The complicated world we live in is illuminated a bit more every week at the North County Chapter’s Thursday Morning Forum in Rancho Bernardo. These free, weekly talks address a range of global topics in a relaxed and social atmosphere. Forums begin with a coffee social at 9:30 a.m., followed by a program at 10 a.m. and Q&A from 11:10 a.m. to noon. The public is invited and no reservation is needed. 

Unless otherwise indicated, Forums are held at the Remington Club (Phase II), 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA 92128. Parking is available in the adjacent shopping center. 

For more information, contact Farouk Al-Nasser at

To become a member or to renew your NCC membership, please see the form at the bottom of this page.

Make sure and visit the new North County Chapter website:

North County Chapter

February Programs

On Feb. 6, our member, Dr. Farouk Al-Nasser, will present “Iraq: Sixteen Years of Corrupt Government and Foreign Influence.”  Since 2003, the US supported government of Iraq has been mired in corruption while concurrently heavily influenced by Iran.  Individual players have changed and parties gained or lost influence, but the situation has remained much the same since the invasion.  The country is now caught in the U.S.-Iran face-off with the possibility that it may become a venue for a proxy war, carried on without the consent of the Iraqi people or government.  What does this portend for the future of the country? 

On Feb. 13, we will welcome our guest Ambassador (ret.) Leslie Basset, who will present “Cupid’s Arrow Targets Foreign Affairs:  Diplomacy Is Sometimes the Art of Winning ‘Hearts and Minds’.”  In this pre-Valentine’s Day presentation, Ambassador Basset puts the spotlight on how romance, playboys, con men, honey traps and true love have affected the course of international relations over the centuries.   Ambassador Bassett spent 35 years with the Department of State serving on five continents.  From haunted embassies to love-struck envoys, she will share SOME of what goes on behind the scenes in world affairs.  To participate in the Round Table Lunch (RTL) after the meeting, contact Pat Reeve at 

On Feb. 20, we will welcome our guest, USD Professor Mary McKenzie, who will present “Populism in Europe and its Ties to the United States.”  Populism presents politics as an “us versus them” contest based on the dominance of a privileged elite over a disenfranchised general public.  Recently, populism has grown to be a force in both the U.S. and Europe, but the movements are quite different in character because they define “us” and “them” differently. Dr. McKenzie will compare the movements and will attempt to draw conclusions about populism’s longevity and its effects on international politics.  Contact Mehdi Sarram at for inclusion in the Round Table Lunch following the meeting.

On Feb. 27, we will welcome our guest, SDSU Professor William Twayigizi, who will present “Kenya: Current Affairs and Issues.”  Against a background of the development of Kenyan politics since Independence in 1960, Professor Twyagizi will discuss alliance formation and betrayal among the three main tribes: Kikuyus, Luos, and Kalenjins. He will also look at Kenyan regional geopolitical influence, relations with Somalia and preparations for the 2022 general elections. In his conclusion he will outline Kenya’s economic opportunities, with a focus on what the absence of the US and the growing influence of China mean for the future in the region. Contact Mehdi Sarram at for inclusion in the Round Table Lunch which will take place after the meeting.

Upcoming events of the San Diego World Affairs Council and our North County Chapter can be seen on and 

Note:  Upcoming events of the San Diego World Affairs Council and our North County Chapter can be seen on and 

For further information, email Cy Chadley at


Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council

113 West G Street #601

San Diego, CA 92101

Office: (619) 325-8200


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