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 2019 WACU events:

FLASHPOINTS: America and the World Monthly Lecture Series to focus on global impact issues:
September 2019 – April 2020.  Save the following dates: Wednesday, September 11; Wednesday, October 9; Wednesday, November 13; Tuesday December 10; Wednesday, January 15 (2020); Wednesday, February 12; and Thursday, March 12.

  • Potential topics to include: Economics of Terrorism; Nationalism on the Rise – Why?; Death of Journalism, Fake News and Free Speech in Peril; Human Rights, Immigration and Children; Global Warming – Is there anything we can do to save ourselves and the planet?; etc.

All lectures will be presented by published experts in their fields and will take place at the Ogletree Deakins meeting room, 300 N. Main St., Greenville, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, and includes a light lunch.

Upcoming Distinguished Speaker Events: 

  • Tuesday, August 27: Building Your International Network: Learn How to Expand Your Connections Across the Globe
    11:30 am – 1:00 pm. at the Center for Manufacturing Innovation, 575 Millennium Blvd., Greenville 29607Kathy McAfee, America’s Marketing Motivator, will share her expertise on networking in order to help you make powerful, professional international connections.  In our global economy, international networks have become extremely valuable.  Networking plays a key role in the development and success of businesses across the world and in our local business community.  Ms. McAfee will guide you through the creation of a strategy that will take your international networking to a new level, helping you to find customers and partners abroad and throughout the Upstate.  Lunch is included ($15.00) and Ms. McAfee will be available to sign her books following her presentation.World Affairs Council Upstate, along with Upstate S.C. Alliance and the European American Chamber of Commerce – Carolinas is pleased to welcome Kathy McAfee, a professional speaker, author, and executive presentation coach.  Kathy works with organizations that want a stronger leadership pipeline, and with professionals who want to be outstanding in their field.  Known as America’s Marketing Motivator, Kathy specializes in the arts of high-engagement presentations, effective networking, and strong personal branding.  Learn more about Kathy at her website by clicking here.Cost: $15.00 includes lunch.   Register here.
    Questions?  Contact Tracie Frese at [email protected]
  • Wednesday,September 18: America and Cuba – Friends or Foes? What will the Future Bring?
    6:30 pm
    at the Commerce Club, 55 Beattie Place, 17th floor, Greenville, 29601
    After the Obama thaw, is President Trump returning U.S.-Cuban relations to the chilly days of the Cold War?  Will Cuba be our friend or foe? The World Affairs Council Upstate (WACU), continues its Distinguished Speaker Series with Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, an expert on U.S. – Cuban relations.  Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, retired career Senior Foreign Service officer, spent years navigating the complicated relationship between the U.S. and Cuba as the Deputy Director of Cuban Affairs for the Department of State. Her timely and relevant presentation will consider overcoming the ghost of Fidel Castro and adopting a new approach to Cuba. Join us for a seated dinner, the Ambassador’s presentation, plenty of time for Q&A, and networking.  Registration information coming soon.
  • Tuesday, November 19:  Doing Business in Germany.  Meet and discuss doing business in Germany with Dr. Heike Fuller, German Consul General in Atlanta.
    Save this afternoon.  Details coming soon.
  • Other Upcoming WACU Events in the planning stage:
    • Doing Business in Ireland.  World Affairs Council Upstate, in partnership with Upstate SC Alliance, is pleased to present Shane Stephens, Irish Consul General in Atlanta, for a presentation, Q&A, and light breakfast.
  • If you have an idea for an interesting international business topic or speaker please let us know.

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.

TRAVEL the WORLD with World Affairs Councils of America.  Many of our WACA affiliates offer travel programs to cooperating councils, just another benefit of a WACU membership. The trips offer all the highlights of touring, as well as access to political leaders and local experts for behind the scenes briefings not available to most tourists.  Many WACA tours feature Council leaders who are experts in their fields of diplomacy, journalism or academia to create added-value experiences.  And, perhaps most importantly, travelers become Citizen Diplomats with an opportunity to ‘meet the people’ to foster the dynamic exchange of international cultures and ideas.

Please click for details about the World Affairs Council of Charlotte and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia upcoming travel opportunities .

WACU Steering Committee