Great Decisions: South Africa’s Fragile Democracy

The seventh event for this 8 part series sponsored by the University of Missouri at St. Louis at the Ethical Society is on Thursday, April 19th.  The topic is: South Africa’s Fragile Democracy

The schedule for this event is:

12:00 Noon to 12:15 PM: Introduction of moderator and showing of portions of the FPA Video for the topic being discussed.
12:15 PM to 12:45 PM: Remarks by the moderator
12:45 PM to 1:15 PM: Q&A followed by a brief summation

Light refreshments, consisting of coffee and cookies, will be available to all participants in the meeting room at no charge.

Parking is free and convenient, located in the rear of the building on the north side. The parking lot is accessible from Clayton Road.

Meet the Interns

WAC-STL is happy to introduce you to the five interns who are working here this spring semester!

Adelaide Kelly

Adelaide Kelly is a junior at Saint Louis University. She is studying Anthropology, Spanish, and International Studies. Adelaide is from the Greater Chicagoland area. Before starting with the World Affairs Council, her international experience included studying abroad at Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile and serving as an International Ambassador for new international students at SLU. During her time at the World Affairs Council she hopes to learn more about working with professional international visitors, St. Louis’s own international community, and broaden her understanding about visitors to St. Louis.

Irene Garza Lazo

Irene Garza Lazo is a senior at Saint Louis University. She is studying International Studies and Spanish and has an Associate of Arts in Political Science. Irene is from Cadereyta, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. She is very involved at Saint Louis University and is apart of Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Phi Omega, Spanish National Honor Society, and Children’s Liturgy of the Word. During her time at the World Affairs Council she hopes to learn more about St. Louis’s international community and gain valuable experience that will prepare her for the work force post-graduation.

Katherine Volandt

Katherine studies International Relations at the University of Missouri—St Louis in the Pierre Laclede Honors College. In addition to working at the World Affairs Council, she looks forward to representing UMSL as a civilian delegate at the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference in April. Prior to her current course of study, Katherine taught Jiu Jitsu for five years in North Carolina and Georgia. She found herself drawn to foreign policy during that time and is now excited to jump into a career in international affairs.


Helen Burgess

Helen is a senior at Saint Louis University. She is majoring in International Studies and Economics with a Minor in French. Helen grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.  Prior to her time at the World Affairs Council, Helen studied abroad in Lyon, France at the Université Catholique de Lyon. Her passion for international affairs began in high school when she was involved in the global scholars program at Hathaway Brown School. During her time at the World Affairs Council she hopes to gain experience working with international affairs in a professional environment, learn about the international community in Saint Louis, and learn more about the international visitors who come to Saint Louis.

Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson is a freshman studying Criminology and Criminal Justice at Saint Louis University. In addition to interning at World Affairs Council, Emily volunteers with DOORWAYS Interfaith Residence and is a member of SLU’s rock climbing team. When she was younger, Emily lived in London, England, and she had the opportunity to travel internationally. This inspired in Emily a love for other cultures and an attraction to languages. Emily is interested in international crime, and she is consistently researching foreign affairs. Emily would love to be able to have a career which allows her to travel and to live overseas, and she is grateful for the opportunity World Affairs Council has given her to expand her global perspective.

If you are interested in becoming an intern at WAC-STL, click here!

World Affairs Council of St. Louis Names Foster New Executive Director

The World Affairs Council of St. Louis (WAC-STL) recently named Robert A. Foster as the organization’s new executive director.  Foster’s responsibilities include building corporate and individual memberships, as well as overseeing the speaker series and monthly programming.  In addition to developing and executing communication strategies, he will supervise the council’s financial management.

Foster brings more than 30 years of professional association and communications experience to the position.  He previously served as executive director of the American Optometric Student Association and has worked for various organizations including the World Council of Optometry, Trailnet, and the American Optometric Association.

WAC-STL connects St. Louis to the world by hosting nearly 200 visitors through a State Department global exchange program.  The chapter offers a variety of events ranging from monthly speakers discussing timely global issues to the Great Decisions series of public dialogues.

“The World Affairs Council of St. Louis has connected St. Louis to the world for 70 years,” said WAC-STL President Pierce Powers, Jr.  “We look forward to a new chapter in our organization’s distinguished history and to introducing Mr. Foster to our stakeholders as part of our management team.”

“The World Affairs Councils of America is at the forefront of ‘citizen diplomacy,’ and the St. Louis Chapter is an important gateway to the global community,” Foster said. “It’s an honor to support the organization in its work and to help advance its impact on the community.”

Founded in 1948, The WAC-STL is a non-profit agency that is one of 90 chapters of the World Affairs Councils of America.  The organization, which connects the citizens of the Gateway region to the world, sponsors programs that promote understanding, engagement, relationships, and leadership in world affairs.  WAC-STL is located at 812 Olive St.  For more information, call (314) 727-9988 or visit