Past Speakers/Events

An Evening Dinner Event With Professor Raghuram Rajan

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

An Evening Dinner Event





Professor Raghuram Rajan


Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India


Former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund


Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago



Raghuram Rajan is the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between 2013 and 2016, and also served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Bank for International Settlements between 2015 and 2016. Dr. Rajan was the Chief Economist and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund from 2003 to 2006.


Dr. Rajan’s research interests are in banking, corporate finance, and economic development, especially the role finance plays in it. He co-authored “Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists” with Luigi Zingales in 2003. He then wrote “Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy”, for which he was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book in 2010. His most recent book, “The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State hold the Community Behind” was published in 2019.


Dr. Rajan was the President of the American Finance Association in 2011 and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Group of Thirty. In 2003, the American Finance Association awarded Dr. Rajan the inaugural Fischer Black Prize for the best finance researcher under the age of 40. The other awards he has received include the Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics in 2013, Euromoney magazine’s Central Banker of the Year Award 2014 and The Banker magazine’s Global Central Banker of the Year award in 2016. In that year, Time magazine chose Dr. Rajan as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.






Center Club


650 Town Center Drive, Garden


Level, Costa Mesa, CA 92626


  Valet Parking: $10 (Best value parking option.)


Click here for Center Club parking/valet map






Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 


General/VIP Reception: 5:30pm


Dinner/Lecture: 6:00pm






Members Dinner + Program : $65

Premium Member Guests Dinner + Program: $65

General Member Guest/ Non-Members Dinner + Program: $80

Students Dinner + Program: $50

VIP Reception + Dinner + Program: $120



Books will be available for purchase.



Register Now!




Thank you to our Promotional Sponsors!

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Newport Beach Film Festival Partner Event

Date: April 25th ~ May 2nd, 2019

During the eight day festival we show films from all over the world by both seasoned and emerging filmmakers as well as hosting nightly parties. There is something for everyone and most screenings include a Q & A with filmmakers.  We attract over 50,000 attendees to our 200+ events at the theaters and venues around Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

Upcoming partner events details coming soon!

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WACOC at the Newport Beach Film Festival! – “For Sama”

FOR_SAMA_Courtesy_PBS_Distribution_image1For Sama

A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war.

Saturday April 27th,2019,5:30pm

Triangle Square Cinemas,

1870 Harbor Blvd,Costa Mesa

Tickets and Info

For WACOC member discount, use discount code – WAC20

LIMITED SEATING – Tickets will be sold on a first come first serve basis.


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World Trade Week with the Irvine Chamber of Commerce


The World Affairs Council of Orange County is partnering with the Irvine Chamber of Commerce for 

Orange County World Trade Week 


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Steve Wagner – Experian Decision Analytics, Global Managing Director


Orange County Trade & Export Overview

Export Success Panel

International Resource EXPO: Network and connect with international consuls, chambers, and trade organizations to explore and expand your exporting capacity


Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Venue: Irvine Marriott

Time: 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM

For more information click below

World Trade Week 2019

Limited Seating, if our members are interested in attending the event, please contact our office at (949)253-5751 or e-mail us at


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British American Business Council Annual Garden Party

Join the BABC OC and WACOC for the Annual British Garden Party!


Let’s toast to health and happiness!

Enjoy stunning ocean views, live music, Pimms, British tea sandwiches and petite desserts and British charm. 

Date: Sunday, June 2, 2019 

Time: 11am-2:15pm

Location: Montage Laguna Beach 30801 Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651

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WACOC at the Newport Beach Film Festival! – ¡Boza!



Three young sub-Saharan African immigrants left home in their teens to embark on their years-long journey to Spain. Crossing the Sahara Desert by foot, spending months to years living in the forests of Morocco, and finally making the dangerous crossing to the Spanish mainland or territories by land or sea, these three distinct immigration stories have one thing in common: their incredible optimism in the face of inconceivable adversity.

Monday,April 29th,2019 at 3:15pm

Edwards Big Newport

300 Newport Center Dr NewportBeach

Tickets and Info

For WACOC member discount, use discount code – WAC20

LIMITED SEATING – Tickets will be sold on a first come first serve basis.

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“Where Do We Go From Here?” by General David Petraeus

World Affairs Council Premium Members have free admission to this event hosted by The Syrian Institute for Progress!

If you are not already a premium Member please contact us to upgrade!

Upcoming Events petraeus


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“What Next in Saudi Arabia After Khashoggi?” by Ambassador David D. Pearce

*Dinner and Lecture Event*

“What Next in Saudi Arabia After Khashoggi?”



Ambassador David D. Pearce

Ambassador to Greece (2013-16)

Ambassador to Algeria (2008-11)

Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan

Deputy United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan

United States Consul General in Jerusalem

The World Affairs Council of Orange County invites you to join us Wednesday, March 13 at 6 pm for a discussion with Ambassador (ret.) David D. Pearce on “What Next in Saudi Arabia After Khashoggi?”  Ambassador Pearce will discuss events leading up to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and examine the implications of his death for both Saudi Arabia’s internal stability and its external relations.  We encourage you to read Ambassador Pearce’s blogpost on the subject here:

Now retired to Maine and California, Ambassador David D. Pearce served 35 years at 11 diplomatic postings in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and Europe, in addition to several Washington tours.  He was U.S. Ambassador to Greece and to Algeria, Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, and Deputy United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.  He is the recipient of numerous State Department awards, two Presidential rank awards for distinguished service, and a U.S. Army Commander’s Award for Public Service, presented by General David Petraeus for his work in Iraq. 


A native of Maine, Ambassador Pearce graduated from Bowdoin College in 1972 and received a Master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University in 1973.  After working as a journalist for nine years, he entered the Foreign Service in January 1982, serving first as a vice consul and political officer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  He has professional proficiency in speaking and reading Arabic, French and Italian.  Elected in 2018 to the U.S. Academy of Diplomacy, he is a member of the American Foreign Service Association; the Association of Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR); the Middle East Institute; and World Affairs Councils in both Portland, Maine and Orange County, California.  


Date: March 13th, 2019

Time: Reception: 6:00 pm/ Dinner& Lecture: 6:30 pm

Location: Caspian Restaurant, 14100 Culver Dr., Irvine, CA 92604


Premium Members: $50
Premium Member Guests: $50
General Members: $50
General Member Guests/ Non-Members: $65
Students: $30
Table of 10: $500
Sponsor a Student Ticket & Membership: $50

Email us at: or

call us at: (949) 253-5751 for more information

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Academic WorldQuest 2019

What is AWQ?

The World Affairs Councils of America’s flagship youth education program is a fun, fast-paced team competition for high school students. Academic WorldQuest tests players’ knowledge of current international politics, geography, global economics, history, and world cultures. Academic WorldQuest engages more than 4,000 high school students annually to test their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy in competitions across the country.

Be a SPONSOR or an UNDERWRITER for the March 2019 Academic WorldQuest to give a high school team a once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in the national AWQ tournament in Washington DC!

To Become a Sponsor or Donate email us at or call us at (949) 253—5751.

Parents & Students:

The 2018-2019 local Academic Quest Competition will be held at Chapman University. Local Orange County winners will go on to represent the county at the national competition in Washington D.C. Topics for this years competition are listed below, however only schools/teams that register will receive the full study guide from the World Affairs Council of America. If you wish to register please fill and return the form linked below before December 14, 2018.

Competition Structure:
Four-person teams compete by answering rounds of questions projected onto a screen. A full competition is 100 questions, divided into ten rounds with distinct thematic categories. The winning team is the team with the most right answers.

 Local Competition:

Location: Beckman Hall, Chapman University

Date: Saturday March 2nd, 2019

Time: 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM

National Competition:

Location: Marriot Wardman Park, Washington D.C.

Date: April 26-27, 2019



Registration Form 2018-19

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A Conversation with Ambassador John Negroponte and Dr. Clayton Dube.

“A Conversation with Former Ambassador John Negroponte”


Thursday, February 14th, 2019

*Lunch Event*


john negroponte

Ambassador John Negroponte

The World Affairs Council of Orange County invites you to attend a luncheon event at The Westin South Coast Plaza featuring Ambassador John Negroponte.  Ambassador Negroponte is uniquely qualified to help us understand the shifting foreign and security policy landscape that confronts America.  Ambassador Negroponte’s remarks will focus on the U.S. – China relationship, the evolution of U.S. security priorities since the creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and U.S. leadership priorities in 2019.
The Ambassador has had a distinguished career in diplomacy and national security which includes service as the inaugural Director of National Intelligence under President George W. Bush, service as ambassador to the United Nations, Iraq, Mexico, Honduras, and the Philippines.  He was awarded the National Security Medal by President Bush in 2009.

Our Moderator Dr. Clayton Dube!

Dr. Clayton Dube, Executive Director of USC US-China Institute,  focuses on the multidimensional and always changing U.S.-China relationship. Dube has earned teaching awards at three universities. Trained as a historian, he first lived in China in 1982-85 and carried out research there in 1989 and 1991-92. He’s visited another fifty-plus times for research, teaching, and to lead groups of students and teachers. Dube is a director of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) and serves on the editorial boards of Education about Asia and the International Review of Chinese Studies. He was previously associate editor of Modern China. Dube has produced several documentary films and consulted on others. The best known of these is the twelve-part Assignment: China series on American media coverage of China since the 1940s.




Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Registration 11:30 am
Lunch/Program 12:oo pm

The Westin South Coast Plaza
686 Anton Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

WACOC Member+Program     $65
VIP Reception + Lunch + Program     $120
WACOC Premium Member Guest Lunch     $65
WACOC General Member Guest Lunch + Program   $75
WACOC Student Member Lunch + Program   $45
Non-member Lunch + Program   $75
Table and Lunch for 10 + Program    $650


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