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.






Friday, May 12. 2017, NAFTA AND TPP: WHAT THEY ARE, THEIR POTENTIAL IMPACT AND EFFECTIVENESS, Harley Shaiken, Director, Center for Latin American Studies and Member of the Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley.


Thursday, May 25, 2017, MY PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA AS A SECULAR WOMAN, Humaira Ghilzai, Co-Founder of “Afghan Friends Network”


Friday, June 9, 2017,  MUSLIM AND JEWISH RELATIONS, THEN AND NOW, Dr. Emily Gottreich, Chair, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Associate Adjunct Professor of History and International and Area Studies, UC Berkeley


Thursday, June 22, 2017, AMERICA’S ROLE IN ASIA: THE FUTURE OF THE REBALANCE, David Arnold, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Asia Foundation


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.


New Members

In April 2017 new WACSC  members were: Rosemary Hurtado, Deborah NcKay, Barry & Barbara Silver


Become a WACSC Patron!

Members are now invited to help underwrite upcoming programs of the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County. This initiative will help our volunteers continue to bring you stimulating speakers on a wide range of timely world issues, broaden our geographic reach, and offer these fine speakers the hospitality they deserve. It’s also a wonderful way for you to honor a friend or show support for a particular area of interest.


WACSC speakers appear without honorarium, but the Council pays for their travel, food, and lodging. Typically, a speaker's appearance costs about $500. A $500 donation qualifies you as a “Patron” donor and, in grateful recognition, WAC will attach your name to a speaker program of your choice. Your gift, and any honoree you name, will be publicized through the WACSC Perspectives newsletter and our website, as well as with frequent mentions from the speaker podium at the event.

In addition, as always, voluntary contributions of any amount are gratefully accepted, and are reported in the newsletter and at presentations. All contributions to WACSC, even your dues, are tax deductible.


A donation form can be reviewed and then printed by clicking your mouse arrow on the form below. Council leaders will be glad to answer any questions or requests for details. For information about upcoming programs you might wish to underwrite, please contact WACSC President Mike Morrison (707-833-6365; or Vice President Kathleen Riley (707-314-4662;

Judy Burness, Chair

Ad Hoc Fundraising Committee



Save the Date: WACA National Conference

Thanks to the work of our Program Committee volunteers, WACSC members do not have to travel far to hear leading thinkers on a wide range of issues. However, for those of you looking for a reason to escape the rain and chill of Sonoma County in late November for the…rainier and chillier…clime of our nation’s capital in late November, the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) national office has just announced one: the National Conference, which will be held at the Capital Hilton from November 15-17. (For those members not already familiar, our Sonoma County council is one of more than 90 councils across the country, joined together by WACA.) The keynote speakers for this year’s National Conference have not yet been announced, but presenters at the Conference are drawn from the upper echelons of political and academic leadership. Local members who have attended in the past speak highly of the National Conference. If you are interested in learning more about this event, you can find more details at


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.



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