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Our Staff

James N. Falk

President and CEO

 (214) 965-8402  Email  Read Bio

Beth Sabo Huddleston

Executive Vice President
and Dallas Chief of Protocol

 (214) 965-8406  Email  Read Bio

Kristine Mewherter

Vice President of Marketing
and Interactive Media

 (214) 965-8413  Email  Read Bio

Hassan Tahat

Vice President of Finance

 (214) 965-8405  Email  Read Bio

Jennifer Bowden

Executive Director,
International Education Program

 (214) 965-8415  Email  Read Bio

Doug Fielder

International Visitor,
Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator

 (214) 965-8414  Email  Read Bio

Lara Harrison

Membership & Development Associate

 (214) 965-7104  Email  Read Bio

Casey Haskins

Administrative & Program Associate

   (214) 965-8414   Read Bio

Jameson Hall

International Visitor
and Student Program Coordinator

 (214) 965-8403  Email  Read Bio

Jocelyn Lancaster

Program Manager and

Meridian: Global Young Professionals Coordinator

 (214) 965-8404  Email  Read Bio

Chelsea Marshall

International Visitor
and Program Manager

 (214) 965-8416  Email  Read Bio

Martha Powell

Director of Administration and

Executive Assistant to the President

 (214) 965-8409  Email  Read Bio

Ryan Rankin


 (214) 965-7102  Email  Read Bio

Whitney Schneider

Director of Development & Partnerships

 (214) 965-8417  Email  Read Bio

Elaine Tucker

Director of Member Services

 (214) 965-8401  Email  Read Bio

Rachel Vogel

Director of Programs

 (214) 965-8411  Email  Read Bio

Rachel Wallis

Director of International Protocol Services

 (214) 965-8418  Email  Read Bio

    President & CEO

    Download Full Bio

    Since August 2001, Jim Falk has been president and CEO of the nonprofit, non-partisan World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, which strives to create a more informed citizenry on matters of national and international significance and supports the region’s international trade and economic growth.

    Jim earned a BA degree in Political Science from Washington and Lee University and his MA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in international law and organization and Middle Eastern studies. He has a French Baccalaureate from the Academy of Grenoble in France. He served as Director/Southern Region of the Institute of International Education in Houston, as director of education and media outreach at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., and worked for ten years as an energy banker at First City in Houston.

    Jim was appointed Honorary Consul of Morocco for Texas on April 4, 2013. He has led World Affairs Council trips to Tunisia, Morocco and Europe. He is a national board member of the World Affairs Councils of America and is currently on the board of the North Texas Commission and the Asia Society of Texas. Jim is also adjunct professor of international relations at the University of North Texas.

    Jim is the moderator of the Council’s webcast “Global I.Q. Minute with Jim Falk.” His commentaries have appeared on the editorial page of The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and on KERA 90.1 FM. Jim and his wife Terrell have two adult children and two grandchildren.


    Executive Vice President, Chief of Protocol

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    Beth Huddleston is the executive vice president of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. She serves as chief of protocol for the City of Dallas through a partnership program between the City and the Council. She supervises the Council’s International Visitors Program, the International Education Initiative and Dallas Sister Cities.

    Prior to assuming this position, Beth was the founding director of the International Small Business Development Center, an international trade assistance program of the Dallas County Community Colleges which served 49 counties of northeast Texas. Under her leadership, this organization was awarded the prestigious President’s “E’ Award for Excellence in Export Service.

    Beth was recently elected to the board of the National Council for International Visitors, a national network of program agencies and 95 community-based organizations that offer professional programs, cultural activities and home hospitality to international leaders hosted by the US Department of State.

    Beth is an active member of numerous organizations in the region and she is a past chair of the North Texas District Export Council, a position appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. Through this affiliation, she has been involved in an on-going effort to internationalize the education standards in our Texas public school system. She is on the board of the Friends of the Katy Trail and serves as co-chair for the Better & Best Friends Committee. She is also an active member of Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association where she receives yearly international training in the art of protocol.

    Beth earned a B.A. in Spanish and English Literature from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. She speaks Spanish and has a working knowledge of French and German.

    Ms. Huddleston is a native of Dallas. She has a daughter, Audrey, who attends SMU, and two sons, Rex and Riker, who attend Texas Tech and the University of Arkansas, respectively.


    Vice President of Marketing & Interactive Media

    Kristine Mewherter is the Vice President of Marketing and Interactive Media at the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Kris joined the Council in September of 2008. Prior to assuming her current role, she served as Director of Interactive Media and then Director of Marketing and Interactive Media at the Council.

    Kristine is a marketing and digital media professional with over 16 years experience designing, developing and managing interactive marketing campaigns, websites, web applications, media and graphic design. She loves photography, traveling the world, learning about different cultures and is an advocate for the rapidly-growing AIDS orphan population in Zambia, Africa.

    Along with Council partner organizations, HEB ISD and Richland College, she helped lead 17 North Texas educators to India in 2011 on a Fulbright-Hays GPA grant to study the U.N. Millenium Development Goals.


    Vice President of Finance

    Hassan Tahat joined the World Affairs Council in April 2002 as an accountant. Today he manages the accounting department, budget preparation and audit functions; provides documentation and analysis to the chief executive officer, audit committee, finance committee and board of directors for financial decision making. Mr. Tahat, a native of Amman, Jordan, holds master's of business administration with a focus in international finance from the University of Dallas. He is a lifetime member of Sigma Iota Epsilon, the national honorary and professional management fraternity.


    Executive Director, Int'l Education Program

    Jennifer Bowden joined the Council in July of 2007 from the Lewisville ISD, where she was a World Cultures teacher. She has traveled extensively, led teacher workshops, mentored student teachers, worked on a district curriculum alignment team, written several teaching articles, and directed numerous student programs impacting more than 100,000 students. In 2001, she was awarded a month long study in Japan through a Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellowship and from 2002-2004, she was an area representative for the Center for Cultural Interchange’s area exchange students. In 2002 she led a group of students overseas with People to People and in 2009 she was awarded the Outstanding Support for Geography Education Award by the National Council for Geographic Education. She received her degree cum laude from the University of North Texas after studying in Melbourne, Australia, and a Masters in Global Studies in Education through the University of Illinois. Along with WAC partner organizations, HEB ISD and Richland College, she led 17 DFW educators to India in 2011 as the community outreach coordinator on a Fulbright Hays GPA grant.


    Administrative & Program Associate

    Casey Haskins joined the Council July of 2013. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with Majors in Russian Language, Russian Eastern European Eurasian Studies and History. She studied abroad in Moscow as an undergraduate and continues her study of the Russian language today.

    Casey moved to Dallas in 2011, where she attended Southern Methodist University and obtained a Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution and Mediation. She now uses her skills assisting the VP of Finance at the WAC and the Director of Development.

    Casey divides her spare time traveling in Europe and caring for her adopted rescue dog, Olivia

    D’ Havilland. Casey’s hobbies include singing Broadway tunes, coordinating events for Paw in the City, and crochet.


    International Visitor, Volunteer & Special Projects Coordinator

    Doug graduated from Loyola University Chicago with degrees in Political Science and International Studies. He hopes to make a career working with the international community and would someday like to be heading a refugee resettlement program. He joined the Council part time after his Fall 2011 Council internship ended, and became a full time staffer in January 2013.


    Membership & Development Associate

    Lara graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.A. and M.Ed. She has lived and traveled abroad extensively, she is actively involved with the Dallas Arts community, and enjoys reading about sustainable practices and different cultures. Joining the Council as a member in 2007, becoming a volunteer in 2011 and being hired in 2012 as a Development and Member Services Associate, Lara brings her experience as a volunteer, teacher, business owner, grant reviewer, and active committee member with local organizations to work in Donor Relations for the Council.


    International Visitor & Student Program Coordinator

    Jameson Hall, International Visitor & Student Program Coordinator, joined the Council in 2013 following his internship here. He works within the International Visitor Program and International Education Program departments. He coordinates our Internship Program. He graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies in 2012. He studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina as well as traveling to Chile and Uruguay. Jameson was an intern for Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson in her Dallas district office. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of Sigma Iota Rho: Honor Society for International Studies. Jameson has a passion for the international community so, he hopes to make a career working within the international development field and be a Peace Corps volunteer some day.


    Program Manager and Meridian Young Professionals Coordinator

    Jocelyn joined the Council in July 2010. In her current role, she is responsible for general logistics of the Council’s many programs, including speaker events, Great Decisions discussion groups and Global I.Q. with the Economist audiocasts. She also organizes the dynamic Meridian: Global Young Professionals program and enjoys connecting with members throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth community. Following her graduation from Southern Methodist University in 2008, Jocelyn spent 13 months in Ecuador working in community development with Manna Project International. She loves traveling, speaking Spanglish, and learning about different cultures.


    Manager for the International Visitor Program

    Chelsea Marshall is the Manager for the International Visitor Program at the World Affairs Council of Dallas/ Fort Worth. She helps administer the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), one of the premier professional exchange programs of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Through IVLP and other special projects, Chelsea connects visitors with local resources, experts, and cultural experiences.  Chelsea Marshall graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.  Her studies led her to Madrid, Spain for a summer and Muscat, Oman as a Gilman Scholar.  A native of Fort Worth, TX, Chelsea remains active in the community as a member of the Women’s Policy Forum. 


    Executive Asst./Office Manager

    Martha Powell is Director of Administration and Executive Assistant to Jim Falk. In these roles she also handles board communication and human resources. Her twenty-plus years of administrative experience includes governmental relations, public relations, politics, philanthropy and media. Previously, she worked at Hunt Consolidated, Inc. and the Dallas Morning News, and for four years she owned her own business in Oak Cliff. She majored in English Literature at the University of Texas at Arlington and holds a Nonprofit Management Certificate from the Center for Nonprofit Management.

    Martha and her husband, Larry, have a strong commitment to pet rescue and animal welfare. Martha is president of Paws in the City and a former board member of the Best Southwest Humane Society. Martha serves as webmaster of, plays the harp and performs with Resounding Harmony, a philanthropic chorus.



    Ryan Rankin joined the council part time after a Council internship, and became webmaster in 2013. Ryan spent his youth in Houston, TX attending drawing and design composition classes at the Glassell School of Art as well as science and robotics camps at Houston Museum of Natural Science. Under the guidance of his uncle, he started learning the command line interface on an i386 powered home-built PC in 1989 at age six and learned to establish telnet sessions over a 9600 bit/s modem before the first web browser had even begun development. He studied Computer Engineering (with a Hardware Specialization) and Mathematics at Southern Methodist University.


    Director of Development & Partnerships

    Whitney joined the Council in 2011. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Public Relations. She has always had an interest in politics and fundraising, working with several non-profits including the Central Texas Food Bank, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Children’s Miracle Network.

    Whitney has worked with several media companies including, Burson-Marsteller and TEXAS MONTHLY as well as for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in her district Austin office and later on her 2010 gubernatorial Wcampaign. Most recently, Whitney was the director at a Dallas art gallery and is very active in the Junior League of Dallas and the Texas Youth Scholarship Organization. Whitney is an active runner and enjoys traveling, photography, live music, and meeting new people.


    Director of Membership Services

    Elaine Tucker joined the Council in 2009. Before that, she served as Stewardship Coordinator for a private school in Dallas. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Lutheran University, where she also served as Development Database Coordinator for over 10 years. Hobbies include clog dancing, reading mystery novels and traveling (especially to the beach) as time allows. During the summer of 2008 Elaine traveled England for two weeks and loved every minute of her trip. She looks forward to a return visit and highly recommends the Bleeding Heart Yard Cafe© for enjoyment of their excellent food and great atmosphere. She is honored to be called Gramma Laine by her three wonderful granddaughters.


    Director of Programs

    Rachel Vogel is the Director of Programs at the Council. She joins the Council after working as a program officer for the World Affairs Council of Houston. Prior to this, Rachel interned at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

    Following her graduation from University of Dallas in 2006 with a BA in History, she worked for FourthWall Media as a product coordinator. She then completed her MA in International Political Economy at the University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) in 2009, while interning for Environmental Security International. She is the founder of the BSIS Volunteer Forum, specifically focusing on work with refugees living in Brussels, Belgium.


    Director of International Business and Protocol Services

    Rachel Wallis joined the World Affairs Council in September 2011. Most recently, she worked as Program Officer at Meridian International Center in Washington, DC, implementing the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership program. She received an M.A. in Contemporary European Studies from the University of Bath, UK, and spent her undergraduate years at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, where she earned a B.A. with dual majors of Political Science and French. Rachel has studied abroad at Imperial College in London, the Sorbonne in Paris, the Institut D'etudes Politiques (Sciences-Po) in Paris, and the University of Bath. She is fluent in French and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

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