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.




Upcoming Events




Friday, November 13. 2015, Uzbekistan: Public Diplomacy to Those Who Mistrust You, Carol Marks, retired U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer 


Saturday, November 21, 2015, My Incredible Journey with Nicholas Kristof to India and Nepal,  Austin Meyer, journalist and educational design engineer


Thursday, December 3, 2015, Cuba and Haiti: Near Neighbors the U. S. Must Engage, Joseph Sullivan, former Ambassador to Zimbabwe and Angola; Chief of the U.S. Mission in Havana, Cuba; Deputy Assistant Secretary for Latin America


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 October 2015, new WACSC  members were: Evelyn Anderson, Tom & Amy Cooper, Rick & Jessica Flinders, Stanley & Hedda Gold, Anderson Joseph, David & Karna Slifer


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.


Call for Volunteers

We request that all eager volunteers for the Program Committee and for general Council help call Pat Givens at 707-541-0511 or email her at Pat, who is one of our most experienced management volunteers, will be interviewing volunteer applicants for all positions.


Audio-Visual Director Signed

As of July 1, WACSC member Mohamed Sayed officially assumed the critical position of WACSC Audio-Visual Director, responsible for managing all audio-visual activities and equipment. With A/V now an essential part of all speaker presentations, it has become necessary for our Council to purchase a laptop computer, high-powered projector, transformer box, mixer, wireless receivers, wireless transmitter, microphones, and numerous cables, power cords, and other accessories to allow all of this equipment to work as needed. To work the equipment we need a trained technician on hand.


Our busy president, Paul Willihnganz, has been assuming this additional responsibility for assembling the needed equipment and bringing it to speaker meetings when it was required, and then operating it with help from others. The maintenance, storage, availability, and operation of the equipment is now under the control of Mohamed. Operators will be obtained by him as needed. Paul can now concentrate on his many responsibilities as president.


We thank Mohamed for taking on this responsibility and for becoming an essential contributor to our speaker meetings.


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 wonít be able to seat you.


New Venue for November 21 Afternoon Program

On November 21 we will offer our program with speaker Austin Meyer at 4:00 p.m. at the Glaser Center in downtown Santa Rosa, The time is unusual and the location will be a first for WACSC. Make a note of this special speaker, meeting time and meeting place.


Did you know?

Because WACSC is an Internal  Revenue Code Section 501(c) (3) organization, contributions to WACSC, including dues, are tax-deductible, subject to normal IRS rules for substantiating contributions. Regular dues should be paid by check; your cancelled check serves as your receipt. We provide written receipts for Sustaining Member dues and other contributions over $75.00. Because payments for luncheon and dinner programs are for meals, they are not tax-deductible.


World Affairs Councils of America (WACA)

It is timely to remind ourselves that our Council is part of something bigger, WACA, the World Affairs Councils of America, headquartered in Washington, D.C. We are one of 92 Councils in the United States and one of 9 in California. We are also one of the 20 to 30 Councils totally managed by unpaid volunteers.


The World Affairs Councils of America has a long and storied history stretching back some 90 years. Two groups, the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) and the World Affairs Councils, worked together in the same organizational system from 1918 until the early 1950ís. The FPA was founded by a small group of individuals who worked with President Woodrow Wilson and were concerned that at the end of World War I Americans would choose an isolationist foreign policy over one of engagement. They worked to nurture grassroots citizen involvement in international affairs, and by 1947 the two groups operated as a national organization composed of a network of independent community Councils.


In 1986 the National Council of World Affairs Organizations national office was established in Washington, D.C. This evolved into the World Affairs Councils of America which today is the countryís largest nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering grassroots understanding and engagement in international affairs.


The Foreign Policy Association, headquartered in New York City, is now a leading public forum for foreign policy presentations and educational activities, including the annual Great Decisions programs that engage many of our members each spring.


Meal Costs in 2015

As the economy improves, meal prices go up. The Santa Rosa restaurant venues used for our speaker meetings are feeling comfortable about raising their prices after several years of keeping them in check, despite rising costs. After serious negotiations with our principal venues over meal pricing in 2015, we will be seeing increased costs for lunch meetings. Our policy of charging members only the actual cost charged to the Council by the venue remains unchanged. Our attendance at luncheon meetings has been ever increasing over the past two years. We expect to see that trend continue this year. 


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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