Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

3,709 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, Promotion of International Understanding

Mission: The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a deeper understanding of key contemporary international issues throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1931, the Council is committed to informing opinion leaders and decision-makers about developments around the world as they unfold – and to educating them about the relevance of such developments to the region. The Council has a special focus on secondary schools throughout the region, and works to give students and teachers a more nuanced understanding of the global issues of our time.

Target demographics: educate the community about current world affairs.

Programs: Through its Education Programs the Council works with students and teachers in secondary schools throughout the region. Each year the Council organizes and hosts over 100 events focused on the foreign policy challenges which lie ahead for the successor generation. These events are tailored to a student audience, and reach a combined total of over 11,000 students and teachers in nearly 300 area schools. As a result of these activities – and through the use of modern technology – students in Western Pennsylvania have had the opportunity to engage each other as well as their counterparts in secondary schools from as far away as Brazil, Italy, the Republic of Georgia, South Africa, and Taiwan. The Council also conducts a range of Public Policy Programs for the professional community. Each year, the Council hosts approximately 10 luncheon discussions with major international leaders. Past speakers have included Condoleezza Rice, Thomas Friedman, Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan, and Former Prime Minister of South Korea, Ambassador Han Duk-Soo. The Council also uses other formats – such as breakfast briefings and evening discussion programs – to attract more younger and mid-career professionals to its events and engage them in a discussion of these issues.

Community Stories

65 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has been an invaluable resource throughout my teaching career. It is because of the informed and caring staff that my students and I have been able to grow in our international knowledge and forge connections around the world that we would not have had the opportunity to otherwise. I have participated in their Army War College briefings, served on their teacher advisory board and taken my students to participate in their Student Ambassador Program among other programs. All were a huge success. Thank you WACOP for everything!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I absolutely adore this organization. I have gotten incredible value out of the events the WAC offers for the professional community. They are informative and inspiring and always have guest speakers that are bring tremendous insights about the topic (and they are always in interesting locations so they get me out and about and connected in Pittsburgh). The value of education and insights in a global world cannot be underestimated and the WAC is contributing to making the business community in Pittsburgh smarter, more connected and open to the world.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh conducted a fantastic video conference at our high school which included a world famous author and member of several administrations, Joseph Cirincione. The program was entitled Fifty Years Since the Cuban Missile Crisis What the Future Holds for Global Peace and Security. It was a student driven program with students asking questions directly to Mr. Circione.
Students were engaged, not only with historical topics, but also current situations such as N. Korea and Iran. THe WAC has been an excellent partner and resource for our students.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a public policy researcher, I value the excellent programs provided by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. They routinely bring global thinkers to Pittsburgh, not just to talk, but to engage with the community. As the world becomes more connected, it is essential that Pittsburgh's students, business leaders, educators and all other residents learn about global challenges and opportunities. The professional staff of the World Affairs Council does a fantastic job of preparing our region's residents to thrive in a global environment.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am forever indebted to the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for their outstanding programs, and dedication to our students. Three of my students were given the opportunity for international travel, forever changing their lives, because of the WAC-Pittsburgh.

Also, I've been able to attend many of their outstanding programs - lunch time and otherwise, and I always learning something new and valuable.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a teacher, I have worked with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for the past 5 years. In that time, they have sponsored 3 of my students on all-expense paid summer learning programs to foreign countries. Each year, they also bring guest speakers to my students and organize the Student Ambassador Forum along with multiple video conferences with foreign schools. I have found the organization to be extremely accommodating and thorough in everything they do. In my opinion, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is an entirely professional organization that far exceeds the goals it sets for itself.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Pittsburgh educational community is fortunate to have the opportunities for our students that are available through the World Affairs Council. For the past two years my students have been involved in the Student Ambassador Program. The international speakers that have visited our schools have sparked an enthusiasm and interest within my students to learn more about other cultures. The students listen intently and eagerly and ask a variety of questions throughout the presentations. This program sparked the students’ interest in ways that I could not reproduce alone in the classroom. This speaks volumes about its effectiveness. When the students attend the culminating conference they are able to interact with a diverse group of professionals. Their presentations help them to become geographically literate and better prepared for the global community. This kind of exposure is essential as we raise our youth to become future leaders in an increasingly complex, interconnected, and diverse world.


1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a high school principal at a public school, I find the programming from the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh to be invaluable. The opportunities that my students have had to hear directly from experts across the country and the world about pertinent global issues has been astounding. These experiences are topical and have incredible impact. Additionally, the opportunity to collaborate and speak with students from other countries helps to break down stereotypes and promote positive cultural awareness. Over the last couple of years, our students have communicated with students from Brazil, Pakistan, Slovenia, and Ireland, to name a few. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has become a reliable and vital partner for us that supports our curriculum and the promotion of 21st century skills.-----Ken Lockette, Principal, Avonworth High School

Steve46

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dr. Sokol and his talented team at the World Affairs Council have made tremendous strides increasing the public exposure of the WAC of Pittsburgh in recent years and continue to do so, today. Events cover a broad spectrum of interests and there is truly "something for everyone." I have been a participant in several events, but clearly the keystone event that highlights the importance and impact of the organization was my participation in a week long fact-finding mission to Europe. Aimed at increasing awareness of the European continent's impact on American interests (as well as a sizable dose of history by those who lived and created it), the trip's well planned agenda and remarkable speaker list speaks to global connections the Pittsburgh Council has to offer. The Council's work is helping to drive Pittsburgh's rebirth.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council literally "brings the World to Pittsburgh" by inviting international leaders, scholars, and decision-makers to Pittsburgh to share their insight on very timely events that shape our world. Council members and participants have the opportunity to meet and enter into discussion with these international leaders and experts. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is a very vibrant organization. I had the privilege of visiting Brussels and Prague with fellow Pittsburgh professionals via the World Affairs Council- an opportunity to learn first hand about the European Union and the challenges facing Europe from economic and political perspectives. What a tremendous opportunity!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has proved to be an invaluable asset as an educator. They are able to offer the students opportunities to connect with global leaders and world citizens. Students are able to participate in video-conferences either in attendance with the host or via conferencing equipment as well as being invited to attend lectures and conferences. Students need exposure to new ideas, people and cultures, the council allows them these types of opportunities consistently. A wonderful example of their work was bringing famed author and Iranian expert Dr. Trita Parsi. The World Affairs Council procured Dr. Parsi's latest book for students to read and analyze and then brought him to Cornell for an informative interview session with a group of World Cultures Students. Not only was Dr. Parsi and excellent resource for my students he was also an important influence on them. He shared his knowledge as well as his delight at how much Cornell students wanted to know and were willing to do in order to learn. Experiences like this can never be replaced for our students.

Beyond students, the World Affairs Council offers so much to teachers. They are willing to take the extra time to create a conference for your class or school, share any and all resources that they have, they even extend travel opportunities to teachers. They offer educators the opportunity to enrich their classrooms and they make it easy to do.

I have been fortunate enough to work with the World Affairs Council on several levels, please support their work! What they do for teachers, students and their community is unsurpassed!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council offered me the best oppurtunity a teenager at 16 could ever imagine. Without this oppurtunity I wouldn't be the person I am today. I never thought traveling the world was possible But the world affairs council tought me that anything is impossible if thats what you want it to be. You make it possible by going for it. I participated in two programs Both the Global Travel Scholarship Program (a program where students are sent accros the globe to experience new discoveries and culture a new life and new outlook on life back at home) (I traveled to Morocco for a month as a child, and came back a young leader wanting to make a difference not just in my life but in everyone around me I wanted to be the example I want to see as a world leader), and the Summer Seminar on World Affairs (information, history, excellent speakers, and good people this seminar teaches you about the outside world and the struggles and successes of the world today). Both taught many things and opened up my mind to things I never thought. While in the process of the seminar I wasn't to happy maybe a little board but when I traveled out of the country I seen some of the knowledge I learned as a reality. everything you learn will benefit you if you apply it, and somehow you find ways to actually experience it and The World Affairs Council helped me do just that! I will be particpating in the One Young World Summit as a youth reporter just because of the oppurtunities and doors that this program offers there participants

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure to work with the World Affairs Council for a number of years. One of the most amazing events that I have had the opportunity to participate in was held at our school dealing with Cybersecurity. The World Affairs Council brought experts in cybersecurity to work with our students. The panel included the Consulate General of Estonia and a writer for Wired magazine. They also arranged for our student to talk to students through videoconference about the issue with students as far away as Pakistan and Taiwan. I really cannot say enough about the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. Every project that I have been involved in with them has been absolutely top notch. They are one of my absolute favorite organizations in Pittsburgh.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of partnering with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for two years. The World Affairs Council brings numerous opportunities to students around the region that they might not receive otherwise. They provide ongoing opportunities for our students to connect with experts and their peers in other countries through videoconferencing programs. They also provide our students with opportunities to compete with one another through Academic WorldQuest and to see individuals, such as former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, speak locally. These are just a fraction of the school outreach opportunities that educate and expose teachers and students to a global perspective.

Most recently one of our teachers had the opportunity to travel with the World Affairs Council to Europe to learn about the European Union. When she returned from the trip she was not only reinvigorated, but also had an intimate knowledge of the EU and great first hand stories that she could share with her students when discussing the role and workings of the EU in her classroom.

Please support the work of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. More than any other organization I have worked with throughout my career, they provide an immeasurable amount of enrichment and support to the teachers and students in the Pittsburgh area.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2011, I had the opportunity, along with 11 other young professionals fro Pittsburgh, to travel to Brussels and Prague for a week to learn more about the governance and structure of the European Union and how it affects or could affect our region's business. The trip was extremely well-organized; we had one session after another with high-level individuals representing a variety of different agencies, with just enough time in between for reflection and a little bit of sleep! Although I had been a student of European studies in college, a lot had changed in 10 years, and it truly opened my eyes to what the European Union is today, the challenges it faces in the years to come, and what it means for our region. I especially liked and appreciated the efforts of the World Affairs Council to provide guidance and support where necessary to help us understand the context behind what we were hearing from those with whom we met. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to attend several sessions that the Council has held here in Pittsburgh, and have been impressed every time with the quality of the speakers and the topics presented.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affair Council of Pittsburgh has truly helped inspire students to think globally! As a social studies teacher for over 20 years, I can honestly say this organization has been the best source for speakers, workshops, and global experiences for which I have been involved. From the G-20 Student Summit, video-conferences (which brings students from the Republic of Georgia and Pakistan virtually into our schools in Western PA), summer workshops, and regional seminars, the WAC always provides high level programs for both teachers and students. Countless students I have taught over the years have referenced the WAC programs as the reason they became a better global citizen and interested in current issues. I applaud their efforts to bring the world and global experts to the students and teachers of western PA.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2011, a group of 12 teachers had the opportunity of a life-time to travel to Brussels and Vienna to study the European Union. The trip was coordinated through a grant from the EU and the hard work of The World Affairs Council. Since then, the experience has opened countless doors for my high school students. We have participated in several video conferences on critical current issues, such as, Famine and Political Crisis in Africa, Culture and Daily Life in Brazil, and hosting foreign exchange students from CIEE, just to name a few. The staff at the World Affairs Council are constantly working to provide endless resources and life time experiences for both students and teachers in order to promote global interconnectedness and hands-on educational experiences.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a high school enrichment facilitator, the WAC has been an invaluable resource in helping me to promote global citizenship. The video conferences have connected our students to the countries of Georgia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Brazil. and others as students listen to high caliber speakers and engage in intercontinental discussions with their peers both in the United States and abroad. All of this occurs with a short walk down the hall to the large group instruction room where the videoconference begins and the world opens up! I also had the opportunity to travel to Brussels and Vienna with WAC to study the European Union with a dozen other western Pennsylvania educators of all ages. That experiential learning exceeded what I could ever hope to absorb from a text book. As the ideas have percolated in my brain, my trip has given rise to countless programs that enrich the global education of our students. None of this would be possible without the outstanding programs, the knowledgable staff, and the global connections brought to us by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

Pamela20

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Worlds Affairs Council has been instrumental in directing the development of a virtual cross cultural exchange experience for high school students in the Pittsburgh area. As a support coordinator with CIEE they have offered me their expertise, support and partnerships allowing hundreds of high schools the opportunity to participate in a unique virtual classroom across cultures with participants spanning the globe from Brazil to China. Too name a few, students from Germany, Denmark, Brazil, China and America have come together throughout the school year to share ideas, thoughts, traditions and cultures in an effort to gain awareness and understanding about the cultural differences that exist. Through this project students from varying cultures are learning how to relate and respond to the differences that will not only enhance their current learning experiences but will impact their future as they prepare for college and the global workplace they will soon enter into.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh provides fabulous opportunities for Middle School Students to learn about the world through the Student Ambassador Program. My sixth grade students can experience the culture and history of many world countries through guest speakers that visit our school as well as participation in the Student Ambassador Conference. The program is the highlight of the year for my students.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a senior in high school, who, up until recently, has experienced other cultures and participated in world events only through community service projects and fundraisers (such as raising money for Haiti survivors, etc) in my school. Never had I imaged the opportunities awaiting me through the Pittsburgh World Affairs Council.

I first heard about the Council at the end of my junior year, after being nominated by a teacher for the Council's Travel Abroad Scholarship. I researched the Council and scholarship, and thought, 'Why not give it a shot!' Looking back now, that was a life-changing decision. From the first introductory seminar I attended about the Travel Abroad Scholarship, the Council has opened, and continues to open, countless doors for me. Since then, I have traveled to China as an Experimenter in International Living, experiencing the culture of this foreign country for a month. I've come back a more broad-minded, worldly person. This remarkable experience has, sincerely, shaped the way I intend to live the rest of my life. I owe it to the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

In addition to the amazing feet of sending me to China on full scholarship, they were there every step of the way to ensure that my experience was a rewarding as it could be. It was. Through pre-departure and welcome home seminars they sent me off and brought me home safely. Now that I've returned, I take pride in being a part of the World Affairs Council family. And it does truly feel like a family. I met and formed a tight-knit group with the 17th other recipients of the scholarship. We still stay in touch and share memories of our trips. Beginning college applications and the scary transition into the "real world" the Council administration has helped me with advice in career paths, letters of recommendations, and stand as examples of people in fields that I would like to one day pursue.

Back from China, I am now participating in the World Affairs Council's Apprenticeship in International Affairs. I look forward hearing from professionals in international relations fields at each seminar and know that they will continue to shape my career path.

The Council has brought me to the point I am now. It has shaped how I view my future. They have taken my view of my life and future in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and widened it to encompass the entire world. It goes without saying the number of opportunities and experiences they've opened my eyes to world-wide, and I am more excited than ever for my future.