Meet the Board

Paul Willihnganz

Paul has been active in WACSC for 10 years, and remains a key board member. Paul writes:

Growing up on Long Island, New York, during World II, I experienced neighborhood blackouts due to U-Boats off our coast. After moving to the Buffalo area during the Cold War, I volunteered for “Operation Skywatch” in a tower on top of our town’s municipal building. Our mission was to report on any Soviet bombers flying over Western New York. Thankfully, we never saw one.

But I had learned that world affairs were important. […Read more…]


Leanna Breese

Leanna Breese has made many contributions as a valuable Board member. We asked her to share highlights of her life and work with us. Leanna writes:

I grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. Intriguing places I wanted to see and experience seemed all too far away. I attended the University of Iowa, and the summer after my junior year I traveled, with a girl friend, to 13 European countries. That trip settled it — no way would I stay in Iowa after I graduated!  […Read more…]


Pat Givens

Pat’s rich life and wide experience have made her an ideal World Affairs Council member and valued contributor to the Board. We asked her to share some life highlights with us. Pat writes:

From a very early age, I wanted to travel and see how other people lived. Perhaps this was because I was born in a tiny town — Leitchfield, Kentucky, population 600. I just knew there had to be a big wide world out there somewhere.

My family moved twice  […Read more…]


Ben Stone

Ben Stone was instrumental in starting the World Affairs Council in Sonoma County and, after a long hiatus, has rejoined the Board, for which we are all grateful. We asked him to share his experiences with us. Ben writes:

I was very pleased to be part of the original Board of the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County. As I reflected on writing this piece, I realized for the first time how one thing led to another in world affairs for me—and how lucky I’ve been!  […Read more…]


David Beckman

David joined the Board last year, and agreed to share aspects of his life, and what being part of WACSC means to him. David writes:

I was born in Jamestown, New York, and in high school was involved in debate and student government, and elected Student Council president. Thus was born a keen interest in public life and events — how they’re shaped by people, politics and ideas. An equally strong fascination was with literature and writing. How would these two diverse interests find expression?

I went to Brown University […Read more…]

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