The World Affairs Council of St. Louis connects St. Louis to the World on matters of current affairs in the areas of  Policy, Culture and Business.  The WAC-STL, one of 90 chapters of the World Affairs Councils of America, connects St. Louis to the world by:

  • Promoting “citizen diplomacy” by hosting nearly 200 visitors through a State Department global exchange program
  • Offering monthly speakers on topics related to timely global issues
  • Hosting events with ambassadors to the US from strategically important countries
  • Honoring the International Humanitarian of the Year
  • Hosting the Great Decisions program and
  • Gathering nearly 30 high school teams in a challenge to see who’s most knowledgeable about international relations

What we do

  • Work with the U.S. State Department to deliver socially impactful, custom programs through the International Visitor Leadership Program.
  • Partner with Saint Louis University to present Academic World Quest, a competition for high-school-age students to demonstrate knowledge of current world events and global interactions.
  • Educate the community through Great Decisions, a free series of videos and discussion groups
  • Honor the region’s leaders through Gateway Globes and International Humanitarian of the Year
  • Connect St. Louis to the world, via guest speakers, corporate tours and program recognition.

Corporate membership fees contribute more than 25 percent of our annual revenue. They enable us to provide the citizens of this region with a window on the world and to sponsor programs that promote understanding, engagement, relationships, and leadership in global matters.

Your sponsorship makes the following possible:

  • Ambassador Forums and speaker series

The Council sponsors 10-12 member/guest programs throughout the year, including Ambassador Forums, where the World Affairs Council of St. Louis hosts ambassadors from strategic countries to the United States.  The most recent ambassador was from Mexico on Oct. 25, 2017, and the event was attended by more than 300.  We are in discussions with the ambassadors from several key countries, including Canada,  Haiti, and Pakistan.  The remaining programs feature panels, authors, government representatives, U.S. and foreign dignitaries, cultural dinners and a variety of additional international related events.

At each of these events, our members have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with the invited guests and to network with their peers.

  • The Gateway Globes, including the 8th Annual International Humanitarian of the Year award

The “International Humanitarian of the Year” (IHOY) Award is a prestigious honor that recognizes the top global organizations and individuals in our community.  Your membership helps us recognize the region’s leaders and inspire the community to engage internationally.

  • Foreign Policy Association’s (FPA) “Great Decision” Series

Every year the FPA selects and develops materials on eight critical and timely challenges to U. S. foreign policy. The briefing books and video they produce do an excellent job of discussing each issue thoroughly and with balance.  On eight successive Thursdays beginning March 8, 2018 and ending April 26, 2018, we will offer moderated discussions of the current year’s  “Great Decision” topics. These sessions at the Ethical Society in Clayton have become a tradition and are widely attended by members and non-members in our area; everyone is welcome. Your membership helps us offer this series free of charge.

  • 16th Annual High School International Knowledge Competition: World Quest

In November, 120 students competed in an evening showcasing international knowledge The first place team from Holt High School will represent St. Louis in a national competition, April 28, 2018, in Washington, DC. Your membership helps us promote international studies and build a more informed, engaged community.

  • International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

We serve as the regional host for the International Visitor Leadership Program, the State Department’s premier professional exchange program. This program seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through short term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. In our role, we host approximately 200 international visitors per year from all around the globe who are chosen by our embassies. During their stay in St. Louis, we arrange professional development, cultural activities, and home hospitality opportunities tailored to each group.  When visitors are seeking destinations on specialized topics, our members are among those chosen first.

With your membership, you support the Council in making our programs possible and in our mission of Connecting St. Louis to the World. 

To download a pdf application, click here