Upcoming Programs

Upcoming 2019 Programs — Save the Date

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Where Is Russia Going?

Friday, February 8, 2019 

Noon, Flamingo Hotel
2777 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa
Members $35; Non-members $40
Luncheon:  Baked Pacific Basa (fish) or Pad Thai (veggie)

Reservations close 2/1 (or earlier if capacity is reached)

Jeremy Kinsman, formerly one of Canada’s top career diplomats

The eternal Russian question has been an enduring focus: Kuda idyot Russiya? Where is Russia going? The answer resides partly in where Russia has been during its incomparably turbulent and harsh century since the Bolshevik revolution. How has it affected the way Russians think, what they want, and how they see us in the West? Understanding Russian perspectives doesn’t mean we’ll agree on their future actions, but it does help us to see our world more clearly.

For decades, Jeremy Kinsman was one of Canada’s top diplomats, serving as Minister in New York (UN) and Washington. After being Political Director of the Foreign Ministry, he was Ambassador to Moscow and Rome, High Commissioner in London, and Ambassador to the EU.

Since his resignation from the Foreign Service in 2006, he has been Visiting Diplomat at Princeton, Regent’s Lecturer at Berkeley and director of an international democracy support program. He is a writer and TV commentator (CTV News) and has also served on Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy Council.

Joe Leadem, Sponsor

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The Politicization of Humanitarian Aid

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019

7:30 p.m., Spring Lake Village Auditorium
5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa

Members and SLV residents: No Charge
Non-members: $5
No reservation required.

Mark Ward, US Foreign Service (ret’d.)

Mark Ward, a retired senior Foreign Service Officer, led humanitarian responses for the United States in several natural and man-made disasters, from the Indian Ocean Tsunami in late 2004 to the Syrian Conflict today. When he spoke to us last spring, Mr. Ward talked about a little-known joint US-Russian initiative whose focus was on improving the humanitarian situation inside Syria.  It worked, for a time, and showed what US-Russian cooperation can achieve.  Unfortunately, the new Administration announced it would not spend $230 million allocated for Syrian aid, as it moves to extricate the US from the Syrian conflict.

In this presentation, Mr. Ward will share his experience and his perspective on the politicization of humanitarian aid across his long career and the current situation in Yemen.

Mr. Ward’s extensive background includes 30 years of experience in the Foreign Service and has served in Pakistan (twice), Egypt, the Philippines, and Russia.  He is the recipient of a Service to America Medal for his efforts in leading the U.S. recovery and reconstruction efforts after the Asia Tsunami which took 200,000 lives.

Heather McLintock, Sponsor

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WACSC Annual Dinner – Friday, March 8, 2019

Save the Date – Speaker Details Coming Soon

5:15 p.m., Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country
170 Railroad Street, Santa Rosa
Members: $50; Nonmembers: $55
Dinner Selections: Stuffed Pork Roulade, Grilled Chicken or Butternut Squash Ravioli

Reservations available soon

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Please make your check payable to WACSC and send it with the completed reservation form to World Affairs Council, PO Box 1433, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

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 the week prior to the luncheon 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 reservations by leaving a message at the WACSC phone number:

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!

A ‘NO DOGGY BAG’ policy applies at some of our luncheon venues. This is the restaurant’s food safety rule, not a WACSC policy. The 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 ill.  Please understand that the venue is not being mean, but, rather, they do not want to take the risk of any adverse health effects.

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