The Tennessee World Affairs Council recently held its inaugural distinguished visiting speaker program for 2015-2016 in partnership with Belmont’s Interdisciplinary Studies and Global Education program.
LtGen. Keith M. Huber, a 38-year Army veteran, addressed questions about the United States’s Operation “Enduring Freedom” and conflict in Afghanistan. The standing room only audience included community members and students from Belmont and surrounding universities. General Huber served in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013 as commanding general of an international task force. During his presentation, Huber discussed his experiences and offered insight into Afghanistan and its people.
Council president Patrick Ryan said the organization, newly launched in Nashville after operating from Cookeville for several years, was a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational group that worked to educate and inspire people to better understand world events. “We have an ambitious program calendar that includes speaker events like General Huber’s presentation at Belmont, small group discussion sessions around town, and youth programs like our WorldQuest high school competition to encourage people, especially students, to embrace a better understanding of a very challenging global environment.” More programs will be added as the Council becomes more established.
The Council welcomed the community, he said, to become a part of their work by becoming members, volunteering or making a donation. “We’re all volunteers,” Ryan said. “We rely on support from the community to provide these important programs and resources.”
Ryan noted that the association with Belmont is appreciated and important in hosting community-wide events. “The Council has partnerships with many groups that share an international focus, but our work with Belmont Assistant Provost Dr. Mimi Barnard, has been especially important to what we’ve been able to accomplish.”