Friday, July 10, 2015, The Legacy of Obama’s Foreign Policy, Dr. Neil Joeck, Professor, Research Scholar at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley


Noon, Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club

333 Country Club Drive, Santa Rosa


Members: $26; Non-members: $31


Reservations deadline: 7/3 


American foreign policy has been marked historically by tension between interests and values. This tension is mirrored in the structure of U.S. foreign policy bureaucracy between regional and functional concerns. With about a year left before the Republicans and Democrats pick their candidate to replace him, President Obama is increasingly attentive to his legacy after he leaves office in January 2017. He still faces significant regional challenges-–in East Asia, Russia, Europe, the Middle East, and Southern Asia-–as well as functional concerns such as trade, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and human rights. Dr. Joeck will discuss these issues and how President Obama will attempt to strike a balance between these competing tensions that will define his legacy.


Dr. Joeck is a Research Fellow at the Institute for International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, after a distinguished career in government service. He was employed initially as an intelligence analyst at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, then served on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. He later became Director for Counter Proliferation Strategy at the White House. Named National Intelligence Officer for South Asia in 2009, Dr. Joeck served for two years as the senior intelligence official on India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.




Thursday, July 23, 2015, RUSSIA IN THE UKRAINE: Through the Prism of Putinism, Anna Vassilieva, Professor, Program Head, and Director of Graduate Learning Initiative in Russian Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies


7:30 p.m., Spring Lake Village Auditorium

5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa


Members & SLV free; Visitors $5



Vladimir Putin has been Russia’s leader for 15 years. What are the most striking characteristics of his leadership? The reasons for his overwhelming popularity in Russia? His achievements and failures? What are his principles and convictions based on? How can Putin’s Ukrainian policy be explained? What impact does it have on Russian domestic and foreign policy? What will Putin’s legacy on Russia be?


Professor Vassilieva is a teacher, author, translator, and editor. She has contributed articles and book chapters to numerous volumes; published commentaries on Russian policy in the International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Moscow Times, Asahi Shimbun, Jornal do Brazil; given interviews on the PBS News Hour; and translated several books. While teaching, she has served as Russian Studies program head at MIIS for two decades. She currently directs a Carnegie-funded graduate program, studying contemporary Russian politics and society seen through the lens of Russian political scientists, historians, and economists. She earned her Ph.D. in history from the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Federation.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015, WORLD AFFAIRS GALA SUMMER AFFAIR


5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Quail Inn, Oakmont

7035 Oakmont Drive, Santa Rosa


Members and guests: $27 per person

Reservations due 8/12


Back to the past! It's time to awaken again from those dog days of summer, put down the picnic tablecloth, and enjoy the festivities at beautiful Quail Inn, Oakmont Golf Club. We have ordered up the same great menu we enjoyed last year with sunny blue-sky weather and views of the Mayacama Mountains and Oakmont Golf Course.

While dining we will be serenaded with guitar music. Wine, beer, and drinks from a full bar will be available for purchase. With many favorable comments on the menu from last summer, we thought a repeat of that wonderful buffet spread was in order, so BBQ chicken will again be the main dish, with delicious salads and scrumptious dessert rounding out the fare.


To further enliven things, we will give away four $25 gift certificates for Copperfield Book Store and bottles of wine at each table. Be sure to keep your ticket stub when you check in, as your number might be the lucky one!


For our annual Book Sale, please bring your donated “world affairs-type” books; then buy as many sale books as you can! It all goes to support your World Affairs Council.


Come join your World Affairs Council friends and meet new ones at this annual festive gathering. You will find a reservation form below or in this issue of Perspectives.


Your Council volunteers are looking forward to seeing you at this great summer event!




Friday, September 11, 2015, THE NORDIC COUNTRIES: WHO ARE THEY AND WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL? Hilde Janne Skorpen, Norwegian Consul General


Noon, Fountaingrove Inn, Camelot Room

101 Fountaingrove Parkway, Santa Rosa


Members: $30; Non-members: $35

Reservations due 9/4


What makes the Nordic countries tick? Why do these small countries at the northern edge of Europe consistently rank highest in the good life by most indicators? Why are more and more countries looking to the “Nordic model,” and what exactly does it consist of?

Against this backdrop, Dr. Skorpen will examine the historical experiences of the Nordic countries--their cultural characteristics and the political, social, and economic factors that together shape this distinctive region. Russia, the U.S., Canada, and the Nordic countries are together the custodians of one of the world’s most fragile regions, one that is also endowed with an abundance of natural resources. Dr. Skorpen will examine the challenges to sound management of the Arctic in the present political climate.

A top priority of Dr. Skorpen is supporting Norwegian startups that seek to attract investors and draw inspiration from the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley--at the same time promoting mutual business and investment opportunities in areas such as green technology, life sciences and health, and creative industries.

Dr. Skorpen took up the post as Norway’s Consul General in San Francisco in August 2013, serving the 13 westernmost states of the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska. Previously, she served as Foreign Ministry Senior Advisor to the Norwegian National Defense College; she has also been Ambassador for Disarmament and Non-proliferation to the U.N. in Geneva. She was posted as well to the Norwegian delegation to NATO in Brussels. She earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at Boston University. Dr. Skorpen will be accompanied by her husband, retired army Col. Ole K. Stubben.


Thursday, September 24, 2015, SOUTH AFRICA: THE FUTURE OF AN ILLUSION? Patrick Connolly, World Bank (retired)


7:30 p.m., Spring Lake Village Auditorium

5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa


Members & SLV free; Visitors $5


Dr. Connolly will discuss the development of the Afrikaner/Anglo establishment in South Africa and its ultimate ceding of political power to the largely black African National Congress (ANC) in 1994. He will review the phenomenon of Nelson Mandela and the “Rainbow Nation,” and then assess the troubling dynamics of South Africa’s current society which  he feels has yet to fully realize its potential due to the legacy of the past.

A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Patrick Connolly has had a long and varied career in international business and finance. Most recently, prior to his retirement, this included the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation where his work took him back to Africa to work on the challenges of economic development. He holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts and Harvard Universities, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and politics from the National University in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Connolly and his wife Agnes reside in Windsor.


For reservations, make checks payable to WACSC and send to World Affairs Council, PO Box 1433, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

We have a great corporate sponsor, Spring Lake Village, please support them at every opportunity.

Reservation and Cancellation Policies.

Luncheon and Annual Dinner reservations have become increasingly popular and are filling our venue capacities more rapidly than ever. While this is greatly appreciated by the WACSC Management Board, it requires the implementation of some practical controls, as follows:

Reservations must be cut off one week before the date of the event. If your reservation is received after the published deadline it will be returned and your name will be placed on a waiting list.

Cancellations will be honored if you call us at 707-573-6014, at least 48 hours before the event. This same number can be used to ask questions about WACSC programs and policies. You will receive a refund in the mail. If you need to cancel less than 48 hours before the event we cannot issue a refund because your meal will be charged to the Council. Cancellations made before the 48 hour deadline may allow members on a waiting list to attend.

No Doggie Bag policy applies to two of our meal venues: Fountaingrove Inn and the Hilton Hotel. This is their food safety rule; not ours.

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