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  

Sally Pietsch

Chief Financial Officer

 (214) 965-8405  Email  Read Bio  

Julianna Allen

Manager of Protocol Services

 (214) 965-8418  Email  Read Bio  

Alana M. Buenrostro

Director of Corporate Giving & Partnerships

 (214) 965-8417  Email  Read Bio  

Kate Daniels

Director of Development and Membership

 (214) 965-7104  Email  Read Bio  

Anna Emery

Manager, International Visitor Program

 (214) 965-8414  Email  Read Bio  

Amy Miller

Director of Education

 (214) 965-8415  Email  Read Bio  

Martha Powell

Director of Administration and

Executive Assistant to the President

 (214) 965-8413  Email  Read Bio 

Kara Brock Schectman

Director of Marketing & Communications

 (214) 965-8413  Email  Read Bio

Kayla Smith

Marketing and Programs Coordinator

 (214) 965-7102  Email  Read Bio  

Elaine Tucker

Director of Database Administration

 (214) 965-8401  Email  Read Bio  

Rachel Vogel

Vice President of Programs

 (214) 965-8411  Email  Read Bio  


President & CEO

 Preferred Bio for Introductions - Download Here.

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 General David Petraeus, authors Jeffrey Toobin and Joby Warrick, Ambassador Peter Wittig of Germany, and His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

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, and the Dallas Regional Chamber. Jim is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Dallas Assembly. He 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 2015 and 2016 was named to DCEO Magazine’s 2016 and 2017 “Dallas 500” list of “most powerful business leaders in Dallas/Fort Worth.”

Jim and his parents lived in Tunis, Tunisia throughout Jim’s high school years where he attended a French lycée. He earned his French baccalaureate 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 four grandchildren. Jim is an avid cyclist and global traveler.


Executive Vice President, Chief of Protocol

 Download Bio

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

Sally Pietsch joined the World Affairs Council in May 2017. She previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for the Perot Museum of Nature & Science (formerly known as the Dallas Museum of Natural History) for 16 years. Her major accomplishments during her tenure at the museum include managing the financial aspects of the merger with The Science Place and the construction and opening of the new building in downtown Dallas.

Sally earned her B.A. at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and her MBA at Southern Methodist University. She is the mother of two teenaged sons and enjoys watching sports and listening to all genres of music.


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.


Director of Corporate Giving & Partnerships

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.


Director of Development and 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 22 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, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and Junior League of Dallas. She also serves on the board of yCPD, the young professionals auxiliary of Community Partners of Dallas and is a Class Giving 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 in 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.


Director of Administration/Executive Asst. to the President/CEO

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.


Director of Marketing & Communications

Kara Schectman, an award-winning writer and reporter who has more than 10 years of marketing, journalism, and broadcasting experience, is Director of Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining the Council Kara was a management team member at Young Presidents’ Organization. She is also an active member of the Public Relations Society of America and serves as a member of the PRSA Dallas Chapter board. In 2016, Kara was awarded the President’s Award for her work with the chapter as programs chair. Prior to moving into the non-profit sector Kara worked as English teacher at Plano West Senior High, served as marketing director for a regional magazine, and worked as television producer in Shreveport for the NBC affiliate.

When she is not hard at work she likes to work hard in the pool. A native of the Houston suburbs, Kara grew up swimming and was a three time All American and recognized in Who's Who in Sports. She earned a full swimming scholarship to the University of North Texas where she was a four-year letter winner and captain in 2004-2005. She graduated from UNT in 2005 with degrees in journalism and political science. Kara also enjoys traveling, reading, stand up paddle boarding on White Rock Lake and photography.


Marketing and Programs Coordinator

Kayla Smith graduated with honors from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Chinese Language. During college, she lived in Nanjing, China, as part of a Chinese language program. Before joining the Council, she worked on voter outreach with a local campaign in Fort Worth. Kayla joined the Council in 2017 after completing an internship with the programs department. She enjoys traveling, art, learning new things and working on her blog, www.kalmari.co


Director of Database Administration

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.



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325 N. Saint Paul Street, Suite 4200
Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 965-8400
Fax: (214) 965-8419