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, MARCH 22, 2018, DRAGON IN THE ROOM: IS CHINA GOOD OR BAD FOR AFRICA? Dr. Wei Liang, Ph.D., Professor, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California




FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2018, THE CURRENT ECONOMIC OUTLOOK AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR MONETARY POLICY, John C. Williams, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2018, JAPAN-U.S. RELATONS ON AN UNCERTAIN TRAJECTORY?, Tsuneo Akaha, Ph.D., Professor of International Policy and Development, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2018, UNDERSTANDING NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM, Melissa Hanham, Senior Research Associate in the East Asia Nonproliferation Program (EANP) at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), Monterey

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018, MACRON’S VISION FOR FRANCE AND EUROPE, Dr. Norman Bowen, Emeritus Professor of Political Science and former Director of the International Studies Program at California State University East Bay.


FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2018, PERIL ON THE NORTHERN HORIZON: FOREIGN CHALLENGES IN 2018, John F. Kelly, Professor of National Security Studies, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.


Read more >


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

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.


Updates on Venues and Program Scheduls

As you know, the Fountaingrove Inn and the Hilton Hotel burned down during the horrific wildfires in October. Since then we have been working to find new venues for our luncheon programs. As you might expect, with more limited choices we are facing higher costs for these events. Our negotiations so far have resulted in our return to the Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club, with an increase in our luncheon price of about $2. We will be going back to La Gare restaurant for one program in February. And we will continue to use the Flamingo Hotel and Legends at Bennett Valley Golf Club. We have investigated a few other venues but have found their prices higher than we want, or the distance to travel more than we think our members would be willing to do.

We have also had to make some adjustments in our normal scheduling that we would like to call to your attention. We will be having three meal programs in a row in January and February: a luncheon on Friday, January 12; our Annual Dinner on Friday, January 26; and another luncheon on Friday, February 9. Having three meals in a row is the result of our needing to reschedule speakers due to the fire and other factors. We will be back to our regular schedule soon.


One more point. Our Annual Dinner in January 2017 was also at the Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club. Many who attended chose the salmon and were very disappointed. We expressed our deep dissatisfaction to SRGCC, and they have heard us, as well as others, and have made changes. The current chef has received rave reviews for the salmon that he is now preparing, so we will be offering a “new and improved” salmon choice for our Annual Dinner this year. Therefore, we are expecting good things.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email them to; leave a phone message at 707-573-6014; or use the feedback button on the website at


Buy Your Tickets Early!

As mentioned elsewhere in this issue, two of the venues that we use to host our luncheons—Fountaingrove Inn and the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country Hotel—burned. We are fortunate that Santa Rosa has other venues that can accommodate our luncheons. However, some of these venues are limited in their seating capacity. La Gare Restaurant, for example, is kindly hosting our Feb. 9 luncheon but has a seating capacity of roughly 90. We encourage prospective attendees to submit their reservations early, as demand for these events will likely exceed available capacity. It’s always a good practice to reserve your luncheon spots early, but especially in the months to come! Thank you very much for your proactivity as well as your patience as we explore

different venues in the area.


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 January 2018, our new WACSC member was Fredric Rose.  Welcome!


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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