International Day of Education Symposium

Education: A Human Right, a Public Good, and a Public Responsibility

January 25, 2021 at 10:00 AM ET / FREE

The World Affairs Councils of America is partnering in this event with Global Minnesota.



In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, a majority of countries announced the temporary closure of schools, impacting more than 91% of students worldwide. As International Day of Education focuses global attention on this issue, what actions can we take to improve outcomes for all?

Even before the pandemic struck, 258 million children and youth did not attend school; 617 million children and adolescents could not read or do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa completed lower secondary school; and some four million children and youth refugees were out of school.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals challenge all nations to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by the year 2030. Join us as we mark International Day of Education 2021 with local and international experts who will discuss how inclusive, quality education will be critical in supporting our most vulnerable populations post-COVID, in achieving gender equality, in breaking the cycle of poverty, and in securing a peaceful and prosperous future for everyone.

Learners of all ages are invited to join and hear from the leaders who are shaping the future of education.

Featured Speakers

Audrey Azoulay, Director General, UNESCO

David Edwards, General Secretary, Education International

Atul Tandon, CEO, Opportunity International

Sondra Samuels, President/CEO, Northside Achievement Zone

Justice Alan Page (retired), Founder/Chair, Page Educational Foundation


WACA National Conference:

WACA 2020 National Conference (Virtual): 

New Frontiers in Diplomacy and National Security

STAY Tuned for Conference Recordings

2021 National Conference
Save the Date! November 17 – 19, 2021


New!  Embassy Row Live!

2020 Embassy Row Banner Graphic

Beginning in the fall of 2020, join us for WACA’s new Ambassadors Series, Embassy Row Live!Conversations That Bring Diplomacy to You. A new platform spotlighting distinguished diplomats, we’ll be discussing new ideas, policy developments, and possible solutions to critical international challenges.

Ambassador H.E. Serdar Kiliç on Turkey and Its Relations With the World  |  Watch the Recording!

Francisco Santos Calderón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US.
The program focused on Colombia’s response to COVID-19 and how it compares regionally; the idea of a new “Alliance for Progress” in the Americas; implementation of the peace agreement with FARC; economic policies to drive growth: the Crece initiative and supply-chain nearshoring; and geopolitical challenges facing the region.


SAVE THE DATE! :  January 12, 2021: 2:00 PM ET  Ambassador Motaz Mounir Zahran of Egypt 


New Programs to be Announced Soon


Offered as a benefit to all current WACA Member Councils, Cover to Cover conference calls are opportunities for Council leaders, members, and supporters to engage with esteemed authors on critical issues. Cover to Cover authors often welcome invitations to speak at Councils. In short, the WACA National Office covers a topic with an expert so that Councils may discover a speaker and cover the topic in even greater depth in their own communities, spearheading a national conversation.
COVER TO COVER: Featuring Glenn Robinson

WATCH the Podcast

Global Jihad: A Brief History

Most violent jihadi movements in the twentieth century focused on removing corrupt, repressive secular regimes throughout the Muslim world. But following the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a new form of jihadism emerged—global jihad—turning to the international arena as the primary locus of ideology and action. With this book, Glenn E. Robinson develops a compelling and provocative argument about this violent political movement’s evolution.


New Programs TO BE Announced Soon


The World Affairs Councils of America produces original podcasts every month from WACA programs Cover To Cover, Know Now and other Feature Council Podcasts that examine critical international topics with leaders, policy experts, and public intellectuals. Listen directly from the WACA website, or on iTunes or PodBean.


SCWA President, Chip O’Brien shares his in-person WACA 2019 Conference pictures:

Watch all 2019 National Conference session videos on WACA’s YouTube page here!