We bring the world to Windham County. For over six decades, the Windham World Affairs Council has brought the world to Windham County. Our mission is to build community engagement, dialogue, and resilience by helping people better understand our world’s issues and problems. In this way, we hope to contribute to creating a livable, peaceful, better world in which we are better prepared to participate knowledgeably in public affairs and make informed choices in elections and our lives. We build community engagement, dialogue, and resilience by helping people understand complicated issues that manifest globally and locally. Through ongoing programs such as salons, workshops, and speaker series led by global experts, Nobel Peace laureates, and local leaders, we build intergenerational and cross-cultural social connections creating a more inclusive and engaging community. WWAC is an independent, nonpartisan organization with an all-volunteer council. We rely on membership dues in order to provide events, free of charge, to the public.
The WWAC board meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 118 Elliot, 118 Elliot St., Brattleboro. Our meetings are open to anyone who wants to participate. Immediately following the meeting we host a Members & Friends Salon.
Founded in 1961, the Windham World Affairs Council has convened and channeled the talents of foreign policy professionals and aficionados in Windham County and beyond to spur dialogue and learning opportunities for the whole community. Convinced it is our civil duty in a democracy to better understand the world beyond our national or continental boundaries, WWAC brings the world to Windham County. Many distinguished individuals have led and participated in WWAC over the years providing today’s generation with strong examples of enlightened public service.
Perhaps the most notable was John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006), an important contributor in the early days of the WWAC. Known for being one of the world’s best known economists whose eloquent and internationally recognized writings on economics, public policy and culture helped shape the identity of the modern United States and 20th-century American liberalism. He wrote the quintessential analysis of the Great Depression -The Great Crash – and The Affluent Society, both of which were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s. Listen to short audio pieces on John Kenneth Galbraith narrated by journalist Joyce Marcel and Peter Galbraith on the Brattleboro Words Trail.
Another of the most important WWAC leaders was biologist/environmentalist/peace activist Arthur H. Westing, who died in 2020 but not before penning a brief history of the organization he had served so well titled ‘ON THE ORIGIN OF THE WINDHAM WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL.’
‘A pioneer on the environmental Impact of war, Westing led the WWAC for many years, setting a high standard in service of global affairs awareness and action in Windham County and beyond. See VT Digger profile of him HERE.
The Windham World Affairs Council was formally established in Brattleboro in March 1961 as a non-profit, educational corporation “for the purpose of furthering better understanding of the important world issues; stimulating constructive and effective participation in world affairs; and promoting responsible citizen participation in the foreign policy of the United States”.
Although formally instituted in 1961, WWAC’s roots go back to 1955. It was in about that year that the Vermont Council on World Affairs came into existence on an informal basis. Then in January 1958, the Vermont Council adopted a Constitution and By-Laws and became formally incorporated. Its original officers, about 30 in number, came from around the State, with Windham County represented by 5 of that number: Hans Blees of Putney, Anna F. Holbrook (Mrs F. Cabot) of Brattleboro [1903–1993], Philip B. Chase of Putney (as one of two Vermont Council Vice Presidents) [1894–1973], Hildegard Durfee of Brattleboro [1896–1989], and Irving Zimmerman of Brattleboro.
Tamara Stenn is an economist and entrepreneur with a specialization in sustainable development, indigenous people, and wellbeing. Her global areas of interest are Bolivia and the Andes region. She also lives and works in Nicaragua. Dr. Stenn is a former professor of Professional Studies at Landmark College where she led the LEAP entrepreneurship program and taught neurodiverse students using universal design techniques.
Lissa Weinmann is a producer, writer and partner of 118 Elliot a Downtown community gallery and performance space that promotes arts and education in Brattleboro and provides in-kind support to WWAC as a home base and meeting space. She helped establish PeaceJam and directed the Brattleboro Union High School Model UN as a volunteer and mentor. She directs the townwide, National Endowment for the Humanities’-supported Brattleboro Words Project, which oversees production/marketing of the award-winning Brattleboro Words Trail audio tours, and is executive producer and host of the Brattleboro Words Trail Podcast. She has served for five years as a citizen appointee/volunteer on the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP - vice chair for 2023) and created and chairs NDCAP’s Federal Nuclear Waste Policy Committee since 2021. Splitting time between Brattleboro and New York City after raising a family in Vermont, she’s worked as a journalist and policy consultant with an expertise on Cuba and nuclear waste issues and helped produce documentary films on these topics. She has a journalism BS from Syracuse University and a masters in International Affairs from Columbia University.
is a historian and journalist living in Brattleboro. She has reported from Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Mali, and Windham County, Vermont, and as a history professor, has taught at Marlboro, Dartmouth, and Landmark Colleges. Since joining the WWAC board in 2018, she has facilitated, moderated, and helped organize numerous talks for the organization, including her own presentation in November 2019, "Beheading in the age of its technological reproducibility." A native of New Haven CT, she earned a BA from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD from Harvard. Prior to landing in Brattleboro in 2015, she spent years working and living in some of the world's great cities, including Berlin, Reykjavik, Cairo, and Istanbul. She can normally be found kayaking on the river, admiring mosses, hanging out with her nephews, and interrogating how contemporary political interests employ the(ir) notions of history.
is the Pastor at the Centre Congregational Church. He arrived from the Republic of So. Africa where he was a missionary for 18 years. While there, Scott earned a PhD in History and published a biography of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Albert Luthuli.
is the Director of Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro VT. She has served as chair of the John Newbery Award committee and as a panelist for The New York Times Best Illustrated Books for Children. She is the namesake for Daniel Pinkwater’s librarian character Starr Lakawanna in Looking for Bobowitz, (HarperCollins: 2003), who utters the immortal line, “I live to amaze, astonish and astound. Those are things librarians do well.”
is retired and his career was in the application of solar energy. conservation, and efficiency in buildings. He studied and taught in Mexico, Sweden, Kenya and China.
Esteemed and Valued Honorary Board Member Emeritus. Paul Love has had a more than two decades involvement with WWAC including being a member of the Board. For the last several years he has not been able to be full time member of the Board due to conflicting commitments but has been delighted to be named an honorary member and therefore able to continue to assist the Board with its duties. While his background is technical with a focus on high performance computer networking for higher education institutions and corresponding agencies of the US government, he has had a lifelong interest in history and the workings of the world. He has a BS in mathematics from the University of Arizona with advanced studies in Applied Mathematics there and in computer science and physical oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.
is a retired US History teacher. For thirty years, she enjoyed teaching public high school students in both Massachusetts and New York. Upon retirement in 2021, she became Windham World Affairs Council’s, first ever, paid employee. She manages WWAC logistics and communications including outreach, press relations, and membership development.
Windham County, VT