Meet the Travel Professionals — with 35 years of experience!
Joan has run the Council's travel program for twenty years and in 2010 was appointed Vice President, Travel. Prior to joining the Council, she ran the travel program of the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; held the position of Product Marketing Manager for the British Tourist Authority; and worked for several special interest tour operators based in England, Australia and the U.S. During her career in travel, Joan has visited every continent and led many tours around the globe.
Shoshana has been with the travel department at the World Affairs Council for over eight years. Prior to arriving at the World Affairs Council, Shoshana earned a B.A. from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Shoshana had led several tours for the Council including a Ukraine Dnieper River and Black Sea Cruise, a Russia River Cruise, and a cruise to the U.A.E. and a tour to Iran with Ambassador Mark Johnson, a tour to Israel, and a Mekong River Cruise.
Meet some of our Lecturers and Leaders
Since August 2001, Jim Falk has been the president and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and is a past board member of the World Affairs Councils of America. He formerly was at the Middle East Institute as press officer and director of education. He is an adjunct professor of international relations at the University of North Texas. Jim Falk is the moderator of the Global IQ with The Economist, the Council’s monthly webcast. He in an expert in the Maghreb region, has led two Council tours to Tunisia, and recently returned from our group tour to Morocco which he will again lead in 2014.
Mimi Gregory is Vice President and Program Chairman of the Naples, Florida, Council on World Affairs. Mimi has traveled extensively in Central and Eastern Europe, participated in a Council Leadership Mission to Germany, and led a Great Decisions group for eleven years. She also lived in France for several years, where she worked as an Executive Recruiter for the banking industry. Mimi maintains very strong ties with France through her association with the Alliances Francaises, as President of their Federation, and was recently honored by President Sarkozy with the National Order of Merit, Rank of Commander. She will lead our Danube tour in 2014.
Ambassador Johnson was a career foreign service officer, serving as Ambassador to Senegal, as Deputy Inspector General of the State Department, Deputy Chief of Mission in Kuwait in 1991, and as Deputy Chief of Mission in Cairo, Egypt. He was the first American diplomat to return to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait City after it was liberated in the Desert Storm campaign. He also was involved with the Middle East peace process and the Iranian hostage crisis. Mark is the former national Vice Chair of the World Affairs Councils of America and is the Founder of the World Affairs Council of Montana. He is a Mansfield Adjunct Professor at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana. Ambassador Johnson has lectured on several tours for the Council and will lecture on a Mediterranean Cruise in 2014.
Kay Maxwell is the Executive Director of the World Affairs Forum in Stamford, CT, and served as President of the League of Women Voters of the U.S. from 2002-2006. Internationally, she has led League-sponsored trips and conducted training of women leaders in Bosnia and Azerbaijan. Kay has also conducted workshops for women, political, NGO and business leaders in Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, Mongolia and Rwanda under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s International Speakers Program. She received her BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. Kay led a Council tour to Cuba in March 2013 and will lead our Myanmar tour in 2014.
Ljubomir (L.J.) Stambuk joined the World Affairs Council of Charlotte as Executive Director in 2006 and is currently President and CEO. L.J. has 20 years of senior leadership and management experience in operations management, business development, marketing and human resources and strategic planning in various multinational corporations around the world. He received his undergraduate degree in International Economics and Business from the University of Belgrade. He also has a Master’s degree in Business and Organizational Development from Cornell University. L.J. was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and traveled extensively around the world throughout his childhood with his diplomat family. L.J. will lead our Croatia tour in fall 2014.
Dr. Carla Thorson, Vice President of Public Programs, World Affairs Council of Northern California, earned her MA and PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Council, she was on the faculty at UCLA and was Outreach Coordinator for the UCLA International Institute’s Center for European and Eurasian Studies. While studying for her degrees, she also worked as a consultant at the RAND Corporation and as an analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Inc. Dr. Thorson has led several Council tours and lectured on the Baltics cruise in 2011 and 2012. She will lecture on our Antarctica tour in 2014.
Angela Weck teaches courses on Russia (Imperial Russia and Russian Foreign Policy) at Bradley University’s Institute of International Studies in Peoria, IL. She is also Executive Director of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Councils of America. Her research interests include Russian foreign policy and models of collaboration between academic institutions and community organizations. Professor Weck received her B.A. from Iowa State University and holds a Special Certificate from the Moscow Institute of Timber. She received her Masters degree in Russian and East European Area Studies from the University of Minnesota. Angela recently lectured on a Russia cruise for Bradley University and will return on a World Affairs Council trip to Russia in 2014.
Maria Zammit has held leadership roles with the World Affairs Council system since 1989, with Greater Hampton Roads and nationally, with World Affairs Councils of America. She has led international tours and Leadership Missions, including to Baghdad in 2009 and Kabul in 2012. Council tours have included Malta, Sicily, Vietnam and Morocco. Maria Zammit has been to India twice before: three months in the mid-70s (including a brief time during former PM Indira Gandhi’s declared State of Emergency) and to attend a traditional Sikh wedding in Delhi in 2010. Ms. Zammit is currently the President of the Economics Club of Hampton Roads and the Chair of Programs at the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads. She received her M.A. in International Relations at the Paul Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. Maria will lead our India tour in 2014.
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