• 11 Jan 2021 3:46 PM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    The popular series of seminars on world affairs is back! We discuss current issues based on the Foreign Policy Association's magazine -- this year, online via Zoom meetings. 

    5:30-7:30 pm CT, Tues. & Thursdays, Tue. 19 January -Tue.18 February 2021

    Issues from the FPA's Great Decisions 2021 magazine.

    Available by mail ($32 + shipping) from the site, or ebook ($23) immediately from the site. The ebook can be read immediately in your browser (with Kindle cloud reader) or can be downloaded immediately to your device using Kindle software. (The hardcopy book, though, does have lavish, magazine quality production which is a pleasure to handle.) 

    Great Decisions 2021 topics

    • 19 Jan. Brexit: taking stock and looking ahead
    • 21 Jan. The World Health Organization's response to Covid-19
    • 26 Jan. The coldest war: toward a return to Great Power competition in the Arctic?
    • 28 Jan. The end of globalization?
    • 2 Feb. Global supply chains and U.S National Security
    • 4 Feb. The future of Persian Gulf security
    • 9 Feb. China and Africa
    • 11 Feb. The two Koreas

    Plus two possible topics from 2020.

    Note that, in the event of an ALWAC main speaker event coinciding with Great Decisions, GD will not meet that evening. 

  • 11 Jan 2021 11:47 AM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    To join a free meeting on Zoom with the British Ambassador, please register with WAC Atlanta at this URL, which may appear broken into two lines:

    or paste this into your browser as a single line.

    The event will be at noon ET, 1100 Central, on Tuesday 12 January 2021. Upon registering with an email address and entering ALWAC as your council, you will be supplied with a link. 

  • 28 Nov 2020 7:20 PM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    The popular Great Decisions 2020 seminar series is returning via video, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-17 Dec. (except for Thursday 3 Dec, when we have our speaker event). Topics have been selected based on your survey responses. Members please see and register on Meeting link and information will be supplied upon registration. Download your Great Decisions 2020 booklet from Amazon instantly in Kindle format ($21), or order it by mail from ($32). 

  • 28 Nov 2020 2:35 PM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    Members and their guests have two choices of formats for the 3 December event: a return to the usual location in the Gold Room at 231 Montgomery St (with 50 limit), or an online video alternative. Members may register for one "event" or the other. 

    (In the Gold room, the seating will be spaced and the reception will be adjusted to increase health and safety.) 

    Our visiting speaker, David R. Stilwell, is the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

    Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary on June 20, 2019, he served in the Air Force for 35 years, beginning as an enlisted Korean linguist in 1980, and retiring in 2015 in the rank of Brigadier General as the Asia advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

    He served multiple tours of duty in Japan and Korea as a linguist, a fighter pilot, and a commander. He also served as the Defense Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, 2011-2013.

    Most recently, Mr. Stilwell served as the Director of the China Strategic Focus Group at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii 2017-2019 and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East West Center in Honolulu from 2016-2019.

    He earned a B.S. in History from the U.S. Air Force Academy (1987), and a Master’s Degree in Asian Studies and Chinese language from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (1988) and is a 2009 graduate of the Executive Leadership program at the Darden School, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was awarded the Department of Defense Superior Service Award in 2015. He speaks Korean, Chinese and limited Japanese.

  • 22 Sep 2020 2:20 PM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    After much consideration of the pandemic, we are going ahead with speaker programs via video conference software such as Zoom. Up first will be Lt. Gen. James "Storch" Hecker, highly decorated pilot and Commander of Air University. Save the date for 6 pm on 29 Sep. An email will provide in advance a clickable link to the "waiting room" before the Zoom meeting. Free registration for members on

  • 28 Apr 2020 10:04 PM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    Troy University’s Continuing Education & Outreach is excited to partner with the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base on the Hap Arnold Outreach Program, virtually.

    Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday April 29, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


    Officers from the Air War College will present on “Values-Based Leadership.” They will share lessons learned from their time in the service, that each of us can apply in our personal and professional lives.

    (Presentations will be different each day so register to attend one or both of the sessions.)

    Presentations will last approximately 30 minutes, allowing time for Q&A afterwards.

    Please Click Here to register to attend in order to receive the session log-in information.

    All faculty, staff and students are invited to register. Student leaders, Military Science/ROTC and students studying or who have an interest in political science, public administration, business management, or leadership may find this particularly interesting.

  • 14 Mar 2020 5:49 PM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    In light of the coronavirus state of emergency nationally and locally and out of an abundance of caution for the health of our members, we have decided to cancel our Alabama World Affairs Council program on Tuesday, March 17th.  We will look to reschedule this event when circumstances are more favorable and will keep you informed as to when we can resume our programs.  Thank you for your understanding and support.  

  • 10 Mar 2020 10:02 PM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    Continuing Education and Outreach, Troy University, has partnered with the United State Air Force Air War College on a Leadership Forum.

    The “Values Based Executive Leadership Forum” is free to attend, and open to the public (must RSVP to attend).

    Air War College Students will share their insights and lessons learned from personal experience in the service, and attendees will walk away from the panel discussion with a greater understanding of United States military service, military culture and the challenges military leaders face, and how we can relate those to our own organizations.

    The panel discussion will be held on the Troy University Montgomery Campus on March 24, 2020 at 8:00am.

    There is no cost to attend, but we ask that everyone RSVP to

  • 20 Nov 2019 3:04 PM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    Following a highly successful meeting on Tuesday 19 November, with a well-received speaker, discussion of Trade Wars, Tech, and Tools for Diplomacy -- and plenty of engagement at question time ...

    We have uploaded an album of photos to our Facebook. Please "Tag" your friends, and please "Like" the page. 

    Did you know Facebook "nation", claimed to include 2 Billion humans, would be the second largest nation on earth, between China and India? 

    We will also upload these photos to the AWAC.US website, in the folder for '19-20 photos.

    Notes will be polished and uploaded soon, to AWAC.US

    An additional video of Dr. Grant discussing her "back seat" experiences in dogfighting exercises, will be uploaded soon. This one will have you on the edge of your seat and (if you have seen the recent film, Midway) possibly in your straps. 

    Particular thanks are due to Gen. Walter Givhan, who invited the speaker to come to ALWAC. 

    Best wishes for the holiday season,

    Jeremy Lewis, Vice-President

  • 17 Nov 2019 10:42 PM | Jeremy Lewis (Administrator)

    If you would like to undertake some homework for your questions on Tuesday 19 November, here are some accessible sources. (If searching for videos, beware of two actresses with the same name who -- whatever their other talents -- are not experts on Air Force matters). 

    Dr. Rebecca Grant's TV videos on Fox, MSNBC and CNN from about 2017 are found on her IRIS website Media Page here. You will also find a national security Blog and some articles on adjacent IRIS pages. 

    For more up to date videos, here's a list of Grant's appearances on Fox News TV, with links.

    Here's the link to Rebecca Grant explaining Space Force on Fox News with Tucker Carlson, 2 Feb. 2019, via Facebook or YouTube.

    Here's Grant talking about Trump's diplomacy with North Korea in November 2017, on Fox and Friends. 

    Here's a demo tape of Grant answering questions about USAF aircraft on YouTube.

Great Decisions Program to be Offered in Spring 2016

Do you want to know more about ISIS?  Migration issues?  Climate change?  The Koreas? Cuba?  We’ve got the answer(s) for you. Members of the Alabama World Affairs Council (AWAC) can participate in the 2016 Great Decisions Program, a new initiative of AWAC that has been offered nationally for over 50 years through a series of discussions held in hundreds of local communities across the country.  Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association of America, it is the nation’s largest discussion program on world affairs. 

There will be eight classes, each led by Ph.D. professors and held at Auburn University Montgomery’s downtown facility at 400 South Union Street from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is ample parking available.  Classes will be held on consecutive Wednesdays beginning Jan. 27. The topics for this year and the dates for the class and discussion are as follows:

Middle East Alliances (Jan. 27); The Rise of ISIS (Feb. 3); The Future of Kurdistan (Feb. 10); Migration (Feb. 17); The Koreas (Feb. 24); The United Nations (March 2); Climate Change (March 9); and Cuba and the U.S. (March 16).  The instructors are all Ph.D.s who are active or retired professors from area universities and colleges.

The program is supported by a study booklet, a PBS television series on each topic, and a national opinion ballot at the end of the program.  The Great Decisions Program not only provides a wealth of information to participants but also provides those in government and the media a sense of how the informed public views these issues through the questionnaires on the issues which are compiled at the end of the series from hundreds of programs across the country.

The cost of the program is only $20 to cover the cost of the study booklet for classroom use. 

AWAC members and others interested in signing up for the course should phone the AWAC office.  Space is limited!

Oil and Politics—Talk to the Alabama World Affairs Council, October 20

Contact: James Nathan, Executive Director or Mrs. Dahdee Bullen—for reservations. 

26 September 2015

James Clad, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia, will speak to the Alabama World Affairs Council on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The public is invited to the event at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, which begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception followed by a 6:15 presentation.  

Mr. Clad, once a diplomat, and then went to journalism, He became well know for breaking  important stories across Asia. In 2007, Mr. Clad joined the GW Bush administration as deputy assistant secretary of defense. In 2009, he became a professor at US National Defense University, and, at the same time, wrote several documentaries for the BBC and PBS.

Mr. Clad is now is senior adviser at the CNA Corporation in Arlington, VA. 

A former member of New Zealand diplomatic service,Mr.  Clad’s career has focused on Asian commercial and security affairs. He has held senior fellowships from St. Antony’s College, Oxford; from the Carnegie Endowment; and from Harvard’s Center for International Affairs.   

 Mr. Clad’s most recent book is a volume on political geography, “The Borderlands of Southeast Asia.”

Mr Clad’s meeting at the Alabama World Affairs Council meeting begins with a catered buffet and a cash bar, followed by Mr. Clad’s talk at 6:15, with a question-and-answer period at about 7:00. The evening ends no later than 7:30 p.m. The charge is $20 for non-members of the Alabama World Affairs Council.

 The Alabama World Affairs Council is one of 96 councils nationwide, and its individual membership fees are among the lowest, while the quality of the programs is among the highest in the nation.

 For information about attending Alabama World Affairs Council events or joining the organization, please call (334) 244-3337 or visit 

Gen. Cleveland Says Thank You
By Lt. Gen. Charles G. Cleveland, USAF (Ret.)
10 August 2015

On May 20, my last Alabama World Affairs Council program as president after18 years in the job, I had some things I wanted to say to the attending members.  But I was thrown off stride when others shouldered me aside with presentations, and I was essentially struck dumb – I  couldn't think of a thing to say. The proclamation from the mayor, presented by his right-hand man Steve Jones (did you know that May 20 is Chick Cleveland Day in Montgomery in perpetuity?!), the nice words from the U.S. Congress and the Alabama Legislature (I'm sure engineered by Will Sellers), and the plaque from Buck Grinter were all too much. I loved them, I appreciated them, but I still have things to say.

It has been an honor and pleasure to serve as president of AWAC. I have thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think we did some good things. Jim Nathan has secured most of the speakers, and we ended up with what I consider a high-quality and a reasonably well-balanced program, year after year, at low cost. We were able to keep the dues low for so long because so many members voluntarily joined at a higher than minimum level, at the same time building up a modest reserve (which came in handy last year as we outspent the income by a good margin in bringing in extra programs). We have operated as essentially an all-volunteer organization, with the exception of one part-time contract employee, the redoubtable Young Gray. There are too many people to thank individually for their efforts, but the support from the Board of Directors and the members has been superb, and I do thank you for it.

I have been bestowed the grandiose title of president emeritus and will remain a member. I will never lose interest in the work of this council, but it needs new ideas and new energy.  We are very fortunate that the Transition Committee was able to locate a great new president, Dr. Grant Hammond from the Air University at Maxwell. Grant actually has experience as the founder and president of a World Affairs Council in Memphis. He has served on our Board before when he was a professor at the Air War College, and  recently was hand-picked as the provost at Air University, a more-than-full-time job. The Air Force and the World Affairs Council are fortunate to have Grant Hammond with us in leadership positions.

Bringing the World to Montgomery
By Grant Hammond
10 August 2015

Would you enjoy the opportunity to hear and speak with ambassadors, policy makers, award winning journalists, strategists, and academics from the US and abroad about current issues in world affairs in an environment where you can socialize with those of similar interests over drinks and a light supper?  If so, you will want to consider joining the Alabama World Affairs Council (AWAC) in this unique experience to participate in its upcoming year’s programs.

Under the leadership of President Dr. Grant Hammond, Provost of Air University, author, professor and former Dean of the NATO Defense College in Rome and Executive Officer Dr. James Nathan, the Khaled bin Sultan eminent Scholar at AUM, a former foreign Service Officer and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the AWAC brings an array of interesting speakers on a variety of world events and important international issues to Montgomery.  Founded in 1985 “to bring the world to Alabama,” the AWAC has over 400 members in the Montgomery area and is one of the largest World Affairs organizations in the Southeast.  The variety of perspectives, informed insights on world events and frank discussions presented at these occasions are unparalleled.

Over the last 18 months, a number of distinguished visitors have come to Montgomery, mingled with members and guests of the Alabama World Affairs Council (AWAC), given presentations on a variety of topics and answered questions from those in attendance at the AWAC meetings.  Recent guests have been former CIA agent and author Valerie Plame, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from the Wall Street Journal Bret Stephens, Ukrainian Ambassador Alexandr Motsyk, former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and member of the National Security Council P. J. Crowley as well as a group of professors form the USAF Air War College reporting on their recent visits to a variety of military and diplomatic posts abroad during their annual Regional and Cultural Field Studies. 

Among speakers for the coming year are a member of the US Federal Reserve Bank, a former Deputy Secretary of Defense, a noted Middle Eastern journalist and others yet to be confirmed.  In addition, plans are underway to add to the Council’s programs for the coming year to include a program for high school and college students, some smaller informal discussions for those interested in particular topics, and series of book club discussion groups.  The establishment of other chapters in the state, beginning with Birmingham, are also underway.

The AWAC meetings are held six or more events a year, usually held on Tuesdays at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, occasionally at Auburn University at Montgomery as well.  Each meeting begins with an informal reception at 5:30 with a cash bar, a catered buffet (included in the membership fee).  The lecture/presentation follows about 6:15 with questions and answers at 7:00.  Programs generally end by 7:30.

While the quality of its programs is among the highest in the nation, AWAC’s fees are among the lowest.  The dues structure allows wide participation.  Remembering that a light supper is included as well as the program for six or more meetings, the $40 dollars for a college student, $80 dollars for seniors (65+), $100 for an individual and $150 for a family.  Higher levels of membership are also available and include the opportunity to bring guests to the programs.  Further information can be obtained by calling the AWAC office at AUM at 334-244-3337 or by visiting the AWC website at

The AWAC Board of Directors is composed of leaders from the business community, academia, the military, non-profit organizations, the professions and citizens interested in global issues and events.  American foreign and defense policy, unfolding events in different regions of the world, the impact of increasing globalization and accelerating technology are all topics of concern and form a backdrop for more focused discussions for each program. 

Understanding how we are all interconnected—by environmental issues, information flows, international trade and finance, energy supplies, social media and their effect on our lives—is a part of personal knowledge and citizenship in the 21st century.  Events happening half way round the world have impact on Montgomery.  And events that happen in Montgomery—from the international business conducted here, the state’s multi-billion dollar exports, the education of military officers from across the globe, and the future of our youth—will have an impact on the world.  Come join us, better understand more about your world, your state and how they are connected, and meet others who share your interests.  Contact the AWAC office at 334-244-3337 or visit our website at

(Contact Dr. Grant T. Hammond, 334-819-4293 or Dr. James Nathan, 334-467-8666.)

Jim Nathan Garners Diplomat of Year Award
By Grant Hammond
15 February 2015

AWAC’s executive director, Dr. James Nathan, the Khalid bin Sultan Eminent Scholar at Auburn University at Montgomery since 1991, received the International Services Council of Alabama’s Citizen Diplomat of the Year Award earlier this year at the organization’s 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Huntsville. The award was presented by Claes Nobel, senior member of the Nobel Peace Prize family.

The ISC, which has subsequently been renamed Global Ties Alabama, manages a number of programs designed to bring the international community and the citizens of Alabama together to participate in the global conversation on important issues. It presented the award in March at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, where the organization is based. The organization is an affiliate of the national Global Ties America organization, and it works with AWAC’s national organization, the World Affairs Council of America, in promoting the State Department’s visitors program.

At the request of Global Ties and our national council, we hope to coordinate AWAC and Global Ties in Huntsville. The Global Ties of Alabama will hold a meeting at Alabama State University on Oct. 27. Global Ties works with Seth Johnson Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery, and helps the Montgomery School Board with retention efforts.

Dr. Nathan received the award because of his “exemplary support of our programming aimed at globalizing Alabama,” said the ISC (now Global Ties Alabama), citing his volunteer activities with international delegations and his leadership in presenting nationally and internationally known speakers at the Alabama World Affairs Council, where he has been executive director since 1992. In his remarks, Dr. Nathan said the award was really more to AWAC than to him personally.

Dr. Nathan is a political science and public administration professor at AUM, a former Foreign Service officer, and the author of seven books and more than 80 academic articles. He has written over 100 articles for the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, The Nation, Foreign Affairs, USA Today and other popular publications. He has also held senior posts at the Naval War College, Army War College, the University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University, and been a Senior Distinguished Fulbright Professor in China, the Philippines, Australia and Korea.

A graduate of Indiana University, Dr. Nathan has a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

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