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
How We Take Action
- 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.
How You Can Take Action
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.
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 Dr. László Szabó of Hungary on January 25, 2019, and the event was attended by Hungarian dignitaries, business executives, leading researchers, and other organization leaders from around St. Louis. 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 is an annual awards event to honor and recognize the distinguished work of members of the St. Louis community to positively impact the world around them. The “Humanitarian of the Year” (HOY) 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.
Every year the FPA selects and develops materials on eight critical and timely challenges to U. S. foreign policy. The briefing books and videos they produce do an excellent job of discussing each issue thoroughly and with balance. On eight successive Thursdays in the spring, we 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.
Every November, over 100 high school students compete in an evening showcasing international knowledge. The first place team will represent St. Louis in a national competition held every spring in Washington, DC.
Your membership helps us promote international studies and build a more informed, engaged community.
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.