Speaker Series

Speaker Series

Each year, the World Affairs Council of Charlotte recruits internationally renowned government leaders, authors and policy makers for the Speaker Series Program.

Selected speakers present on diverse topics related to global economic crisis, energy policy and climate change, current events, global health, national and global security, foreign policy, public diplomacy and international affairs.

Past speakers include:

  • President Luis Guillermo Solís, President of Costa Rica
  • George W. Bush, former President of the United States
  • Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
  • Alan Krueger, former Chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers
  • Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security
  • General David Petraeus, former Commander, US CENTCOM
  • Sergei Khrushchev, Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies (Brown University) and son of the late Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
  • Major General Michael J. Kingsley, Chief of Staff, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM)
  • Rafael Espada, former Vice President of Guatemala
  • Rick Steves, travel guru and host of Rick Steves’ Europe
  • Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Director of the Peace Corps
  • David Rothkopf, CEO and Editor of the Foreign Policy Group and author of “National Insecurity: US Foreign Policy Making in an Age of Fear”
  • Robert Walker, President, The Population Institute
  • Russell Gold, Senior Energy Reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of “The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World”
  • George Friedman, Founder and Chairman of Stratfor and author of “Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe”
  • Sophie Delaunay, Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders (U.S.)
  • Timothy Beardson, author of “Stumbling Giant: The Threats to China’s Future”
  • Shibley Telhami, world-renowned expert on the Middle East and author of “The World Through Arab Eyes: Arab Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Middle East”
  • Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, former Minister of Defense, Former Minister of Economics & Technology of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Adrian Wooldridge, Management Editor, The Economist

Speaker Series Events

  • Hilarie Bass - President of the American Bar Association

Feb. 15: WACC Speaker Series with Hilarie Bass, President, American Bar Association

Join Hilaris Bass on February 15th as she shares her perspective on international business, domestic and foreign policy, and the role of the ABA in global judicial affairs and at home under the Trump Administration.

Feb. 7: WACC Speaker Series with Dr. Stephen J. Blank, Russian Historian and Senior Fellow, American Foreign Policy Council

Dr. Stephen J. Blank uses his expertise in Russian history to analyze contemporary Russian affairs, advising private firms and U.S. Congress as the "go-to" expert. He currently serves as Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council and will share his insight on U.S.-Russia relations, Putin's foreign policy strategies, and the U.S. administration's relationship with the Kremlin.

Jan 25: WACC Speaker Series with Hon. Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs (Deputy Secretary of State)

The Honourable Andrew Leslie, a long-time public servant in the Canadian government and a top ranking diplomat, will share his insight on the current state of the partnership between our two countries. His professional background in the military, private sector, academia, Parliament, and diplomatic corps will also provide context and expertise on current state of affairs, as well as a global perspective. 

Jan 18: WACC Speaker Series with Ryan Crocker, U.S. Career Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon (1993-2012)

Join the World Affairs Council of Charlotte on January 18th as we host esteemed U.S. diplomat, Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Crocker has served 6-terms as a U.S. Ambassador during some of the most tumultuous times in U.S. history with the Middle East. President Obama called him out of retirement in 2011 to serve as Ambassador to Afghanistan, and President George W. Bush awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.