Naples Council
World Affairs
Our mission is to educate, inspire and engage our community in international affairs and critical global issues

Serving Florida’s Southwest Coast

With nearly 2,000 members, NCWA is one of the largest members of the World Affairs Councils of America.

Founded in 1980


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We thank our donors for their generous contributions. Their names can be seen by clicking here (log-in required)      

Enrollment in NCWA Full Individual and Family Memberships
is open for the 2023-2024 season!

Please make sure that your primary and secondary email addresses 
are current by logging on to our website and checking your Profile
or by calling 239-649-3942!

Enrollment for Great Decisions is now open!
Check your email for instructions, then Click Here or call 239-649-3942.

Model UN Competition Honors High-Achieving Students

Students from 15 Schools Compete in 30th Annual Event   

Another energizing and rewarding SWFL Model UN competition has drawn to a close, with about 250 high-achieving students participating in teams and as individuals in presentations replicating the discussions about critical global issues that occur in sessions of the United Nations. 

NCWA's Model UN Committee organizes and leads the annual event, which is held at the Florida Gulf Coast University campus over two days. This year, the program celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Many students won awards and cash prizes totaling approximately $40,000 donated by NCWA members dedicated to the impact that a strong Model UN program can have on students' lives and careers. For a complete list and dollar awards, as well as other information about participants, teachers and NCWA volunteer organizers, please Click Here. ​

Among the top winners were (Click Here for information on dollar awards and donors):

  • Top School: Gulf Coast High School
  • Most Improved School: Immokalee High School
  • Educating Child Refugees Special Competition: North Fort Myers High School
  • Performance awards: Colin Briggs, Gulf Coast High School, best single year performance; Ravelska Lafalaise, Fort Myers High School, outstanding delegate; Colin Briggs, Gulf Coast High School, best single year - junior; Nathan Rubin, Gulf Coast High School, best single year - sophomore; and Catie Saadeh of Gulf Coast High School, best single year - freshman

Alexia Espinoza Vlad of Barron Collier High School, left, receives the $2,500 Ron Gymer Memorial Award from Ron's widow, Marianne, who flew to Naples from Ohio to participate as a Model UN judge and present the award in her late husband's memory. Ron was a member of the NCWA Board of Directors and supporter of Model UN.

Mimi Gregory, left, NCWA VP for Programs, presents the $2,500 award in her name to Gal Shem-Tov from Gulf Coast High School.

Emma Upson of Gulf Coast High School receives the Ambassador Gregor Zore Memorial Award of $2,500 donated by his widow, Edie Hunt, from Model UN chair Alan Van Egmond. The same award was given by Gegor and Edie three years ago to Emma's brother, Ethan, who was chair of SHARKMUNC at Gulf Coast, the same position held by Emma last year.

For more SWFL Model UN awards,
please Click Here!

This page is under construction!

Model UN Draws Local News Coverage!

Students connect to youth in Ukraine,
retirees add gravitas to the competition,
serious subjects lead to serious debates
 in a United Nations structure, and
cash prizes aid college careers!

Read about it Link to be inserted

Kajsa Carlsen receives Ralph J. Bunche Award from NCWA member Richard Clemens, who donated $2,500 in seed money to the $6,500 grant. 

Kajsa Carlsen Receives
$6,500 Bunche Award

Kajsa Carlsen of Port Charlotte High School has been named Ralph J. Bunche Award winner at the SWFL Model UN competition at Florida Gulf Coast University. Originally established in 2018 by Richard Clemens in honor of Dr. Bunche, this is the highest award given at the annual SWFL Model UN event and is accompanied by a check for $6,500. NCWA organizes and leads the annual competition.

Dr. Bunche was recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (the first African-American to receive this award) for his work with the Israelis and Palestinians, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President John F. Kennedy, and was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the UN in 1968.

Kajsa is a National Merit Scholar, is involved in the National Honor Society and student government, and also holds the position of president of the Key Club. She runs a mentoring program through the school and tutors underclassmen on a regular basis. She is enrolled in both Advanced Placement and AICE Cambridge courses and has earned high scores in all of her exams. 

Last year during her time in AP Research class, Kajsa conducted a study on health literacy in teenage males and wrote a 5,000-word paper on her results. This paper went on to earn 5 (the highest possible score) and cemented her status as an AP Diploma Recipient, passing both AP Seminar and AP Research, as well as the four additional AP courses required. 

In her time as an AICE Cambridge student, she has passed the requisite seven college-level Cambridge courses to earn her AICE diploma as well and is currently ranked No. 1 in her class. As the president of the MUN club for her high school, she has personally trained their group from a team of two (including herself) to an accomplished team of 16. 

Kajsa will be attending the University of Florida in the fall as a pre-med student, and her career aspirations include becoming a pediatric oncologist. While at UF she intends to be a part of the UF MUN team and help with GatorMUN, and has expressed enthusiasm about chairing at SWFLMUN, as well. Her coach at Port Charlotte High School was Ali Hofstetter.


Each year, NCWA sponsors a special competition at SWFL Model UN in which we pose a global question and allow schools to compete as teams for a cash prize for their Model UN team. 

A description of the 2023 problem can be found at This Link.

Winners were North Fort Myers High School, first place and $500 provided by Howard and Nancy Cohen; Gulf Coast High School, second place and $350 provided by Mickey and Mo Winograd; and Lely High School, third place and $200 provided by Steve and Carol Vesce.

Two Important Events:

Mark Your Calendars!

Official Annual Meeting
Monday, April 3 at 3:00 pm

Please attend at Moss Hall, 791 Harbour Drive, Naples FL or mail in your proxy for election of new Board of Directors members for next season.

Announcement and proxy materials have been sent out by U.S. mail! If you can't attend, don't forget to sign and mail your proxy!

NCWA Annual Dinner
Friday, April 14, 6:00 pm
Hilton Naples

Dinner and final lecture.

Details will be announced via email soon!

Middle School Academic World Quest Competition

Team C from North Naples Middle School won first place in the Middle School Academic World Quest Competition. From left are Mark Walchak, NCWA School Outreach Committee chair; Mikie Stroh, coordinator for K-12 social studies programs for Collier County Public Schools; Bennett Bowman; Luke Brown; Aaron Bozman; Karthik Pandiri; Sandy Karaganis, chair of the MS AWQ program, and Ashley Giannone, faculty coach of the team.

Each year the Naples Council on World Affairs sponsors and conducts the Middle School Academic World Quest. Students from middle schools throughout Collier County compete by answering a series of questions of historical, national and international importance.

This year, 31 teams of four competed, fielding 100 questions on a wide range of topics including geography, forms of government, capitals of the world, citizenship and the Constitution, ancient civilizations, world cultures, U.S. history, U.S. in world affairs, world leaders and current events. The top three teams scored within three points of one another, making for an exciting and competitive event.

North Naples Middle School Team C took first place with the following students competing: Aaron Bozman, Bennett Bozman, Luke Brown and Karthik Pandiri. The team was coached by Ashley Giannone.

Oakridge Middle School won second place. Aarohee Dabas, Isaac Garatejo Zambrano, Emma Dorey and Jack Pustizzi comprised Team A. They were coached by Taylor Arnold and Andrea Polanco.

Third place went to Community School of Naples Team C with Sam Saad, Jack Champion, Thomas Loves and Max Dockweiler participating. Scott Miles was their coach.

To view the photos of second and third place winners,please Click Here

Great Decisions Members:

Donate your books to students 

who can use them

in NCWA school programs!

Drop off your book at one of these locations:

(1) At the upcoming NCWA lecture (April 3) at Moss Hall, Moorings Presbyterian Church, 791 Harbour Drive, Naples

(2) Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church (until March 24) at the church office (ask for Barbara Bonavita) at 1225 Piper Boulevard, Naples, between 11 am and 3 pm Monday through Friday

(3) Brooks Commons Club Enrichment Center (until March 24) at 9930 Coconut Road, Bonita Springs, at the Reception Desk, between 10 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday


for the

2022-2023 season

Mimi Gregory
Vice President for Programs


The Program Committee

    Judith Lipnick                            Edwin S. Leland
    William P. Pope                     Judy Rubinstein
    Mark Schwab                            
                       Jim Schmotter, ex officio

Sowing Chaos:
A Harvest of Discontent

Monday, April 3: Bilal Wahab, Ph.D., Wagner Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy: "Behind the Earthquake's Curtain"

(At the top of this page, go to the Lectures tab, and then select Lecture Videos)

Monday, October 31Ian J. Brzezinski Member of the Strategic Advisors Group at the Atlantic CouncilSenior Fellow in the Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security: "U. S. Security Policy and Strategy: What is at Stake?"

Monday, Nov. 14: David S. Rohde, American author and investigative journalist,  Executive Editor of “”: "The Weaponization of Social Media in Foreign Policy"

Monday, December 5Steven A. CookEni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa studies, Council on Foreign Relations: "Putin's Willing Partners in the Middle East"

Wednesday, January 11"Joseph Cirincione, National Security Analyst, Member of the Council for Foreign Relations, past President of the Ploughshares Fund, a Global Security Foundation: "Miscalculations and Nuclear Risks in the Ukraine War."

Monday, January 23: Michael E. O'Hanlon, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow-Foreign Policy, Director of Research for the Foreign Policy program; Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy and Technology, Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and Strategy:  "Germany, Europe, NATO, History and the Path Ahead in Ukraine"

Monday, February 6:  Dr. Cynthia A. Watson, Professor Emerita, National War College, and Dr. Bernard D. Cole, USN [Ret.]: "China's Challenges: Inside and Out"

Tuesday, February 21: Dr. Duncan Wood, Vice President for Strategy and New Initiatives and Senior Advisor to the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute: "Are We Losing Mexico? AMLO's Legacy of Populism and Power Politics"

Monday, March 6Caitlin Welsh, Director, Global Food Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies: "Food Is Russia's 'Silent Weapon' "

Monday, March 20Sheila A. Smith, PhD, John E. Merrow Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Studies, Council on Foreign Relations: "The Quad in the Indo-Pacific" will be posted soon.

Oxford University

Click Here to view videos
from four students who attended
last summer's programs!

Thirteen outstanding
high school students have been selected for NCWA's domestic and international summer scholarships!

Six will go to international programs, five to Georgetown University, and two to American University.

Click Here to learn who won!

NCWA Full and Associate Members:

Don't forget to enroll in your FREE subscription to DailyChatter!

This informative daily newsletter on international events
is a quick and non-partisan way to stay current and enhance
your understanding of our lectures and Great Decisions discussions!

Click Here
to sub

Calendar in Brief:

Significant dates 
for 2022-2023 NCWA season

For times and details,
see Home Page
click appropriate tab
at top of Home Page

March 25: High School Academic World Quest competition, Community School of Naples.

April 3: Final day for Great Decisions participants to register to stay in their current groups. Call 239-649-3942. Online enrollment is not available.

April 3, 3:45 and 7:30 pm: Lecture -- Bilal Wahab, Ph.D., Wagner Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, "Behind the Earthquake's Curtain."

April 3, 3:00 pm: Annual Meeting and election of new members of NCWA Board of Directors (In Moss Hall, Moorings Presbyterian Church. Information and proxy materials have been sent in U.S. mail).

April 4: First day that Great Decisions participants who wish to change groups may request to change to a new group. Call 239-649-3942. Online enrollment is not available.

April 4, 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm: Book Club: War: How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret McMillan. Associate and Full Members are invited. Click Here for the Zoom link. 

April 6: First day that NCWA members may enroll in Great Decisions groups with open seats. Call 239-649-3942. Online enrollment is not available.

April 14, 6:00 pm: Annual Dinner, Hilton Naples (Save the date! Details to be announced soon!)

NCWA President:

What have we learned

so far this season?

Jim Schmotter, President

The world continues to be complex,NCWA continues
to delve deeply,
and interest is high
among our young people!

As we head into the home stretch of NCWA’s season, I’d like us to take a moment to consider our mission statement, especially the part that refers to educating the community on “critical global issues.”  Put simply, what have we learned from Naples Council’s programs and volunteering experiences up to this point in the 2022-2023 season? 

From this year’s lecture series, we’ve learned that Mexico is a more important trading partner for the U.S. than China.  We’ve learned that China, while an outward-facing adversary, continues to have serious internal concerns about its population.  

We’ve learned how two acknowledged experts on global affairs can come up with diametrically opposing predictions about the war in Ukraine, with one predicting  its  end  by  the summer and the other evoking years of trench warfare similar to the First World War.  

We’ve learned not to expect Germany to be a leader in NATO, but a valuable follower.  We’ve learned that long-time U.S. partners in the Middle East are simply following national interests, a common statecraft strategy, in their lack of enthusiasm for support for Ukraine.

Closer to home, we’ve learned that noteworthy speakers still enjoy traveling to Naples to address our membership.  We’ve learned that our post-Covid return to face-to- face interaction for Great Decisions sessions and for special programs like our National War College seminar has proven very popular. 

We’ve also learned that more than half of NCWA’s members prefer to livestream our lectures from their homes.  

Finally, the numbers of students applying for our summer high school programs and participating in our Model UN conference demonstrate that the young people of Southwest Florida have a strong interest in world affairs, and we can address it.  

Warmest regards,

Jim Schmotter, President


All lecture videos of the 2021-2022 season

and the 2022-2023 season

are now available to view online.

Click here

Programs for Members


Lectures from October through April, featuring distinguished scholars and statesmen.

Great Decisions

Weekly discussion groups from January to March, using material from the Foreign Policy Association.

Special Programs

Lectures with book authors, special extra presentations, the biennial War College and more. Events will be announced.

Book Club, Annual Dinner & More

Monthly book discussions, an annual NCWA dinner, luncheons with speakers, newsletter.

NCWA is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America

Programs for Students

Global Scholar Program

A three-year pilot program.

Model United Nations

Simulating the United Nations, includes 300 + high school students.

Georgetown & American Univer\Scholarships

One week immersion in International Relations or National Security at Georgetown University or American University in Washington DC. 

International Scholarships

Summer study and service programs in countries all over the world.

Click on the picture below to view the 2021-2022 handbook for members

Naples Council on World Affairs
2316 Pine Ridge Road #361, Naples, Florida 34109-2006
Contact Email:
  | Phone: 239-649-3942

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