Connecting local and global Communities


MAY 20, 2021 ~ 7:00 PM EST

Margaret Coker

a prize-winning investigative journalist who lives in Savannah

Out of the Shadows: How Intelligence Lessons from the War on Terror can help fight U.S. Domestic Terrorism today

Margaret Coker 2
Program Abstract:


Speaker Biography:
Margaret Coker is a prize-winning investigative journalist who grew up in a military family, where both her parents and her uncles all served in the U.S. armed forces. As a child, she was steeped in stories of bravery and sacrifice, formed through a weekly family ritual of viewing World War II movies and trips to military battlegrounds. 
When the September 11 attacks occurred, her newspaper — The Atlanta Journal Constitution — sent Mrs. Coker to Pakistan and Afghanistan and then the Middle East to cover what we now call the War on Terror. For the last 20 years, Margaret has lived and worked in thirty-two countries on four continents. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, her work has largely focused on the Middle East, writing about corruption, counterterrorism, and cyber warfare.
In 2008 Mrs. Coker went to work for The Wall Street Journal. Her stories written during the Arab Spring from Libya won prizes for investigative journalism and diplomatic reporting. In 2016 she led a team whose investigative journalism was cited as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. In 2017 Coker joined the New York Times as Baghdad Bureau Chief, where her front-page stories about intelligence and counterterrorism won numerous prizes as well.
Margaret Coker returned to Savannah in 2019 to write her first book, which was published in February by HarperCollins. The Spymaster of Baghdad tells the real-life tale of one of the most secretive and elite counterterrorism groups in the world, the Iraqi group called The Falcons, whose intelligence work has been a crucial asset to the Americans in the battle against Islamic State.
Margaret is now the editor in chief of The Current, a nonprofit investigative news organization that started operations in Savannah last fall. She and her team are reviving serious, public service journalism for our hometown and across Coastal Georgia.

FOLLOW Margaret on Twitter: @mideastmargaret




Members, Sponsors, and Partners are the lifeblood of the Savannah Council on World Affairs

SCWA 2020-2021 Platinum Sponsor


Critz Auto Group has been striving to provide the highest standard of automotive excellence in the Savannah and the Coastal Empire for over 80 years. We are your exclusive local dealer for Buick, GMC, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Sprinter Vans, specializing in new, used and certified pre-owned vehicles.


SCWA recognizes and appreciates our

May Program Sponsors 

CP Lexus Logo

Chatham Parkway Lexus is proud to be a sponsor of the Savannah Council on World Affairs.  As a recipient of the Savannah Morning News Best of the Best for Best New Car Dealer, Best Used Car Dealer, Best Dealership Service Department and Best Dealership Salesperson for the second consecutive year, we are dedicated to support our wonderful community.
Chatham Parkway Lexus provides Savannah, Statesboro, Hinesville and all surrounding communities with the best in new Lexus models, quality used vehicles, outstanding auto repair and car service as well as high-end OEM car parts. Providing a world-class experience to keep you coming back over the years. If you are in need of a new Lexus, make sure to visit the Savannah dealership.


For over 20 years, Reach the World has harnessed the power of virtual exchange, inspiring students to become curious, confident and compassionate global citizens. For the 2020-21 school year, the organization is offering free and paid opportunities for teachers, students and their families to connect with travelers exploring the globe in real time. To learn more, visit



US World Affairs Councils are offering our Members Real-time Analysis through Free & Fee Webinars 

Continuing this Spring, Members can stay engaged & participate in various FREE & FEE Virtual Webinars offered by US World Affairs Councils. Both FREE & FEE Virtual Opportunities are listed below and updated weekly simply follow the links to register. ~ Stay Tuned & Happy New Year!


Featured Events

WACA Climate Week 2021
Climate Week 2021

WACA Climate Week 2021 — 5 days of virtual programming that will convene high-caliber global and local experts on this most critical issue facing our world.


Did you miss WACA 2021 Climate Week? Watch the recordings and subscribe to WACA’s Climate Week YouTube playlist .


Monday 5/3 
World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State, for “Secretary Raffensperger & the New Georgia Voting Law.” 
World Affairs Council of Seattle hosts author Nicole Perlroth to discuss her book This is How They Tell Me the World Ends
World Affairs Council of Central Illinois hosts professor Susan Stokes, University of Chicago, for “Why Protest.” 
World Affairs Council of San Antonio hosts a panel of experts for “Iraq: From Occupation to Partnership.” 
Tuesday 5/4
WorldBoston hosts Catherine Mann, Global Chief Economist, Citibank, for “The End of Globalization.” 
World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosts Bea Perez, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Communications at Coca-Cola, for “Coca-Cola Invests in Female Entrepreneurs.” 
Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts professor Mark Katz, George Mason University, for “Global Dialogue | Russia & Iran.” 
World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts hosts Peter Abbott, British Consul General to New England, for “UK CG Peter Abbott on Global Britain and the UK-U.S. Special Relationship.” 
World Affairs Council of Maine hosts professor Charles Norchi, University of Maine, for “The Coldest War: Toward a Return to Great Power Competition in the Arctic?” 
Cleveland Council on World Affairs hosts Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta, and Robert S. Ford, Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute, for “10 Years of War in Syria.” 
World Affairs Council of Western Michigan hosts Joseph Comartin, Consulate General of Canada to Detroit, and Maryscott Greenwood, CEO of the Canadian American Business Council, for “Canada, U.S., and Michigan: Mapping the Business Landscape.” 
Wednesday 5/5
Utah Council of Citizen Diplomacy hosts Charles Person, one of two living Freedom Riders, and author Richard Rooker to discuss his book Buses Are a Comin’: A Freedom Rider’s Journey
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Susannah Jacob, former speechwriter to President Barack Obama, to discuss her book The Secret Life of the White House
Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs hosts Charles Kupchan, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, for “Future U.S. Global Engagement, Where, When, and Why?” 
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Andrea Kendall-Taylor, fmr. Deputy National Intelligence Officer at the NIC & CIA senior analyst, for “Russia & Putin’s Threat to the Global Order & How the West Can Push Back.” 
World Affairs Council of Connecticut hosts Roy Kamphausen, President of the National Bureau of Asian Research, for “China and the U.S. Across Strategic Domains.” 
Columbia World Affairs Council hosts Marvin Kalb, a non-resident senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings, to discuss his book Assignment Russia: Becoming a Foreign Correspondent in the Crucible of the Cold War
World Affairs Council of Seattle hosts author Nicole Perlroth to discuss her book This is How They Tell Me the World Ends.  
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts a panel of experts for “A Conversation with Robert Reffkin: A Special Mother’s Day Tribute to Mothers and Mentors.” 
World Affairs (Northern California) hosts a panel of experts for “Should the U.S. Vaccinate Mexico?” 
Thursday 5/6
Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy hosts Judith Goldstein, Founder & CEO of Humanity in Action, for “Racism & the Rise of Nationalism.”  
International Relations Council (Kansas City) hosts Connie Belciug, Executive Director of Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI), for “Global Child Protection.” 
Tennessee World Affairs Council hosts professor Ji Young Choi, Ohio Wesleyan University, for “Global Supply Chains and National Security.” 
Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosts Todd Greentree, fmr. U.S. Foreign Service Officer, and Vicki Huddleston, fmr. Ambassador to Mail and Madagascar,  for “Afghanistan: Forever War?” 
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall hosts Leo Wolinsky, Director of CalMatters, and Ron Brownstein, Senior Editor of The Atlantic, to discuss Brownstein’s new book Rock Me on the Water
World Affairs Council of Orange Country hosts Jack Devine, fmr. Deputy Director of the CIA’s operations outside the U.S., and Jonathan Ward, internationally recognized expert on Chinese global strategy, for “Russia and China: Preparing America for Our Greatest Strategic Challenge.” 
World Affairs Council of St. Louis hosts George Zsidisin, Director of the Supply Chain Risk and Resilience Research Institute, University of Missouri—St. Louis, for “Global Supply Chains and National Security.” 
World Affairs Council of Charlotte hosts Rodney Murray, Managing Principal at DHG, and Tom Tollerton, Managing Director at DHG, for “Protecting Your Company and Yourself Against Global Cyber Attacks.” 
Friday 5/7
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Michael Pompeo, 70th U.S. Secretary of State, for “Members Only Livestream.” 
Alaska World Affairs Council hosts Alonzo Fulgham, Executive Vice President Defense/Homeland for VIATEQ Corporation of McLean, for “The Value of Water: Investing in Water Infrastructure for Climate Adaption.” 
World Affairs Council of Hilton Head hosts Mathew J. Burrows, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, for “Russia and China: Benign Friendship or Malignant Gamechanger?” 
World Affairs Council of Greater Houston hosts Bruce Fulin, Vice President of Crude Oil Business Development at Argus Media, for “Houston’s Vital Role in the Global Commodities World.” 
Saturday 5/8
Global Minnesota hosts “Urban Expedition Virtual: Laos”.


Stay Safe. Stay Engaged. Stay Informed.


Thank you for your SCWA Membership!

We are grateful to our members for their continuing strong support and are counting on it in the future!  Stay well & informed until we personally see each other again soon.

SCWA Become A Member


All life is twined together.



Follow Savannah Council on World Affairs on Facebook!