Orange County’s Premier Forum on World Affairs
We are part of the World Affairs Councils of America, a nonprofit and nonpartisan national organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission, which remains its primary goal, is to educate and inform its members and community citizens on important and critical issues concerning world affairs.
We on the council approach these multifaceted issues by presenting excellent and renowned speakers, including experienced diplomats and ambassadors, former heads of state, foreign ministers, high-level government officials, prominent journalists and writers, and top military and intelligence officials. A careful review of speakers who have addressed the council reveals the high caliber of interesting and relevant programs members and guests enjoy.
We also strive to make council dinners and events enjoyable opportunities to meet and socialize with others who see the impact foreign affairs have had not only nationally, but also in Orange County. Many members have either worked or served abroad, study international affairs, conduct international business, or simply appreciate the importance of understanding world affairs. The council has widespread support throughout the local community, including among corporate, public, and academic sectors.
The council also sponsors students through its scholarship outreach program. This allows high school and university students—our future leaders—to attend events and become engaged by learning more about critical international issues and it gives them the opportunity to meet and speak with guest speakers.
Please feel free to contact the council offices for more information on attending an event or joining the council.
Our Staff & Interns
Dr. Richard Downie
President & CEO
Administration and Operations Manager
World Affairs Council of America
The World Affairs Councils of America is the largest non-profit grassroots organization in the United States dedicated to educating and engaging Americans on global issues with nearly 100 councils across 40 states reaching more than half a million people a year.
The World Affairs Council of Orange County is one of 95 such councils throughout the United States. World Affairs Councils are non-profit, non-partisan, non-government organizations open to all who wish to join.
Each Council is independent, but together they form a national network for citizen education that focuses on international issues. The Orange County Council is proud to be a member of the World Affairs Councils of America.
The Council is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, and all contributions to it are tax-deductible.
Events & Speakers
The centerpiece of the Council’s activities is its Speakers Program, which brings some of the world’s top international figures to Orange County.
World Affairs Council of Orange County past speakers have included:
- Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post
- Buzz Aldrin, American astronaut
- Frank Carlucci, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of Defense
- General Michael Hayden (ret.), former Director of the CIA and NSA
- General Richard Myers (ret.), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- HRH Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, Saudi royal family & former Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.
- Hugh Hewitt, host at The Hugh Hewitt Show
- John Bruton, Ambassador to the European Union & former Prime Minister of Ireland
- John Hofmeister, President of Shell Oil
- Lou Dobbs, journalist and TV personality
- Mark Lijek, American diplomat rescued during the Argo operation
- Reza Pahlavi II, son of the former Shah of Iran
- Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States
- Robert H. Tuttle, U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James
- Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico
- Adm. Phil Davidson, former Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command
- Dr. Greg Treverton, former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council
- Sec. Leon Panetta, former Secretary of State
- Adm. Karl Schultz, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard
- Senator Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator of Alaska
- Congressman Will Hurd, former U.S. Congressman of Texas
- Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarussian opposition leader
… countless United States’ and foreign Ambassadors and senior diplomats.
Please take a moment to look at our upcoming events at worldaffairscouncil.org/events