Why Mexico’s Forthcoming Elections Are Important

Speaker

Professor Rodrigo Nieto-Gomez

Department of National Security Affairs & Center for Homeland Defense
Naval Postgraduate School

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Overview

The coming year will see numerous elections throughout the world. For the United States, Mexico’s June election to choose a new president and an entirely new national Congress could be one of the most important. Much attention will be focused on the choice of a new president, as Mexico’s constitution does not allow the popular incumbent president, López Obrador, to run again.

Many argue that no other country has more impact on the daily lives of Americans than does our southern neighbor. Mexico is the United States largest trading partner and production partner. It is also the entry way for massive amounts of deadly, illegal drugs and large flows of migrants.

Our guest, Professor Nieto-Gomez, is a professor in the Department of National Security Affairs and Center for Homeland Defense at the Naval Post Graduate School where his course offerings include classes on Mexican politics and border security. In his remarks he will discuss Mexico’s Presidential candidates, their party policies, and how the election outcomes may affect democratic institutions, public security, and Mexico-U.S. relations.

Dr. Nieto-Gomez earned his Ph.D. in Geopolitics from the French Institute of the University of Paris and a J.D. from the State University of Sant Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Date and Times

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024
  • 11:15 AM Registration
  • 11:45 AM Lunch
  • 12:45 – 2:00 PM Speaker Presentation & Questions

Menu

  • Salad: California Field Green Salad with Arugula, Cherry Tomato, Pine Nuts and Shaved Parmesan with Lemon and Balsamic Dressing
  • Bread and butter
  • Entree: Seared Chicken Cordon Bleu in a Mushroom Cream Sauce with Mashed Potatoes and a Sauté of Seasonal Vegetables
  • Vegetarian Alternative: Spinach and Cheese Ravioli in a Tuscan Sauce of Sun Dried Tomatoes, Artichoke, Kalamata Olives and Capers
  • Dessert: New York Cheesecake with a Chocolate & Caramel Drizzle and Spiced Walnuts

Cost

  • $36 for World Affairs Council members
  • $41 for guests

Vaccination Requirements

Until further notice, documentation of COVID vaccination will not be required to attend in-person events.


Registration

Please note: Our February luncheon will be in The Pacific Grille at the Hilton Garden Inn located on the 1st floor of the building that also houses the Big Sur Room. The seating capacity in The Pacific Grille is limited so please register early to ensure your attendance.

WACMB will accept auditors to this event. Auditors will be allowed entry at 12:20 pm.
If you wish to audit the presentation, or if you encounter difficulties with registration, please email info@wacmb.org by the registration deadline.

Registrations are due by Tuesday, February 20, 2024.


Location

The Pacific Grille

Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
1000 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93923

Property and Parking Map

Click here for larger view.

Kazakhstan in the Soviet and Post-Soviet World

Speaker

Ambassador John Ordway

U.S. Department of State, retired

Friday January 26, 2024

Overview

Kazakhstan is a historically, culturally, and resource-rich country in Central Asia; the largest of the five former Soviet Republics in Central Asia. Now independent, it finds itself between two giant neighbors: Russia and China.

Our guest, Ambassador John Ordway, served as U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan from 2004 to 2008. He was also Chargé d`Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan for two extended periods: January-September 2011 and October 2013–December 2014. In his illustrated presentation, Ambassador Ordway discusses how Kazakhstan’s geographic fate, and its multi-ethnic character, dictate a careful and balanced approach to ensuring its independence and prosperity in a modern world.

Ambassador Ordway has an extensive background in the Soviet and post-Soviet world, with in-depth experience in a broad range of issues ranging from arms control and nonproliferation, to investment disputes and energy, as well as domestic politics and human rights. A career Foreign Service Officer, in addition to his assignments in Kazakhstan, he also served as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Deputy Chief of Mission in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, in the U.S. embassies in Prague, Sofia, Vienna, and Kathmandu, and the U.S. Mission to NATO. Ambassador Ordway graduated from Stanford University and the University of California’s Hastings College of Law. He resides in Sacramento, California.

Date and Times

  • Friday, January 26, 2024
  • 11:15 AM Registration
  • 11:45 AM Lunch
  • 12:45 – 2:00 PM Speaker Presentation

Menu

  • Salad: Butter Lettuce Salad with Roasted Beets, California Goat Cheese & Citrus Vinaigrette
  • Bread and butter
  • Entree: Maple & Mustard Glazed Salmon with Basmati Rice & Stir-Fried Vegetables
  • Vegetarian Alternative: Maple & Mustard Glazed Roasted Cauliflower “Steaks” with Basmati Rice & Stir-Fried Vegetables
  • Dessert: Raspberry Cheesecake Swirl with Chocolate Drizzle and Mint

Cost

  • $36 for World Affairs Council members
  • $41 for guests

Vaccination Requirements

Until further notice, documentation of COVID vaccination will not be required to attend in-person events.


Registration

Please Note: Our registration desk and name tag pick up has moved inside the Big Sur Room.

WACMB will accept auditors to this event. Auditors will be allowed entry at 12:20 pm.

If you wish to audit the presentation, or if you encounter difficulties with registration, please email info@wacmb.org by the registration deadline.

Registrations are now closed.


Location

Big Sur Room

Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
1000 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93923

Property and Parking Map

Click here for larger view.

Politics of the War in Gaza?

Speaker

Professor James Russell

Department of National Security Affairs
Naval Postgraduate School

Overview

The Israel-Hamas War has polarized political constituencies across the globe, not the least of which is here in the United States. The area is now a key arena for global power politics.

James Russell, a specialist on the Middle East and popular guest at our forum, will discuss the war in Gaza in the context of local, regional, and global politics. He will also assess American strategy and policy to recast a peaceful and stable region across the Middle East.

James A. Russell serves as Associate Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School where he teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, military innovation, and national security strategy. His articles and commentaries have appeared in a wide variety of media and scholarly outlets around the world. From 1988 – 2001, Dr. Russell held a variety of positions in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Near East and South Asia, Department of Defense.

Professor Russell holds a Master’s in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in War Studies from the University of London.

Date and Times

  • Monday, December 18, 2023
  • 11:15 AM Registration
  • 11:45 AM Lunch
  • 12:30 PM Speaker Presentation

Menu

  • Salad: Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges, Blueberries, Feta Cheese & Balsamic Dressing
  • Bread and butter
  • Entree: Honey Dijon Garlic Chicken Breast Over Toasted Almond Couscous Served with Green Beans
  • Vegetarian Alternative: Bell Peppers Filled with Almond Couscous, Raisins, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Green Olives Served with Green Beans
  • Dessert: Lemon Bars with Berries

Cost

  • $36 for World Affairs Council members
  • $41 for guests

Vaccination Requirements

Until further notice, documentation of COVID vaccination will not be required to attend in-person events.


Registration

Please Note: Our registration desk and name tag pick up has moved inside the Big Sur Room.

WACMB will accept auditors to this event, requiring notification to the WACMB office no later than Friday, December 15th by email to info@wacmb.org or phone to 831-643-1855. Auditors will be allowed entry at 12:20 pm.

Registration is now closed.


Location

Big Sur Room

Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
1000 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93923

Property and Parking Map

Click here for larger view.

Donate to MCGives! for AWQ

WACMB is thrilled to be selected again for the annual MC – Gives campaign supporting local nonprofits in Monterey County. Our BIG IDEA this year continues our Youth Education Initiative, the Academic world Quest (AWQ) Program, a National contest with a fun, fast-paced team competition for high school students that tests participant knowledge of current international politics, geography, global economics, history and cultures.

The AWQ Program is sponsored by the World Affairs Council of America (WACA), our parent organization in Washington, D.C..Funds raised for our Monterey County high school competition will provide both cash awards for the three highest placed teams and an all-expense paid trip for the winning team
of 4 students and their Coach to compete in the National competition in Washington D.C. next April. Last year’s local winning team Monterey High School will be looking to repeat their success against other County high Schools.

Congratulations to last year’s team who advanced to the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2023 Academic WorldQuest National Competition

Monterey County Gives!, aka MCGives!, is a fundraising program for nonprofit organizations in Monterey County that is run by the Community Foundation for Monterey County, the Monterey County Weekly, and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. Founded in 2009, MCGives! adds additional prorated funds to every dollar raised by a participating organization in support of its “Big Idea.”

Our “Big Idea” kicked off last year: WACMB brought Academic WorldQuest to Monterey County high schools. What, you ask, is Academic WorldQuest? It’s the flagship youth education program of the World Affairs Councils of America (which is the umbrella organization for the more than 90 World Affairs Councils across the United States). Structured as a fun, fast-paced team competition for high school students, Academic WorldQuest tests players’ knowledge of current international politics, geography, global economics, history, and world cultures. The program fits nicely with WACMB’s longtime support for local students who are interested in international affairs. WACMB will use funds raised through MCGives! to sponsor Monterey County’s second annual Academic World Quest competition, which will be held in February 2024. We will also pay to send Monterey County’s winning team to Washington, DC, to compete in the national championships in April 2024.

How can you support this Big Idea through MCGives!? There are three easy ways to to donate to the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB) :

  1. By credit-card online.
  2. By check made payable to “Community Foundation of Monterey County (CFMC)”, indicating”to the benefit of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB)”. mail checks to CFMC, attn. MC-Gives !, 2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940.
  3. By an IRA Qualified Charitable Donation (QCD). Process information is available on the website.

Don’t delay! The program runs from November 9 through December 31. Also remember: the more we donate, the more our donations will generate additional funds. So be generous!

Whither the Dollar: Exorbitant Privilege No More?

Speaker

Professor Barry Eichengreen

University of California, Berkeley

Cosponsored with the Cal Alumni Association

Overview

For a very long time, the US. dollar has been the world’s primary reserve currency, providing an almost endless windfall of riches to the United States. Our good fortune hasn’t gone unnoticed. Early on and perhaps most famously, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, former President of France, referred to the dollar’s reserve currency role as the “Exorbitant Privilege.”

To appreciate why, consider: if a country wants dollars (as so many do), it sells us something to get them. For example, if Germany wants $100,000 from us to add to their reserves, what might they sell us? Let’s say it’s a Mercedes Benz. So, we get a brand-new, expensive car in return for dollars; i.e., pieces of paper that cost us almost nothing to print. That is quite a deal!

Professor Eichengreen explores whether times could be changing and whether our privilege is at risk. What would be the consequences if we were to lose this privilege?

Barry Eichengreen has done research and published widely on the history and current operation of the international monetary and financial system. He is the George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley where he has taught since 1987. Professor Eichengreen earned his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.

Date and Times

  • Monday, November 20, 2023
  • 11:15 AM Registration
  • 11:45 AM Lunch
  • 12:30 PM Speaker Presentation

Menu

  • Salad: Spinach Salad with Peas, Radishes, Chickpeas & Crumbled Feta with a Champagne Vinaigrette
  • Bread and butter
  • Entree: Grilled Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary Salmon with a Tomato Basil Bruschetta Salsa over Orzo Pilaf with Basil & Pine Nuts served with Blistered Green Beans
  • Vegetarian Alternative: Salinas Valley Pasta Primavera: Penne Pasta with Olive Oil, Pine Nuts, Basil, Grilled Zucchini & Roasted Tomatoes
  • Dessert: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cost

  • $36 for World Affairs Council & Cal Alumni Association members
  • $41 for guests

Vaccination Requirements

Until further notice, documentation of COVID vaccination will not be required to attend in-person events.


Registration

Please Note: Our registration desk and name tag pick up has moved inside the Big Sur Room.

WACMB will accept auditors to this event, requiring notification to the WACMB office no later than Friday, November 17th to www.wacmb.org / tel 831-643-1855.  Auditors will be allowed entry at 12:20 pm.

Registrations are due by Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
Refunds are not available after the due date listed above.


Location

Big Sur Room

Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
1000 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93923

Property and Parking Map

Click here for larger view.

U.S.-China Relations: Handle with Care

Speaker

Dr. David Michael Lampton

Johns Hopkins University
School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Foreign Policy Institute

Overview

For the past ten years, the United States and China have been locked in competition for who has the greatest global influence. As they enter what looks like a new Cold War of sorts, Dr. Lampton will discuss how both nations arrived at today’s juncture in U.S.-China relations, how to think about the perils of that new, more conflictual circumstance, and what both sides need to do to put our two countries on a more promising trajectory.

David M. Lampton is Senior Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Foreign Policy Institute and Professor Emeritus at SAIS. For more than two decades he was Hyman Professor and Director of China Studies at SAIS. He is the former Chairman of The Asia Foundation in San Francisco, former President of the National Committee on United States-China Relations in New York, and former Dean of Faculty at SAIS. His many publications, both academic and popular, deal with U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign policy, Chinese leadership, Chinese politics, and Chinese power.

Dr. Lampton was the author of China and the U.S. for the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions program in 2023 in which many of our members participated. In January 2024, Rowman & Littlefield will publish his book entitled Living U.S.-China Relations: From Cold War to Cold War. Dr. Lampton received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Stanford University.

Date and Times

  • Wednesday, October 25, 2023
  • 11:15 AM Registration
  • 11:45 AM Lunch
  • 12:30 PM Speaker Presentation

Menu

  • Caesar Salad: Hearts of Romaine with Shaved Parmesan, Herb Croutons, Cherry Tomatoes & Caesar Dressing
  • Bread and butter
  • Entree: Grilled Chicken Caponata Topped with Roasted Eggplant, Green Olives, Capers & Roasted Tomatoes; Creamy Polenta & a Sauté of Seasonal Vegetables
  • Vegetarian Alternative: Grilled Portabella Mushrooms Topped with Roasted Eggplant, Green Olives, Capers & Roasted Tomatoes; Creamy Polenta & a Sauté of Seasonal Vegetables
  • Dessert: Classic Tiramisu

Cost

  • $36 for members
  • $41 for guests

Vaccination Requirements

Until further notice, documentation of COVID vaccination
will not be required to attend in-person events.


Registration

WACMB will accept auditors to this event, requiring notification to the WACMB office no later than Monday, October 23rd to www.wacmb.org / tel 831-643-1855.  Auditors will be allowed entry at 12:20 pm.

Registration is now closed.


Location

Big Sur Room

Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
1000 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93923

Property and Parking Map

Click here for larger view.