The World Affairs Council of Maine’s origins date to 1962, when a group of Mainers hosted United Nations diplomats and correspondents. The Council was officially founded in 1977, to promote understanding of world events and issues, diverse cultures, foreign policy, and international trade. With support from its members, the Council’s programming engages individuals as well as the business and education communities and other organizations involved in Maine's expanding global presence.
The Council provides a number of dynamic venues for information exchange, networking, education, and development. Events, receptions, and forums are open to Council members, on a preferred basis, as well as the general public. Examples of our programs include:
Our monthly lunchtime presentations feature Maine-based experts on a variety of international subjects. They are hosted by a corporate Council member in downtown Portland, and are typically held on the last Tuesday of the month, September through May.
Global Insights Series
These early evening "after hours" programs offer an opportunity for people to hear speakers on a range of cross-cultural and international issues.
Great Decisions Dinners
Council members host dinner parties featuring facilitated discussions of current affairs. The format and content of these events are based on Great Decisions essays prepared by the Foreign Policy Association. These dinners offer networking and discussion opportunities in an informal setting.
Signature Programs and Events
We host several signature Council events every year. These include an annual WorldQuest international knowledge challenge and an annual meeting and dinner featuring a distinguished speaker.
At the request of the U.S. Department of State and cooperating federal agencies, the Council provides opportunities for international visitors to establish relationships in Maine. Through the Council, Maine residents may volunteer with the International Visitors Program, including serving as home hospitality providers.
Students and teachers can take advantage of our programming to enhance lessons on global affairs. The annual WorldQuest competition offers a chance for students to test their knowledge of international affairs in a competition against other students, corporate teams, and community members.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by guest speakers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of the World Affairs Council of Maine.