Past Speakers/Events

A Conversation with Chapman Professor Gregory A. Daddis

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019
*Dinner Event*


Gregory A. Daddis

Presenting Sponsor: Mark Chapin Johnson Foundation

In January 1969, Richard M. Nixon became our nation’s 37th president. His most pressing foreign policy concern was ending the long war in Vietnam in a way, he hoped, would secure “peace with honor.” What perspectives can be gleaned from this conflict on foreign policy decision-making, on civil-military relations, and on the problems of departing from a war the United States had not won? Chapman professor and retired US Army Colonel Gregory A. Daddis will analyze how a fractious relationship between senior military leaders and the White House had a major impact on American strategy and foreign policy during the war’s final years, offering lessons for today in our current era of “perpetual war.”


Gregory Daddis is an associate professor of history and director of Chapman University¹s MA Program in War and Society. Daddis joined Chapman after having served as the Chief of the American History Division in the Department of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point. A retired US Army colonel, he has served in both Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Daddis specializes in the history of the Vietnam Wars and the Cold War era. He has authored four books, including Withdrawal: Reassessing America¹s Final Years in Vietnam (2017), Westmoreland¹s War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam (2014) and No Sure Victory: Measuring U.S. Army Effectiveness and Progress in the Vietnam War (2011). He has also published several op-ed pieces commenting on current military affairs, to include writings in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and National Interest magazine.

Date: Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Reception – 5:30pm
Dinner/Program – 6:30pm
Q&A – 8:00pm

The Pacific Club (4110 MacArthur Blvd. Newport Beach, CA 92660)

Members- $70 

Non-Members- $90
Student Members- $45

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WACOC’S Annual Holiday Event


Monday, December 3, 2018

*Dinner Event*



Congressman Ed Royce


Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee


U.S. Representative of California’s 39th Congressional District


Former Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade


“Royce has always been driven by a desire to do the right thing and not let partisan politics or special interests get in the way.”  (Council on Foreign Relations blog, 1/17/18)

 “In the last five years, we’ve produced legislation that has made the United States safer and stronger, helping advance our interests and values around the world. We’ve left politics at the water’s edge to do what’s right for our country. For all those accomplishments, we have Ed Royce to thank.” (Washington Examiner, 1/8/18)

 Ed Royce “deserves particular praise for his years promoting human rights, especially in the fight to end human trafficking and protect the most vulnerable people around the world”.  (, 1/10/18)


Those warm salutes to Congress member Ed Royce by Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike are just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.  Few people have his grasp of international relations globally.  Few people understand, as he does, the forces shaping the international arena, and, in turn, affecting our own lives and the freedoms that we treasure.

Now, after 36 consecutive years of public service representing Orange County in both the California State Senate and the US House of Representatives, and as Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee since 2013, Ed Royce has announced that he will retire this year when his term is completed.

We at WACOC are most appreciative of his distinguished career and are excited to honor Ed Royce with a special retirement party to thank him for his service.  We are excited that he will be our keynote speaker, for our third Annual Round the World Lecture & Holiday Celebration on Monday, December 3, 2018.

We look forward to his presentation of his perspectives on the implications of the most significant events of our time, where the game changers are leading us, and where we need to place our priorities moving forward.  We will have an audience question and answer opportunity as well, so come prepared to inquire about what matters to you!

You can register now to attend the dinner, and/or the reception.  Also, you may want to become a sponsor and help WACOC — our nonprofit, nonpartisan, trusted source of information — to continue to provide the public service our community needs.  We can continue to bring renown leaders to our county, so our members and guests can interact with the decision makers who are shaping the future.  Please see the attached materials to learn what levels of sponsorship and corresponding benefits might interest you.

We’re excited to have the opportunity to thank Congress member Ed Royce for his service and host his final local public event!



The Resort at Pelican Hill

(22701 S. Pelican Hill Road, Newport Beach, CA 92657)


VIP and General Reception 5:30 PM

Dinner and Speaker Event 6:30 PM





Dietary Restrictions: Please e-mail or call our office (949) 253-5751 by the registration deadline.

Refund Policy: Refund requests will not be accepted after the registration deadline. Cancellations must be made no later than the registration deadline. 

Paying by Check: If sending in a check, please call our office.



Thank You 
To Our
Promotional Sponsors:

 Chapman University

Orange County Forum

Lincoln Club of Orange County

Hispanic 100

Republican Party of Orange County

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 Thursday, November 1, 2018 5:30pm


Trustees Only- Complementary Dinner Event
*Bring One Guest*

*Limited Seating*

can oguz

Can Oğuz has been a career officer in the Turkish diplomatic service since 2000.

 Before assuming his duties as Turkey’s Consul General to Los Angeles in December 2017, he served as Head of Department in the Deputy Directorate General for Iraq at the Turkish Foreign Ministry between 2015-2017.

 He served in the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. as Political Counselor between 2010 and 2015. Prior to his tenure in Washington D.C. he worked as First Secretary in the Deputy Directorate for Iraq between 2008 and 2010.

 The upcoming program with Can Oguz, Consul General of the Republic of Turkey, has come at an excellent time to give us a better understanding of the current situation in Turkey.

 The news media have recently been covering several significant stories about events in Turkey. One long running story has been the arrest and lengthy detention of Andrew Brunson, the American Pastor, who had been a long-time missionary in Turkey. His recent release appears to have lowered the level of tension with the United States Government.

  Then, the mysterious death of Washington Post contributor Jamal Kashoggi in the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Istanbul has recently raised questions about how the Turkish Government will react and what effect it may have on relations between the two countries.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

*Dinner Event*



TC photo 5x7

Tom Campbell


US Congressman (1989-1993; 1995-2001)
Dean, Chapman Univ. Fowler School of Law (2011-2016)



 William Kristol

Founder and Editor-at-large of the political magazine The Weekly Standard
Chief of staff to Reagan’s Secretary of Education, William Bennett
Chief of Staff to the Vice President under Dan Quayle in the George H. W. Bush Administration

-Dinner Event-
Monday, October 22, 2018
The Pacific Club
4110 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660

VIP Reception 5:30 pm

General Reception 6:15 pm

Dinner & Speaker Event 6:45pm


Student $40 /Premium Members $65 / General Members $65

Premium Member Guest $65 / Non-Member/General Member Guest $80

VIP Reception +Dinner and Program $130

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REGISTER NOW! Annual Trustee Luncheon *Open To Only WACOC Trustees*



Sunday, September 23, 2018


*Luncheon Event*

Annual Trustee Luncheon


Please plan to attend our Annual Trustee Luncheon on September 23rd at the beautiful Balboa Bay Club! This important event is one of the occasions where all of our Trustees have the opportunity to engage and learn more about the Council’s past and upcoming year.  It is also the time that the new officers are elected and individual members are recognized for exceptional service this past year.


Balboa Bay Club

[1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663]


11:30AM- 3:00PM


WACOC Trustee- $75

WACOC Trustee’s Guest- $75

To Register please call our office at (949)253-5751



Dietary Restrictions: Please e-mail or call our office (949) 253-5751 by Friday, September 14, 2018. Accommodations cannot be made after this date. 

Refund Policy: Refund requests will not be accepted after the registration deadline. Cancellations must be made no later than the registration deadline. 

Paying by Check: If sending in a check, please call our office by Friday, September 14, 2018

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EVENING LECTURE EVENT -Annual General Membership Meeting with Arif Alikhan

Thursday, September 13, 2018

*Evening Lecture Event*

(Not a Dinner Event)

Annual General Membership Meeting


Arif Alikhan

Former Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the United States Department of Homeland Security appointed under President Obama.

Former Senior Adviser to both Attorney General John Ashcroft and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to handle cyber-crime and intellectual property initiatives.

Distinguished Professor of Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism at the National Defense University (NDU), College of International Security Affairs in Washington, D.C.


Arif Alikhan is the Director of the Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy and is the highest ranking civilian commander at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He oversees LAPD’s policy development, legal affairs, internal audits, risk management, community affairs, government affairs, youth programs, media relations, and strategic planning. He also serves as the senior policy advisor to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and the LAPD command staff. Chief Beck appointed Mr. Alikhan in October of 2013 and he began serving with the LAPD in February of 2014. In 2015, Chief Beck promoted Mr. Alikhan to the equivalent rank of an Assistant Chief of Police, the first in the history of the Department.

Before joining the LAPD, Mr. Alikhan served in several senior homeland security, counter-terrorism, and law enforcement positions in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. He was a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for nearly a decade, served as a senior advisor to two U.S. Attorneys General in Washington, D.C. during the George W. Bush Administration, and was appointed to the Obama Administration in 2009 as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. His local government experience includes serving as the Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety for the City of Los Angeles from 2006 to 2009 and most recently as the Deputy Executive Director for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement and Fire Services for Los Angeles International, LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys airports.

Mr. Alikhan’s academic experience includes serving as the Distinguished Professor of Counter-terrorism and Homeland Security at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs in Washington D.C. and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. He is currently a lecturer at U.C. Irvine’s School of Law where he teaches a course on Constitutional Policing.

Mr. Alikhan has been a featured lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, UCLA, USC, Penn State, the University of North Carolina, San Diego State University, Loyola Law School Los Angeles, the University of California at Irvine and King’s College London. He has also participated on numerous panels for research and policy institutes such as the RAND Corporation, South Asia Society, and Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands.

Mr. Alikhan graduated with honors from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles where he was Chief Articles Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. He served as a judicial extern to Judge Arthur L. Alarcon of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and as a judicial law clerk for United States District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew in the Central District of California. He subsequently worked as an associate in the White-Collar Crime Group at the Los Angeles firm of Irell & Manella. He joined the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles in 1997 where he served as the first Chief of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section for the Central District of California.

Mr. Alikhan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Ecology from the University of California at Irvine where he graduated cum laude.

Mr. Alikhan completed executive education programs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on crisis leadership and has received several professional certifications in computer security, aviation, and airport security. Mr. Alikhan is an appointed Patron of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization in London and serves on the Director’s Advisory Board for the National Counter-terrorism Center in Washington, D.C.

In 2016, Mr. Alikhan completed LAPD’s Reserve Police Academy and serves as a Level III Reserve Police Officer.




Hotel Irvine

(17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine CA 92614)


 Registration & Reception 6:oo-6:45 PM

Lecture and Q&A Event Start Time 6:45 PM


WACOC Member $35

Non-Member $50

Student Member $20

Refund Policy: Refund requests will not be accepted after the registration deadline. Cancellations must be made no later than the registration deadline.

Paying by Check: If sending in a check, please call our office at (949)253-5751 by the registration deadline to reserve your spot and please bring your check to the door.

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*OPEN TO WACOC TRUSTEES ONLY*Trustees Social with Special Guest Speaker – Ambassador Dimitar Abadjiev, Current Bulgarian Ambassador to Slovenia – ” A Conversation on Eastern and Central Europe”





“Conversation on Eastern and Central Europe”


Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Speaker image

Ambassador Dimitar Abadjiev

Current Bulgarian Ambassador to Slovenia


Dimitar Abadjiev is the current Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to Slovenia. He was also the Consul General for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria in Shanghai, China and a Board Member and Head of Corporate Affairs Department for Nabucco Gas Pipeline International. From 1997 to 2009, Abadjiev served as a Member of Parliament for the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria. As a Member of Parliament, Abadjiev worked for the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Security, the Committee of Fight Against Corruption, the Committee of European Integration and Legal Issues, the Тemporary Committee for Changes in the Constitution, the Committee for Legal Issues, and the Committee for Internal Security and Public Order. He has also acted as a Bulgarian Observer to the European Parliament, as Chairman of the Regional Court for the city of Omurtag, as Judge at the Regional Court for the city of Omurtag, and as Officer at the Regional Court for the city of Targovishte. 




6:00 PM


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“The Velvet Revolution and the Advance of Democracy: Where Can It Lead?” with Ambassador Grigor Hovhannessian

Friday, June 15, 2018


*Lunch Event*


“The Velvet Revolution and the Advance of Democracy: Where Can It Lead?



Ambassador Grigor Hovhannessian

Current Ambassador of Armenia to the United States


It has been called the “Velvet Revolution”.  Starting March 31, 2018, the citizens of Armenia using social media demanded that their Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resign after he initiated further consolidation of power for himself, after 10 years of ruling in Armenia.  Led by Nikol Pashinyan (42), the people assembled in the streets, traffic was stopped, and institutions were shut down nationwide.  The people, especially the young, wanted immediate change.  Recent years of economic development had benefitted the elites, but most of the country was left behind in hopeless poverty. 

 At first, Sargsyan refused to step down, and the Parliament confirmed his position, but the people persisted, remarkably, again without violence. The threat of Russian interference loomed.  Then, after two weeks, the citizens succeeded in their push toward Democracy.  Sargsyan stepped down, saying, “The movement of the street is against my office. I fulfil your claim.”  Pashinyan was elected Prime Minister.

 As global leaders witnessed this process, policy developers and pundits alike started to speculate on where this extraordinary nonviolent revolution would lead.  Could a strengthened Armenia help bring about geopolitical balance and stability in the near East and surrounding regions?  Could Armenia become a neutral country like Switzerland, and, if so, how might that affect United States interests?  Some have even suggested that Armenia’s “Velvet Revolution” could become a model for change toward democracy in other countries. 

 The Ambassador of Armenia to the United States, Grigor Hovhannessian, will be in Orange County on June 15, 2018, and our Orange County World Affairs Council has arranged for him to speak to us about the impacts, globally and to the United States, of the new developments in this sensitive part of the world. 

 Make sure to reserve your tickets for this luncheon — at 12:15 pm and/or the prior reception at 11:30 am at Prego Mediterranean.  Tickets are first come, first served for this rare opportunity to hear directly from the Ambassador about this timely and important topic.  Also, if you would like to be a sponsor of this event, please email Trustee member Helen Haig at for more information.  Sponsors will be recognized at the luncheon, and they will be invited to a sponsors-only private VIP pre-reception with the Ambassador.

 Before serving as Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States, Hovhannessian served as Consul General at the Los Angeles Consulate, and as Armenia’s ambassador to Mexico.  Before that, Hovhannessian held several appointments in the United Nations focusing on Africa and the Middle East.  This included serving at the Office of the UN Special Coordinator (UNESCO) for the Middle East Peace Process in Jerusalem, and an appointment to the UN Secretariat Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as head of the Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo) offices, among other things.  Hovhannessian is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.


Prego Mediterrenean


Event Sponsor Reception 11:15 AM

VIP Reception (hosted hors d’oeuvres, bar & beverages) 11:30 AM

Lunch & Speaker Program 12:15 PM


WACOC General Member Lunch + Program $35

WACOC Premium Member Guest Lunch + Program $35

Non-Member / WACOC General Member Guest Lunch + Program $40

Student Lunch + Program $30

VIP Reception only (1 ticket) $20

Event Sponsor ( Includes Lunch + Program + Event Sponsor Reception + VIP Reception) $250

Dietary Restrictions: Please e-mail or call us office (949) 253-5751 by Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Accommodations cannot be made after this date. 

Refund Policy: Refund requests will not be accepted after the registration deadline. Cancellations must be made no later than the registration deadline. 

Paying by Check: If sending in a check, please call our office by Wednesday, June 13, 2018. 


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EVENING DINNER EVENT – “Why NAFTA & US-Mexico Relations Are Important To You” with Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


*Evening Dinner Event*


“Why NAFTA & U.S. Mexico Relations Are Important To You”


Wayne photo

Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne

Former US Ambassador to Mexico (2011-2015)

Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs (2000-2006)

Former US Ambassador to Argentina (2007-2009)


Some politicians seem not to have a core ideology, and we call them “Flip-Floppers”.  Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is not one of them.  He is famously the anti-Trump hard-core leftist populist with a double-digit lead in the polls for the country’s upcoming July 1st presidential elections. 

 What accounts for Lopez Obrador’s popularity, particularly in the face of Mexico’s past 25 years of economic modernization and development?  In part, only a tiny enclave has benefited while the agriculture sector has suffered, not unlike the US manufacturing sector under NAFTA.  Lopez Obrador has also managed to ride the wave of the Mexican electorate’s growing intolerance for government corruption and systemic violence nationwide.

 In the meantime, to the north, President Trump has demanded a re-working of NAFTA, which accounts for $1.3 trillion in commerce, and supports 14 million American jobs, making Mexico and Canada the United State’s top 2 export markets.  The question arises: What might happen as each man works toward trade relations that will create greater perceived fairness and economic revitalization for his country?

 How will the Mexican election and Trump’s position on NAFTA affect us here in southern California and in the US our economy, jobs, political realities, and daily lives?  Will there be winners and losers?  Can we find a win-win resolution of competing ideologies and national interests?

 As a recent Ambassador to Mexico, and former Assistant Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Economic Affairs, Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne is uniquely positioned to provide us with unique insights into these timely and important questions. 

 Come hear Ambassador Wayne speak to us at our upcoming Orange County World Affairs dinner on June 27, 2018.

 Ambassador Wayne is currently a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center at Princeton University.  He served as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, & Business Affairs from 2000-2006, and Us Ambassador to Mexico from 2011-2015.


The Center Club

(650 Town Center Drive, Garden Level, Costa Mesa, CA 92626)


VIP Reception 5:30 PM

General Reception 5:30 PM

Dinner & Speaker Program 6:45 PM


WACOC Member Dinner + Program $75

WACOC Premium Member Guest Dinner + Program $75

Non-Member / WACOC General Member Dinner + Program $90

Student Dinner + Program $40

VIP Reception + Dinner + Program $120

VIP Reception only (1 ticket) $50

Table Sponsor (10 seats – Includes 2 VIP Reception tickets) $700




Dietary Restrictions: Please e-mail or call our office (949) 253-5751 by Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Accommodations cannot be made after this date. 

Refund Policy: Refund requests will not be accepted after the registration deadline. Cancellations must be made no later than the registration deadline. 

Paying by Check: If sending in a check, please call our office by Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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SAVE THE DATE – Annual Garden Party with British American Business Council & World Affairs Council of Orange County



Sunday, June 3, 2018


Join the British American Business Council (BABC) & World Affairs Council of Orange County (WACOC)

for the

 Annual British Garden Party



Enjoy the stunning ocean views, live music, Pimms, British tea sandwiches and petite desserts and British style from Clements & Church, India Hicks and Aston Martin.

VENUE: Montage Laguna Beach (30801 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651)

TIME: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM



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