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.

WAC-OC Bylaws

Rules of Engagement

Membership Options

Become a Member of the World Affairs Council of Orange County.

Our Staff

Dr. Richard Downie
President & CEO

Anna Tran
Administration and Operations Manager

Krista Seitz
Programs Manager

Office Hours:

Monday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Tuesday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Wednesday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Thursday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm *We work remotely on Friday’s & the office is closed for in-person visits*

Office Location:

2151 Michelson Dr. Suite 264,

Irvine, CA 92612

World Affairs Council of America

Logo - 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.

Monthly Newsletters from the National Office

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:

  • Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Gen. David Petraeus (ret.), former Commander of U.S. Central Command & former Director of the CIA
  • Amb. John Emerson, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany
  • Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post
  • Buzz Aldrin, American astronaut
  • Frank Carlucci, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of Defense
  • Gen. Michael Hayden (ret.), former Director of the CIA and NSA
  • Gen. 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.
  • Gen. Ben Hodges (ret.), former Commander of U.S. Army, Europe
  • 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
  • Amb. Robert H. Tuttle, U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James
  • Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico
  • Amb. Colleen Bell, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary
  • Adm. Phil Davidson, former Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command
  • Adm. Michael Rogers, former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA)
  • 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
  • Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, former National Security Advisor (2017-2018)
  • Congressman Will Hurd, former U.S. Congressman of Texas
  • Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarussian opposition leader
  • Amb. William B. Taylor, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

… countless United States and foreign ambassadors, senior diplomats, and international affairs experts!

Please take a moment to look at our upcoming events at

WACOC Dinner Event