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.






Wednesday, August 17, 2016



Friday, September 9, 2016, Tamin Ansary, Afghan-American author


Thursday, September 22, 2016

ELECTRIFYING A BILLION PEOPLE WITHOUT FRYING US ALL, Dr. Daniel R. Soto, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Planning, Sonoma State University





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:


Bill Anderson

To Our Friend and Colleague Bill Anderson: a Tireless World Affairs Council Director and Past Officer. Bill recently passed away due to his ongoing medical situation. He will be sorely missed for many reasons by all who knew him. In addition to being a wonderful, intelligent, and warm human being-which he was in spades-Bill gave of his time and energy over many years to WAC. He held all the high positions, was always a fountain of experience and wise counsel, and wanted nothing more than to be a part of this organization, and its people, that he loved. Bill has left an indelible mark on the World  Affairs Council of Sonoma County and he will be long remembered.

Mike Morrison, President


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.


New Members

In July 2016 new WACSC  members were: Pat Kutz & Gregory Fearon, Doug Patterson, Anne TenBensel


About the World Affairs Councils of America

For members who are new to the World Affairs Council, it is worth noting the remarkable reach of our coordinating organization, the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). Our Sonoma County chapter is one of more than 100 councils across the United States affiliated with WACA, and, together, we engage more than 500,000 people each year with programs focusing on global issues. The central mission of the councils has remained unchanged since 1918: to interest and educate the American public in global issues. Indeed, the roots of WACA reach back to the days of Woodrow Wilson, advisors to whom became concerned about the American public’s ignorance of international affairs and growing isolationist tendencies. (Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, as someone told me they say in France.) As the First World War ended, these individuals founded the Foreign Policy Association to provide a public forum for discussion of global issues. The Foreign Policy Association eventually established the World Affairs Council and, in 1986, a permanent office for WACA was established in Washington, D.C. WACA has grown to provide coordination and support for our council and others across 40 states. The WACSC is proud to be a part of this organization that is as relevant now as in 1918.


WACSC Members Around the Globe

One doesn’t have to spend much time in conversation with fellow WACSC members before realizing that our group boasts many well-travelled members. In a January 2016 survey, 56 respondents noted that they had lived in—not just visited—a combined 64 countries, ranging from Argentina to Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, at least four of our members served as professional diplomats. The personal international experiences of our members are a valuable resource for our group, and we will be reaching out to members again in the future to learn more about their travel and work abroad. For the moment, we are pleased simply to report that isolationist tendencies seem not to afflict WACSC members.


Program Sponsor Appreciation

WACSC program sponsors are the unsung heroes of our organization. These individuals are usually members of the WACSC Program Committee who volunteer to do the core work of locating speakers and coordinating all of the crucial—though often tedious—logistical details that undergird a speakers successful presentation. Program sponsors are involved with every detail: researching speaker prospects; negotiating with consummate diplomatic skill to convince speakers to participate without paid honoraria; and even identifying which type of microphone a speaker prefers. In short, our program sponsors are the people who do the hard work involved with bringing world-class presenters to educate us on a global range of subjects. In this and subsequent issues of Perspectives you will notice that we highlight the names of program sponsors underneath the event synopses. This is only small recognition for the efforts of these individuals, and if you have a chance to supplement it with thanks of your own, please do!


WACSC Website 

For current updated news and information about the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County, go to We do our best to keep members informed about programs, meal events, relevant news, member profiles, book club activities, and we include a message from our president in the quarterly Perspectives, the publication you are now reading. Members who receive only the mailer version of Perspectives will see program information without any other news content. The one place that keeps you informed about everything to do with WACSC on a current basis is our website. It will serve you well if you make regular use of it. We encourage feedback from you about your website experiences and suggestions for improvement. The site is always a project in process and progress. You can help us make it better.


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.


Meal Reservation Advice

To avoid disappointment when reserving for meal service meetings be sure to mail your reservation with check before the deadline date. Space is always limited, so reservations are accepted until we are sold out or until the deadline date, whichever comes first. If you arrive without a recorded reservation, we probably won’t be able to seat you.



Spring Lake Village

With our increasing membership and attendance at speaker meetings it is essential to know that the SLV auditorium has an absolute (Fire Marshal approved) seating capacity of 230. We have tested and bested the capacity at past meetings.  Members need to be aware that if they don’t get there early they may not find a seat and be turned away. Please understand.

Sustaining Membership Drive

Our Membership Information classifies a Sustaining Member as one who contributes a total of $100 or more annually, including dues. The total amount of the contribution, including dues, is tax deductible in most cases under IRS Code Section 501 (c) (3), applicable to the tax-exempt status granted to WACSC and donors to WACSC.


We note that more of our members are electing to become Sustaining Members, joining several who have maintained that status over the years. The benefits of becoming a Sustaining Member are not only the right to take a larger tax deduction, but knowing that you are contributing more to the financial health of our Council and allowing the Council to keep regular membership dues low. We have not had to increase dues since the 1990s, something almost unheard of in organizations like ours. As costs keep rising for every aspect of managing our all-volunteer organization, it becomes increasingly difficult to continue to maintain our enviable dues policy.


When you renew your membership for another year, we ask that that you consider increasing the amount to reach the Sustaining level of $100 and above. It becomes a win-win situation for you and your World Affairs Council. You might like to know that bequests and monetary gifts to WACSC are also covered under the tax code as tax deductible to the donor, depending upon individual circumstances.


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.



Please make sure your spam filters do not block WACSC incoming e-mails. We can’t reach you if you won’t let us into your e-mail box. Please help us stay in touch with you. Send changes of email address to, or click your mouse arrow on the mailbox below.



© Copyright World Affairs Council of Sonoma County