The Council's mission is to promote the study and discussion of international issues by presenting expert speakers with diverse opinions. The Council is not an advocacy group, and it does not endorse any specific foreign or domestic policy. Rather, through timely lectures, critical and philosophical viewpoints are encouraged from presenters and attendees during discussion periods. The specific objective is to raise the standard of public debate and encourage dialogue to increase understanding.
In 1951, a group of individuals interested in world affairs formed the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area. The Board chose WWII U.S. Navy Admiral (Ret.) Raymond Spruance as the first President. Admiral Spruance was considered one of
the greatest admirals in American Naval history by the Navy's official historian. Spruance commanded U.S. Naval forces during two of the most significant naval
battles that took place in the Pacific theater, the Battle of Midway and the Battle
of the Philippine Sea. Spruance was commander of the Fifth Fleet and the Pacific
Fleet. Prior to his time as Board President, he served as Ambassador to the
Philippines and President of the Naval War College.
Also in 1951, the Board chose to be an affiliate council of the World Affairs Council
of Northern California. After celebrating 40 years of this relationship, the Council
was established as a totally independent Public Benefit Corporation in 1992 as a
The Council is approaching its seventh decade of providing intellectually challenging programs of significant international issues to our membership and the citizens
of the Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. The Council works closely with representatives of the California State University Monterey Bay, the Defense Language Institute, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Monterey Peninsula College, and the Naval Postgraduate School, frequently utilizing shared talents and resources to provide truly superior information regarding the critical international issues of our times.
The Council is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA), the
national association of World Affairs Councils, and participates in the national
activities arranged by it. The Council is also a "Cooperating Council" in the Travel Program of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.
WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL OF MONTEREY BAY (WACMB)
P. O. Box 83
Monterey, CA 93942
Office: 479 Pacific Street, #5A Monterey, CA 93940
Founded in 1951, the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB) is a nonprofit non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion and study of the international aspects of a broad range of political, economic, military, and social issues. The Council sponsors monthly luncheon lectures, discussion groups, local student scholarships, and special events. Questions and viewpoints of individual members are always welcome.
Monthly luncheon lectures are open to the public, featuring timely topics from prominent foreign affairs experts such as academicians, diplomats, journalists and United States and foreign government officials.
The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area, Inc. (WACMB) is a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization with an IRS EIN 77-0301206.
The Passport, the Council’s monthly newsletter, is distributed to all members with a choice of email and/or U.S. mail. It includes announcements, the upcoming luncheon date and menu, and featured monthly speaker's topic. It also includes information on the next Board Meeting and Discussion Groups, Book Club, Board Executive Officer contacts, special events, and a brief membership application.
In the Spring at the Discussion Groups, the Council conducts an eight-week Great Decisions discussion series utilizing the Foreign Policy Association’s publication.
Discussion Groups are held at MPC - Monterey Peninsula College (open to the public)
and at the Ryan Ranch location of CSUMB - California State University Monterey Bay - Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Program (registration required).
On occasion, the Council arranges for a Special Events program on short notice to address a news-breaking issue or to take advantage of an expert unexpectedly visiting
the Monterey Peninsula. These programs complement the monthly luncheon lectures.
The Council makes annual awards of WACMB Scholarships to local college students from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California State University Monterey Bay, and Monterey Peninsula College. Area professors nominate suitable candidates, who are high achievers with a strong interest in international affairs and/or related subjects.