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Upcoming Events

    • March 07, 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Hall of Nations

    The San Diego World Affairs Council Presents the 

    Distinguished Speaker Series


    Marie Arana


    "LATINOLAND: A Portrait of America’s Largest and Least Understood Minority" 

    Thursday, March 7th, 2024

    6:00pm - 8:00pm

    Hall of Nations, Balboa Park 

    2191 Pan American W Rd, San Diego, CA 92101

    About Marie Arana:

    Marie Arana was born in Lima, Peru. She is the author of the memoir American Chica, a finalist for the National Book Award; two novels, Cellophane and Lima Nights; the prizewinning biography Bolivar; Silver, Sword, and Stone, a narrative history of Latin America; and The Writing Life, a collection from her well-known column for The Washington Post. She is the inaugural Literary Director of the Library of Congress and lives in Washington, DC, and Lima, Peru.

    About the Presentation:

    “To tell the truth, we have no name. We never did,” writes Marie Arana, “We were simply tribes of this hemisphere, inheritors of a natural world… We gave ourselves a multitude of names. Thousands of years later, when we were invaded and conquered, first by Spain, then by a battery of occupiers and usurpers, we became colonies to power—united by the boot, the sword, the crown, the cross, and the Spanish language.”

    In LATINOLAND: A Portrait of America’s Largest and Least Understood Minority (Simon & Schuster; February 20, 2024), the award-winning author and historian Marie Arana offers readers a sweeping, personal portrait of the largest racial and ethnic minority in the United States. 

    “Latinos” does not represent a single group – they were some of the earliest immigrants to what is now known as the US, and they are some of the country’s newest arrivals; they are White, Black, Indigenous, and Asian; they are domestic workers, day laborers, successful artists, corporate CEOs, and US senators. Once overwhelmingly Catholic, they are now increasingly Protestant and Evangelical. Once faithfully Democratic, they now vote Republican in growing numbers. In LATINOLAND, Arana tells stories that often go ignored, encapsulating Latinos’ “grand diversity that defies any one label.”

    Based on prodigious research, hundreds of interviews, and Marie Arana’s own life experience as a Latina, LATINOLAND unabashedly celebrates the resilience, character, diversity, and little-known history of our largest and fastest-growing minority. The author of several award-winning books – American Chica, Bolivar, and most recently, Silver, Sword, and Stone – Arana is a beloved member of the literary community, serving as the inaugural Literary Director of the Library of Congress and previously a columnist for the Washington Post. Arana has devoted her career to exploring Latinos’ origins, identities, and histories in the United States, and is uniquely qualified to tell this massive story.

    About Dr. Julia Media, Moderator:

    Julia M. Medina is Professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures at the University of San Diego. She earned her Ph D from the University of California, Davis in nineteenth and twentieth centuries Latin American Literature, with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory.  Her research focuses on non-fiction, visual culture and environmental humanities in Central America. Medina is on the executive committee of the Latin American Studies Program at the University of San Diego and is a member of the selection committee for the San Diego Latino Film festival. She was born  and raised in Nicaragua and grew up in northern California.

    Special Bonus Opportunity

    from our Community Partner, Classics 4 Kids, below!

    As a special treat, we are thrilled to offer complimentary tickets to SDWAC members attending LATINOLAND on Thursday, March 7th, 2024:

    Immerse yourself on an extraordinary musical journey as the Classics Philharmonic Orchestra joins forces with the trailblazing SABROSAS LATIN ORCHESTRA, San Diego's exclusive all-female salsa band. Feel the heartbeat of the rhythms, guided by the mesmerizing artistry of acclaimed dancer and teaching artist Juan Carlos Blanco from the Center for World Music. Get ready to be moved, inspired, and captivated by the fusion of classical mastery and the vibrant energy of Latin beats.

    Choose from two exciting showtimes on Friday, March 8th, at 9:45 am or 11:45 am at the prestigious Balboa Theatre. Each performance is a dynamic 45-minute showcase.

    Please email for your complimentary tickets.

    Additional support for this program is made possible from Mana de San Diego, an organization with a mission to transform communities by empowering Latinas to achieve upward mobility and a better quality of life

    • April 16, 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • National University

    The San Diego WorldAffairs Council Presents the 

    Distinguished Speaker Series


    William Slomanson

     Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Thomas Jefferson School of Law


    "Journey Through the Middle East:

    A Visual Tour" 

    Tuesday April 16th, 2024

    6:00pm - 8:00pm

     National University 

    9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123

    Presentation Description: Most of us have studied the Middle East in a variety of educational contexts. We are aware of the conflicts. But we could all benefit from: (1) traveling there; or (2) being taken there via this photo presentation of some spectacular venues, and discussion about the (primarily non-political) history of the "Bible Belt:" Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. Did you ever wonder about what that area of the world actually looks like? Why it's a tourist hot spot for sophisticated travelers? Attending this presentation will yield the ability to more intelligently think and communicate about the Middle East.     

    About William Slomanson:

    Prior to law school, Professor Slomanson was a Navy officer and awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for his service in Viet Nam. He was an attorney for a Los Angeles insurance defense firm. In 1992, he was appointed Editor or of the American Society of International Law’s section on the United Nations Decade of International Law−serving as Chair of the section from 1995 to 2006. In 1993, he lectured on the teaching of international law to the United Nations Sixth Committee (legal) at the United Nations in New York. In 1997, he taught the school’s first paperless course, based on his web page and motions submitted via e-mail.

    In 1999, Professor Slomanson was appointed to the California Law Revision Commission’s Civil Procedure Panel of Experts. He taught in Kosovo each summer, where he was a Visiting Professor at the Pristina University (2002-2011). Professor Slomanson has lectured on international topics in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, England, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Kosovo, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and various locations in the United States. In Fall 2007, he was appointed to serve as a Corresponding Editor for the American Society of International Law’s International Legal Materials.

    In 2015, he received his twelfth Thomas Jefferson School of Law Student Bar teaching award and the San Diego County Law Library Foundation Bernard E. Witkin Award for Excellence in Legal Education. In 2017, Professor Slomanson received the Marquis Who’s Who Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, he received the Student Bar’s Lewis and Clark Award for Innovative Teaching. In 2023, he received the California Western School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award.

    Professor Slomanson is listed in the Directory of American Scholars, Who’s Who in American Law and Who’s Who in American Education. He has published extensively in the fields of civil procedure and international law−having authored, co-authored, or edited twenty-eight books. His scholarship has been cited over 4,000 times.

    • May 09, 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • National University

    The San Diego World Affairs Council Presents the 

    Distinguished Speaker Series


    Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio, US Navy (ret)


    "America and the World to 2030: Cooperation, Competition, Confrontation, or Conflict?"

    Thursday May 9th, 2024

    6:00pm - 8:00pm

     National University 

    9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123

    Presentation Description

    The non-political discussion will present current security challenges facing America and the World, with a focus on China, Russia, and the Middle East.  Reviewing why nations are acting as they do, analysis will look at the challenges faced by antagonists as well as their objectives.  The presentation will conclude by looking at the globe's alternate futures in the 2030 timeframe, along with US attributes that impact America's future.

    About Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio, US Navy (ret)

    Vice Admiral (VADM) Martoglio is an advisor to a wide variety of activities including academic, healthcare, and civic organizations, and the US Government.  His focus is on national security, international relations, and strategic leadership.

    VADM Martoglio spent about half of his forty-year military career in the US Navy at sea in cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers.  While at sea, he commanded an Aegis destroyer, a destroyer squadron, and the RONALD REAGAN Aircraft Carrier Strike Group.

    VADM Martoglio spent the other half of his career developing strategy and leading military operations, initially for the US Navy then for all US military forces.  With five tours of duty in Washington, he has also served in senior positions in Asia and Europe.  A recognized expert in strategic planning and as one of the few senior military officers with experience in both Europe and Asia, he continues to be an active contributor to our nation’s security - advising and speaking on issues impacting America, especially those involving Russia and China.  Additionally, he teaches grand strategy and defense policy at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. 

    VADM Martoglio is a 1978 graduate of the US Naval Academy and he holds a master’s degree, with highest distinction, in National Security and Strategic Studies from the US Naval War College.  His military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (three awards), Legion of Merit (seven awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards) and a variety of other personal and campaign medals and ribbons.

    VADM Martoglio is married to Darlene Levandosky, formerly  of Cleveland, Ohio, a multi-award-winning commercial banker.  They are active in the San Diego community and live in Coronado, California.

    • June 15, 2024
    • 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Digital Gym Cinema

    The San Diego World Affairs Council Presents

    Private Movie Screening / Director Meet & Greet

    ”Midnight Traveler: Recounting a Personal Refugee Experience from Afghanistan to the United States” 


    Director Hassan Fazili & Family 

    Hassan Fazili's latest documentary, Midnight Traveler, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and won a Special Jury Award. Other award also including, 2019 Berlin international film festival Winner Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention , 2020 Emmy award outstanding current affairs documentary and 2020 Peabody award.

    Join us for this exclusive movie screening and an opportunity to meet & greet the Director, Hassan Fazili, and his family while they discuss their harrowing refugee journey from Afghanistan to the United States.


    Location: Digital Gym Cinema 

    UCSD Park & Market

    1100 Market St, San Diego, California 92101

    Parking Instructions here

    (also easily located near the Park Trolley Station)

    *This SDWAC opportunity is made possible by the generous support of our corporate nonprofit sponsor, Bright Light Volunteers International, whose mission is to to make the world a brighter place by providing educational service opportunities that foster the development of

    global leaders and citizens.*

Past events

February 22, 2024 Distinguished Speaker Series "The 2024 Elections in Mexico and the U.S.: Implications for the Bilateral Relationship” with Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow
January 11, 2024 Distinguished Speaker Series ”The Essential Role of Social Mobilization in Confronting the Climate Crisis: Implications for Global Action” with Professor Adam Aron
December 04, 2023 Distinguished Speaker Series "The Magical Realism of Colombia: A Balancing Act Between Macroeconomic Stability and Political Violence” with Professor Javier Mejia
November 02, 2023 Distinguished Speaker Series "Beyond the American Lens: The Legacy of War, Transgenerational Trauma, Reconciliation, and Healing'' with Le Ly Hayslip
October 24, 2023 Distinguished Speaker Series "Blueprints for a More Modern US Diplomatic Service: US-Turkey Relations" with Ambassador Marc Grossman
September 20, 2023 Lunch & Learn Series "The Rise of Terrorism in Africa" with Dr. Chayanika Deka at Royal India on Miramar Road
July 20, 2023 Distinguished Speaker Series "U.S. Policy Towards the Horn of Africa" with Ambassador Michael Hammer
May 09, 2023 Distinguished Speaker Series - Ibrahim Al-Marashi presents: "Iraq's Future, 20 Years after the 2003 War"
April 20, 2023 Engage America 2023: The U.S. - Mexico Cross Border Sewage Crisis
April 11, 2023 Distinguished Speaker Series - Joël Fort presents "Yemen: A Tragedy Under the Radar"
March 30, 2023 Dinner with Diplomats Series - Ambassador Kenneth Juster - "A US-India partnership: The Emergence of a Leading Global Power"
February 18, 2023 Distinguished Speaker Series- Krzysztof Szczęsny and Emily Schroen - "The Humanitarian Response to the War in Ukraine" - in partnership with Americans for Ukraine
December 06, 2022 Annual Members Meeting, Honoring Dr. M.C. Madhavan, & the Distinguished Speaker Series Featuring Carl Nettleton
November 02, 2022 Distinguished Speaker Series - Ambassador Todd Chapman - "Is Democracy at Stake? Brazil's Electoral Battles"
October 25, 2022 Distinguished Speaker Series - Gregory A. Daddis, Ph.D. - "Facing Frustration and Failure – What We Can Learn from the American Experience in Vietnam"
September 15, 2022 Distinguished Speaker "Dinner Series" - Richard Feinberg, Ph.D. & Diplomat
May 17, 2022 Distinguished Speaker Series - Corinne Goria - "Sewn together: Global storytelling for Social Justice"
April 19, 2022 "Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)"
March 29, 2022 U.S. Foreign Policy Amid Global Crisis with Dr. Richard Haass
March 22, 2022 The Binational (US/Mexico) Fresh Water Crisis
March 15, 2022 Distinguished Speaker Series - Ambassador George A. Krol - "Thirty Years After the Fall of the USSR"
March 10, 2022 Social Media & the Future of Democracy, presented by the NCRC
January 27, 2022 Distinguished Speaker "Soft Power" Series - Stephen B. Nix - "Ukraine’s History and European Future"
January 11, 2022 Reflections on Afghanistan with Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann
December 07, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Trygve Olson - "Belarus: The long road to freedom."
October 26, 2021 Furthering North American Collaboration
October 13, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Peter Núñez - "Politics has Affected Border Security, Immigration, and Drug Trafficking"
September 21, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Jack Devine & Jonathan Ward, Ph.D. - "Russia & China - Preparing America for Our Greatest Strategic Challenge"
August 05, 2021 A Talk on World Hunger with Kenro Oshidari, United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) - the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize recipient
July 08, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series - Daniel Miller - "A Cowboy in Mongolia - In Search of the Sacred in the Steppes”
June 10, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series - Col. Christopher Conlin - "Iraq: Iron Hand, Velvet Glove, Glass House - Employing Soft Power in Hard Places"
May 13, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Anish Goel, Ph.D. - "India in South Asia: Fraught Regional Relationships"
May 12, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series Part IV
April 21, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series Part III - Forging Public-Private Partnerships in Health Systems Strengthening
April 20, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Richard Nuccio, Ph.D. & Giles Dickenson-Jones - "Myanmar: Development, Democracy, and Despair"
March 31, 2021 U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series Part II
March 16, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - Audie de Castro, Esq. - "Trade and Tourism in the Philippines"
February 16, 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series - David Pasquini on "The United Kingdom: A Year of Global Leadership"
February 11, 2021 Healing the Political Divide: A Path Forward Virtual Event
January 21, 2021 Human Rights Movements in China and China’s Responses
January 07, 2021 Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison
December 17, 2020 The History of the Ottoman Empire and its Subsequent Breakup after WWI
December 10, 2020 Ambassador in Baku: Politics, Petroleum, & Nagorno-Karabakh
December 10, 2020 "Foreign Policy Changes after January" with Ambassador Ronald Neumann
November 19, 2020 “Bulgaria: Political, Economic, and Commercial Crossroads Today”
November 19, 2020 NCC Online Presentation
November 18, 2020 CAMPAIGN 2020 DECONSTRUCTED
November 10, 2020 US-China Relations after the Election: The Specter of Decoupling
November 10, 2020 FREE WEBINAR - The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution
November 10, 2020 The Wall Street Journal & Infragard San Diego Present: “360 Degrees Of A Ransomware Attack: Decision Points in Defense, Response and Mitigation”
November 09, 2020 Global Minnesota in partnership with WACA presents The Man Who Ran Washington:The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
October 24, 2020 Annual Membership Meeting (Zoom) and Presentation by Ambassador Bindenagel on behalf of Wunderbar Together
October 22, 2020 "U.S. Relations with Pakistan and The South Asia Region"
October 20, 2020 "North Korea in the Next Administration’s Foreign Policy"
October 15, 2020 Webinar with John Brennan and Janet Napolitano
September 30, 2020 “WILL THE SINO-US COLD WAR GO HOT? How Asia’s Geopolitical Clash will Dominate the Next Administration”
August 25, 2020 SDWAC warmly welcomes the International Rescue Committee (IRC) of San Diego Executive Director, Donna Duvin "From Harm to Home: Arc of the Refugee Crisis: Global Challenges, Local Solutions”
August 20, 2020 The San Diego World Affairs Council is honored to support the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) presentation - Race: “A Path Forward” How do we talk about race in a way that unites and strengthens us as a community?
August 20, 2020 The San Diego World Affairs Council is honored to co-sponsor for the first time an exciting virtual event with Friends of Liberia* “Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia”
August 20, 2020 The San Diego World Affairs Council invites you to register for "U.S. & Germany: Strained Alliance?" with German Ambassador to the U.S., Emily Haber
August 13, 2020 San Diego World Affairs Council is honored to support WAC-Orange County's presentation: “Becoming Kim Jong Un: Insights Into North Korea’s Dangerous and Enigmatic Dictator” with Dr. Jung H. Pak
July 22, 2020 Where Does the Money Come From? Financing International Terrorism featuring Dr. Ian Oxnevad
July 13, 2020 The World: A Conversation with Dr. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations “Making Sense of a World in Crisis — Through the Eyes of a Foreign Policy Expert”
June 18, 2020 The Scientist and the Spy
March 20, 2020 *Postponed* Honoring M.C. Madhu Madhavan
January 15, 2020 "From Dictatorship to Democracy? Myanmar's Uneasy Transition" A Conversation with Dr. Nuccio
December 19, 2019 An Overview of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego with Consul General Gutierrez
November 21, 2019 "Putin and Trump 2.0: The Perils of Presidential Diplomacy" Remarks from Ambassador John Beyrle
October 29, 2019 "Kashmir: Where Identity Rises Above Territory" Remarks by Professor Dipak Gupta
October 14, 2019 "From Soft Power to Hard Truths: Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy" Remarks by Bennett Freeman
September 23, 2019 "America...and the Great Power Competition" Remarks by Vice Admiral Charles Martoglio
August 28, 2019 "Fusion Energy Research and the Creation of Miniature Stars for Electricity"
July 31, 2019 "Global Engagement and the Modern Public Research University" featuring Chancellor Khosla
June 22, 2019 REGISTER NOW! 2019 SDWAC Annual Membership Meeting
May 07, 2019 "Perspective on current U.S. Navy strategy, undersea capabilities and the Submarine Force in San Diego."
March 21, 2019 “U.S. Trade Policy toward China: heading toward trade war or deal?"
February 23, 2019 2019 Annual Dinner
January 24, 2019 “Global Climate Change: Evidence, Scientific Basis, and Selected Impacts”
December 11, 2018 “Health and Peace-building in Africa”
November 15, 2018 “Nicaragua: Revolution and Restoration”
October 15, 2018 “U.S. policy towards India and the Indo-Pacific”
September 26, 2018 “What Diplomats Do and Why It (Still) Matters”
August 30, 2018 Fighting for Cyber Supremacy in an Age of Extremism
July 26, 2018 U.S. trade policy and the economics of trade in today’s technology-driven global era.
June 26, 2018 "Why Mexico's Election, NAFTA and U.S.-Mexico Relations Are Important to You."
June 16, 2018 REGISTER NOW! Annual Membership Meeting
May 23, 2018 May 23, 2018 -- Ukraine: Russian Interference and How the U.S. Can Bolster Ukrainian Security
April 27, 2018 Annual Dinner and Presentation on "Middle East Meltdown: Causes and Consequences"
April 03, 2018 SOLD OUT! Immigration and Border Issues: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be
February 21, 2018 Mexico's Upcoming Elections and What They Mean for the U.S.
January 24, 2018 "China in the Wake of the Party Conference"
December 06, 2017 Is the Turkish Partnership Doomed?
November 28, 2017 Movie Screening: America's Diplomats
November 02, 2017 Russia: Preventing Peace on Its Periphery
October 19, 2017 NAFTA: A Make or Break Moment?
October 06, 2017 Three Elections and a Brexit: The Unraveling of Europe?
September 22, 2017 South Sudan: Crisis and Conflict in the World's Newest Country
August 28, 2017 U.S. Alliances in the Indo-Pacific: A Practitioner's Perspective
August 14, 2017 Life as a Military Officer in the Middle East
July 25, 2017 Tijuana Day Trip
July 12, 2017 Trade Routes and the Evolving Geopolitics of the Middle East
June 29, 2017 Fiber Optics: History, Security, Applications and More
June 22, 2017 Dealing With a Dangerous and Challenging World -- The Physics and Economics of Defense
June 17, 2017 Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula: How Does This End?
June 15, 2017 Guantanamo Bay -- Al Qaeda’s Nuremberg: An Inside Look at 9/11 Justice
June 08, 2017 Is the Syrian Regime Survival Guaranteed in Moscow? Origins and Prospects for Relations Between Syria and Russia
June 01, 2017 North County Chapter Annual Meeting
May 01, 2017 Economic Sanctions
April 29, 2017 The Philippines Under President Duterte: Nagging Questions and an Optimistic Outlook
March 18, 2017 Growing the Game: Baseball's Plans for Global Expansion
February 13, 2017 Annual Dinner

*Please note that the viewpoints expressed by speakers at SDWAC events are their own, and do not necessarily represent those of SDWAC. As a nonpartisan organization, SDWAC seeks to engage speakers who, together, represent a variety of viewpoints across the political spectrum in order to contribute to informed policy discussion and a meaningful exchange of ideas within the San Diego community. 

Highlights of Past Events

“Bulgaria: Political, Economic, and Commercial Crossroads Today” PDF

“From Harm to Home: Arc of the Refugee Crisis: Global Challenges, Local Solutions" PDF

Check Out the Full Presentation Recording in DropBox HERE!


Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC)

PO Box 34010

San Diego, CA 92163


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