About the Council

Believing that 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.

Established in 1949 as a forum for discussing differing points of view, the Council does not endorse candidates for public office nor lobby for policies. Membership is open to all who share its principles. 

Education Programs and Speaker Events

The Council plays a pivotal role in the region, educating the public about world affairs. For almost five decades, the Council has sponsored a nationally acclaimed world affairs youth education and development program that has become a staple part of the curriculum of major school districts in southern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware. Each year, as many as 2,600 students and teachers from more than 100 elementary and secondary schools make use of extensive resource material, guest speakers, conferences, lectures, simulation programs, and field trips provided by the Council.

As one of the top public policy forums in the nation, the Council also offers a diverse series of more than 30 informative programs each year, where Council members are afforded the unique opportunity to participate in direct discussion with some of the world’s most influential leaders and experts, and the chance to gain firsthand insight into the most critical issues of the day.

The Council has hosted more than 5,000 sought-after speakers. Government leaders, heads-of-state, journalists, academics, humanitarians and corporate executives have graced the Council podium, offering members the chance to meet and interact with the people who shape our world and providing the nation one of its most respected forums within the American marketplace of ideas.

Travel the World

The Council also has been offering tours to members and cooperating Councils for more than 40 years. These trips offer all the highlights of touring, as well as access to political leaders and other local experts who give the behind-the-scenes views and briefings that make our trips unique. Many of our tours feature leaders such as career diplomats and journalists who share their expertise with our travelers. The World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) has designated the Philadelphia Council’s Travel the World program as a national Flagship program of excellence.

Membership and Development

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. Membership at all levels gives you access to the most influential figures of the national and international scene, as well as opportunities to develop social and professional contacts through networking. Firms serve their customers and clients and, collectively, the Council serves the community and country.

The Whole Truth with David Eisenhower

Joining with WHYY TV and American Public Television (A.P.T.), the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia has brought its style of civil, thoughtful, and enlightening debate on issues of the day to national public television with The Whole Truth with David Eisenhower. Each half-hour episode of The Whole Truth tackles some of the weightiest public affairs issues of our time, with a focus that’s global and long-term in scope.

Most television shows on the pressing issues of our day are like political ping-pong matches, heated exchanges of partisan talking points, advocacy, characterized, at best, by people telling partial truths. It takes a determined and incisive mind to cut through the clutter, to see through the obfuscation.

Host David Eisenhower’s approach to political debate is thoughtful, deeply analytical, and always informed by a sense of the larger picture, and brings an unequivocally evenhanded style to the forum of televised public debate. Conducting neither a traditional one-on-one “interview” show nor a conventional “roundtable,” his aim is to uncover the reality behind today’s toughest issues, leaving the partisan noisemaking out of the equation. Innuendo, talking points, and half-truths are disallowed. There is only one acceptable inquiry: the truth, and nothing but… The Whole Truth.

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.