Past Speakers/Events

“Assessment of President Trump’s Emerging “America First” Foreign & Economic Policies” with General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus

The World Affairs Council of Orange County


The Richard Nixon Foundation






 “Assessment of President Trump’s Emerging “America First” Foreign & Economic Policies”


Dinner with General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus


GEN_David_H_Petraeus_-_Uniform_Class_A 1

Venue: The Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum


Member $150

Non-Member $175


For Sponsorship Level seating please contact our office at (949)-253-5751 or e-mail us at



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Ambassador Dennis Ross “Will The Trump Administration Change US Policy Toward Israel, the Palestinians and the Rest of the Middle East – Will it Bring Peace or More Turmoil in the Region?”

{Tuesday, May 16th 2017}


 “Does the Trump Administration Have a Middle East Policy”


 Will the Trump Administration Change US Policy Toward Israel, the Palestinians and the Rest of the Middle East – Will it Bring Peace or More Turmoil in the Region?


Ambassador Dennis Ross
Special Envoy to the Middle East for President George Bush Sr., President Bill Clinton & President Barack Obama



 The Golden Orange Award will be presented to

Ms. Nora Valenzuela



Time: 5:45 PM Registration/Reception

6:30 PM Dinner/Speaker

$75 Member/ $60 Student/ $90 Non-Member

Location: Westin Hotel (South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626)


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Luncheon with General Michael Hayden – “Playing To The Edge: American Intelligence In The Age of Terror”



{Friday, March 31st, 2017}


                       “Playing In The Edge: American Intelligence In The Age of Terror”


 General Michael Hayden

                                                                           United States Air Force General, ret.
              Former Director of National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)


 Book Signing


Our Council is pleased to announce its very special guest speaker this month, Gen. Michael Hayden, retired United States Air Force four-star general and former Director of the National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Hayden also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University School of Public Policy. Under President George W. Bush, his tenure as Director of the NSA and CIA involved sweeping changes and modernization to our Nation’s intelligence gathering methods and organizations. In the face of terrorist threats while addressing domestic critics on privacy & civil rights, he navigated a precarious path during a critical time of this nation’s security history. His involvement at the highest levels of our country’s security and his personal account of those years including where we stand today with our nation’s “state of intelligence”  in view of the ongoing terrorist threats, will be the subject of his speech and in more depth his recommended book.


General 9780143109983-fullsize-rgbMichael Hayden’s book, Playing to the Edge, was published on February 27th, 2017.

PLAYING TO THE EDGE chronicles Hayden’s tenure (1999-2009) when American intelligence had to respond to terrorism, a major war, and the most sweeping technological revolution in the last five hundred years. For ten years, he participate in every major event in American national security, the fallout and consequences of which are still unfolding today.

       Location: Westin Hotel (South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626)

Time: 11:30 AM Registration


If you would like to purchase a table, please call our office at (949)253-5751

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10th Annual Academic WorldQuest

World Affairs Council of Orange County

Invites you to participate in our

10th Annual Academic WorldQuest
March 4th, 2017


Register Your OC High School Team Today!

Academic WorldQuest is a team competition, held among Orange County high school students, testing students’ knowledge of global affairs. This year the local winning team from Orange County will have the opportunity to participate in the National Academic WorldQuest in Washington DC on April 29th, 2017! Recruit your team of trivia all-stars and join us for an afternoon of fun, food, and friendly competition!

Who: One team of 4 students per high school

Cost: There is no fee to participate

What: Academic WorldQuest competition is to be held on Saturday, February 25th, 2017 in Orange County. Teams respond to a combination of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, and open-ended questions in the following categories:

Current Events
Great Decisions
Peace and Conflict in Today’s World (USIP)
Combating Infectious Disease
European Union
Countering Violent Extremism
Global Megacities
Women in Technology

When: Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Time: 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Location: Chapman University

Attire: Business casual
Things to note: Please do not bring any additional study guides or study materials to the competition. All writing utensils, paper, and further materials needed to compete will be provided. Snacks will be provided, and dinner will be served after the competition.

Registration: – A teacher registers the team by emailing us at

How: Preparation – A study guide will be mailed to you when your team is confirmed.

Why it is Important: Academic WorldQuest is a great way for students to learn and engage in international affairs through fun and challenging activities along with being able to include their experience on their resume or college applications. This year the local winning team from Orange County will have the opportunity to participate in the National Academic WorldQuest in Washington.


                                                                                BE A SPONSOR! 


Be an Academic WorldQuest 2017 Underwriter

                                              WINNING TEAM LODGING SPONSOR                   $900

1 Student Lodging Sponsor                       $180

2 Student Lodging Sponsors                     $360

3 Student Lodging Sponsors                     $540

4 Students Lodging Sponsor                     $720

                                                          WINNING TEAM FLIGHT SPONSOR    $2500

1 Student Flight Sponsor             $500

2 Students Flight Sponsor           $1000

3 Students Flight Sponsor           $1500

4 Students Flight Sponsor           $2000

Please send your checks to World Affairs Council of Orange County, 2102 Business Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92612 or call our office at (949)-253-5751



         Thank you to our Sponsors!

Hon. James Gray – Future Leader Awards Sponsor – $300

Norman Tanber – 2 Students Flight Sponsor – $1000

Jeff Hobert – 1 Student Flight Sponsor – $500

John Lafare – Future Leader Awards Sponsor – $300

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“The Russian Threat to the US and the Democracies Around the World”

Save the Date

{ Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 }

“The Russian Threat to the US and the Democracies Around the World”

Congressman Adam Schiff represents California’s 28th Congressional District, and throughout his tenure in Congress, he has focused on growing the economy, bolstering national security, strengthening our communities, helping small businesses and improving education, safety and healthcare for our children. In his eighth term in the House of Representatives, Schiff currently serves as the Ranking Member, or top Democrat, of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (which oversees all of the nation’s intelligence agencies) and as a Member of the Benghazi Select Committee.

Before he was elected to Congress, Schiff served as State Senator for California’s 21st State Senate District, chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Joint Committee on the Arts. He also worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for six years, most notably prosecuting the first FBI agent ever to be indicted for espionage.


Location: Westin Hotel South Coast Plaza
(South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 )

Time: 5:45 PM Registration/Reception


Building Our Global Community

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Where Obama Was & Where Trump Is Going in the Middle East, with Russian, Iran & Syria


{Wednesday, March 1st, 2017}

“Where Obama Was & Where Trump Is Going in the Middle East, with Russia, Iran & Syria”


Michael Doran

Senior Director for the National Security Council under President George W. Bush

doran_michael                                   Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute

Certainly with the new Trump Administration, US policy in the Middle East is certain to change. How significant will be the changes and how will the adversarial issues with Russia and Syria be addressed in this context? With the fall of Aleppo to the Assad forces, the facts on the ground have dramatically changed. Russia and Iran have achieved their strategic goal of leaving the Assad regime in place, at least for now.  A less confrontational approach toward Russia but a more aggressive one against Iran by the new administrations will present an interesting dichotomy on formulating US policy in this region. Much of the future is unknown but what is certain is that US Policy will markedly change and reflect both the reality of a devastated Syria still ruled by the dynastic Assad regime and the Administration’s stated goal  to formulate a “coalition” with Russia against ISIS or whatever entity or entities metastasize from the eventual defeat of the defacto “state” created by this terror group.

We are honored to have as our guest speaker Mr. Michael Doran a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC and formerly a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. Mr. Doran served as a Senior Director in the National Security Council under President George W. Bush where he was responsible for helping to devise and coordinate United States strategies on a variety of Middle East issues, including Arab-Israeli relations and U.S. efforts to contain Iran and SyriaHe also served in the Bush administration as a senior adviser in the State Department and as deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Pentagon.  He has held teaching positions at NYU, Princeton, and the University of Central Florida. He is the author of Pan-Arabism before Nasser, which analyzes the first Arab-Israeli war as an inter-Arab conflict, and is now completing a book for Simon and Schuster about President Eisenhower and the Middle East. He appears frequently in the media, and has published extensively in Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, Commentary, Mosaic Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Location: The Westin Hotel South Coast Plaza

(South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626)

Time: 5:45 PM Registration/Reception


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“Muslim Reform Movement: Is This Necessary and Why?”

SAVE THE DATE : Wednesday January 25th, 2017

“Muslim Reform Movement: Is This Necessary and Why?

Panel Discussion 


Salam Al-Marayati


 Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.

The primary issue that confronts the Muslim community both here in the US and other Western Countries is the possible reconciliation and integration of Islamic teachings with Western Liberal Democratic Values. Does Islam need to be reformed from the teachings at some of the Islamic centers in order to conform to Western Democracies or is it simply a misapplication of those teachings by individuals or groups who use Islam as a tool of terrorism for violent political action in the West? In any case, the questions of whether Islam as currently preached in the West, leads naturally to conflict and whether its need to be harmonized with Democratic Values is possible, will be addressed by our two very dynamic and knowledgeable speakers.


Salam Al Marayati is nationally recognized for his commitment to improving the public understanding of Islam and policies impacting American Muslims, Salam is president and co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. He is also a board member of the Muslim Reform Institute. He oversees MPAC’s groundbreaking civic engagement, public policy, and advocacy work.

He is an expert on Islam in the West, Muslim reform movements, human rights, democracy, national security, and Middle East politics. He has spoken at the White House, Capitol Hill and represented the U.S. at international human rights and religious freedom conferences.

His writings have appeared in every major national news publication (including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times), and his interviews have been featured on national and international news outlets (including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and C-SPAN).


A devout Muslim, Dr. Jasser founded AIFD (American Islamic Forum for Democracy) in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States as an effort to provide an American Muslim voice advocating for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. Dr. Jasser is a first generation American Muslim whose parents fled the oppressive Baath regime of Syria in the mid-1960’s for American freedom. He is leading the fight to shake the hold that the Muslim Brotherhood and their network of American Islamist organizations and mosques seek to exert on organized Islam in America.

Venue: The Fairmont Hotel Newport Beach

{4500 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660}

Wednesday January 25th, 2017

Time: 5:45 PM Registration/Reception


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NIPOC (Network of Iranian-American Professionals of Orange County) 2017 Economic Forecast



Network of Iranian-American Professionals of Orange County

January Special Event
To the memory of our beloved
Dr. Esmael Adibi

2017 Economic Forecast
U.S., California & Orange County

Economic Forecast by: Dr. James L. Doti

President Emeritus and Donald Bren Distinguished Chair of Business and Economics
Chapman University

Thursday, January 19, 2017, 6pm-9pm
Hotel Irvine – 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, CA

Admission & Dinner:
NIPOC & SBG Members: $80
Affiliated Members (IAWF, WAC, ISCC) $80
Non-Members: $95
Corporate Tables (10 seats & dinner) $750
Business Display Table: $250 (Includes Logo on Screen)
Business Logo on Big Screens: $200

If you would like to attend the event, please call World Affairs Council of Orange County at (949)-253-5751 or e-mail us at

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Dean C. Alexander: The New Administration’s Challenges with Confronting the Islamic State/ISIL

dean alexanderSave the Date: January 12, 2017

Dean C. Alexander is Director, Homeland Security Research Program and Professor, Homeland Security at the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration at Western Illinois University. Prof. Alexander’s teaching, research, and speaking activities encompass terrorism, security, and legal issues. He has lectured in ten countries, including to law enforcement and military officials at North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), U.S. State Department, fusion centers, as well as state and municipal police events. Prof. Alexander’s professional experience includes executive, business development, and legal positions in the United States and abroad, including Chile, Israel, and the United Kingdom. Since publishing on terrorism in 1991, Prof. Alexander has written several books on the subject, most recently, co-authoring The Islamic State: Combating the Caliphate Without Borders (Lexington Books, 2015). He is on the Advisory Board of Security Magazine and founding Advisory Council member of the Marsh Center for Risk Insights, research fellow at the Chesapeake Innovation Center (the first homeland security-focused business incubator), and served on the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council executive board for the Central District of Illinois. He earned law degrees from Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M.) and American University (J.D.). He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and studied at the Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva).

Location: TBA

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*Premium Members Only * “The Rising Voice of the Kurds”

SAVE THE DATE : {Wednesday January 11th, 2017}


*Premium Members Only Event*


Luncheon with Kurdish Representative to the United States

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman


                                    “The Rising Voice of the Kurds”Bayan-xan3a

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman is the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representative to the United States of America.

Key to her role are strengthening ties between Kurdistan and the United States, advocating her government’s position on a wide array of political, security, humanitarian, economic, and cultural matters and promoting coordination and partnership. Prior to her US appointment in 2015, Ms. Abdul Rahman was the High Representative to the United Kingdom. She was elected to the Leadership Council of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in 2010.

Before her career in public service, Ms. Abdul Rahman worked as a journalist for 17 years in Britain and Tokyo. Her late father, Sami Abdul Rahman, was a veteran of the Kurdish freedom movement, joining the Kurdistan Democratic Party in 1963 and playing a critical leadership role in the Kurdish and Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein’s regime. He held the post of Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government and General Secretary of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Sami Abdul Rahman was killed alongside his elder son Salah and 96 others in a twin suicide bombing in 2004.

Venue: Darya Restaurant at SOUTH COAST PLAZA

South Coast Plaza, 3800 S Plaza Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92704

Date: Wednesday January 11th, 2017

Time: 11:30 AM Registration

$50 Student/ $55 Premium Member/ $70 Guests of Premium Member / $105 Non-Premium Member


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