Fellows Program

The World Affairs Council Fellows Program offers a unique professional development opportunity to a small group of current greater Seattle business and community leaders. The Fellows convene once a month for breakfast discussions with carefully selected high-caliber international experts who offer unparalleled insight into current global issues. The Fellows Program builds a cohort, enabling participants to connect with their local counterparts who share an interest in international affairs, and promotes  dialogue about how these topics affect their respective fields on a local, state, national, and international level.

Fellows Breakfast














Current Fellows Program Cohort



  • Monthly (September-June) off-the-record breakfast discussions with international experts  to build greater understanding of the local relevance of global issues.

  • Productive connections and dialogue between participants representing business, government, military, education, and non-profit sectors.

  • Year-long WAC membership with further opportunities to participate in substantive policy discussions, invite-only VIP events, and networking events.
  • Access to the extensive WAC Fellows Program Alumni Network of cohorts dating back to 1987.

Previous Fellows Breakfast Topics Include

  • U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities
  • Global Trade Agreements
  • Internet Freedom and Governance
  • U.S. – China Relations
  • International Development and Humanitarian Aid
  • Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement
  • U.S.-Iranian Relations and the Iran Nuclear Deal
  • Humanitarian Challenges in Central and East Africa
  • Chemical, Biological, Nuclear and Radiological Security

Previous Fellows Speakers Include

  • Carol Bellamy – Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Hans Blix – former Chairman, United Nations Monitoring Commission
  • Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins –  Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State
  • Wendy Chamberlin – President, Middle East Institute; former United States Ambassador to Pakistan
  • Ambassador Ryan Crocker – former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon 
  • Jill Dougherty – former CNN White House Correspondent; former CNN Moscow Bureau Chief and Correspondent 
  • Ambassador Roger Meece – former U.S. Ambassador to Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Dr. Sung Joo Han – former Foreign Minister of Korea
  • General Michael Hayden – former NSA and CIA Director
  • His Excellency Vaclav Klaus – former President of the Czech Republic
  • Joseph Stiglitz – Nobel Prize-winning economist
  • Reza Marashi Research Director – National Iranian American Council

Comprehensive List of Previous Speakers and Topics

Select the corresponding Fellows Program cohort year


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 WAC members. Selection is based on current and future leadership in the community, the candidate’s background and interest in international affairs, and ability to contribute to the discussions.

Look here for the 2018-2019 Fellows program application in late spring. 

To download a Fellows Program summary, please click here.

Program Fees

The total cost for the program is $1,750 ($1,800 if paid via credit card). Fellows are frequently sponsored by their companies, an organization, or individual, but are welcome to self-fund as well. 

Previous Sponsoring Organizations Include

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Boeing Company
  • Holland America Line
  • JP Morgan Private Bank
  • KUOW
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • National Center for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • Pacific Market International Worldwide 
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Perkins Coie
  • Ports of Seattle and Tacoma
  • Russell Investments
  • U.S. Navy
  • University of Washington
  • Waggener Edstrom
  • Washington Global Health Alliance