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.

Upcoming events

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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October 13-20

Understanding the Civil Rights Movement

Our carefully designed program traces the history of this movement which began in 1955. We stop at the major sites of the movement - from Selma to the Little Rock High School - and meet with many of the figures who were involved.

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November 07-17

Seminar in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait & Qatar

Join us as we explore four countries of the Arab Gulf where the last few years have seen enormous growth and change. Our rich program travels through Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar meeting with diplomats and local leaders as we seek to understand the geo-political narrative of the region. $8,995 per person.

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January 27-09

New Zealand by Sea: Milford Sound to Auckland

Tour lush green islands, from world-famous Milford Sound on the South Island to the city of Auckland on the North Island, aboard the Caledonian Sky as you explore New Zealand, a country of striking contrasts. Learn about sheep farming, marvel at the tumbling waterfalls of Milford Sounds, and explore the heartland of Maori culture in Rotorua.

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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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Education Programs

  1. 07 08

    2019 Summer Global Leadership Seminar

    The 2019 Summer Global Leadership Seminar is a week-long summer program for high school students titled "The Rise of...

July 07

2019 Summer Global Leadership Seminar

The 2019 Summer Global Leadership Seminar is a week-long summer program for high school students titled "The Rise of Political Populism". Students will explore this complex and fascinating topic and will hear from experts, policymakers and academic on the global rise of populism. Students will engage in debates, activities and a culminating trip to Washington D.C. throughout the week.

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The Whole Truth Season 4 Trailer

Season 4 of The Whole Truth premieres on WHYY on June 30, 2019, at 11 a.m., and on public television stations nationwide July 2019—check your local listings!

Watch Now

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