JAMES N. FALK
President & CEO
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Jim Falk has been president and CEO of the non-profit, non-partisan World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth since August 2001. For more than sixty years, the Council has been entertaining, enlightening and educating North Texans, bringing history-makers and experts face to face with its members and the community, and supporting DFW trade and economic growth.
Jim has conducted the Council’s public conversations and Q&A sessions with scores of heads of state and government ministers, authors, policy experts, and foreign and American diplomats - including Secretaries Jim Baker and Condoleezza Rice. He regularly interviews Council speakers for the iTunes podcast “Global I.Q. with Jim Falk.” Recent interviewees include Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, author Malcolm Gladwell, Secretary Leon Panetta, pundit David Axelrod, Ambassador Sergey Kislyak of Russia and Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba of the United Arab Emirates.
Jim began his international career as director of education at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. and then was a commercial banker for First City National Bank of Houston. Following his banking career, he was regional director in Houston, TX for the Institute of International Education and later worked as vice president of development for the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Jim has been an active community leader, serving on a number of national and local boards including the World Affairs Councils of America, North Texas Commission, Asia Society-Texas Center, Dallas Regional Chamber and the Dallas International School. He is a member of the Dallas Assembly. Jim served as president of the Association for Fundraising Professionals Greater Dallas in 2010. In April 2013, he was appointed Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of Morocco for the state of Texas. Jim was honored as 2015’s Outstanding Fundraising Executive by AFP Dallas, and was named to DCEO Magazine’s “Dallas 500” list of “most powerful business leaders in Dallas/Fort Worth” in 2016 and 2017.
Jim and his parents lived in Tunis, Tunisia throughout Jim’s high school years where he attended a French lycée. He earned his French baccalauréate in philosophy and modern languages. He is a Washington and Lee University graduate, and received his master’s degree in international law and organization and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Virginia. Jim is married to Terrell Falk. They have two adult children and three grandchildren. Jim is an avid cyclist and global traveler.
BETH SABO HUDDLESTON
Executive Vice President, Chief of Protocol
Beth Huddleston is the executive vice president of the World Affairs Council and serves as chief of protocol for the City of Dallas through a partnership program between the City and the World Affairs Council since March of 2003. In this capacity, she supervises Dallas Sister Cities, the International Visitor Leadership Program and the International Education Initiative.
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. She is a past chair of the North Texas District Export Council, a position appointed by the Secretary of Commerce.
Beth is currently on the board of the Global Ties-US, a national network of program agencies and 95 community-based organizations that offer professional programs, cultural activities and home hospitality to international leaders visiting the US through the US Department of State.
Beth earned a B.A. in Spanish and English Literature from Vanderbilt University and a M.A. in Latin American studies from Georgetown University. She speaks Spanish and over the years she has travelled for business and pleasure to 62 countries.
Chief Financial Officer
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.
Manager of Protocol Services
Julianna Allen joined the World Affairs Council in December 2015. Most recently, she worked as an events coordinator for the National Math and Science Initiative in Dallas and in visitor services at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. She graduated from Baylor University in 2012 with dual majors of international business and marketing. Her studies took her to London, England as part of the Baylor Great Britain program in the summer of 2010. She has a passion for world cultures, loves to travel and enjoys reading and the arts.
Alana M. Buenrostro
Program Manager and Meridian: Young Professionals Coordinator
South Texas native Alana Buenrostro joined the Council in June 2014. She previously served as director of Membership for the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where she developed and implemented strategies for recruiting and retaining small business and corporate members, promoted business development, and managed seminars, networkers and events. During her undergraduate studies, Alana completed a public affairs internship at Ross Communications in Austin in 2011 and served as a Commercial Service México Student Intern for the U.S. Department of Commerce at the U.S. Embassy in México City, México in 2010. She graduated from Southwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications studies in 2011. Her love for travel also led her abroad to study at Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires and in 2008 at the Universidad de Guanajuato in Guanajuato, México. As a Dean’s List student at Southwestern, she was president of the University Programming Council and a member of the Intercollegiate Track & Field and Cross Country teams. She enjoys music, reading and learning about different cultures.
International Visitor Program Manager
Tom has long been fascinated by international affairs. While a student at the University of Dallas, Tom took the opportunity to travel abroad, studying ancient history and literature in Rome for a semester. He has traveled across much of Europe, visiting the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Despite his travels throughout Europe, his favorite travel destination is still Guatemala. In 2016, he graduated cum laude from the University of Dallas with his Bachelor of Arts in political philosophy with a concentration in international studies. In his senior year, Tom interned at the World Affairs Council in the Programs department, enjoying the wide range of events and speakers that the Council presents. Following his internship, Tom joined the World Affairs Council in June 2016 as the Manager for the International Visitor Program and in 2017 became our Development Programs Associate. In his free time, Tom enjoys reading, cooking and jogging with his dog.
Manager, Development & Membership
Kate graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Southwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Spanish. She spent her junior year of college abroad, splitting her time between Granada, Spain, and London, where she interned for the US-UK Fulbright Commission. Thus far, she has visited 20 countries and plans to continue her travels. A native North Texan and Lewisville High School graduate, Kate joined the Council in 2015, following her internship with the Development department. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership Academy, Community Partners of Dallas and Keep Lewisville Beautiful. She is also an active member of the Junior League of Dallas and serves as a Class Officer for Southwestern University.
International Visitor Program Manager
In 2014, Anna graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations and global studies and a minor in European studies and Spanish. During her undergraduate years, her study abroad experience in Granada, Spain allowed her to further cultivate her interest in European politics and foreign affairs. Anna interned with the Council in the spring of 2015, working in the Marketing and Communications department. Subsequently, Anna completed her Master of Science degree in international relations at the University of Edinburgh, taking advantage of the abundant travel opportunities throughout the UK and Western Europe while a student. In December 2016, Anna returned to the Council as Manager for the International Visitor Program. Anna is a sports enthusiast, and is an avid Bostonian fan, as well as a keen Chelsea soccer supporter. She enjoys running, reading, coffee, anything Scandinavian and her golden retriever, Sophie.
Director of Education
Amy Miller joined the Council in 2014 as Education Manager for our Speakers-to-Schools program and n 2016 became Director of Education. In this role, she works with local teachers and students to develop the next generation of Dallas/Fort Worth’s international professionals. Amy earned her B.A. in international studies (focusing on Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula) from Southern Methodist University in 2012 with a minor in political science. She interned in the Council's Office of Protocol in 2012. Amy lived in Madrid, Spain from 2012 to 2014, where she earned an M.A. in international education from la Universidad de Alcalá de Henares and taught English in a charter school. She is passionate about human rights, women's empowerment and youth development. Amy served on the board of directors for microfinance non-profit Chiapas International in 2015 and currently serves on the board of the Moorland Family YMCA in Oak Cliff. She has worked with Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson on the annual "A World of Women for World Peace Conference" since 2015.
Interim Director of Marketing and Communications
Larry Powell is an independent consultant who creates content for the World Affairs Council and who is assisting the Council as acting Director of Marketing in 2017. His successful and award-winning writing and editing career includes serving as a long time daily columnist for the Dallas Morning News. He also served in reporting and editing roles at the Fort Worth Press and several other Texas newspapers. His daily web site is readlarrypowell.com.
Executive Asst./Office Manager
Martha Powell is Director of Administration and Executive Assistant to Jim Falk. In these roles she is responsible for board communication, office management and human resources. Her twenty-plus years of administrative experience includes governmental relations, public relations, philanthropy and media. Previously, she worked at Hunt Consolidated, Inc. and for the managing editor of the Dallas Morning News. For four years the Dallas native 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 have a strong commitment to pet rescue and animal welfare. Martha volunteers with Paws in the City, serving on its board from 2008 to 2015 and as president from 2012-2014. Martha is webmaster of www.readlarrypowell.com.
Vice President 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.
Arleen Ruíz joined the Council in June 2016. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies with a concentration in international security and diplomacy in 2015 from the University of North Texas. As a member of the United Nations Association of the USA, her passion to help others has led her to volunteer and work alongside immigration lawyers as a translator for Pro Se Asylum cases handled by Catholic Charities of Dallas. Arleen has a keen interest in Latin America which stems from living in San Luis Potosí, México, for two years. She has traveled across much of México, visiting the pyramids of Tenochtitlan, witnessing Blue Demon’s Lucha Libre’s wrestling prowess and even participating in the Procession of Silence in San Luis Potosí, considered to be one of the most important Holy Week observances in México. Arleen likes to spend her time sparring at her favorite Krav Maga dojo, perfecting her Turkish Get Up or practicing her Balancing Stick pose during Hot Yoga.
Interactive Media Specialist
Scott joined the World Affairs Council in March 2016. He has worked in product development and magazine publication, so non-profit work presented a unique and rewarding challenge. A Texan, born and raised, he moved up to the icy tundra of the windy city where he earned a BA in international film and media studies from Loyola University Chicago. His formal education didn't stop at the classroom, learning about the arts, cinema, music, and how to order a hot dog without getting yelled at. As a world traveler, his wanderlust has taken him to France, Russia, and Germany. In Dallas, he enjoys podcasts, improv comedy, film-making, frequenting the many wonderful local coffee shops and Tex-Mex restaurants and cheering for our local sports teams.
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.
Vice President of Programs
Rachel Vogel is the Vice President 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 hHistory, 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 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.