2017 Global Education Gala

The World Affairs Council – Washington, DC (WAC-DC) recognizes organizations, corporations and nations who demonstrate an exemplary leadership commitment to global education, international affairs and global communications at its annual World Affairs HONORS: Gala. Over 500 representatives of corporate, government and academic institutions joined nonprofit, military and veterans organizations, and press at the March 29th dinner at the Ritz Carlton in Washington.


Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE gave the Keynote Address and accepted the 2017 Global Ambassador Award on behalf of the Jane Goodall Institute. “The biggest reward I have is the number of people I have who speak or write: ‘Jane, I want to thank you. You taught me that if you can do it, I can do it, too.’ You couldn’t have a better reward than that,” said Dr. Goodall on following her dream through fostering her scientific and educational curiosity from a young age.


Patricia Harrison, President and CEO of The Corporation for Public Broadcasting accepted the 2017 Global Communications Award on behalf of courageous journalists and the thousands of men and women who work to serve the American people through their public broadcasting system. “A strong civil society really requires citizens which are informed, which is why we fund news beyond a sound bite,” said Ms. Harrison. “We make this commitment [to journalism] because our return on investment is an educated public.”


Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, President & CEO of Blackboard Inc. accepted the 2017 Global Education Award on behalf of his organization. “Our sole focus with our partners is to drive student success, enhance student outcomes, and very simply make a difference in the lives of students; and with that benefit societies around the world,” said Mr. Ballhaus. “We do that every day, with a focus on driving the benefits of our innovation, our technology and our solutions into the hands of students, faculty and administrators around the world.”


The Republic of Colombia received the Council’s 2017 Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award, accepted by H.E. Juan Carlos Pinzón, Ambassador to the United States. “Taking into account what is going on in the world and the evolution of technology and innovation – we must prepare current and future generations of students for success in the global economy,” said Ambassador Pinzón. As we embark on this transition to sustainable peace we look forward to continuing to engage with the World Affairs Council and expand on building a more peaceful and prosperous future across the Americas and around the world.” In a video message from Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos said: “Central to reaching a peace agreement after five decades of war is a special relationship Columbia shares with the United States. I truly believe that global education is the key to our collective future, and we commend the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC for its commitment to advancing it.”


Dr. Matthew Shank, President of Marymount University, accepted the 2017 Educator of the Year Award on behalf of his faculty, Board and staff.Global education is part of the Marymount DNA,” said President Shank. “Marymount does good things in the world and for the world. We will continue to do so. We will be strengthened by this award.”


Two participants in WAC-DC’s global education programs also spoke at the HONORS: Gala. Megan Jenkins, a 2017 Future Global Leaders Scholarship Candidate, and student at George Mason High School in Virginia, described her transformational educational experience through the Council’s global education programs.They have had a major impact on my personal development, educational goals and attitude towards learning,” Ms. Jenkins said. “The skills and knowledge I acquired in these programs cannot be compared to years spent in a classroom environment.”


Angie Rollett, a teacher at Chantilly High School in Virginia and a participant in the 2015/16 Global Education Teacher–International Exchange Program between the US and South Africa, talked about her international professional experience. “The World Affairs Council provides teachers like me with the tools we need to counter an often stale curriculum, that puts America first and fails to recognize the dynamic nature of globalization,” Ms. Rollett said. “Now more than ever our students need a comprehensive global education. In our increasingly interconnected world that often highlights differences and divisions it is vitally important that help our young people to recognize the global similarities that bind us together and the bonds that solidify our position as equal citizens in the world.

2010 Global Education Gala

2011 Global Education Gala

2012 Global Education Gala

2013 Global Education Gala

2014 Global Education Gala

2015 Global Education Gala

2016 Global Education Gala