Hosting meaningful discussions on current affairs

International Insights

At the World Affairs Council of Maine, we are dedicated to offering a platform for highlighting and discussing the global affairs that impact our State and its people. Our programs are open to Council members as well as the general public. Our goal is not only to inform Mainers about what is happening around the world, but also to engage them in conversation about it. Each of our events features a Q+A session during which attendees can ask the expert and share their own insights.  Due to social distancing requirements (and to ensure the health and well-being of our community) all our events are currently on-line. Check out our events page for details!


Lunchtime Series

Our monthly lunchtime presentations feature Maine and New England-based experts on a variety of international subjects. Discussions at these series are particularly dynamic, engaging local young professionals, retirees, and local student groups. Due to current social distancing guidelines, these events are being held on-line.


Past Lunchtime Series topics include:

  • Asia-Pacific Views of the U.S. and Why They Matter

  • Media and Foreign Policy

  • The Brexit Vote and What Comes Next

  • Global Migration and Refugees

  • The South China Sea

  • Changing South African Politics

Keynote Speaker Series

These evening gatherings feature a national or international expert on a topic of global importance and follow a theme for each program year. They are hosted by a variety of Portland-area businesses who partner with us to support our mission of promoting global citizenship in Maine and to increase their global business profile. To keep our community safe, these programs are being held online until social distancing requirements are updated.

  • “U.S. Leadership in a Changing Arctic,” Ambassador David Balton

  • “Prospects for U.S-Southeast Asia Relations,” Singaporean Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri

  • “National Security Impacts of Climate Change,” Senator Angus King

  • “Bulgaria: Crisis on Two Fronts - the Middle East and Russia,” Bulgarian Ambassador Elena Poptodorova

  • “Syria, the Middle East and the New Cold War,” Ribal Al-Assad

  • “Women's Roles in Peace and Security,” Ambassador Swanee Hunt

Member Coffee + Discussion Group

Our signature Coffee and Discussion Groups are informal gathering to chat about global topics of current interest in a small group setting. No quizzes, no competitions of knowledge - participate or just listen! This event is designed to engage everyone from the world affairs expert to the foreign affairs greenhorn. Due to social distancing requirements, these twice monthly meetings are now held on-line. Check out our events page!

Past Member Coffee + Discussion Group topics include:

  • Conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia

  • Biden's Foreign Policy Challenges

  • International Trade + Davos

  • Whither Democracy in Eastern Europe

  • North Korea-U.S. Summit: Dancing to Kim's Tune

  • The Spread of Nationalist Governments