March 13, 2020
Dear members and friends of the World Affairs Council,
Last week I announced the postponement of all World Affairs Council public convenings through March 20. Governor Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine have since put into place more stringent measures in an effort to try to “flatten the curve.” These measures include prohibitions on gatherings of 250 people; any gathering under 100 people must put certain public health measures in place; and the widespread closures of schools.
These are measures that are needed and we fully support despite the personal and professional disruption they necessarily entail. Our highest priority is the health of our community. We will thus further suspend in-person programming at least through April 16.
I also want to update you on our International Visitor Program (IVP), which enjoys the support of many citizen diplomats in greater Seattle. As many of you know, IVP hosts extensive professional and youth exchanges in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the national programming agencies in the Global Ties U.S. network. As of yesterday, all programming with the Bureau of Educational Affairs will be suspended for 60 days through May 11. This is a major disruption in the work of our dedicated IVP staff who lead programming on all topics for hundreds of visitors year-round. The World Affairs Council of Seattle ranks as one of the most frequently utilized hubs across the country-wide network. When programming returns, our team will be busy with an influx of delayed visits as well as new delegations. Like you, we look forward to welcoming the world to Seattle again when conditions permit.
The lengthy suspension of all our programming is having a significant impact on our revenue. If you would have attended community programs or would have welcomed international visitors into your work or home, please consider donating as if you were still supporting our work through in-person participation.
And even though we cannot gather in-person, you will see further steps forward from our team that will keep you engaged with our mission. Thank you for your understanding and for your support of our work.
We encourage everyone to stay informed and join other members of our community in taking preventative steps to help keep us all safe and healthy. We will get through this together.
Please reach out directly to my colleagues Jessica Sciarone (community programs officer, jsciarone@world-
Jacqueline Miller, President and CEO
World Affairs Council