We proudly present our featured speakers with fine Sonoma County wines.




Thursday, January 29, 2015, INDIA'S GENERAL ELECTION 2014: The Biggest Ever Democratic Exercise,Dr. Sharad Joshi, Assistant Professor, Monterey Institute of International Studies

7:30 p.m., Spring Lake Village Auditorium

5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa

Members & SLV free: Visitors $5


India’s recent national election was the largest in world history, unfolding in nine phases with approximately 814 million eligible voters. A landslide majority brought to power the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party led by its Prime Minister candidate, Narendra Modi. It was a stunning defeat for the Congress Party, which has controlled India’s government for most of its post-colonial history. Some experts have described the election outcome as a seismic shift in Indian politics. Dr. Sharad Joshi will discuss the election, the new government’s policies, and give an assessment of the first few months of the government’s term and its meaning for India and U.S./India relations.


Dr. Joshi is Assistant Professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where he teaches courses on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and on policy analysis. He is also an Associate Fellow in the International Security Program at Chatham House, London, U.K. His Ph.D. is from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh; his M.A. in political science from Jawaharial Nehru University, New Delhi; and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. He joined the Monterey Institute in 2006.



Friday, February 6, 2015 (ANNUAL DINNER),

AMERICA’S GREATEST FOREIGN POLICY CHALLENGES, Ambassador Christopher Hill, Dean of Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.


5:15 p.m. No Host Cocktails

6:00 p.m. Meal Service

7:00 p.m. Program Presentation

Hilton Hotel, Nagasawa Ballroom

3555 Round Barn Blvd., Santa Rosa


Members: $40; Non-members: $50


Reservations deadline for members & guests January 15, 2015; open to all until January 30, 2015 if space available. 


Christopher Hill will discuss where America’s greatest foreign policy challenges stand, both short term and long term. He will also discuss the state of American diplomacy, drawing on his foreign service experience to elucidate underlying causes of challenges and the resulting implications for U.S. domestic and foreign policy -- including effects on political stability and consequences for future U.S. diplomatic relations.


Ambassador Hill is a former career diplomat and a four-time ambassador whose last post was as Ambassador to Iraq. He served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs during which he was head of the U.S. delegation to the Six Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. He was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Ambassador to Poland, and Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia, as well as Special Envoy to Kosovo. Mr. Hill also served as a Special Assistant to the President and was a Senior Director on the National Security Council staff. Earlier, Ambassador Hill served as a Peace Corps volunteer.


His recently-published book, Outpost is both a riveting story of his experiences and a cogent analysis of American diplomacy in the 21st century.



Thursday, February 26, 2015, SYRIA, IRAQ, AND ISIS:  Are There Any Good Options? Reese Erlich, Award-winning Journalist and Author

7:30 p.m., Spring Lake Village Auditorium

5555 Montgomery Drive


Members & SLV: free; Visitors: $5  


The civil war in Syria is in its third year. The Assad regime, with help from Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, continues to wage a brutal war, inflicting countless civilian casualties, while opposition forces remain divided and ineffective. The extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), with even more brutal tactics, have rapidly taken control of much of eastern Syria and some of Iraq, where the Iraqi Kurdish forces in the north are struggling to stop this aggression with the help of U.S. bombings. ISIS is a dangerous organization in the Middle East, but is it any more dangerous to the U.S. than previous terrorist groups?


Reese Erlich has reported firsthand on events in Syria five times during this war, and most recently in August 2014 from Iraqi Kurdistan where he interviewed refugees fleeing ISIS. He has authored or coauthored books on Iraq, Iran, Cuba, and international terrorism. His latest work, Inside Syria, will be available for sale at this event. 



Friday, March 13, 2015, WHAT IS GLOBAL HEALTH? Jerome H. Chin, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.


Noon, Fountaingrove Inn, Camelot Room

101 Fountaingrove Parkway, Santa Rosa


Members: $29; Non-members: $34

Reservations deadline March 6, 2015



Dr. Chin will give an overview of the field of global health using photographs taken during his travels and work in Uganda and India. His presentation will discuss the key drivers and determinants of health and disease globally and regionally, including poverty, population growth, urbanization, climate change, health systems, infectious diseases, and non-communicable diseases.


Dr. Chin is a board-certified neurologist and received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He completed a neurology residency at UCSF and earned his M.P.H. at UC Berkeley. Dr. Chin was in private practice in Sonoma County from 1991 to 2008. He closed his practice in 2008 to devote his time to international medical work. He is a visiting faculty member at the national hospital of Uganda where he spends two months each year as the attending neurologist. In 2011 Dr. Chin founded the Alliance for Stroke Awareness and Prevention Project (www.asapp.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. ASAPP supports community-based project sites in Uganda and India that provide free high blood pressure screening, education, and counseling. 



Thursday, March 26, 2015, DEVIANT GLOBALIZATION, Nils Gilman, Associate Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley, California


7:30 p.m., Spring Lake Village Auditorium

5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa

Members & SLV free: Visitors $5


Nils Gilman is a Berkeley-trained historian, futurist, and management consultant. Currently serving as the Associate Chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, Nils is the author of numerous books and articles, including Mandarins of the Future and Deviant Globalization.


The traditional nation-state, committed to producing and providing equitable access to public goods, is under a twin assault -- from below by criminals and from above by plutocrats. Unlike traditional revolutionary organizations that sought to take over the state in order to enact their own social visions, this new breed of insurgents seeks autonomy and distance from the state, even as they continue to rely parasitically on the legacy of the welfare state. This talk discusses the historical rise of the twin insurgency and how it is likely to play itself out in a variety of local contexts.




For reservations, make checks payable to WACSC and send to World Affairs Council, PO Box 1433, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

We have a great corporate sponsor, Spring Lake Village, please support them at every opportunity.

Reservation and Cancellation Policies.

Luncheon and Annual Dinner reservations have become increasingly popular and are filling our venue capacities more rapidly than ever. While this is greatly appreciated by the WACSC Management Board, it requires the implementation of some practical controls, as follows:

Reservations must be cut off one week before the date of the event. If your reservation is received after the published deadline it will be returned and your name will be placed on a waiting list.

Cancellations will be honored if you call us at 707-573-6014, at least 48 hours before the event. This same number can be used to ask questions about WACSC programs and policies. You will receive a refund in the mail. If you need to cancel less than 48 hours before the event we cannot issue a refund because your meal will be charged to the Council. Cancellations made before the 48 hour deadline may allow members on a waiting list to attend.

No Doggie Bag policy applies to two of our meal venues: Fountaingrove Inn and the Hilton Hotel. This is their food safety rule; not ours.

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