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

April 18-26

Barcelona: Art, Culture & People

From the fantastical, undulating architecture of Antoni Gaudí, to flavorful Catalán cuisines, Barcelona is a seaside city that dazzles the senses. Feel the city’s 1,000-year-old history echo down the narrow cobblestone lanes of the intimate Barri Gòtic. Walk in the footsteps of Picasso and sip sparkling cava in the nearby Penedès region on this seven-night journey.

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January 31-14

Egypt & the Eternal Nile2

Begin in vibrant Cairo and journey on to the Great Pyramids, Abu Simbel, and the Upper Nile for a fascinating three-night cruise on Lake Nasser. Embark on a second four-night cruise from Aswan to Luxor, before ending in Old Cairo.

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May 04-09

Inside Washington DC

Our hallmark program! 5-night schedule of inside the beltway small-group briefings and cultural highlights. Stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel. Visit think tanks, embassies, enjoy keynote speakers, allow time on the Hill, and include a docent-led visit to a museum.

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June 09-19

Arctic Expedition: Voyage Under the Midnight Sun

Voyage through the Arctic Circle on this extraordinary 11-day itinerary featuring a seven-night cruise on the Five-Star L’Austral. Sail through an ethereal topography of red sandstone mountains, lush green tundra and awe-inspiring ice formations. Enjoy expert-led excursions to diverse terrains where wildlife roam. Flights round trip Paris/Longyearbyen included.

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July 01-10

Switzerland & the Italian Lakes

Enjoy high alpine splendor in glamorous St. Moritz and get to know the much-loved Italian Lakes region. Along the way, enjoy the natural beauty and distinct cultures of two countries. Stand in awe of magnificent scenery, architecture, and masterpieces including a baroque palace and da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” in Milan on this exciting eight-night journey.

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Education Programs

  1. 12 11

    International Student Summit

    The 2019 International Student Summit on Information and Democracy will simulate a meeting of the Paris Peace Forum, an...

  2. 03 03

    Model Senate Foreign Relations Committee

    The 2020 Model Senate Foreign Relations Committee will explore three issues of global importance, international...

High School Membership

A High School Membership gives access to the Council's suite of educational programming, including the International Student Summit and Model Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as access to the Council's upcoming speaker events. Registration is now open!

Learn More

Beyond Mass Incarceration: How Best to Reform American Criminal Justice?

Filmed live at Eastern State Penitentiary, guests Mark Holden of Koch Industries; Jeffrey Brown of UpLift Solutions; Paul Butler of Georgetown University Law; and Robert Listenbee, Philadelphia First Assistant DA, discuss possible alternatives to incarceration and the best approaches to systematic reform.

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The Council in the News

Democracy Demands Discourse | The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Poroshenko receives International Statesman Award | The Ukrainian Weekly

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Chris Christie speaks to crowd in Philly | 6ABC

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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