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Upcoming Events

    • June 15, 2024
    • 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Digital Gym Cinema
    • 45

    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.*

    • July 23, 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • National University

    The San Diego World Affairs Council Presents

    “Human Trafficking in the United States: Its past, its present, and

    How to Counter this National Epidemic



    Tuesday July 23, 2024

    6:00pm - 8:00pm

     National University 

    9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123

    About the Program

    Former Special Agent Doug Gilmer will provide an overview of the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking and what DHS is doing to combat human trafficking, including an interesting overview of the history of human trafficking and the role of DHS in fighting this crime since 1875. Other topics covered will include present day human trafficking to include both sex and labor trafficking, forced labor in the supply chain, and the myths and misconceptions surrounding this timely and important topic in our San Diego community.

    About Doug Gilmer

    Doug Gilmer is a 35-year law enforcement veteran, most recently serving as the Senior Law Enforcement Liaison and Advisor at the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) in Washington, DC where he was responsible for external engagement, stakeholder development, and strategy implementation. Prior to his position at the CCHT he served as the Resident Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Birmingham, Alabama; in the role of Assistant Special Agent in Charge; Chief of the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit, and in many other leadership and investigative assignments throughout his federal law enforcement career. He began his law enforcement career in local law enforcement and concurrently served the nation as a military member, retiring in 2019 from the United States Coast Guard Reserve. In his last military assignment, he served as the Gold Badge Command Master Chief where he was responsible for thousands of military and civilian personnel in the Mid-Atlantic area of the United States.

    Doug is a dedicated defender of human rights and fighter against crimes such as human trafficking and child exploitation. He has extensive experience working and supervising investigations related to human trafficking, child exploitation, and human rights violations. He is strong proponent of victim-centered and trauma informed investigative protocols. A strong advocate for public-private partnerships, he is passionate about building and equipping teams to effectively combat these crimes, assist victims, and hold offenders accountable for their crimes. He is in high demand across the country as a speaker, lecturer, and trainer to communities, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, and on college campuses. His background and experience allow him to communicate a compelling message to deliver vital information, drive change, and direct action.

    Doug Gilmer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Liberty University in Virginia, a Master of Natural Resources and Global Sustainability degree from Virginia Tech, a Master of Counseling degree from Luther Rice University in Georgia, and a Ph.D. from Columbia International University in South Carolina where his research focus was on the organizational outcomes of collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams used in human trafficking investigations. He has completed additional courses of study at the National War College, Joint Special Operations University, and the Senior Executive Leadership course at the Defense Equal Opportunity and Management Institute. He is a member of the International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP), serving on the IACP’s Victim Services Committee. With a strong desire to work with students and young adults, he proudly serves as a mentor to the 2023-2024 cohort of Frederick Douglass Fellows, a program of the Human Trafficking Institute.

Past events

May 09, 2024 Distinguished Speaker Series "America and the World to 2030: Cooperation, Competition, Confrontation, or Conflict?" with Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio, US Navy (ret)
April 16, 2024 Distinguished Speaker Series "Journey Through the Middle East: A Visual Tour" with Professor Emeritus William Slomanson
March 07, 2024 Distinguished Speaker Series "LATINOLAND: A Portrait of America’s Largest and Least Understood Minority" with Author Marie Arana
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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