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Students from Cumberland Valley take Second Place in 2015 Academic WorldQuest Competition.

CV Team 2

Harrisburg Academy, team Seychellesacademicworldquest



The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018 Academic WorldQuest National Competition

The Carlos and Malú Alvarez Academic WorldQuest National Competition honors the tremendous dedication and philanthropic support of WACA National Board member Carlos Alvarez and his wife to our flagship program and the Academic WorldQuest Endowment Fund.

The national competition is attended by more than 225 of the nation’s most promising high school students annually, along with their parents, teachers, and chaperones. The 4-hour AWQ competition is a unique opportunity for many students to visit the nation’s capital for the first time.

National Competition 

The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018 Academic WorldQuest National Competition was held on Saturday, April 28. Location: TBA

This year’s National Competition will feature a welcome reception at the United States Institute of Peace on Friday, April 27. Students had a unique opportunity to engage with Institute staff and learn more about USIP’s important work around the world. USIP is also sponsoring “The Peacebuilding Toolkit” category of the competition.


2017-2018 Topics

  • ASEAN at 50
  • India’s Bid for Global Power
  • Combatting Climate Change
  • Cybersecurity
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Great Decisions
  • The Peacebuilding Toolkit
  • America’s Diplomats
  • Current Events

2017-2018 AWQ Study Guide


Hotel Block

The World Affairs Councils of America has arranged a group hotel block at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park (2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20008). See the reservation link here.

Local AWQ Competitions

Local AWQ competition dates are listed here.

The Academic WorldQuest Endowment Campaign

Academic WorldQuest, a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America that engages more than 4,000 high school students annually across the U.S. to test their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy, has received a $500,000 contribution from a generous supporter. Carlos Alvarez of San Antonio, Texas, a businessman and philanthropist who serves on the WACA National Board of Directors, made the donation as part of the nonprofit organization’s campaign to endow the Academic WorldQuest national competition. He is making the gift with his wife, Malú – the gift would be the largest to date for any World Affairs Councils of America fundraising initiative.
“Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez’s generosity is an inspiring affirmation of the purpose of Academic WorldQuest – to offer young people a fun and interactive way to learn about critical challenges facing the U.S. and the world – and their gift will enable WACA to sustain and expand the Academic WorldQuest national competition while enhancing support for educational programs provided by 96 local nonprofit World Affairs Councils,” says Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO. “They truly understand the value of educating and engaging the public, and especially students, in international affairs and we are incredibly grateful for their commitment. Read More 

Great Decisions

Please Note: The Great Decisions 2017 Briefing Book is required study material for the National Competition. However, the Briefing Book will NOT be required reading for local competitions. In order to prepare for local competitions, students should study the online resources outlined in the Study Guide.  

Council Information 

To confirm your Council’s participation in the 2016-2017 Academic WorldQuest, please submit this Pledge Form by October 20, 2017. Local competition questions will be shared with all Council AWQ contacts.

Please use these flyers to promote the Academic WorldQuest program to teachers, students, and sponsors: Teachers Guide and Flyer. To learn more information about hosting your own local AWQ competition, please read WACA’s 2018 Operations Paper.