ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The U.S. Naval Academy will host 160 delegates for the 46th annual Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC) April 10-13.
This year's conference will focus on Africa: Turning Attention into Action. With delegates from about 100 civilian universities, 10 service academies, and 30 foreign countries, the conference will provide a forum for in-depth discussion of contemporary issues.
Unlike similar conferences at West Point and the Air Force Academy, NAFAC is organized, executed, and directed entirely by Midshipmen.
"[My personal goal] is for every delegate to walk away saying, 'that was an impressive conference run by professional, organized, courteous, and thoughtful Midshipmen, and I'm glad our nation's future is in their hands,'" said NAFAC Director, Midshipman First Class Nick Hamm.
The delegates will have the opportunity to participate in 14 various round-table discussions, six speeches, a panel discussion, and a formal banquet in Smoke Hall. They will also experience cruises on Naval Station Annapolis' fleet of Yard Patrol Craft, and will be guests of the annual NAFAC parade on the Academy's Worden Field.
The entire program was organized by a staff of more than 240 Midshipmen.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing it all come together. We've been working for over a year, hundreds and hundreds of hours, and it's going to be so awesome to see it blossom into this impressive end product that is so constructive in so many ways," Hamm said.
The four senior NAFAC staff members have met at least once or twice a week since August 2005, devoting the first semester primarily to the framework of the conference and concentrating in the second semester more on concrete goals and milestones.
"These are the future leaders of both the civilian and the military world," explained Hamm, "and we don't really know each other that well. This is a way for us to get to understand and respect each other in a professional environment."
The round table discussions include topics ranging from Genocide and Ethnic Conflict, to Waves of Democratization, to Opening the Eyes of the World: the Role of the News Media.
National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley will be the keynote speaker.
Hamm is looking forward to the conference itself, but it's been his experiences working behind the scenes that have given him the greatest sense of fulfillment.
"I found no better thing in my four years here to prepare me for officership than NAFAC," Hamm said. "The only things valuable in life are things that are hard and take effort, and this is no different."
More information on NAFAC is available at www.usna.edu/NAFAC/.
For related news, visit the U.S. Naval Academy Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/usna/.