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

March 01-10

Israel: Land of Cultural Treasures

Experience the stirring beauty of Israel, from Tel Aviv’s White City to Old Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. Taste regional olive oils, falafel, spice blends and wine. Lunch with a Druze family in their home. Visit Yad Vashem and partake in expert-led discussions. Discover multi-faceted Israel and its diverse people on this unforgettable small-group journey.

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April 13-29

Along Central Asia’s Silk Road

Traveling the ancient Silk Road connecting East and West, encounter a mélange of culture and religion, art and architecture that conjures tales of trade and treasure, intrigue and empire. On this exciting journey, relish the exotic – embracing the humanity shared with the welcoming people of Central Asia.

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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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June 21-29

Circumnavigation of Iceland

Discover the ethereal beauty of Iceland on a seven-night circumnavigation of this distinctive Nordic island nation. Cruise aboard the newest Five Star expedition ship, Le Bellot, launching in 2020. See landscapes of ancient Viking ruins and crystalline glaciers atop simmering volcanoes. Cross the Arctic Circle on Grímsey Island and cruise along Surtsey, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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July 30-14

Discovering Eastern Europe

Discover a beautiful, poignant part of the world on this comprehensive small group tour that provides a generous overview of four fascinating nations – with dynamic Warsaw and medieval Krakow, splendid Budapest, grand Vienna, and proud Prague. Experience Germany’s cosmopolitan capital on an optional 4-day/3-night Berlin post-tour extension.

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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