The World Affairs Council of Sonoma County

The World Affairs Council of Sonoma County (WACSC) is a  non-profit, non-partisan  organization whose purpose is to promote study and public education  in world affairs and to contribute to improved international understanding and relations. We feature speakers such as Ambassadors, international figures, journalists, academics, and business  professionals. 


Council programs provide participants the opportunity to meet and ask questions of people who shape world events in a variety of formats. Regular programs are sponsored by the Council and are open both to members and the general public.


P.O. Box 1433
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Phone: (707) 573-6014

If you are a WACSC member and have a change of name, address, phone or email, please notify Brantly Richardson by clicking your mouse arrow on the mailbox.






Upcoming Events




Friday, November 21, 2014,

WATER: THE VANISHING NECESSITY, Sylvia Lee, Director of the Water Program, Skoll Global Threat Fund


Thursday, December 4, 2014,  

THE NEW SULTAN: ERDOGAN AND THE FUTURE OF TURKISH POLITICS, Ryan Gingeras, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California


Read more >


For more Headlines , Click on World Affairs above.


For the story behind each headline in the World Affairs box, click on the headline.


Click on the WACA Logo above for the prior editions of Weekly Digest of World News, published every Wednesday by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and distributed by the World Affairs Councils of America.



News Items:


Perspectives Newsletter

PERSPECTIVES, our 6-page, full color quarterly newsletter, is distributed by email to members with email addresses registered with the Council.  The current PERSPECTIVES can also be viewed by placing your mouse arrow on the logo below and click it.


Members who do not provide us with email addresses receive a one color, 2-page Program Mailer with complete information about upcoming programs and reservation forms. It is mailed several days after e-publication of PERSPECTIVES.


New Members in October, 2014: Sarah Anne Brown, Renate Fassbender, Jennie Field, Astrid Harper, Ray Hight, Thomas Johnson, Bjorn Karlsen, Teresa Leech, Heiga Lemke, Don & Barbara Madson, Jim & Karen Martin, Jon Paschke & Sara Penn, Sig & Louise Richardson, Robert & Marcia Rose, Elizabeth Vandebberg, Mark & Linda van Ekelenburg


Spring Lake Village (SLV) Notes for WACSC Members.

With our return to Spring Lake Village for evening meetings in their beautiful new auditorium, we need to be aware the auditorium has a maximum legal capacity of 250 people. With our increasing membership and the expansion of Spring Lake Village, we may reach that number for popular speakers and topics, as we did for Paul Gullixson on September 11. Actual audience capacity is about 240, since some seats will be reserved for the speaker and party plus those volunteers presiding over the meetings and arrangements.


Thank You, First Presbyterian Church!

We want to thank and acknowledge the friendly people at the First Presbyterian Church for allowing us the use of Ingram Hall and other rooms for our evening meetings while we were away from Spring Lake Village. Everyone was most cooperative and helpful in every way. The location was central for many of our members and the parking was plentiful. We hope that those church members who got in the habit of attending the meetings there will follow us to Spring Lake Village. The two locations really are not that far apart.


Kathleen Stephens in India

Kathleen Stephens, our former Ambassador to South Korea, who spoke to us so engagingly at a La Gare luncheon in April, was appointed by President Obama shortly thereafter to lead a diplomatic mission in India pending Senate confirmation of a new permanent Ambassador. She continues as United States Charge d’Affairs in India. We have invited her to be our guest at our Annual Dinner in February, and she has accepted, providing she is able to return to California by then.


Program Committee: Serendipitous or Lucky?

Our marvelous Program Committee has scheduled speakers on subjects that are relevant and topical to current world events on several occasions this year. Speakers are normally engaged several months before the program date. A hot topic at the time of making a speaker commitment may be stale by the time the program is held.  On the other hand an interesting topic at the time of commitment may be red hot on the speaking date. We have had the experience of having speakers with hot topics several times this year. Lucky, perhaps, or serendipitous. In order to bring more speakers with relevant and current events topics to us on a timely basis the Program Committee has developed a “hot topics” plan by which special programs, not on the published schedule, may be announced by email blast for a late afternoon presentation. Speakers can be available on a last minute basis because they are traveling in the area for a variety of reasons and can be persuaded to come to Santa Rosa for a short visit, presentation and bottle of wine. Kudos to the Program Committee for bringing “hot topics” speakers to us in a timely manner and allowing our members the opportunity to be the best informed world affairs residents in Sonoma County.


Thank You For Volunteering.

In our last edition we put out a strong call for members to step up and volunteer to be part of our Council management team. Some of you did respond and are now part of the solution for renewing our leadership. We welcome you and thank you for your commitment. Our all-volunteer organization needs regular infusions of new blood, new energy and new ideas to keep us going and relevant to the membership and to the community. Members may step forward and volunteer for a job at any time. It is not necessary to wait for a call from the Board. All comers are welcome.


WACSC Speakers Bureau 

An officer of our Council will gladly visit a service club or civic organization to present a 20-minute talk on the many benefits of the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County.  We want to inform the community of what we are doing and how we can help them keep informed about international relations.  If you belong to a club that might like a speaker, please give contact information to Bob Kirk at or 538-9294. 




WACSC “Hotline” Now Designated a “Lukewarm Line”

As members of WACSC you are encouraged to call our Council phone number, 573-6014, for general information and to make and cancel meal reservations. We have generally referred to this phone number as the WACSC “hotline.”


However, please be advised that we have downgraded the “hotline” designation to the “lukewarm line” to clarify that this phone line does not have 24/7 coverage with operators waiting to take your call. We check for messages on a regular basis and attempt to respond to all calls promptly. However, some responses may take more time. As an all-volunteer-managed Council, it takes the time and commitment of a volunteer to monitor this phone. Your understanding and patience will be appreciated.



Searching for a World Travel Opportunity?

WAC of Philadelphia continues to offer wonderful travel experiences for WAC members and their friends. Their 2014 Travel Tours are available for our members to view, consider, inquire and reserve. You can reach the WAC Philadelphia website at You can call toll free to their Travel Department at 800-942-5004, Ext. 209 or 217. You may reach their VP of Travel, Joan Russell, directly at WAC Philadelphia has been arranging world tours for many years and is highly recommended by our national parent organization, World Affairs Councils of America.




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