September 2013 Newsletter

The Los Angeles World Affairs Council is looking forward to some exciting speakers this fall, including billionaire inventor of the Tesla electric car and SpaceX rockets Elon Musk, former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and president of the University of Southern California, Max Nikias. We will have programs on Egypt, China, Israel/Palestine, Nepal and the NSA. And we will continue our film screening series – the next film is a documentary shot in Cambodia, “A River Changes Course”, on Sept 20th.

Elon Musk

On September 26th we have a dinner and museum tour of the Petersen Automotive Museum, which will highlight the historic Peking-Paris rally that has only been raced five times since 1907. Former Disney board member and head of Shamrock Holdings Stanley Gold, who completed the rally this summer in 33 days, will talk about the countries they passed through and how his 1965 Porsche 911 held up in off-road conditions in the deserts of Mongolia.

Professor Jerry Leach, an expert on Egypt and former head of the American Studies Department at the American University in Cairo, will talk about the recent ousting of President Morsi and the uncertain future of Egypt as the military faces down the Muslim Brotherhood on October 9th . Dr Max Nikias will give the USC perspective on global education in Oct 15th – USC currently has more foreign students than any other university in the US. And on Oct 24th former Governor Bill Richardson will talk about immigration issues and his experiences in his frequent trips to North Korea. Elon Musk, whose stock price for Tesla is soaring almost as high as his Falcon 9 rockets, has agreed to speak to us this fall – we are working on a specific date and will let you know as soon as that is firmed up.

Over the summer we said a fond farewell to Ron Gray, who had been in charge of membership and was also a whiz at applying his computer code and graphic design skills for our event announcements and other digital tasks. Ron has moved east to do his masters in International Relations at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Sad as we all were to lose Ron, we are delighted to announce that he is being replaced by the equally skilled Mariko Powers. Mariko comes to us from Occidental College with a degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs and some experience working for the United Nations Development Program in New York and an overseas study program in Khon Kaen, Thailand.

Former Governor Bill Richardson

Our Young Professionals group under the leadership of their new chairman, Zach Zigmond, have started the year with several strong events, including a program with three journalists from Pakistan and Bangladesh who were awarded Daniel Pearl fellowships to come and work at US media outlets this summer to see how our press operates.

During the quieter summer months we have been working on updating our website, and that will go live by next week. It will have a better interface with our members, will contain more information, a regular blog, more pictures - and we think it looks pretty global-chic cool.

I and all the staff of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council are always happy to talk to you by phone – 424 258 6160 or on email –  - and we look forward to seeing you at our events.