Fellows Program

The World Affairs Council Fellows program gives an exclusive group of current and future Puget Sound business and community leaders access to high-caliber international experts and enables them to develop contacts with their local counterparts. Through the program, Fellows are exposed to professionals with a profound understanding of how international concerns affect national, state, and local interests, as well as how they use the strength of their positions to positively influence these issues.

Based on an academic year from September to June, the Fellows program includes a 10-month series of monthly breakfasts in downtown Seattle. Discussions examine current international issues affecting our world in a small group setting and cover topics such as U.S. leadership in foreign affairs, global economic interdependence, environmental sustainability, and global health & development. Each monthly breakfast includes a formal presentation by an international expert, followed by in-depth group discussion designed to stimulate exchange.

Highlights of benefits:

  • Fellows social events and networking opportunities with local leaders
  • Personalized contact with international experts and context for Fellows interested in particular world regions or themes
  • Year-long World Affairs Council membership, including special invitations to exclusive programs

Examples of topics:

  • United States leadership in foreign affairs
  • Global economic interdependence
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Global health & development
  • Nuclear responsibility
  • Technology and international security


Each summer, the World Affairs Council selects 25 Fellows from nominations submitted by sponsoring organizations, corporate members, Fellows program alumni, World Affairs Council members, and interested individual applicants. 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 discussions. To apply or nominate an individual, please click here

For a downloadable version of the summary of the Fellows program, click here.

Past topics:

  • For a summary of the 2012-2013 Fellows breakfast topics and speakers, click here.
  • For a summary of the 2011-12 Fellows breakfast topics and speakers, click here.
  • For a summary of the 2010-11 Fellows breakfast topics and speakers, click here.
  • For a summary of the 2009-10 Fellows breakfast topics and speakers, click here.
  • For a summary of the 2008-09 Fellows breakfast topics and speakers, click here.

Program fees:

Participants in the Fellows Program may either have a sponsor (a company, an organization, or an individual) or they may self-fund their participation.

The program fee is $1,500. Most often, a sponsor will provide up to $1,300 (tax deductible under IRS guidelines), and the individual Fellow will personally contribute $200 (minimum allowed personal contribution). The sponsor’s contribution supports the year-long programming and the individual contribution defrays the costs for the monthly breakfasts, venue, and mailings. Limited scholarships may also be available.

Past participants include:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Boeing Company
  • Holland America Line
  • KUOW
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Perkins Coie
  • Ports of Seattle and Tacoma
  • U.S. Navy
  • University of Washington
  • Waggener Edstrom
  • Washington Global Health Alliance

Past speakers include:

  • Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Hans Blix, former Chairman, United Nations Monitoring Commission
  • Wendy Chamberlin, President of the Middle East Institute and Former United States Ambassador to Pakistan
  • Robert Gates, United States Secretary of Defense
  • General Michael Hayden, former NSA and CIA Director
  • Thomas Pickering, Ambassador, United States Department of State
  • Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Award-winning Economist
  • Dr. Sung Joo Han, former Foreign Minister of Korea

For more information about the Fellows Program, please email us or call (206) 441-5910.

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