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

WACC Speaker Series (March 8, 2017)

Join us at the Charlotte City Club on March 8th with Dr. Shelley Rigger, Brown Professor of East Asian Politics, Chair of Chinese Studies and Assistant Dean for Educational Policy, Davidson College, as she shares her perspective about the current state of affairs between the U.S. and China and the challenges and complexities that lie ahead for the new administration in Asia.

WACC Speaker Series Panel on the Middle East (January 18, 2017)

A program of the World Affairs Councils of America supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Join the World Affairs Council of Charlotte on Wednesday, January 18th as we host Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Dr. Jim Walsh for a panel discussion on the Middle East.

WACC Speaker Series with Detlev Ruenger, December 2, 2016

Join the World Affairs Council of Charlotte for a WACC Speaker Series luncheon hosting Detlev Ruenger, Consul General of Germany in Atlanta. The Consul General will share his insights on current foreign policy strategies in Germany, the ongoing refugee crisis and international security concerns, and U.S.-Germany bilateral relations.

WACC Speaker Series with Chuck Hagel, US Secretary of Defense (2013-2015), December 1, 2016

Join the World Affairs Council of Charlotte on Thursday, December 1st as we host Chuck Hagel, US Secretary of Defense (2013-2015). Having served at the highest levels of the Federal Government, in Congress and as Secretary of Defense, Secretary Hagel will share his perspectives on current and past US foreign policy, the direction of US involvement in international engagement, recent global developments, and issues of international security.