The Passport for December 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

Global Challenges for Food and Agriculture

More than 800 million people around the world do not have sufficient food, while obesity is on the rise in both developed and developing countries. In the next 30 years, world agriculture production will need to double in order to meet the growing demand for food caused by an increasing global population and changing food consumption patterns. Both this increased demand and access to food are challenged by conflict, poverty, climate change, and pressure on productive resources, especially soils and water. How should the international community respond?

In his address to our organization, Boyd Haight, former Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, will discuss the opportunities that are available to address such challenges. These include improved technology, education, trade, access to information, and international cooperation.

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WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

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WACMB in Profile: Phil and Maria Morgan

The World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay is pleased to welcome our new members:

Phil and Maria Morgan first came to WAC as liaisons for their respective institutions, MIIS (1997) and NPS (early 2000s). Maria went on to become assistant treasurer twice (both before and after the accounts were computerized), and currently serves as office manager. Phil has put in two two-year terms as president of WAC.

Maria grew up in Hong Kong, the youngest of nine children, with seven sisters and one brother. She earned her BA in economics from Hong Kong University. A Syracuse-in-Asia Fellowship brought her to Syracuse University, where she received an MA in political science (and met a certain fine fellow); she then attended Stanford University on a Southern Fellowship and earned a PhD in political science. She has been an educator for most of her career, teaching at Morehouse College, Earlham College, and NPS, from which she retired in 2009. Her academic work was supported by a number of NEH fellowships. She also did some consulting for a company in Indiana that dealt with political risk in China. Maria derives great joy from the wonderful relationships she has with her former students.

Phil grew up in Pennsylvania and Georgia, the youngest of two. His degrees include a BA in economics from Southern Methodist University, and an MA in political science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before earning a PhD in politics and economic development at Syracuse University (where he met a certain lovely lady), Phil spent two and a half years in Malawi with the Peace Corps; he later returned to Africa on a Fulbright Fellowship to Botswana. Like Maria, Phil’s career has been largely in higher education; he taught at Emory University and Indiana University, Bloomington, before being hired away to be the Dean of the Graduate School of International Policy Studies at MIIS. He has traveled to many countries in Africa to conduct research on the effectiveness of development assistance, gaining great satisfaction in translating academic theory into applied work and then bringing the results of that work back into the classroom.

Phil and Maria met in 1966 outside the office of their academic advisor, Dr. Julian Friedman. When they married the next year, Professor Friedman walked Maria down the aisle. Although Maria’s parents approved of her marriage to Phil, they did not attend the wedding (nor any of Maria’s siblings’ weddings) because her father did not like to fly. Since Phil and Maria will celebrate 53 years of marriage in January, it seems like things worked out quite well in spite of her parents’ absence from the ceremony.

In retirement, Maria enjoys her cats, her book club, cooking, opera, and gardening. Phil has taken up golf, and serves as a Hearing Officer in their community of Pacific Grove. Both enjoy music and study the piano; Maria loves classical music, while Phil is more a fan of jazz. They travel extensively, participate in lots of OLLI classes, and have, of course, served on the WAC board in various important capacities, for which we are all grateful!


WACMB’s Scholarship Program

Did you know that WACMB has a scholarship program to support students who are studying world affairs or related subjects at CSUMB, MIIS, MPC, and Hartnell College? Scholarships are awarded based on a combination of academic merit and financial need. Since the inception of our scholarship program, WACMB has disbursed 123 scholarships totaling $125,000.

We invite our members to support this valuable service of WACMB by making a contribution to the scholarship fund. Your donation is tax deductible as allowed by law under IRS section 501(c)3. Our federal tax ID is 77-0301206. Contributions can be made right here on our website, where you can donate via credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Alternatively, you can send a check payable to “WAC Scholarships” to our office: WACMB, PO Box 83, Monterey, CA 93942.

Thank you for your support!


This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council 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, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

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