World Affairs Council adds six to board of directors


New Board Members 23 24

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan (WACWM) announced that six local executives have been elected to its board of directors. These persons serve three-year terms on the board, once renewable, and pledge to advance the Council’s mission to “empower the people and organizations of West Michigan to engage thoughtfully with the world.”

The Council’s motto is: “To change the world, first know the world.”

Named to the board for 2023-2024 are the following:

Abimbola Adekoya, Mergers & Acquisitions Attorney, Miller Johnson;

Nigel Anderson, Senior Vice President/CFO, Dematic;

Joanna Boer, Advisor to the Chairman, Calvin University;

Amit Desai, North America Sourcing Director, Haworth;

David Lee, Senior Vice President Bank of America;

Robert Stead, Michigan Managing Partner, Barnes & Thornburg.

“This is an amazing group of talented global professionals,” said Michael Van Denend, WACWM’s executive director. “We’re pleased they wish to help the council fulfill its mission of bringing the world to West Michigan.”

The new board members join 15 other area leaders from corporate, educational, and civic organizations in the region. View the full board list on the council’s leadership page.

WACWM, founded in 1949 through the inspiration of Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg (1884-1951), sponsors over 40 programs a year on timely global topics and issues, and in June gave its annual Vandenberg Prize to former South Carolina Governor and Director of the U.N. World Food Programme David Beasley.

The longest-running WACWM programs belong to the Great Decisions Global Discussions series of eight world-oriented topics that are recommended by the Foreign Policy Association of America. The council has been sponsoring Great decisions since the 1950s. The council’s YouTube page for archives of past programming can be found at

WACWM is part of a national system of 90 world affairs councils, supported by the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington, D.C.