Merger with CDI

June 30, 2023

Today, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia (the Council) and Citizen Diplomacy International Philadelphia (Citizen Diplomacy) announce their official merger following the formal approval by Philadelphia’s Orphan’s Court on June 21, 2023. The unified entity, a leader and champion of international affairs, operates under the name World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, with Lauren Swartz continuing to serve the merged organization as President and CEO.

The Council will continue to execute its outstanding public policy forums, renowned speaker series, world travel, professional development, and acclaimed youth education programs, including its partnership with the School District of Philadelphia for the William W. Bodine High School for International Affairs. Citizen Diplomacy’s mission and initiatives, including its role as the official partner to the U.S. Department of State for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), facilitation of Philadelphia’s Sister Cities programs and the Citizen Diplomat Academy virtual international youth exchange program, will also remain central to the merged organization.

In addition to the official merger, the Council announces Peggy Leimkuhler, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of Firstrust Bank, as the Council's new Board Chair, effective July 1, 2023. Leimkuhler has served on the board and executive committee of the Council since 2008.

“Peggy has demonstrated exceptional commitment to advancing the Council's mission, and I look forward to the contributions she will make towards the Council’s continued growth and success as new Board Chair,” said current Board Chair for the Council, Michael Farrell, Managing Director of Private Wealth Management at SEI Investments.

“I feel privileged to take on this expanded role at such an exciting time for the Council and to support the leadership and staff in their work,” said Peggy Leimkuhler, incoming Board Chair, the Council. “I am committed to continuing to bring incredible value to partners and members as the Council advances its mission in educating Philadelphians on topics of international relations, offering travel opportunities and forging relationships with cities and delegations across the world. ”

Philadelphia Business Journal

Two nonprofits focused on making Philadelphia a global city merge with over 130 years of experience