Mission & Action

Who We Are

The World Affairs Council of St. Louis is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan membership organization that connects the citizens of the St. Louis Metro region to the world. Founded in 1948, our mission is to offer programs which promote understanding, engagement, relationships, and leadership in World Affairs.


World Affairs Council of St. Louis is a chapter of a national association known as the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA), based in Washington D.C. WACA is the parent organization of more than 90 independent member organizations. Collectively, these Councils comprise the oldest and largest international affairs nonprofit entity in the country. With its roots in the Foreign Policy Association—founded in 1918 to promote U.S. involvement in the post-World War I era—the national association took full shape in 1947. Today, the Council system reaches more than 2 million people each year with more than 2,500 events, including programs on radio, TV and in schools.

Government Relations

Because we are associated with the national organization, World Affairs Council of St. Louis enjoys special status with the U.S. State Department. We are one of a few local organizations that encourage active citizen involvement in international affairs. We also play a role in cooperative efforts with the Missouri State and local governments as well as many economic development agencies.


International issues affect every citizen, and our Council strives to engage all segments of our community through outreach efforts, and to bring the world to St. Louis.


Membership includes around 50 local corporations and institutions and hundreds of individuals. As part of our commitment to community outreach, nonmembers are welcome to participate in our activities. Participants who frequently attend our events, however, are encouraged to join because membership dues help us sustain our programs. Membership levels are scaled to appeal to all budgets. See our Nonprofit and Small Business levels as well as our Student, Senior, and Young Professional levels.

Looking Forward

With more than 70 years of service to the St. Louis community, we continue to look for ways to inspire, educate, and connect our community to issues in world affairs. Part of this effort is our ongoing work to improve the quality of our programs and the breadth of our audience.

Flag of the United States of America
Seal of the U.S. State Department