Columbus Council on World Affairs Honored as 2020 Council of the Year

February 26, 2021

Local nonprofit transforms during global health crisis; Recognized for K-12 education success and anti-racism programming


COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 26, 2021 – The Columbus Council on World Affairs (CCWA) has been named a 2020 Council of the Year by the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). Each year, WACA celebrates the achievements of Councils around the nation and their commitment to furthering global fluency and understanding in their communities. The local nonprofit’s ability to transform and connect with the Columbus community, leadership in K-12 global education efforts via their Global Scholars Program, and its anti-racism programming were cited by WACA as selection criteria.

During a time that could have halted progress or paused CCWA’s programs indefinitely, CCWA remained steadfast in their mission of increasing global competence and understanding through education, collaboration, and thought leadership. CCWA pivoted their delivery of the program to completely virtual while maintaining high satisfaction scores, creating six new self-paced learning modules and hosting 24 live Zoom sessions for its more than 1,000 students throughout the year.

Additionally, as communities across the nation, including Columbus, faced head on the challenges of racism still happening in today’s society, CCWA released Reflections on Race, two statements outlining the organization’s commitment to being anti-racist through learning, reflecting, and taking action. Furthermore, understanding the pervasive nature of racism and its presence as a global issue extending beyond our singular communities, CCWA embedded topics surrounding this into the Global Scholars Diploma program. CCWA also held an engaging panel event in November 2020, Educating Toward an Anti-Racist World, featuring an array of nationally renowned speakers.

“The Columbus Council of World Affairs is really setting the standard nationally for what a globally-minded nonprofit can achieve,” said Bill Clifford, President and CEO of World Affairs Councils of America. “As one of the nation’s leading councils, we are thrilled to recognize Columbus with the honor of Council of the Year.”

The Global Scholars Diploma is a three-year program that brings global fluency (the knowledge, skills, and mindset needed to work and thrive in our global society) to the region’s high school students through experiential and project-based learning, which helps the graduates gain skills in cross-cultural communication, explore global careers and take action on pressing global issues. Culminating with the Take Action capstone project, the Global Scholars Diploma allows students to learn and grow as a community of scholars, while exploring the issues they are most passionate about. Scholars dedicated their projects to tackle important global causes, ranging from human trafficking and the threat of single-use plastic pollution to worldwide loneliness and the devastating effects of malnutrition in children.

“This past year alone has opened up many opportunities for us to facilitate difficult conversations , encourage informed reflection, and drive change.” said Patrick Terrien, President and CEO of CCWA. “I am inspired each day by the work and commitment of our Global Scholars. As the next generation of innovators in our country and world, they will serve as the catalysts for a more dynamic, inclusive, and global future.”

For more information about CCWA and its public programs, including Global Fluency Training and the Global Scholars Diploma, or to get involved, please visit


About the Columbus Council on World Affairs

The Columbus Council on World Affairs (CCWA) is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1975. The Columbus Council on World Affairs aspires to be the leading nonpartisan, globally-focused organization in the Columbus region. The Council fosters a community that is well-informed about critical international issues as they affect the world, nation, and local region and whose citizens utilize this insight to make effective decisions in our global society.