Democracy demands discourse.

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to informing and engaging people of all ages on matters of national and international significance. The Council provides its members and the greater Philadelphia community with access to influential figures in the global arena as well as opportunities to visit fascinating destinations through its unique travel program. With the support of individual and corporate members, the Council's global education program enhances the education of area students who are the citizens, workforce, and leaders of the future. Carrying its mission beyond Philadelphia, the Council produces the national public television series, The Whole Truth with David Eisenhower.

Become a Member

Whether you're a student, a business professional, or an individual with a keen interest in the news and the world around you, you'll discover the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia to be one of the best ways to fulfill those interests.

Meet world leaders and experts.

The Council is one of the top public policy forums in the nation and offers a diverse series of more than 30 substantive speaker events on a variety of topics each year.

Support the Next Generation.

The Council's nationally acclaimed world affairs youth education and development program has become a staple of the curriculum of major school districts in southern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware.

Travel the World.

When you travel with the Council, you won't just experience the vacation of a lifetime, you'll also meet political leaders and local experts who give behind-the-scenes views and briefings that make our trips unique.

Discover "The Whole Truth."

Half hour episodes of the Council's public television series, which tackles some of the weightiest public affairs issues of our time, focus on global and long-term issues.

Featured Trip

May 11-19

Classical Cities of Spain featuring Segovia, Toledo and Salamanca

Explore one of Spain’s most romantic regions, brimming with entrancing cities and towns steeped in medieval history, on this seven-night, deluxe stay based in Segovia. Visit Salamanca, Madrid, Ávila, Toledo and a royal palace in San Ildefonso. From splendid cathedrals and turreted fortresses to a storybook castle and a monumental Roman aqueduct, relish unforgettable discoveries!

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March 11-24

Egypt: Past, Present and Future

On this 14-day exploration of Egypt’s rich heritage visit the Great Pyramids with special private access to the paws of the Sphinx of Giza, the Valley of the Kings, the spectacular funerary boat of Cheops, the fabulous Temple of Karnak, Kom Ombo, and Abu Simbel.

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May 21-31

Legacies of Race

Journey south into the heart of the civil rights movement to gain a deeper understanding of the historic and continued struggle for racial equality in the United States. Begin in New Orleans, continue to Birmingham, Alabama and end in Montgomery. Study and discuss how these destinations ignited a movement that would define this pivotal moment in American history.

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May 30-07

Ancient Empires: Valetta to Rome

Discover an intriguing mélange of cultures on this seven-night cruise from Valletta to Rome aboard the Five-Star, small ship Le Jacques Cartier. This custom-designed itinerary features the rich history of Malta, Sicily’s Taormina, Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast and superbly excavated Pompeii. Malta Pre- and Rome Post-Program Options.

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June 06-14

Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords

Join us for a unique journey to Scotland’s rarely visited Orkney and Shetland Islands and Norway’s majestic coastal fjords. Cruise from Glasgow to Bergen aboard the Le Champlain. Including a highlight to the sites of Orkney Island’s Neolithic Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae, including a special presentation by the Ness of Brodgar archaeological site director and head archaeologist.

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Education Programs

  1. 01 27

    January Speaker Series

    This fourth installment of the Council’s new Education Speaker Series will explore the peacebuilding and reconciliation...

March 02 2021

Global Economic Forum

The 2021 Global Economic Forum (GEF) will explore the intricacies of the climate emergency, including a solutions-oriented approach to combating the global issue. The program will simulate an international competition for funding, with students presenting innovative solutions to core climate issues.

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America's Role in the World

Bill Kristol, Director of Defending Democracy Together; Dr. Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT; and Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, discuss what is and should be the right and best role for the United States in world affairs.

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The Council in the News

U.S. policy in Middle East pushes action without strategy | Opinion

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Democracy Demands Discourse | The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Poroshenko receives International Statesman Award | The Ukrainian Weekly

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  • It was a terrific week with many excellent speakers. I think it was the best IDC I’ve attended and I’ve been going since 2010. Thanks for putting together such a great week. Everything appeared to go off without a hitch, at least from the attendees' point of view. The clouds even parted and the rain stopped when the group arrived at the Taipei representatives office... I look forward to next year.

    Bill Korstad

    "Inside Washington, DC" traveler
  • On behalf of Bishop Shanahan High School's World Affairs Club students and myself, I would like to thank you for the opportunity that you provided us [to attend an event with Secretary Janet Napolitano]. As always the event was amazing. The chatter in the van on the drive home sealed the testimony--tiny screens and texts were no match for the impact of Madame Secretary Janet Napolitano on teens (and their teacher).

    Joan Hayes

    English Department and World Affairs Club Moderator at Bishop Shanahan High School
  • "[The Whole Truth is]…a refreshingly thoughtful look at the challenges facing our country and the world. No shouting, no talking over each other; just respectful debate and discussion.”

    The Exeter Bulletin

  • “When traveling abroad, we like to get the real ‘feel’ of the country through sight, sounds & smells. This trip accomplished all spades! History, architecture, political atmosphere, social situations and seeing the standard of living up close and personal. The music and spirit of the people can only truly be appreciated by being in the country. Many thanks for a wonderful experience!”

    Suzanne Simpson, CT

  • “[The Whole Truth brings the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia’s] lecture and discussion series, considered to be a jewel on the political and diplomatic circuit, to a wider audience, one that did not have to be present in a Philadelphia auditorium to partake or participate in often probing debates.”

    Delaware County Daily Times

  • “This tour was wonderful! Our Cuban guide was one of the best! She knew a lot of history as well as current issues.”

    Dianna Jabis, NY

  • “The Game Drives were the highlight of this trip. Seeing the large animals in their natural habitats was just spectacular!”

    Barbara Weiss, CA

Winner of Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly 2019 - Speaker Series