Special Events

Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic

A Conversation with Scott Gottlieb, MD
Former FDA Commissioner

Live streamed, November 1 at 7:30 pm

Our World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area has been invited to participate in an upcoming World Affairs Council of Orange County program with Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, discussing his recent New York Times best seller, Uncontrolled Spread: Why Covid-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic.  The program will be live streamed, November 1 at 7:30 pm.  Registration fee includes a copy of the book.  Please click here to register for this event.


Scholarship Awards 2021

Congratulations to our award winners for 2021

Each WACMB award provides $3000 to the recipient. Click here for more information about the WACMB Scholarship Program.

Ari Korreshi
MIIS, May 2022

Master of Public Administration

I will receive my MPA next spring (2022) and want to work in the State department. I will begin either through an internship or with the Foreign Service in American embassies around the world, then the United Nations, with my end goal being to become the Secretary of State, in the same fashion as Secretary Albright, who herself was born in Communist Europe. If the recently created positions of “U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate” and “White House National Climate Advisor” continue beyond the current administration, I would like to work in those offices as well.

I am from Communist Albania and came to the United States as the system was changing. The early years were challenging for my family, as we didn’t speak the language and had no connections. My parents worked two or more jobs plus overtime to make ends meet so I didn’t see them much growing up. I was just leaving high school when the Great Recession hit, so I had to work various factory and restaurant jobs while getting my associate’s degree, volunteering when I could. For my bachelor’s, I worked as a student assistant and volunteered as an English tutor, helping asylum seekers. After receiving my BA in linguistics, I joined the Peace Corps as an English volunteer in Albania, teaching at the pre-high school level.

To my parents’ chagrin, I am endlessly curious and questions like “Why is the sky blue?” were the least of their problems. I satiate that curiosity by being an avid reader, going through 40+ nonfiction books a year. Additionally, I have played video games throughout my life and what they have taught me is that the good guys do win in the end, but it isn’t easy: you have to take it one challenge at a time and you don’t do it alone.


Morgan Moore
MIIS, May 2022

Joint Master’s Program:

• International Policy and Development and

• International Trade and Economic Diplomacy

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Morgan is a dual-degree candidate for a Master’s in International Policy and Development (IPD) and International Trade and Economic Diplomacy (ITED) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS). She graduated Cum Laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Minor in Spanish. She served in the Peace Corps as a Community Economic Development volunteer in Paraguay and is a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow at MIIS.

Morgan is a graduate assistant in the Enrollment department and works to build partnerships with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). She also serves on Student Council as the MPA/IPD Program Representative. She volunteers teaching English to Afghan refugees and also works as a freelance Spanish tutor. She enjoys being active on campus in Peace Corps Club, MIIS Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA), BUILD Club, and Shades at MIIS.

Morgan aspires to become a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. State Department (Political, Economic) or USAID (Program Development, Economic Growth). Prior to joining the foreign service, she hopes to build a career in the civil service or the NGO or private sectors. This summer she is looking forward to interning with American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, a venture capital firm dedicated to investing in startup entrepreneurs committed to closing equity gaps in America by building scalable tech and social enterprises. She is honored to accept this scholarship and grateful to the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area.


Julius Clay Moye
MIIS, December 2021

Joint Master’s Program:

• International Trade and Economic Diplomacy

•Nonproliferation & Terrorism Studies with a Financial Crime Management Specialization

Julius Moye is finishing his final year as a graduate student at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS). There he is pursuing a joint master’s program in International Trade & Economic Diplomacy (ITED) as well as Nonproliferation & Terrorism Studies (NPTS) with a Financial Crime Management Specialization. Prior to coming to MIIS, Julius served for nearly three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, teaching English in a small town and playing English-language music concerts across the country. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Julius completed his undergraduate career at Tufts University in 2015.

Julius is incredibly grateful for the opportunity that the WACMB Scholarship has afforded with respect to furthering his career goals. With his graduate work, Julius focuses on strategic trade controls and the intersection of international trade, national security and corporate compliance issues. Currently a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, Julius will spend his final year studying to become a Licensed Customs Broker. He hopes to bring these two domains together to begin a fruitful career in global trade compliance in the private sector, focusing on sensitive and “emerging and foundational” technologies. He then hopes to explore options for service in the public sector with an emphasis on trade security policy and enforcement. Ultimately, his dream is to bring back expertise gained in the field to Eastern Europe and to merge international trade consultancy with economic and social development in that part of the world.

Student Essay Contest 2021 Results

Congratulations
to the winners of
the second WACMB
Teen Essay Contest!

Entrants were asked to write an essay about a current topic in world affairs. The Scholarship Committee chose nine winners this year:

  • Ivan Amador, Grade 11, Soledad HS
  • Chloe Bock, Grade 12, Soledad HS
  • Melanie Chavez, Grade 10, Soledad HS
  • Jason Contreras, Grade 10, Soledad HS
  • Kilene Gonzalez, Grade 11, Soledad HS
  • Anirudh Kotamraju, Grade 11, The Harker School
  • Elena Oh, Grade 10, Santa Catalina School
  • Karla Vasquez, Grade 12, Soledad HS
  • Karina Villaruel, Grade 11, Soledad HS

Original contest announcement is here.

Student Essay Contest 2021 Deadline April 19

To encourage interest in international affairs and global studies, the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is pleased to present an essay contest for local high school students.

Winners will receive awards of $150.

Participants should write a 350 –400-word essay addressing the one of the following topics:

  • Does social media influence the world for better or worse, or both?
  • What would you do to improve our world if elected to lead a free nation?
  • What is the most important fundamental human right?
  • What, if any, are the responsibilities of superpowers to the world at large?
  • How can we create worldwide demand for peace?
  • What steps should we take to stop climate change? Why will the world take your advice?

This contest is open to all students in their teens in local and regional schools in the Monterey Bay area.

Essays must be submitted no later than Monday, April 19, 2021.

Submissions and questions should be sent to Michelle Amirkhanian at nonprofiteducationdiscovery@gmail.com

High School Essay Contest 2020 Results

In March of 2020, The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area announced an essay contest for local high school students. Participants wrote a 350 – 400 word essay addressing the following topic: If you could change something in current world affairs, what would it be? Why should it be changed and how would you change it? Each of the winners listed below will receive an award of $150.

Jasmine Agha

Junior, York School

Fear and Hopelessness in the Unknown

Click on the arrow to listen to the essay, as read by WACMB board member Doug Rogers.

Jane Hoffman

Junior, Santa Catalina School

Confronting the Climate Crisis

Click on the arrow to listen to the essay, as read by WACMB board member Doug Rogers.

CJ Hunt

Sophomore, Seaside High School

The Problem of Capitalism

Click on the arrow to listen to the essay, as read by WACMB board member Doug Rogers.

Angelia Shi

Junior, Santa Catalina School

Our Future — A Religious Melting Pot

Click on the arrow to listen to the essay, as read by WACMB board member Doug Rogers.

High School Essay Contest 2020

To encourage interest in international affairs and global studies, the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is pleased to announce a new essay contest for local high school students. Winners will receive awards of $150.

Participants should write a 350 – 400 word essay addressing the following topic:

If you could change something in
current world affairs,
what would it be?

Why should it be changed,
and how would you change it?

This contest is open to all students in grades 9 through 12 in local schools.

The deadline for all submissions is March 15, 2020.

Submissions and questions should be sent to Michelle Amirkhanian at nonprofiteducationdiscovery@gmail.com


The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization.

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