Latin America Working Group, has spearheaded advocacy on human rights and peace issues in Latin America for two decades. She directs advocacy on Colombia, Central America, development and military aid and policy and coordinates coalition campaigns with U.S. and Latin American partners.

November 16 – 20 

For 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.

This year’s conference will take place 100% virtually, featuring an impressive lineup of speakers and events, including:
  • Timely expert opinions and analysis about the United States election in November
  • Diverse and inclusive perspectives and audience dialogue about America’s role in the world
  • Access to extraordinary speakers, thought leaders, and ambassadors available for local Council programming
  • Professional development, leadership training, and peer-to-peer networking
Great Decisions 2021 Topics Announced!

The Foreign Policy Association has announced the eight topics to be highlighted in 2021Great Decisions programming. Keep an eye out for WorldBoston programming focused on these topics, starting January 2021!

  • Global Supply Chains and National Security
  • Persian Gulf Security Issues
  • Brexit and the European Union
  • Struggles Over the Melting Arctic
  • China’s Role in Africa
  • The Korean Peninsula
  • Roles of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic
  • The End of Globalization?
To learn more about Global Engagement, contact Elise Pitcairn, Director of Operations & Global Engagement Programs.
WorldBoston is delighted to be hosting again, even if virtually, the Professional Fellows of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI)! From January-April 2021, we will be serving as Cohort Ambassadors to provide the Boston cohort of entrepreneurs support with a virtual program and hospitality: fellowship placements, site visits, meetings with local experts, home hospitality, and cultural activities. If you would like to connect with these inspiring entrepreneurs from across Latin America, the Carribean, and also Canada this year, please get in touch with our Manager of Citizen Diplomacy Programs, Josh Bruno.

Since our partners at the U.S. Department of State announced that in-person programming for the IVLP is on hold through March 2021, we have welcomed several virtual delegations and look forward to welcoming eight more this month! A warm thank you to all our local citizen diplomats, the local professionals who meet with our groups as virtual interlocutors for peer exchange. Here is who is “visiting” in November:
Developing University Partnerships

Lusophone Africa and Brazil
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists – Research and Investigation

African Regional Project
Hidden No More: Alumnae

Multi-regional Project
US Energy Policy: Security, Independence, and Innovation
Regional Southeast Asia
Protecting the Integrity and Security of the International Research Enterprise

Denmark, Finland, and Sweden
If you have any ideas or questions about virtual citizen diplomacy programs, please contact Sarah Sibley,Vice President for Citizen Diplomacy.
Update from the Office
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Welcome to last month’s new and returning WorldBoston members: David Blatman, Andrea Capachietti, Larry Post, Patricia Roach, Elizabeth Stephenson, and Nelson Tamayo. Thank you, we appreciate your support! 

WorldBoston Recommends!
Check your inbox every Friday for “WorldBoston Recommends” — our staff picks international virtual programs in the coming week. 
Wait, Did You Miss Something?

Don’t forget to check our News section for announcements and past newsletters. 
And for the latest, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!
The International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program and WorldBoston’s main citizen diplomacy partner. Launched in 1940, the IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. These visits reflect the International Visitors’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.

The U.S. Department of State’s bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs administers the IVLP. In doing so, the bureau enters cooperative agreements with National Program Agencies, a group of private, not-for-profit organizations based in Washington, D.C., that design and implement national IVLP itineraries. In addition to the National Program Agencies, the IVLP relies on the commitment and skills of local community organizations across the U.S., known as Community Based Members (CBMs). Under the professional association of Global Ties U.S., local CBM members develop professional programs, arrange cultural activities, and provide home hospitality for international visitors.

WorldBoston is part of the Global Ties Network of more than 90 CBMs in 45 states.

WorldBoston is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America, 
a network of more than 90 independent Councils in more than 40 states.

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