Tennessee World Affairs Council - Preview
1900 Belmont Blvd.
Nashville TN 37212-3757
Mission Statement

The mission of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Patrick William Ryan
Board Chair Mr. James Shepherd
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 2007
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $42,968.00
Projected Annual Revenue $64,200.00 (2018)

The mission of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.

The Tennessee World Affairs Council was incorporated on February 14, 2007 as an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit educational charity with the mission of delivering global awareness programs and resources to communities and especially schools in Tennessee.
It was founded by community members from a cross section of professions who were concerned about the lack of knowledge about world affairs among Americans.
Among the evidence that concerned them were:
  • Results of a 2006 National Geographic/Roper survey in which, among other shortfalls, only 37% of 18-24 year olds could find Iraq on a map, three years into the war.
  • Reaffirmed by a NatGeo/CFR survey in 2016 that showed only 29% of 18-24 year olds could score a passing grade on a basic international affairs test.
After opening the doors of its office in Cookeville, Tennessee on May 1, 2007 the Council became a member of the national network of World Affairs Councils, all independent, nonpartisan organizations that share the same goal to bring global awareness programs to Americans. By affiliating with the WACA network the Tennessee Council became eligible to share national network programs and resources with local schools and communities that would not otherwise have been able to access them absent a local council.
The Tennessee World Affairs Council delivered programs and resources to the Upper Cumberland region of the state in its first few years but soon developed a state-wide reach as teachers, students and organizations in and beyond Middle Tennessee sought out global affairs awareness and education opportunities.

By July 2015 the Council completed its move to Nashville and is hosted at the Belmont University campus. The Council began partnering with Belmont in 2009 to bring programs to the Nashville community.

In 2016 the Council moved into its current offices at 1513 Compton Avenue in Nashville, a facility provided by Belmont University and shared with Sister Cities of Nashville.
The Tennessee World Affairs Council was recognized by the World Affairs Councils of America as Council of the Month -- among over 90 member councils -- in January 2017 for excellence in programming.   

2016-2017 IMPACT

Academic WorldQuest

How best to get youth involved? Make it fun. WorldQuest is the flagship educational outreach program of the Council. It is a quiz competition that encourages reading and preparation for an academic game. TN WAC hosts a state championship match and sponsors the winning team to the national title competition in Washington. Past winners included Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet HS and Montgomery Bell Academy. In 2016-2017 the Council continued to grow the program with the addition of a dedicated Education Outreach Coordinator, a retired MNPS social studies teacher to expand and improve the program. WorldQuest is complemented with a popular "What in the World?" weekly quiz and a "Tennessee Global Scholar Certificate" program that recognizes year-round global affairs awareness involvement by students.

Distinguished Visiting Speaker/Ambassadorial Series

Face-to-face with global leaders and policymakers. The ability of World Affairs Councils to bring foreign affairs officials, business people, military officers, academics and others to contact with our audiences is a hallmark of the WAC network. The Council organizes panel discussions, seminars and symposia under the speaker series, such as public affairs briefings with the Ambassador of Russia Sergei I. Kislyak, Ambassador of Ireland Anne Anderson and Consul General of Japan Masami Kinefuchi. In addition to officials, business people, scholars, and others who speak at Tennessee WAC events in the coming year we will welcome about four visits by foreign ambassadors.

Global Dialogue Conversations Tackle "Hot Topics"

Local discussion groups – like classical ‘salons’ – bring people together for conversations about international issues in the news. The Council launched a monthly program to facilitate social meetings for that purpose -- open to the general public and students. These groups are provided readings to prepare for give and take where they share their insights and perspectives in a mutually respectful dialogue. TN WAC Global Dialogues help citizens get global affairs insights and perspectives to be responsible participants in American foreign policy direction.

2017-2018 GOALS
Management and Development
This year is a transitional year of growth for the TN WAC. Capitalizing on an expanded board with a new position for a chair and a new office along with a grant to support program and development growth, the Council will be hiring it's first full-time employee, increasing its volunteer and intern staff and increasing its communication and fundraising operations. 2018 will be a milestone year for the Council.

Signature / Named Awards Series

The Council will organize an award series to encourage and acknowledge achievements enhancing global affairs education and understanding in the community. The council will attract sponsors to support prizes for various categories that will be awarded at an annual spring banquet. -- International Educator of the Year; Annual Global Affairs Essay Contest; International Student of the Year (HS); International (Small) Corporate Leader of the Year; International (Medium-Large) Corporate Leader of the Year; Nashville Music Industry Global Leader; Tennessee Healthcare Global Leader; Intrnational Citizen of the Year.

Global Focus Webcasts

To reach classrooms and communities around Tennessee the Council is developing a global affairs Web cast capability to connect international decision and policy-makers, authors, scholars and more to students, community groups and individuals. The program is envisioned as a regular resource for classrooms and citizens. Initial programming will be weekly sessions with Foreign Service Officers serving in US embassies around the world.

Needs The Tennessee World Affairs Council needs to (1) continue to build the organization's base including volunteer and paid staff, the board of advisors and its board of directors; (2) establish a financial base for regular expenses including overhead; (3) continue to expand its membership and organizational partnerships; (4) institutionalize its regular program offerings; and (5) develop a durable network of educators across the state to help deliver programs and resources to Tennessee students
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer The TNWAC.org web site contains current information on ways to support the Council's operations and to participate as a member and a volunteer, as well as donations and in-kind opportunities.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security / Promotion of International Understanding
Secondary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit / Citizen Participation
Tertiary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Areas of Service
Areas Served
The Tennessee World Affairs Council was founded in Middle Tennessee but offers its services, especially access for educators to national level programs through the WAC network, to a statewide audience.  However, most of our programs and resources are provided to communities, educators and, especially, students in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
Board Chair Statement
The Tennessee World Affairs Council, as it works to become a more sustainable organization, faces the same challenges as other nonprofits including the paradox of trying to solidify its foundation at the same time it works to develop programs.
However, the Council has been successful in its first years of operation in Cookeville office, expanding programs state-wide; successful in shifting the base of operations to Nashville through a partnership with Belmont University; and in laying the groundwork for expansion of its role as tacking the "global literacy" shortfall among our citizens and students.
When I agreed to become World Affairs Council chair last year (2017) I was attracted by the important work it was doing and the legacy of success it had earned in its first decade.  As a recent retiree as CEO of a large international business based in Nashville and former chair of the Chamber's International Business Council I appreciated the need for a World Affairs Council.
Since joining the World Affairs Council and agreeing to serve as chair I have been pleased to see the Board of Directors -- a solid collection of professionals from the community -- aggressively tackle the various tasks needed to grow and professionalize the Council:
  • Standing up functional committees to develop and follow up on key-performance indicators in the areas of finance, communications, development and programming.
  • Worked with the Treasurer, a Nashville-based international telecommunications firm's VP, to incorporate sound financial practices and bookkeeping.
  • Coordinated with the communications and development committees to set out an agenda to improve those areas of operations.
  • Launched a strategic-planning process that will codify the mission and vision of the World Affairs Council into a clear path for future growth.
  • Worked with the Board to fund, recruit and incorporate the Council's first full-time paid staff member which quickly added an anchor to Council operations and opens the door to future growth and program delivery. 
Challenges remain. Our programs have always been our strength and continue to be top-notch (witnessed by TNWAC winning "Council of the Month" among 95 councils around America -- for program achievement in Jan 2017.) whether its presenting the Russian Ambassador at a Global Town Hall in Nashville or organizing the WorldQuest competition that attracted 17 high school teams to the state championship match.  
However, the Council needs to continue the hard work of promoting itself across a wider swath of its constituency -- making its programs accessible to more in the community; and it needs to firmly build up its financial footing to enable the smooth operation of its current programs and to increase funding to allow for wider and deeper expansion of its program offerings.
The Tennessee World Affairs Council as a member of the World Affairs Councils of America (a 95-member network) has the guidance and modeling of America's largest national nonpartisan network of local councils that are dedicated to educating, inspiring and engaging Americans in international affairs and the critical global issues of our times.
The Board of the Tennessee World Affairs Council is committed to meeting these challenges and has set in its goals and objectives to capitalize on its early achievements and turn them into long term benefits for our communities and schools. Global literacy is of critical importance to the success of our democracy and the World Affairs Council is dedicated to this mission.
CEO Statement
The Tennessee World Affairs Council (TNWAC) is the first and only educational organization in the state devoted to improving global awareness in our communities and schools, and affiliated with the national network of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA).
The founders felt very strongly -- backed by empirical data -- there was a severe shortfall in programs and resources for Tennesseans to increase their understanding of developments in the international arena, especially among our school age children. They face the most challenging global environment in America’s history. American's "global literacy" is subpar. The initial approach was an organization to provide programs and resources locally. But the founders saw no other organization in the state could access the national level programs available through the WACA network, so they chose to offer programs to any community or school in Tennessee.
The Council offers programs, such as the Academic WorldQuest national global awareness competition for high schools, to every school in the state. By establishing partnerships the TNWAC is able to bring distinguished visiting speakers – ambassadors, foreign affairs specialists, military officers, and scholars – to communities and schools that would not otherwise have access to such opportunities.
We often refer to the story of Olivia to make the point about the World Affairs Council's unique mission and impact. In our first year of operation, 2007, I had an opportunity to bring four high school students to a conference I was attending for my professional needs, the Arab-US Policymakers Conference in Washington. Olivia and her classmates were assigned to make mini-videos of interviews they captured with conference speakers and attendees -- ambassadors, officials, scholars, business people, military officers and such. At first they were shy when making approaches but soon warmed to the task and enthusiastically compiled numerous videos. At the end of the day Olivia approached me at the hotel and said, "I have never known what I wanted to be in life, but this is it."  Olivia went on to major in International Affairs and Arabic, did language immersion in the summer, did study abroad summers in the Persian Gulf, did a one-year study abroad at the University of Sharjah during her undergrad studies, went on to a Masters degree at Exeter University, did a one year language immersion in Qatar and is working on her Doctorate in Gulf Studies. Olivia is an example how the World Affairs Council can make a difference.
The Council's semi-annual International Careers and Jobs panel continues to focus on creating opportunities and enlightening students about their prospects to work in the global community. 
The inaugural visiting speakers program brought the most poignant evidence that the TNWAC was making a difference. A Middle East scholar, author and veteran foreign correspondent performed a marathon of visits to universities, civic organizations and high schools. At one school he spent the day talking to seven classes. He was approached as his last lecture ended and the students were readying to leave. One said, “Mr. Lippman, thanks for coming. I thought this was going to be a pretty boring lecture but it was worth it. You’ve got great stories.”
Bringing a piece of the world into schools in stimulating ways is all the reward the volunteers at the Tennessee World Affairs Council need to make it worthwhile.

The presentation of knowledgeable, experienced speakers to communities that would not otherwise have the opportunity to listen to and question these speakers is a flagship program of TNWAC. The Council, delivers thoughtful, provocative, experienced speakers from various fields, such as the American and foreign diplomatic communities, academia, the military, the business world, and elsewhere. Recent examples are Ambassadors from Russia, Ireland, Czechia, Kazakhstan and the President of the US Institute of Peace. In addition to its signature “Global Town Halls” at Belmont University the Council works with partnering organizations -- civic groups, universities, schools, corporate partners, and others -- to host the distinguished visiting speakers around the community.

Budget 10000
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served Adults, Adolescents Only (13-19 years), US
Description Academic WorldQuest is a Flagship Program of the world affairs council system. The game was invented by the Charlotte Council and is now widely played at the adult and high school levels around the country. It is a team game testing competitors' knowledge of international affairs, geography, history, and culture. The World Affairs Councils of America started the national competition in Washington, DC in March 2003. Participants come from high schools that work with the World Affairs Council network. It is unique to the world affairs council system and has no direct competitor among K-12 knowledge-based competitions in the US or abroad.
Budget $11,000.00
Population Served , ,
Local discussion groups – like a ‘salon’ – bring people together for casual conversations about international issues in the news. The Council has a monthly program to facilitate social meetings for that purpose. 

The Council prepares background materials to prepare the participants – several articles as well as online videos, maps, reference material and a longer list of readings to expand the participants’ knowledge if they want to dig deeper. The roughly one-hour conversations are facilitated by a Council member and sometimes a subject specialist but the focus is on everyone contributing their views. The discussion is guided by a set of key points and may conclude with a poll of members concerning their conclusions – the poll results to be provided to government officials. More venues will be added as demand increases and the program is available ‘off the shelf’ for groups to use as global affairs fellowship sessions.

Budget $2,000.00
Population Served , Adults,
To reach classrooms and communities around Tennessee the Council is developing a Web cast capability to connect international decision and policy-makers, authors, scholars and more to students, community groups and individuals. The concept was proven through an interactive Webinar featuring distinguished Beirut-based journalist Rami Khouri who talked with Tennessee students, Council members and even audiences from around the network of World Affairs Councils about Middle East developments (video archived on TNWAC.org). The Web cast concept is one example of how the Council will use technology as a multiplier to reach the widest audience in its mission to share an understanding of the world.
The Council is building a project to deliver regular Web casts that will be available to Tennessee classrooms and beyond connecting them to young professionals working around the world – in particular junior Foreign Service Officers in American embassies. The object of the interactive link will be to inform students first hand about the countries in which the young diplomats serve, their living and working situations, and how they came to be in those positions.  
Budget $2,000.00
Population Served , ,

The Council organizes an award series to acknowledge achievements enhancing global affairs education and understanding in the community. The council will attract sponsors to support prizes for various categories that will be awarded at an annual spring banquet.

        --· International Educator of the Year

        -- · Annual Global Affairs Essay Contest

        -- · International Student of the Year (HS)

        --· International (Small) Corporate Leader of the Year

        --· International (Medium-Large) Corporate Leader of the Year

        -- · Nashville Music Industry Global Leader

        -- · Tennessee Healthcare Global Leader

        -- · International Citizen of the Year

Budget $7,000.00
Population Served , ,
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. James Shepherd
Company Affiliation Retired
Term July 2017 to June 2020
Email jimshepherd@tnwac.org
Board Members
Ms Samar S. Ali Community VolunteerVoting
Ambassador Charles Bowers USFS (Ret)RetiredVoting
Mr. Mark Braden Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. Kurt Butefish Community VolunteerVoting
Hon. Karl F. Dean Community VolunteerVoting
Dr. Susan Haynes PhDCommunity VolunteerVoting
Mr. Michael McCooey Voting
Ms Lori Odom Community VolunteerVoting
Dr. Jeffrey Overby PhDCommunity VolunteerVoting
LCDR Patrick William Ryan USN (Ret)Retired Naval Officer International AffairsVoting
Mr John M. Scannapieco Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. James Shepherd Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. Keith Simmons Community VolunteerVoting
Dr. Marieta Velikova Community VolunteerVoting
Dr. Charles Womack MDRetired Naval Officer International AffairsVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Board Governance
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Directors and Officers Policy
Additional Board Members
Dr. James Akenson PhDCommunity Volunteer
Dr. Mimi Barnard PhDCommunity Volunteer
Dr. Deborah Barnard PhDCommunity Volunteer
Dr. Rubin Cockrell Community Volunteer
Amr El-Husseini
Mr. Jeremy Goldkorn Community Volunteer
Mr. David Johnson Community Volunteer
Catherine Kelly
Alp Levent
Dr. Jill Pittman PhD
Dr Claude Pressnell PhD
Ms. Colleen Elizabeth Ryan Community Volunteer
Lindsay Voigt
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Patrick William Ryan
Term Start Feb 2007
Email PresidentTNWAC@gmail.com

President & Founder, Tennessee World Affairs Council

Patrick Ryan is the volunteer President and founder of the Tennessee World Affairs Council. In 2007 Mr. Ryan organized a group of concerned citizens to launch Tennessee’s first World Affairs Council, to bring global awareness education programs and resources to communities and schools in the state. In 2009 Mr. Ryan’s contribution to building international understanding was acknowledged by receipt of the “Mandala Award” at the TTU Window on the World Festival. The Council moved from its first home in Cookeville to Nashville where it is hosted at Belmont University.

Mr. Ryan was born and raised in New York City. At age 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served a 26-year career, assigned first in the Persian Gulf in 1973 followed by assignments in the Submarine Service where he attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Mr. Ryan received a BA degree at the University of South Carolina, in 1981, majoring in International Studies followed by commissioning in the Navy as an Ensign. Mr. Ryan served aboard numerous ships, headquarters staffs and overseas assignments before retiring in 1998 as a Lieutenant Commander. Among his assignments were the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, the Center for Naval Analyses, and US Central Command headquarters. He has lived and worked in Bahrain, Italy and Japan and has traveled to about 65 countries for work and leisure.

He was President and founder of Ryan&Associates, an editorial consulting firm based in Nashville, specializing in on-line global affairs information resources after retiring from the Navy until retiring in 2016.

Mr. Ryan was President of the Cookeville Breakfast Rotary 2008-2009 and was co-Chair of the Rotary Ghana Project, which provides clean water, school literacy and medical support humanitarian projects to villages in Western Ghana for which he was award “Rotarian of the Year.”

Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 10
Contractors 0
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Under Development
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? Under Development
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Under Development
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
World Affairs Councils of America - Member2007
Council of the Month - Program ExcellenceWorld Affairs Councils of America2017
Senior Staff
Title Vice President

Dr. Velikova received her undergraduate degree from the People’s Friendship University of Russia. Her M.A. in Financial Economics and Ph.D. in Applied Economics were both earned at Mississippi State University, where she worked as a research assistant, academic tutor, and instructor of economics.

She teaches economics and international business courses in Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey College of Business, where she also advises members of SIFE, Students in Free Enterprise, and has been involved in the creation of the IB Society, an organization for students interested in international studies.

Her research interests include macroeconomics and monetary economics; however, her primary area of specialization is the effectiveness of deposit insurance coverage in the international banking system, including U.S. banks. An article she authored, entitled “Real Deposit Insurance Coverage at U.S. Banks,” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Business and Leadership: Research, Practice, and Teaching.

Title Secretary
Experience/Biography Susan Haynes, PhD
Secretary, TN WAC Board of Directors
Assistant Professor, Lipscomb University Political Science Faculty
Ph.D., George Mason University
M.A., George Mason University
B.A., University of Tennessee
 Susan Turner Haynes joined the faculty of Lipscomb University in 2015. She holds a Doctoral Degree in Political Science from George Mason University, and is author of Behind the Buildup: Motivations Behind China’s Nuclear Modernization, with Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press (July 1, 2016). Professor Haynes’s prior publications include an article in Asian Perspectives (2008), an article in Comparative Strategy (2009) and a chapter in the most recent Ashgate Research Companion on Chinese Foreign Policy (2012). She specializes in Chinese-American relations and issues around the topic of nuclear proliferation.
Title Treasurer
Experience/Biography Michael McCooey
Treasurer, Board of Directors
Vice President & Regional COO, Latin America, Asurion 

Mike currently serves as Vice President, Latin America at Asurion where he is responsible for mobile phone insurance operations across the region. Prior to his current role in Latin America, Mike relocated to London and helped lead the launch of Asurion’s first European operations.

Mike has worked in a variety of roles in his 14 years at Asurion and has launched new business ventures in multiple countries including France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia and Brazil.

Mike holds an MBA in Finance and Operations from Vanderbilt University and a BA from Boston College.

Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30 2018
Projected Revenue $64,200.00
Projected Expenses $42,968.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$0$0$0
Administration Expense$0$0$0
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses------
Program Expense/Total Expenses------
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$0$0$0
Current Assets$0$0$0
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$0$0$0
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Dec 2018
Organization Comments Along with the relocation of the Council to Nashville and work to bring in additional board members and full-time staff there will be considerable attention to fundraising and adding appropriate financial accounting standards to TN WAC operations. Heretofore the Council's budget never reach the IRS 990 threshold beyond the post card filing. In the coming operating year we anticipate moving beyond that level and bringing in additional financial controls.
GivingMatters.com Financial Comments
This organization filed a 990-N form with the IRS, which does not provide specific financial information. Most small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less ($25,000 for tax years ending after December 31, 2007 and before December 31, 2010) are required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as thee-Postcard, unless they choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ instead.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 3/23/18.
Nonprofit Tennessee World Affairs Council
Address 1900 Belmont Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37212 3757
Primary Phone (615) 305 4313
Contact Email PresidentTNWAC@gmail.com
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Patrick William Ryan
Board Chair Mr. James Shepherd
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired
Year of Incorporation 2007

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