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World Affairs Council Hilton Head

WACHH is a vibrant community of thoughtful, educated people who are fascinated with world affairs. Our 1100+ members include academics, diplomats, business executives, authors, government service personnel, and people from all walks of life. Most live in Hilton Head and surrounding Beaufort County, South Carolina.
WACHH provides a forum to learn more about world events and their impact on the United State of America. We offer a variety of programs for our members, the general public, and the next generation – students in our area who participate in our outreach activities. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are a non-partisan organization and takes no political positions.

Our principal program is the Friday Speaker Series, which usually takes place on the first and third Fridays of each month – October through May. Speakers come from around the globe who are known for their international experience in government, business, military affairs and academia. Please check the program calendar for exact dates and topics. Friday Speaker meetings are held at the First Presbyterian Church. Guests are invited to attend as well(there is a guest fee).

upcoming events:

WACHH Summer Forum: Recycling in Beaufort County

July 15 @ 10:00 am thru July 15 @ 11:30 am
Recycling in Beaufort County Ashley Jenkins, Beaufort County Recycling Coordinator, will give us an overview of recycling in Beaufort County, what drives the rules for our county and how we can develop partnerships to make our County more environmentally friendly.  Ashley will be talking about the impact on the South Carolina economy and what businesses have been created here as a result of recycling. This event is free and open to the public. This is a webinar and registration is required. Go to to register.  
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Richard Thomas- Backwater Frontier

August 19 @ 10:00 am thru August 19 @ 11:30 am
Richard Thomas focuses his original perspective on the history of the Southeastern coastline.  His stories and their unmistakable implications chronicle 450 years of groundbreaking initiative taken in the region, leaving the reader with no doubt as to the extraordinary role Beaufort County has played in the evolution of the American character and culture.
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WACHH Summer Forum: Immigration

September 16 @ 10:00 am thru September 16 @ 11:30 am
WACHH Summer Forum: Immigration A big topic that touches us all.  George Kanuck, a co-chair of the Low Country Immigration Coalition, will be discussing both legal and undocumented aspects of immigration and its impact on Beaufort County, what we should understand about DACA, and what current comprehensive legislation is trying to solve. This program is offered by the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head. It is free and open to the public.
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How the West was Lost

October 02 @ 10:00 am thru October 02 @ 11:30 am
World order is never in stasis for too long. And indeed, we seem to be witnessing a historic shift now. The relatively stable decades after World War II saw gains for global democracies, rapid economic growth fueled by globalization, and the birth of the Internet. But they also saw the speeding of global warming, widening inequality, and the scourge of transnational terrorism. The institutions and agreements that have grounded the modern international order are showing signs of weakness, while illiberal sentiment gathers strength across the West. Nationalism is having a moment. Europe is having an identity crisis. And China is challenging the dominance of the United States. How did we get here? What’s next? Video link:
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Russia and China: Benign Friendship or Malignant Gamechanger?

October 23 @ 10:00 am thru October 23 @ 11:30 am

Recent years have seen the old Communist enemies grow closer five decades after Kissinger’s opening to China.  Are we back to a new Cold War with the US and the West facing an united Russo-China front?  Both Moscow and Beijing share a deep resentment against Washington, propounding an alternative vision of non-US-dominated world order.  But, in a switch, is Moscow willing to be the junior partner to China?  Or is a growing friendship a tactical move until Russian sanctions are dropped and China attains better terms with the US?  A real alliance or a marriage of convenience?    

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Maude Olofsson- Will the Nordic Model Survive?

November 06 @ 10:00 am thru November 06 @ 11:30 am
This is a Global Speakers Presentation Maud Olofsson is the former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden (2006-2010) and Minister for Enterprise and Energy of Sweden. She is also a former party leader for the Swedish Centre Party. Take one look at international reports that measure different indices such as competition, productivity, economic growth, equal opportunities, innovation, quality of life, happiness, etc., and you often find the Nordic countries, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland at the top of these lists. It seems like these countries have done something right and also have something in common that has taken them to where they are today. How have these small countries, close to the arctic circle, that suffered poverty and population flight in the 1800’s, now topped so many surveys? It’s the so-called Nordic Model. read more at
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Richard MacGregor- Australia and China: The West's Tipping Point

November 20 @ 10:00 am thru November 20 @ 11:30 am
Global Speakers Program Richard McGregor is a senior fellow for east Asia at the Lowy Institute, Australia’s premier foreign policy think tank, in Sydney. Mr. McGregor is a former journalist and author who has won numerous awards for his reporting in China and East Asia. McGregor is an expert on the Chinese political system – his book, The Party, on the inner-workings of the Chinese Communist Party, published in 2010, was called a “masterpiece” by The Economist. Australia is traditionally one of America’s closest allies, but it also increasingly relies on China for trade. That makes it a test case for the abiding question of our time – whether the US-led alliances that have sustained the Indo-Pacific since World War II can survive the rise of China. Does Australia have to choose between its longstanding security ally and its new economic partner? And what does that mean for the future of the West?
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Alexandra Bell- The Nuclear Weapons Policy in the Next Administration

December 04 @ 10:00 am thru December 04 @ 11:30 am
No matter who will be sitting in the Oval Office on January 21, 2021, they will be confronted with multiple nuclear crises. They will have to make choices that will affect whether we are living in a world in which the number of nuclear weapons is going up or going down. These choices will be related to both internal and external policies. Should we use nuclear weapons first in a crisis? Do we need more than one person involved in the authorization of a nuclear strike? Is it is a good idea to invest in new low-yield nuclear capabilities? Should we reenter what's left of the Iran Deal? How do we make arms control agreements with Russia when the trust between our nations is broken? Bell will outline current global nuclear threats and their related policy choices. She will then discuss how the President and Congress can and should respond to those threats. Alexandra Bell is the Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation. Her areas of focus include bilateral and multilateral arms control and non-proliferation, Euro-Atlantic security, diplomacy, and Congressional affairs. Previously, Bell served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Before joining the Department of State in 2010, she worked on nuclear policy issues at the Ploughshares Fund and the Center for American Progress.
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WACHH Friday Speaker Series: David Eisenhower

January 08 @ 10:00 am thru January 08 @ 11:30 am
Great Power Rivalries: Through the Rearview Mirror David Eisenhower is the director of the Institute for Public Service at the Annenberg School at the  University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Communication and the Presidency, which examines the impact of the "Bully Pulpit" on recent and contemporary national politics. He also oversees COMPS (Communication in Public Service) undergraduate students' course work and internships. The Institute also sponsors events and symposia and brings teaching fellows to the Annenberg School.
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WACHH Friday Speaker Series: Col. David Maxwell

January 22 @ 10:00 am thru January 22 @ 11:30 am
What is the nature of the Kim Family Regime and why is it important to the United States?  There are five major issues surrounding Korea: war, instability and regime collapse, human rights, proliferation, and global illicit activities, and unification.  South Korea and the US remain blood allies but there is always friction within the alliance that must be managed. While North Korea is an existential threat to South Korea it is in the US national interest to prevent conflict and if it (or regime collapse) occurs to ensure that what follows is a secure, stable, economically vibrant, non-nuclear peninsula unified under a liberal constitutional form of government that might be called the United Republic of Korea.
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