A Day in the Life of Odir

“It impacted my point of view of the world. All the workshops […] I had opened my eyes about so many things that I don’t even know how to describe it.” – Odir

Multiregional | Youth and Civic Engagement

March 20 – 26, 2019

Countries: Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lebanon, South Africa, and Sudan

Project: Youth and Civic Engagement

No. of Visitors: 6

Professional Objectives:
  • Examine leadership strategies and communication skills used to manage political and social challenges while balancing divergent social demands and interests;
  • Explore advocacy strategies that facilitate social empowerment and justice;
  • Discuss how public-private partnerships foster political and civic engagement;
  • Review political, social, and economic policy formulation and the various players who influence the decision-making processes; and
  • Illustrate the value of community service and volunteerism in U.S. communities.
Themes in Louisville:
  • The role of local governments in promoting youth engagement
  • Youth employment and economic opportunity
  • Leadership and civic education in schools
  • U.S. Civil Rights history and legacy

WAC is seeking volunteers to host these visitors in their home over a meal! Dates could be: March 21, 22 or 25th. Please contact [email protected] for details!

This delegation will be in Louisville under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). 

Global Trivia Night

Join the World Affairs Council for our “Global Trivia Night”!

Please note that our March Global Trivia has moved from the first Tuesday to Wednesday, March 13th! 

// LOCATION: Gravely Brewing Co

Global Trivia Night is brought to you by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana!

Your donation to play is the cost of a beer and supports the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana‘s educational programs in Kentucky!

Reach out to us with questions! [email protected]



Iraq | Religious and Public Curriculum Development

March 9 – 13, 2019

Country: Iraq (Kurdish)

Project: Religious and Public Curriculum Development

No. of Visitors: 10

WAC is hosting a delegation of 10 Kurdish education officials, journalists, and educators from Iraq on a “Religious and Public Curriculum Development” project under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and in partnership with Cultural Vistas. Delegates will meet with their peers in the Kentuckiana region to discuss curriculum development, explore and tour educational institutions of various local religious (Catholic, Islamic, and Jewish), and meet with Kentucky education officials to understand how the state ensures that private/religious institutions adhere to Kentucky laws and standards of education. 

Still seeking home hospitality dinner hosts! Learn more!

Host Responsibilities:

  • Provide dinner
  • Invite friends and family
  • Enjoy!

World Affairs Council Provides:

  • Transportation for visitors to/from your home!
  • Information about each visitor

The U.S.-Japan Alliance Working in Kentucky – Panel and Sake Tasting

Wednesday, March 6th

Speed Art Museum, 2035 South Third Street, Louisville, KY

5:30 pm | Registration

6:00 pm | Panel Discussion

7:00 pm | Q&A with Audience

7:15 pm | Reception (with Sake Tasting)

Reception catered by Wiltshire Pantry with special Sake Tasting presentation by Ayako Nakajima, WAC’s Japan Outreach Coordinator!

Registration required – form can be located toward the bottom of this page or via this link.

This event is free for WAC Members and $20 for non-members.


Japan has become the single-most important ally of the United States. For over 70 years, Japan has worked together with the United States to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, uphold our common values, and foster economic growth. The U.S.-Japan alliance has also served as the foundation to deepen and widen the U.S.-Japan relationship on multiple fronts, ranging from trade and economic relations to cultural exchanges, and the benefits of this relationship are seen across all regions of the United States, including in Kentucky.

This event will aim to improve understanding of Japan as America’s most important ally and as Kentucky’s strong partner. A panel of U.S. and Japanese experts from Washington, D.C. and a representative of a prominent Japanese company in Kentucky will examine important developments in today’s Japan with implications for U.S.-Japan relations, the depth and breadth of Japan-Kentucky ties, and the impact of Japanese business investments in Kentucky.

The event is co-hosted by Sasakawa USA and World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana as part of Sasakawa USA’s The Alliance Working in America Series, and in partnership with the East-West Center in Washington, and the Japan-America Society of Kentucky, and the World Affairs Councils of America.

Contact World Affairs Council will any questions at [email protected] or (502) 561-5422.

Special Guest

Consul-General Kobayashi

Consul-General Kobayashi assumed his post as Consul-General of Japan in Nashville on May 20, 2018. Since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in 1983, he has served in several overseas posts and worked on a variety of issues in many different departments in Tokyo. Immediately prior to arriving in Nashville, Consul-General Kobayashi served for four years as a Coordinator in the Personnel Affairs Division, where he was responsible for personnel recruitment and transfer of a third of Japan’s approximately 6,000 diplomats.

Panel Speakers

Ambassador James Zumwalt

Ambassador James Zumwalt became Chief Executive Officer of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA in February 2017. Ambassador Zumwalt was the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of Guinea Bissau from 2015 to January 2017. Previously, he was responsible for policy toward Japan and Korea as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asia Affairs. When the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami struck Japan in 2011, Ambassador Zumwalt was serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, where he coordinated the United States’ support for the Japanese Government’s response to that crisis.

During his 36-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Zumwalt has served in a variety of assignments with a focus on Asia and international economics in Washington, Tokyo, Beijing, Kinshasa, Dakar, and Bissau. In Washington, D.C., he worked in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Japan, Korea, and Philippines desks and also at the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and the United States Trade Representative’s Office. He speaks Japanese, French, and some Chinese.

Ambassador Zumwalt received a master’s degree in International Security Studies from the National War College in 1998 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History and also in the Japanese Language from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979. He is from El Cajon, California and is married to Ann Kambara, a retired Foreign Service Officer who is now pursuing a second career in social work.

Dr. Satu Limaye

Dr. Satu Limaye is Director of the East-West Center in Washington. He is also a Senior Advisor at the CNA Corporation, a non-profit research and analysis organization located in Arlington, VA. He is the creator and director of the Asia Matters for America initiative, an interactive resource for credible, non-partisan
information, graphics, analysis and news on US-Asia Pacific relations and the national, state and local levels; Founding Editor of the Asia-Pacific Bulletin series, an editor of the journal Global Asia and on the international advisory council of the journal Contemporary Southeast Asia.

Dr. Limaye publishes and speaks on U.S.-Asia relations and is a reviewer for numerous publications, foundations and fellowship programs. Previously, he was a Research Staff Member of the Strategy and Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and Director of Research and Publications at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), a direct reporting unit of U.S. Pacific Command.

He has been an Abe Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy and a Henry Luce Scholar and Research Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) in Tokyo. He is a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar.

Dr. Toshihiro Nakayama

Dr. Toshihiro Nakayama is the Japan Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He is also a Professor of American Politics and Foreign Policy at the Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University. He is also an Adjunct Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs. He was a Special Correspondent for the Washington Post at the Far Eastern Bureau (1993-94), Special Assistant at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in New York (1996-98), Senior Research Fellow at The Japan Institute of International Affairs (2004-06), Associate Professor at Tsuda College (2006-10), and Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University (2010-14). He was also a CNAPS Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution (2005-06). He received his M.A.(1993) and Ph.D.(2001) from Aoyama Gakuin University. He has written two books and numerous articles on American politics, foreign policy, and international relations. He appears regularly on Japanese media. Writes a monthly column for Japan News. Recipient of Nakasone Yasuhiro Award (Incentive Award) in 2014.

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith is a 31-year veteran of Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry and has worked for several of the top distilleries in the state.  A 20-year resident of Nelson County, he is currently employed by Beam Suntory (Jim Beam / Maker’s Mark) in Clermont, KY., where he works with state, local, and civic leaders as well as serving on several non-profit boards throughout the regional area.

Smith is currently serving on the Kentucky Chamber Executive Board and is on the Governors Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board where chairs their Business Engagement Committee.  He is Vice Chairman of the Flaget Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, Kentucky Distillers Association Board of Directors, on the Board of Directors for Greater Louisville Inc., and the Kentucky Tourism Industry Association Board of Directors.  He is also a member of the Bardstown Nelson County Chamber Board chairing the Workforce Development Committee and, on the Bardstown Nelson County Tourism Commission Board.

Previously Smith worked in the manufacturing and supply chain side of the bourbon business as Director of Operations / Plant Manager for Jim Beam and Vice President / Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark where he created Maker’s 46, the company’s first innovation since the original product in1953.  In addition to manufacturing, he has also promoted and represented the bourbon industry around the world conducting seminars, tastings, and media interviews for small and large audiences. In 2010, during his time as the Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark, Smith debuted as a judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America where the secret ingredient was…. you guessed it, Bourbon.

Love Ghana

The Joy of Color in Historic Places | WAC Pop-Up

Wednesday, February 13

with Author, Dr. John “Hans” Gilderbloom

Location: Butchertown Social, 1601 Story Ave, Louisville, KY 40206

Time: Registration & Networking 5:30pm | Presentation 6:00pm

Free entry with a suggested donation of $10.00 – Registration form below.

Can “chromatic homes” be the secret sauce for neighborhood regeneration? Is it possible that an ordinary building can become a neighborhood icon by painting it with bold and lively colors? How does beauty shape a place and make it sustainable? Can a chromatic home bring joy, pride, hope, renewal, reinvestment, and prosperity?

Join Dr. John “Hans” Gilderbloom as he presents Chromatic Homes as a social movement not just here in the U.S. but across the world in Russia, Cuba, Italy, Netherlands as people try to rebuild their neighborhoods.

About Dr. John Gilderbloom

Dr. John I. “Hans” Gilderbloom is considered one of the most influential figures in urban affairs with an emphasis on sustainability, housing, health, and transportation. His fingerprints are all over cities throughout the world. Since 1976 he has been credited as a major player in getting passed and defending the enactment of tenant protections against unfair evictions and unreasonable rents in over 125 cities.






Global Trivia Night

Join the World Affairs Council for our October “Global Trivia Night”!

// LOCATION: Gravely Brewing Co

December 4th’s Global Trivia Night is brought to you by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana!

Your donation to play is the cost of a beer and supports the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana‘s educational programs in Kentucky!

Reach out to us with questions! [email protected]



Conversation on Qatar with Judge Angela McCormick Bisig

Local Circuit Court Judge, Judge Angela McCormick Bisig, just returned from a week-long World Affairs Council Leadership Mission to the Country of Qatar. Qatar is a strategic ally of the United States and has the Al Udeid Air Base which is home to the United States Central Command.

Judge Bisig learned about a blockade of the small oil-rich country by its neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE who blocked imports into the country and gave Qatari citizens 14 days to leave their countries. The Qataris believe this is evidence of Saudi threats to Qatari sovereignty. They point to the recent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as evidence of nature of the current Saudi regime.

During the Leadership Mission, Judge Bisig was able to meet with numerous high level officials, including: Qatari Shura Council (Senate) President, HE Mohammed bin Abdullah al Sulaiti; Al Jazeera News; 2022 FIFA World Cup Supreme Committee; Ministry of Defense; the Deputy-Minister of Counter-terrorism; the Ministry of Finance; the President of Qatar Petroleum; and the Al Udeid Air Base; among others.

Join the World Affairs Council and Judge Bisig on January 24th to gain unique local insights into this complicated region and international relations. Judge Bisig will provide a local perspective on the country and answer questions.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration and a $10.00 donation are encouraged.

5:30pm Registration & Networking
6:00pm Conversation begins

Hosted at Saffron’s Persian Cuisine

No Host Event. Guests are encouraged to purchase drinks or food from Saffron’s.

Judge Angela McCormick Bisig has been a member of the Kentucky Judiciary for 17 years. She is currently a Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge. She was elected to this position in November 2012. Prior to this post, Judge Bisig was elected and served for 10 years as a Jefferson County District Judge, where she was first elected in 2002. Judge Bisig worked as a Juvenile Court Judge for many years and also helped to establish a special program called the Enhanced Supervision Docket requiring court supervision of domestic violence offenders. Judge Bisig was elected the Chief Judge of District Court in 2012. Before becoming a Judge, Judge Bisig worked as a prosecutor in the area of domestic violence and sexual assaults for 7 years. She also practiced civil law in the firms of Brown, Todd & Heyburn and Greenebaum Doll & McDonald.

Canada | Emerging Political and Economic Leaders in North America

January 20 – 23, 2019

Country: Canada

Project: Emerging Political and Economic Leaders in North America

No. of Visitors: 5

Details coming soon…