Upcoming Events

World Trade Week: Partnering with Irvine Chamber of Commerce

Orange County

World Trade Week

Date: May 18th, 2017

Venue: Irvine Marriott

Time: 7:30 AM – 11:00 AM

For more information click below

World Trade Week

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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1st Annual Sir Eldon Griffiths “Around the World Discussion in 60 Minutes or Less”


                                                                                Wednesday December 14th, 2016 

1st Annual Sir Eldon Griffiths “Around the World Discussion in 60 Minutes or Less”


Special Performance by:

Mr. Cesar Sanchez, a renowned opera singer who will perform operatic Christmas songs and other classics. He is a Mexican born tenor who was bestowed the title of “Ambassador of the Arts” by the Mexican government. He studied on a full scholarship at Mozarteum Conservatory of Music in Salzburg, Austria. He has performed in La Traviata as Alfred, in Calvalleria as Turridu among his other famous roles. He has travelled the world as an accomplished artist and previously performed for our Council receiving a standing ovation at the conclusion.

The three key note Speakers and Moderator for the “Around the World” discussion will be:

  • James Coyle (Chapman University),
  • Robert O’Brien Esq. (Larson Obrien LLP) and
  • Daniel Wehrenfennig (UCI, Olive Tree Initiative)
  • Moderator Dr. Mark Chapin Johnson, MCJ Foundation Claremont

They will address the past year’s critical developments in world affairs from the Middle East to Asia, Europe, Africa and of course the United States and North America. We can also expect bold predictions and insightful analysis on the upcoming year with the foreign policy of President Trump and his new administration.


  Venue: Fairmont Hotel                     Time: 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM

(4500 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660)

Reception/Registration: 5:30 PM


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Tom Nazario: “Global Poverty: What Everybody Should Know”

Save the Date

{ Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 }

Luncheon – Tom Nazario: “Global Poverty: What Everybody Should Know”


Thomas A. Nazario grew up in New York City and completed his undergraduate degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and went on to complete a graduate degree from the City University of New York and New York University. Upon graduation from law school at the University of San Francisco, Professor Nazario practiced criminal law as a public defender in San Francisco for two years.

In 1978, he returned to the University of San Francisco and received a Robert F. Kennedy Fellowship to continue his work in the development of the “Street Law Project” which continues to work extensively with inner-city kids in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Nazario’s expertise lies in the area of Children’s Rights as well as issues related to global poverty.

His work has also led him all over the world documenting human rights violations involving women and children for the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, and for many nongovernmental agencies. Mr. Nazario has visited and reported on Tibetan refugee children living in Northern India, children living in sewers in Romania, children sick or orphaned by AIDS in Botswana, and children sold into sexual slavery in the brothels of Thailand.

In an effort to help those he witnessed living in extreme poverty, in 2007 he founded The Forgotten International, a nonprofit foundation that presently does poverty alleviation work in eight countries around the world and in the United States through dozens of grassroots organizations ( To continue to bring awareness of global poverty issues to the forefront, Mr. Nazario wrote an award-winning book entitled Living on a Dollar a Day: The Lives and Faces of the World’s Poor (W.W. Norton & Co. / April 2014) with photographs by a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and a Foreword by the Dalai Lama. It tells the stories, in words and images, of some of the 1.2 billion people in the world who survive on not much more than one dollar a day.


Location: Fairmont Hotel
(4500 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660)
Time: 11:30 AM-2:00 PM


Building Our Global Community

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House of Saud-Conversation with His Royal Highness Turki Al Faisal

Save the Date: {Thursday November 3rd, 2016}

House of Saud-Conversation with His Royal Highness Turki Al Faisal

Annual Clinton Global InitiativeIn addition to being a member of the Saudi Arabia royal family, Prince Turki is one of the founders of the King Faisal Foundation which has heavily invested in education and numerous other philanthropic projects around the world. Price Turki also serves as chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies which takes part in preserving and promoting Islamic heritage along with encouraging further research so that such traditions may live on and continue in the future. He was appointed ambassador to the court of Saint James in London and to Ireland from January of 2003 until 2005. Later that year he assumed the position of Saudi Ambassador to the United States which he acted as until 2007. He is also co-chair of the C100 Group which has been affiliated with the World Economic Forum since 2003, encouraging interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural understanding. Prince Turki is also deputy chairman of Saudi General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) and was elected as the first Vice President of the regional bureau of Asia-Pacific within airports council international.

November 3rd, 2016

The Resort at Pelican Hill (22701 S. Pelican Hill Rd, Newport Coast, CA 92657)

VIP Reception/Registration: 5:00pm – 6:00pm

General Reception/Registration: 5:30pm-6:30pm

Dinner Event Begins at 6:45pm

$75 Students/ $90 Members/ $105 Non Members


Thank you to our Sponsors:

Bronze Corporate Sponsors:

Ken Petersen – First American Trust

Dr. Mark Chapin Johnson – Mark Chapin Johnson Foundation

Robert & Sandra Teitsworth

Bronze Member Sponsor:

Kenneth August – August Law Group

Hal Smith Jr.

Mouhamad Alsudairy

Student Sponsor:

Souzan Baaj

Table Sponsors:

Norman Tanber

Joanne Sokolski- Chief of Protocol, OC Protocol Foundation

Syrian Institute for Progress

Underwriting Sponsor

Seda Yaghoubian

Drs. Harry & Asha Sahota

Serge Tomassian


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2016 AGM – Dinner Chat with President/CEO of WAC of America

Save the Date

{Thursday, September 29th, 2016}

“Realigning American Power and Purpose In A Fragmented World”

2016 Annual General Meeting

Dinner Chat with President/CEO of WAC of America, Mr. Bill Clifford


Bill Clifford

President & CEO
Bill Clifford was appointed President and CEO of the World Affairs Councils of America in September 2013. For the past six years, Bill spearheaded the revitalization and growth of WorldBoston, a WACA member Council known for innovative programming, access to leaders, and a tradition of advancing public learning about critical international issues. He also served as a member of the WACA National Board and its Executive Committee.

Previously, Bill was a journalist covering international finance, economics, and politics in Asia, where he launched and directed news bureaus in Japan and Hong Kong for the pioneering multimedia venture CBS MarketWatch. Prior to that, he was senior correspondent for CNBC Asia in Tokyo. Bill holds an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a B.A. summa cum laude in international relations and French literature from Tufts University, and a C.E.P. in public policy from Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris.



 Member: $65

Non-Member/Guests: $80

Student – Dinner: $55

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

Time: 5:30PM-9:00PM

Building Our Global Community


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2016 Annual Trustees Luncheon

Save the Date

{Saturday, September 17th, 2016}

2016 Annual Trustees Luncheon

The Annual Trustees Meeting is an important event for the Council. Attending Board of Trustees will be asked to elect the Council’s Executive Board and Officers for the coming year. In addition, Board Chairman, Dr. Parmis Khatibi, will provide the overview of the “State of the Council,” and special reports will be provided by our Council’s officers on our finances and investments, our program results, our educational outreach efforts, and our membership status. There will also be time for you, as a member of  the Board of Trustees to ask questions, comment, and offer suggestions and recommendations for the Council’s activities over the coming year. 

Trustees and Guests: $50

Location: Darya Restaurant
South Coast Plaza, 3800 S Plaza Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92704
Contact info: (714) 557-6600

Time: 11:30AM-3:00PM

Building Our Global Community


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EU in the US: “The European Union at a Crossroads”

Save the Date

{ July 28, 2016 }

EU in the US: “The European Union at a Crossroads”


EUlogoWACA logo





The Consuls General of Romania – Eugen Chivu, Poland – Mariusz Brymora, and Germany – Hans Jörg Neumann, will speak at the event and discuss the current situation in Europe, referring to issues such as TTIP, the refugee crisis, Brexit, and the Ukrainian crisis.

SEEFest Closing Night

Eugen Chivu – Consul General of Romania in Los Angeles

Mr. Eugen Chivu took office as Consul General, Head of Consulate General of Romania in Los Angeles in the month of February 2013.
Before taking over as Consul General of Romania in Los Angeles, Mr. Eugen Chivu has practiced law, serving as a Bucharest Bar member within the Romanian National Bar Association. During his career as a lawyer from June 1994 to July 2012, Mr. Eugen Chivu was Managing Partner of the Law firm Chivu & Associates SCA in Bucharest, Romania.
Since June 1990, Mr. Eugen Chivu served as a member of Romanian diplomatic corps, holding various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From July 1992 until May 1994, Mr. Eugen Chivu has held the position of Head of Private International Law Office in the International Law and Treaties Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania. Between June 1990 and June 1991, he served as adviser in the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania. At the same time, his diplomatic career included responsibilities of participating in and contributing to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).
He graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest in 1984, thereafter continuing his diplomatic studies at the Diplomatic Institute of International Studies at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom (1991), studies on European integration legislation, the legal basis of the market economy and human rights protection in Europe at the European University Institute (Academy of European Law) Florence, Italy (1993), and intellectual property at the Robert Schuman University, Strasbourg, France (1996).

Mr. Eugen Chivu is married to Floarea Chivu, and has one son, Eugen Octavian. He was born in Saliste, Sibiu, on June 10, 1959.

Neumann_Hans Joerg 1

Hans Jörg Neumann – Consul General of Germany in Los Angeles

Hans Jörg Neumann has served as German Consul General in Los Angeles since July 2015.

Prior to this, he was German Ambassador to Benin in West Africa. His extensive knowledge of the United States was acquired during his time as an exchange student with the American Field Service in Pennsylvania in 1974, and while serving as Political Advisor and Head of Consular and Legal Affairs at the German Embassy in Washington from 2001 to 2005.
Mr. Neumann joined the German Foreign Service in 1987. He has served as Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Bucharest, Head of Consular and Legal Affairs in Prague as well as in the Economic Department of the German Embassy in Cairo and as Foreign Desk Officer for the Maghreb countries.

Before starting his career in the German Foreign Service, Mr. Neumann studied law in Frankfurt and Lausanne, Switzerland. From 1984 to 1985, he spent a year at the Ecole National d’ Administration in Paris. He practiced law in Frankfurt from 1986 to 1987.

Mr. Neumann was born in Berlin and has three daughters.


Mariusz M. Brymora – Consul General of Poland in Los Angeles

Mariusz M. Brymora was appointed the Consul General of Poland in Los Angeles on September 7, 2013.
Before coming to California, he worked as the Deputy Director of the Department of Public and Cultural Diplomacy of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he supervised the promotional activity of Polish diplomatic missions, including 23 Polish Institutes.
Earlier he had served as the Polish consul in Chicago (1999 – 2003) and as public affairs councilor of the Embassy of Poland in Washington D.C. (2005 – 2009).
Consul Brymora is a graduate of the Faculty of English of Maria Skłodowska Curie University in Lublin, Poland, and holder of postgraduate diplomas in British Culture and History from Warsaw University and Ruskin College, Oxford (England).
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he used to work as an academic teacher and translator of English. His literary translations include two short stories by Bernard Malamud published by Wydawnictwo Literackie in Kraków in 1989. From 1994 until 1998 he served as a councilman and deputy mayor of his hometown Radom, Poland.
He is the co-author and editor of 400 Years of Polish Immigrants in America – the album published in 2008 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first Poles’ arrival at Jamestown, Virginia. He also wrote a short history of The Embassy of Poland in Washington DC, published in 2009. While working in Warsaw, he supervised the screenplay and production of Polska?Tak! – a short documentary on Poland’s image as seen through the eyes of the world’s greatest cultural celebrities.
Consul General M. Brymora is married and has two adult children.



Complimentary Parking Offered

Price: Members & Student $45/ Non-members & Guests $70

5:45pm Reception/Registration | 6:45pm Dinner | 7:00pm Program Begins

Location: Orange County Mining Company – 10000 Crawford Canyon Rd Orange, CA 92705

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Turkish Consul General Raife Gülru Gezer: Turkey’s Foreign Policy and the Current Syrian Refugee Crisis

Save the Date

{ Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 }

Turkish Consul General Raife Gülru Gezer: Turkey’s Foreign Policy and the Current Syrian Refugee Crisis


Raife Gezer As Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles, Raife Gülru Gezer represents approximately 70,000 Turkish citizens living across twelve western states. She graduated from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University in 2000 and completed her M.A. in European Political and Administrative Studies at the College of Europe.

In 2002, Gezer joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and worked at the European Union Political Affairs Deputy Directorate as a Candidate Career Diplomat. She spent two years at the Turkish Embassy in Damascus. In 2010, Gezer became Chief of Cabinet of the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Four years later, she was appointed Consul General of Turkey.


Location: Lake Mission Viejo Clubhouse
22555 Olympiad Rd
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Time: 6:00PM Registration/ 7:00PM Speaker Program

Building Our Global Community

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In Conversation with Senator Lindsey Graham on US Foreign Policy

Save the Date

{Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 }

LiIMG_4718ndsey Graham has earned a reputation as a conservative problem-solver and one of the strongest proponents of a robust national defense. A frequent visitor to American troops stationed overseas for on-the-ground assessments, Graham has consistently pushed for outcomes in the War on Terror which protect our long-term national security interests. One leading conservative recently wrote that when it comes to defending America, “[Lindsey] Graham has been right about more things on foreign policy for longer than just about anyone…if anyone has bragging rights on foreign policy, it is Graham.”

Graham is also a leader in cutting spending, reforming entitlements, and getting government out of the way so businesses can create jobs. One national conservative organization called him a Taxpayer Hero who puts “the interests of the taxpayer ahead of politics by consistently voting to cut wasteful spending, reduce the tax burden, and make government more accountable to taxpayers. “Graham was elected to the United States Senate in 2002 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2014. He became – and remains today – the top vote-getter in South Carolina history by garnering over one million votes in the 2008 general election. Prior to serving in the Senate, Graham was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 as the first Republican from the Third Congressional District of South Carolina since 1877.

Before being elected to Congress, Graham compiled a distinguished record in the United States Air Force as he logged six-and-a-half years of service on active duty as an Air Force lawyer. From 1984-1988, he was assigned overseas and served at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Germany. Upon leaving active duty Air Force in 1989, Graham joined the South Carolina Air National Guard where he served until 1995. During the first Gulf War in the early 90’s, Graham was called to active duty and served state-side at McEntire Air National Guard Base as Staff Judge Advocate where he prepared members for deployment to the Gulf region. In 1995, Graham joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves. During American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Graham put his experience in military law to use pulling numerous short-term Reserve duties in both countries over congressional breaks and holidays. Graham retired from the Air Force Reserves in June 2015 having served his country in uniform for 33 years. He retired at the rank of Colonel. A native South Carolinian, Graham grew up in a blue collar family in the small town of Central where his parents ran a restaurant and pool hall. The first member of his family to go to college, Graham earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina. He lives in Seneca and is a member of Corinth Baptist Church.

Location: The Pacific Club
4110 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Time: 5:45pm Reception/ Registration| 6:45 Dinner| 7:00pm Speaker Program/ Q&A



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An Evening With Fayçal Gouia, Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia

Save the Date{Tuesday November 1st, 2016}

Faycal-Gouia (1)On May 18, 2015, President Barack Obama accepted the credentials of H.E. Fayçal Gouia, a longtime high ranking member of his country’s foreign service, to be Tunisia’s Ambassador to the United States. This is the second time Ambassador Gouia has been posted to his country’s embassy in Washington.

Ambassador Gouia, who was born on July 10, 1959, attended the National School of Administration in Tunis, Tunisia. He received a Master’s degree in 1984 and went into government service, beginning in the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs as the head of the International Relations Department. After two years, he returned to the National School of Administration and earned an advanced Master’s degree in 1989 (Laureate). He later attended the National Defense University in the United States and the National Defense Institute in Tunis.

Ambassador Gouia went back into government service in 1989, as Head of the Budget Management Division at the Ministry of Finance. He moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993, first as Deputy Director for South Asia and later as Director for the Americas.

Ambassador Gouia’s assignments to the Tunisian Embassy in Washington began in 1995 as Cultural and Press Counselor, then went on to be its Economic and Commercial Counselor in 1997 as its Deputy Chief of Mission in 1999.

He returned to Tunis in 2001 to head the Americas Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Gouia received his first ambassadorial assignment beginning in 2006 in Jakarta, Indonesia. He was accredited to Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and, beginning in 2007, to Malaysia and Brunei as well.

Ambassador Gouia returned home in 2010 to become Director General for Africa and the African Union and in 2011 he was appointed Director General for the Americas and Asia in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In January 2014, he was named Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. One of the issues he worked on was the number of kidnapped Tunisians in neighboring Libya. He held that job until being named Ambassador of his country to Washington.

Ambassador Gouia is Chevalier of the Republic Order and was granted the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in 2013.

Ambassador Gouia is married and has two daughters. He speaks Arabic, English and French.

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