Maintaining an Active Voice in World Affairs

​Promote global identity in the Upstate. Sustain international engagement in our region. Get involved in leading intellectual discussions on critical issues facing the world. At World Affairs Council Upstate, we are participants in shaping a global tomorrow. Join us in fostering a broad perspective of our ever increasing inter-dependent world by sponsoring, donating, or becoming a member of World Affairs Council Upstate.

Dedicated to fostering a deep understanding of global affairs and cultures, and supported by individuals and businesses, Upstate International engages globally-minded South Carolinians directly with each other and with elected officials, civic leaders, and professionals from around the world. Upstate International works with partner organizations to reach all generations and sectors and is always looking to enhance those partnerships and collaborations.


“The World Affairs Councils of America is the largest nonprofit  grassroots organization in the United States dedicated to educating and engaging Americans on global issues with nearly 100 councils across 40 states reaching more than half a million people a year.” Learn more at

World Affairs Council Upstate Events

Every year, the nation-wide network of World Affairs Councils collectively conducts more than 1200 programs in communities and cities across the nation. Each council sets is own calendar and programs. The WACA offers a number of programs every year, including our annual National Conference, national program series, Leadership Missions, and special programs. It also acts as a distribution center for five national flagship programs: Academic WorldQuest, It’s Your World!, Great Decisions, Travel the World, and World in Transition.

Upcoming WACU events:

America and the World Monthly Lecture Series

  • Topics for the 2018-2019 series, September through March:
    • Thursday, September 13: Challenges of Russian Foreign Policy, presented by Dr. Mike Bressler.
    • Wednesday, October 17: Power to the People? Making Sense of Latin American Elections, presented by Dr. Cleve Fraser.
    • Monday, November 12: Rising Tensions in U.S.-China Relations, presented by Dr. Kate Kauf.
    • Tuesday, December 11: Why is Africa so Poor? presented by Dr. Don Gordon.
    • Wednesday, January 16: EU Minus the UK: The European Union in the Post-Brexit Era, presented by Dr. Brent nelson.
    • Wednesday, February 20: Challenges for the Middle East, presented by Dr. Buket Oztas.
    • Wednesday, March 20: The Palestine-Israel Conflict, presented by Dr. Akan Malici.

Upcoming Distinguished Speaker Events: 

  • Wednesday, October 3 –  Nepal’s National Innovator, Mahabir Pun, To Visit The Upstate. Mahabir Pun has been working on education and other innovations in his home country of Nepal since 1996. He has been honored with the Magsaysay Award, considered the Nobel Prize for Asia and inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. He created the National Innovation Center. Join WACU as Mahabir Pun shares the challenges Nepal faces and what he and others are doing to meet those challenges.
  • October 16 –  The Collision of Ethics and Political Posturing on the World Stage with Former Director, Office of Ethics for the United Nations,  Joan Dubinsky. Joan Dubinsky, former Director of the United Nations Office of Ethics will share her expertise with the Upstate.  Hear what she has to say about the vitriolic attacks that have become commonplace in today’s political climate, what distinguishes ethical leadership from other kinds of leadership, where do current global leaders fall on the ethical leadership scale, and does it matter.
  • October 23Global Fluency 2.0,  Workshop and Panel Discussion for Business


Join The World Affairs Council Upstate 

Join us in educating ourselves on, and promoting a global perspective in, our increasingly inter-dependent world by becoming a member of WACU.

WACU Memberships:

  • Individual Membership: $100.
  • Family Membership $125.
  • Corporate Business Memberships at various levels.  Contact Tracie Frese to find the right fit for your organization. Email her at [email protected]

WACU Benefits:

  • Free admission or discounts on events and programs
  • Automatic membership in Upstate International
  • Publication discounts, including: Foreign Affairs (30% off), Foreign Policy (40% off), The Economist (10% off), The New Yorker (80% off), Harper’s Magazine (38% off), Brookings Institution (20% off books) and World Policy Journal (20% off).
  • Access to World Affairs of Council of America (WACA) Resources: WACA Leadership Network; Discussion Boards, Resource Materials, Authors, Events, and Programming
  • WACA Weekly Digest with updates from around the WACA National Network, including attendance and virtual participation opportunities in programs and discussions with U.S. and international leaders, as well as access to a virtual library of renowned speakers and special events.

Join Now: Click Here 

Engage Opportunities with World Affairs Councils of America

Cover to Cover is a monthly program featuring the most influential authors on subjects of national and international importance.

Offered as a benefit to all current WACA Member Councils, Cover to Cover conference calls are opportunities for Council leaders, members, and supporters to engage with esteemed authors on critical issues. Cover to Cover authors often welcome invitations to speak at Councils. In short, the WACA National Office covers a topic with an expert so that Councils may discover a speaker and cover the topic in even greater depth in their own communities, spearheading a national conversation.

WACA Podcasts feature the most influential authors and experts on subjects of national and international importance. Moderated by WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford.

Listen to the Latest Podcast

KNOW NOW Conference Call Series

The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to present the Know Now conference call series. These calls will feature global thought leaders hosted by WACA as well as local authorities in government, business, academia and cultural fields who are identified and moderated by local Councils, using our national conference call platform to bring local and national issues of global dimensions to our network.

Leadership Missions

For more than two decades, the World Affairs Councils of America has been invited to bring small delegations of council leaders to learn about a host country.  A leadership mission is an overseas fact-finding visit to a city, country, or international organization by a national leadership delegation of the World Affairs Council movement.

WACU Steering Committee