The World Affairs Council of Sonoma County

The World Affairs Council of Sonoma County (WACSC) is a  non-profit, non-partisan  organization whose purpose is to promote study and public education  in world affairs and to contribute to improved international understanding and relations. We feature speakers such as Ambassadors, international figures, journalists, academics, and business  professionals. 


Council programs provide participants the opportunity to meet and ask questions of people who shape world events in a variety of formats. Regular programs are sponsored by the Council and are open both to members and the general public.


P.O. Box 1433
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Phone: (707) 573-6014

If you are a WACSC member and have a change of name, address, phone or email, please notify Brantly Richardson by clicking your mouse arrow on the mailbox.





Thursday, September 21, 2017, BRIDGING THE GULF: U.S. FOREIGN POLICY AND THE ARABIAN GULF, Ambassador Susan Ziadeh, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs, former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar




FROM CALM TO CRISIS? U.S.-IRAN POLICY IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, Dr. Dalia Dassa Kaye, Director, Center for Middle East Public Policy; senior political scientist at Rand Corporation; author.


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2017, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO POTUS 45: THE ROLE OF THE U.S. OVERSEAS WITH 2018 MIDTERMS IN MIND, Dr. David McCuan, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, Sonoma State University.




Paul Brockmann, Head of Mission Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).



Patrick Connolly, Ph.D., retired World Bank Senior Financial Advisor  & Heinz Vergin, economist


Read more >


The World News Weekly Update is a collection the past week's top news stories. Every week, the Pittsburgh WAC Council gathers articles, reports, and op-eds from various domestic and international information outlets in order to provide wide-ranging and balanced perspectives on pressing global issues.

Click here for the last and previous weekly updates.


To share your comments and suggestions about our programs, restaurants, meals, meal service, meeting venues, or whatever is on your mind, contact the WACSC Board and Program Committee via email by clicking your mouse arrow on the green arrows below


This website is hosted through the generosity of West County Net, Inc. of Santa Rosa.



News Items:



Perspectives Newsletter

PERSPECTIVES, our full color quarterly newsletter, is distributed by email to members with email addresses registered with the Council.  The current seven page edition of PERSPECTIVES can also be viewed by placing your mouse arrow on the logo below and click it.


Members who do not provide us with email addresses receive a one color, 2-page Program Mailer with complete information about upcoming programs and reservation forms. It is mailed several days after e-publication of PERSPECTIVES.


Welcome to Our New Members!

A warm hello to those of you who have joined WAC as new members in recent months! We hope you are enjoying our speakers and events. Our Board members will be making an effort to meet all of our new colleagues in the months to come. If you are an existing member and notice a new face at one of our events, please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself.


New Members

In August 2017 new WACSC members were: Herman & Mary Grishaver, William Kidd, Lynn McGarvey, Patrick & Elizabeth O'Neill, Ruth Witchey


Website Enhancements Under Discussion

Speaking of WAC improvements, we should mention a discussion that has begun to percolate at the Board level. Among the various new initiatives being discussed are changes to our website. The catalyst for these discussions is technical: our website is built on an aging platform, and it needs eventually to be shifted to a more current one. The more enticing opportunity of this change, however, is that it gives our organization the chance to improve our website: make it easier for

members to navigate and more effective at introducing WAC to prospective members and guests.


We expect to include a fuller report about website changes in the next issue of Perspectives. For now, this is just a quick note to make sure that our members are informed and we don’t catch any of you off guard. For those of you who have strong opinions about website design or <hands folded in prayer> a love for website maintenance, now is an excellent time to tap a Board member on the shoulder and introduce yourself.


Thank You for Completing Our Member Survey!

The WAC Program Committee members extend their thanks to the impressively large number of you who completed the online member survey in July. More than 100 individuals responded to the survey questions, which garnered feedback on a wide range of topics related to WAC programming. We have aggregated all of the data that you provided, and it is now informing Program Committee discussions as well as Board strategy conversations.


We will be reaching out to our members regularly to ask for your feedback. We want to know how we can continue to improve our organization and make our events as enjoyable and impactful as possible. You need not wait for us to send you a survey, however! If you have ideas for ways that WAC can improve, please let any of our Board members or volunteers know. (On behalf of our HR coordinator, we should note that volunteering for one of the WAC committees is another way to make your voice heard and to make us better!)


World Affairs Council of America National Conference

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and former Senator George Mitchell will headline this year’s WACA National Conference, to be held November 15-17 in Washington, D.C. The conference features briefings from and tours of federal institutions such as the Pentagon and CIA; diplomatic receptions hosted by countries ranging from France to Oman; and think tank visits with organizations like the Brookings Institution and the Atlantic Council. If you have a desire to be in our nation’s capital, surrounded by decision makers and influencers, the WACA National Conference is your chance. Visit the conference website for more details and registration information:


WACSC Donor Appreciation

We would like to express our great appreciation to the many members who made philanthropic contributions to the WACSC this year. We highlight our Sustaining and Corporate-level members in each issue of Perspectives and would like to emphasize again the how much their gifts impact the success of our organization. In addition to these members, we want to recognize ten donors who sent the WACSC additional contributions over the past twelve months. All told, the generosity of our donors resulted in more than $4,000 in additional funds that we are using to support our mission to promote study and public education in world affairs and to contribute to improved international understanding and relations. 


Kathleen & Chuck Rogers

Judy Burness

Bob and Barbara Kirk

Marie & George McKinney

Susan & Dale Schmid

Pat Kocher

Del Baker & L.G. Hermann

Shahrokh Moaveni

Sheila Einhorn


We would like to thank especially those members who made contributions in honor of Bill Anderson. These gifts are a fitting tribute to Bill’s tireless community spirit. If any members are interested in making gifts in honor of family or friends, please let us know either in person or via the donation card printed in this issue. We will continue to recognize honorary gifts in future issues of Perspectives.


Many Thanks to Our First Two Patron Sponsors!

In the last issue of Perspectives (2017 Q2) we announced the opportunity for members to underwrite specific WACSC programs. We were delighted by the immediate response we received and are pleased to announce that donors have stepped forward to pledge support for two future programs. We want to thank Kathleen and Chuck Rogers as well as an anonymous donor for their gifts, and to congratulate them on becoming the first two Patron-level donors. We will announce which programs they are underwriting in a future Perspectives issue, as well as at other WACSC events. If you are interested in becoming a program Patron, please fill out the donation form printed in this issue or contact WACSC President Mike Morrison (707-833-6365; ) or Vice President Kathleen Riley (707-314-4662;



When we announce a forthcoming WAC luncheon program, we request that you mail your reservation form and check to arrive no later than one week before the event. Most venues require this amount of time in order to be properly staffed and for the chef to order the right quantity of food for our event. Also note that we will take reservations through that week-prior date, or until we reach capacity. It is always a good idea to send your reservation as soon as you can so as not to be disappointed.


If your reservation arrives after the deadline date or capacity has been reached, you will receive a notification and your check will be returned. You may request to be added to a wait list for cancellations by leaving a message at the WACSC phone number, 707-573-6014.

We accept cancellations and provide refunds up to 72 hours before the event. For example, if there is a luncheon on Friday, we can accept your cancellation and send you a refund if you have called the above mentioned phone number to cancel before noon on the preceding Tuesday. After that time, we cannot provide a refund, since we are obligated to pay the venue for the reservation, even if you do not come.




Many of us just can’t eat all the food that we are often served at our WAC luncheons. Wishing not to waste food, we may have asked for a “doggie bag.” Depending on where you were and whom you asked, you may have been told that the venue does not allow food to be taken away. How can that be? There is enough here for another meal!


The No Doggie Bag policy applies at some of our luncheon venues. This is the restaurant's food safety rule, not a WACSC policyThe reason is primarily related to liability that the restaurant would have, should you get sick from the food you take home. Sometimes, food taken home may sit in a car a bit too long and develop bacteria that could make you sick. So, please understand that the venue is not just being mean, but, rather, they do not want to take the risk of you becoming ill.




Pat Givens, Human Resources Coordinator 

Pat Givens is the “go to” person on our volunteer board and is even more so in her newest role as Human Resources Coordinator.  As a long time supporter of World Affairs Councils and member of WACSC; as a past president, veteran Program Committee member and member of several ad hoc committees, Pat fully understands the operations of our Council and of the need to constantly refresh the cadre of volunteers that keep WACSC in the tip tier of all volunteer councils across America. She is always available to speak with and interview prospective volunteers and can be contacted at and 707-541-0511. We encourage members to step forward to volunteer time and effort by first meeting Pat and discussing where talent and interests intersect with Council needs.


WACSC Speakers Bureau 

An officer of our Council will gladly visit a service club or civic organization to present a 20-minute talk on the many benefits of the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County.  We want to inform the community of what we are doing and how we can help them keep informed about international relations.  If you belong to a club that might like a speaker, please give contact information to Bob Kirk at or 538-9294.


Searching for a World Travel Opportunity?

WAC of Philadelphia continues to offer wonderful travel experiences for WAC members and their friends. Their 2014 Travel Tours are available for our members to view, consider, inquire and reserve. You can reach the WAC Philadelphia website at You can call toll free to their Travel Department at 800-942-5004, Ext. 209 or 217. You may reach their VP of Travel, Joan Russell, directly at WAC Philadelphia has been arranging world tours for many years and is highly recommended by our national parent organization, World Affairs Councils of America.



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