The World Affairs Council Fellows Program offers a unique professional development opportunity to a small group of greater Seattle's business and community leaders. The Fellows convene monthly for private roundtable discussions with carefully selected high-caliber international experts who offer unparalleled insight into current global issues, in addition to meeting throughout the year for additional Council events and dedicated networking opportunities.
- Monthly (September-June) off-the-record, private roundtables with international experts to build greater understanding of global issues with local relevance.
- Quarterly networking receptions with the cohort to build ties within the group as well as support for additional Fellows-led opportunities (workplace tours, informal gatherings, group discussions).
- Productive connections and dialogue among participants representing business, government, military, education, and non-profit sectors.
- Year-long World Affairs Council membership with further opportunities to participate in substantive policy discussions, invite-only events, and networking.
- Access to the extensive Fellows program alumni network where participants continue with quarterly breakfast discussions, drive ongoing conversations, identify new opportunities to strengthen their network, and serve as proactive leaders and bridge builders in their respective communities.
Each summer, the World Affairs Council selects a Fellows Program cohort from individual application submissions and nominations placed by sponsoring organizations, corporate members, Fellows Program alumni, and Council members. Selection is based on current and future leadership in the community, commitment to attend the cohort's programs, the candidate’s interest in international affairs, and ability to contribute to the discussions.
While originally designed to be an exclusively in-person experience, we will consider virtual participation on a case-by-case basis as work travel or other commitments affect a Fellow's ability to attend in person. Similarly, we may take advantage of our technology platform to present select speakers virtually but Fellows should plan on most sessions being in-person discussions.
We are accepting applications on a rolling basis until we close our recruitment process.
Upon acceptance into the program, all Fellows will be asked to take a short intake survey about interests and any potential scheduling constraints. The program fee is due by September 15.
The total cost for the program is $2,000 ($2,060 if paid via credit card). Fellows are frequently sponsored by their companies, but are welcome to self-fund as well.
Previous sponsoring organizations include:
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Boeing Company
- Bryant Christie
- Consulate General of Canada in Seattle
- Davis Wright Tremaine
- Gates Foundation
- Holland America Line
- Goldman Sachs
- JP Morgan Private Bank
- Microsoft Corporation
- National Center for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
- Northeastern University
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Perkins Coie
- Port of Seattle
- Russell Investments
- U.S. Navy
- University of Washington
- Wells Fargo
- Washington Global Health Alliance
Read the bios of our Fellows program cohort here.
Click here to meet the 2022-2023 Fellows cohort.
- Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon
- Ambassador Mikko Hautala, Ambassador of Finland to the United States; previously Ambassador of Finland to the Russian Federation
- John Demers, Corporate Secretary, Boeing, as well as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Finance & Strategy and Environmental & Enterprise Operations, former United States Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division
- Juan Lavista Ferres, Vice President, Chief Data Scientist and Lab Director, Microsoft AI for Good Research Lab
- Naima Green-Riley, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and the School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; Nonresident Fellow, Digital Forensic Lab, Atlantic Council
- Ambassador Michele J. Sison, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
- Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Senior Fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, the Republic of Armenia, and the Kyrgyz Republic.
- Richard Ragan, UN World Food Program's Country Representative to Yemen; Senior United Nations Staff Member; former WFP Representative to Bangladesh, Libya, Liberia, Nepal, Tanzania, North Korea, and Zambia.
- Arun Venkataraman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.
- Ambassador Yohannes Abraham, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN; Ambassador Brian McFeeters, U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia; Ambassador MaryKay L. Carlson, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines
Read about the 2021-2022 cohort on our webpage here.
- Alice Hill, Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations
- Emma Belcher, President, Ploughshares Fund
- General Barry McCaffery, National Security and Terrorism Analyst, NBC News
- Barbara Slavin, Director of the Future of Iran Initiative
- Ambassador Douglas E. Lute, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO
- Farah Pandith, Author, Foreign Policy Strategist, and former Diplomat
- Jon Czin, Director for China, National Security Council
- Ambassador Johnnie Carson, former Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs
- Suzan DelBene, U.S. Congresswoman
- Jean-Arthur Régibeau, Belgian Ambassador to the U.S.
- Chris Inglis, National Cyber Director and Advisor to the President on Cybersecurity
- Lina Yoon, Senior Researcher, Asia Division of Human Rights Watch
- Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Program at Brookings and former Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs, National Security Council
- Chuck Hagel, former Secretary of Defense
Read about the 2020-2021 cohort on our webpage here.
- Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense
- Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security
- Lieutenant General Nina Armagno, U.S. Space Force's director of staff for headquarters
- Jacob Lew, former Secretary of the Treasury
- Ambassador Mike McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia
- Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Secretary General of NATO
- Leila Zerrougui, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General and former Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Ambassador Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross
- Ambassador Ronald Kirk, former U.S. Trade Representative
- Susan Thornton, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Community Engagement Officer