For most of 2014, many of the evening programs will be held at Ingram Hall of the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa, 1550 Pacific Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA  95404. For a map or driving directions to the church, click your mouse arrow at


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




Friday, July 25, 2014, GREENPEACE: WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE THEY DOING IN THE NAME OF SAVING US?  Ed Harrington, Member of the Board of Greenpeace International.


Noon, Fountaingrove Inn, Camelot Room


101 Fountaingrove Parkway, Santa Rosa


Members: $27; Non-members: $32

Reservations due 7/18 


Mr. Harrington will bring us up to date on Greenpeace environmental activism throughout the world. Hopefully, by the time we meet, the Greenpeace activists in Russia will no longer be under threat of long jail sentences for protesting oil drilling in the Arctic. But why do they do it? Does the Quaker approach of “bearing witness” and bringing attention to bad behavior, in the hopes of making change, actually bring results?


Ed retired in 2012 from the City and County of San Francisco where he served as the City Controller for many years. From 2008 to 2012 he was General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission that operates the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System along with sewer and power services in San Francisco.  These positions led to his activism on climate change issues.


Mr. Harrington is the only member of the Greenpeace International Board who is from North America. He lives in Sonoma County with his husband.




Friday, August 8, 2014, THE UKRAINE CRISIS, RUSSIA AND THE WEST,  Steven Pifer, Senior Fellow, Center on the U.S. and Europe in the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings Institute, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.


5:00 p.m., Ingram Hall

1550 Pacific Ave., Santa Rosa


Members, Students, FPC & SLV Guests: Free; Visitors: $5

Refreshments served after the program.


After its recent presidential election, Ukraine remains in crisis as it implements difficult economic reforms and tries to calm eastern Ukraine's armed separatists in cities throughout Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (provinces). 

Moscow’s actions -- including the illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea, as well as other measures aimed at destabilizing the government in Kyiv (Kiev) -- have caused Russia’s relations with the United States and Europe to plunge.


Mr. Pifer will discuss developments in Ukraine, Russian actions, and the West’s response. He will focus on arms control and Ukraine and Russia, issues he worked on for more than 25 years as a Foreign Service Officer. He has offered commentary on these issues on PBS, National Public Radio, CNN, Fox News, and BBC, and his articles have run in the New York Times, Washington Post, and National Interest, among others.


Steven Pifer grew up in Sebastopol and coauthored with Michael O’Hanlon The Opportunity: Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Arms.  





Quail Inn, Oakmont

7035 Oakmont Drive, Santa Rosa, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Book Sale/Social Time, 5:00 to 5:45 p.m.

Buffet, 5:45 to 7:00 p.m.


Buffet Picnic Dinner


Members and Guests: $25

Reservations due 8/13


Come one and all to the World Affairs Council's Gala Summer Affair in beautiful Quail Inn -- with green open space and a lovely view of the Mayacamas.


Gastronomically, the spread offers BBQ chicken, sausages, salads, dessert; wine, beer, and a full bar available for purchasing drinks to quench that late afternoon summer thirst – and all accompanied by the cool music of solo guitarist Randy Vincent.


Four $25 gift certificates to Copperfields' Books and bottles of wine will be given away. You only win if you're there!


Come at 5:00 pm to socialize and purchase donated books at out annual Book Sale; bring your donated books to sell – in particular, world affairs books -- or any books you think others may like. Books are sold at really good prices – and help keep your World Affairs Council afloat! To arrange to drop off books before the Gala please contact Pat Lewis at 528-9540 or


Mark your calendars now and reserve your place at the Quail Inn on August 20. Enjoy a pleasant summer afternoon with all of the great local World Affairs Council people! Bring your appetite and enjoy an affair to remember! Questions? Call 707 573-6014.




Thursday, September 11, 2014, BRINGING WORLD NEWS TO LOCAL READERS -- AND MAKING IT RELEVANT, Paul Gullixson, Editorial Editor, The Press Democrat newspaper, Santa Rosa


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

5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa


Members, Students & SLV free: Visitors $5


6:45 p.m. Reception: Welcome Back to Spring Lake Village

Wine/ice tea, appetizers provided.


Paul Gullixson is point man for selecting syndicated columnists, including Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof, Trudy Rubin, and others, who write on international issues. He also determines when to initiate local editorials on international issues, and writes many of these pieces himself.


Paul will describe what drives his decisions on how the newspaper handles world issues. He will also describe his experiences covering international events, such as visiting a safe house for girls rescued from sex-trafficking in Costa Rica -- the first of its kind in that country. Paul's reporting brought an overlooked situation to local awareness.


Prior to joining The Press Democrat in 1998, Paul was Peninsula Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Chronicle, editor of Palo Alto Weekly, and reporter and editor for the Peninsula Times Tribune. He teaches journalism at Sonoma State University and is faculty advisor to the campus newspaper.


Mr. Gullixson is a native of Palo Alto, graduated from the University of Oregon School of Journalism, and has received numerous awards for editorial and column writing. He is a 14-year board member and past president of the First Amendment Coalition based in San Rafael.



Friday, September 26, 2014, THE PARADOX OF DISCLOSURE:  SNOWDEN LEAKS AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE, Mark Randol, Retired Senior Specialist, Domestic Intelligence and Counterterrorism, Congressional Research Service; and Director of Counterterrorism Policy at the Department of Homeland Security.


Noon, Quail Inn, Oakmont

7035 Oakmont Drive, Santa Rosa


Members: $26; Non-members: $31

Reservations due 9/19


Last year’s blockbuster leaks by Edward Snowden revealed the extent of electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA); specifically, NSA collected phone and Internet communications of Americans, stockpiled a huge database of telephone “metadata,” inserted “back doors” into widely-used online encryption, and tapped phones of friendly foreign leaders. 


These activities were undertaken just as they are supposed to be, in our representative democracy; they were authorized and re-authorized by law, overseen by Congress, and supervised by the judiciary, albeit a special court that operates in secret. Snowden’s leaks were illegal, but without them, how would Americans have learned about intelligence activities of significant concern? 


Mark Randol addresses this paradox of disclosure, discussing the tension between security and liberty arising from our demand that government protect us from terrorism and other threats, but also protect our privacy and uphold civil liberties while remaining transparent. Is it possible to achieve these objectives in the intelligence realm where secrets are essential?


Mr. Randol is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, with a Masters Degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. 





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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