Past Speakers: Martin Luther King Jr. The Dalai Lama, President William Jefferson Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Elon Musk

In recent years the Council has hosted Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton, Tesla and SpaceX Founder Elon Musk, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, Senators John McCain and Dianne Feinstein, architect Frank Gehry, Secretaries of Defense Ash Carter and Robert Gates, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

The Council has also taken delegations of their members on exclusive tours including to Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Russia, the UAE, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Washington DC. Read more about our Travel Programs here

Public programs of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council feature major figures from the field of international relations delivering a speech following a three-course lunch or dinner at an upscale hotel or private club. Events are typically held on weekday evenings or afternoons.

These remarks are followed by question-and-answer sessions which allow guests to directly interact with speakers. In addition, upper-level members of the Council are invited to VIP receptions prior to each event, which provides an opportunity to meet and be photographed with the speaker.

Students who participate in the Council's High School Program often engage in closed-door discussions with speakers either prior to or directly following events. In addition, authors who appear before the Council are frequently available for book signings following their programs.

Speakers at Los Angeles World Affairs Council events typically include top representatives of foreign governments (primarily presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and ambassadors), major figures in American politics, business leaders, journalists and authors, public intellectuals and other notable individuals from fields as diverse as religion, arts & entertainment, science and technology.

As a non-partisan organization, the Council does not endorse any point of view or take any institutional stand on issues of public debate. We welcome a wide variety of opinions from our speakers and our members. As an institution dedicated to furthering global understanding, we also endeavor to represent as many nations as possible in our program offerings.

Event Venues

Programs held in the evening are generally located at a venue on the Westside of Los Angeles, typically in either Century City or Beverly Hills (frequently used  locations include the Sofitel Hotel, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, and the Century Plaza Hotel). Lunch events are usually held at a venue in downtown Los Angeles (frequent recent locations include the Westin Bonaventure and the Millennium Biltmore). Most of our venues offer slightly reduced parking rates for guests of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

Round Table events open to members of the International Circle (the Council's platinum-level membership) are held at some of the finest boutique hotels and private dining clubs in Los Angeles. These events also generally feature hosted parking and an expanded menu.

About Our Members

Our members and audience include significant figures from the worlds of business, philanthropy, education, medicine, the arts, government, the non-profit sector, aerospace, entertainment and technology, amongst others.

They represent all ages, races, religions, and walks of life -- a microcosm of the cultural diversity to be found in Los Angeles. What binds them together is a common interest in national and international affairs, a shared desire to examine every facet of the important issues we face, and a willingness to hear opposing points of view with grace and civility.

Becoming a member of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall allows you to attend events at a steep discount from the public ticket price. At higher membership levels, you'll also receive benefits such as opportunities to meet our speakers, invitations to exclusive, off-the-record events, preferred seating, and complimentary guest memberships. To learn more about the Council and its various membership levels, click HERE.

Important Notes

The Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall is non-partisan and non-profit. We do not endorse or promote any specific view, and do not espouse an official position on any issue or topic. Member dues and ticket prices do not go to support our speakers or any causes they may advocate. Our opting to host an event or speaker should not be construed as an endorsement of the speaker or his or her viewpoints.

The Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with charitable status. Tax ID #95-1783788. Membership Dues and contributions are tax deductible to the extent the law allows.

Board of Directors

  • Sarah Ketterer, Chair
  • Tracy Williams, Co-Chair
  • Pat Niemann, Secretary
  • Bill Temko, Treasurer
  • Buzz Aldrin
  • Eli Broad
  • Kent Kresa
  • Richard J. Stegemeier
  • Robert Abernethy
    • Founder, Tech Center
  • David G. Adishian
    • Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch
  • Rand S. April
  • Loreen Arbus
    • President/Executive Producer, Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc.
  • Cathy Bachrach
  • Jon Basalone
    • President - Stores, Trader Joe’s Company
  • Fred G. Bennett, Esq.
    • International and domestic arbitrator, JAMS
  • Dr. Gene D. Block
    • Chancellor, UCLA
  • David Bohnett
    • Chairman, David Bohnett Foundation
  • Lynda Boone Fetter
    • Principal, Boone Fetter LLC
  • Mark Bottom
    • Partner, Audit Services - Grant Thornton LLP
  • Carol Bradford
    • Senior Counsel and Charitable Advisor, California Community Foundation
  • Mari Danihel
    • President, Danihel Property Management, Inc.
  • Teran Davis
  • Christopher Day
    • Senior Director of Commercial Banking, Union Bank
  • Carl E. Dickerson
    • Founder and Chairman, Dickerson Employee Benefits
  • Dan K. Eberhart
    • CEO, Canary LLC
  • Mark J. Forbes
    • Executive Vice President, City National Bank
  • Jim Gash
    • President, Pepperdine University
  • Kevin Goetz
    • Founder and CEO, Screen Engine
  • Stanley P. Gold
    • President, Shamrock Holdings, Inc.
  • Dr. Jon P. Goodman
  • Kevin Goetz
    • Founder and CEO, Screen Engine
  • Rod Hagenbuch
    • Principal, Quantum Leap Institute
  • Kevin P. Hanley
    • Senior Vice President, CIMA Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management
  • J. Michael Hennigan
    • Founding Principal, McKool Smith Hennigan, P. C.
  • Glen Holden
    • The Glen and Gloria Holden Family Foundation
  • Darryl Holter
    • CEO, The Shammas Group
  • Jeanne Huybrechts
  • Fran Inman
    • Senior Vice President, Majestic Realty Co.
  • Ray Irani
    • Chairman and CEO - Ray Investments, LLC
  • Lorna M. Johnson
    • Founder & CEO, Lorna M. Johnson Global Institute
  • Robert Jernigan
    • Regional Managing Director, Gensler
  • Peter Johnston
    • Senior Vice President, Leasing - The Americas, OUE Limited
  • Murray Kalis
  • Sarah Ketterer
    • CEO and Co-Founder Causeway Capital Management
  • Murray Kalis
  • Sarah Ketterer
    • CEO and Co-Founder Causeway Capital Management
  • Frank Kilpatrick
    • Principal, Kilpatrick & Associates
  • Katherine Ku
    • Corporate Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Jaime Lee
    • Commercial Real Estate Executive and CEO - Jamison Realty, Inc.
  • Elizabeth H. Lowe
  • Anna Magzanyan
    • Publisher, The Los Angeles Business Journal
  • Gregory Martinez-Miller
    • Senior Vice President, Relationship Manager - Wells Fargo Bank
  • Kevin T. McDowell
    • Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Anschutz Entertainment Group
  • William McMorrow
    • Chairman and CEO, Kennedy Wilson
  • Robert Moore
    • Retired Senior Partner - Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
  • Peter Mullin
    • Chairman of the board, Mullin Enterprises
  • Patrick Niemann
    • Office Managing Partner - Greater Los Angeles, Ernst & Young LLP
  • Steven A. Nissen
    • President, Nissen Consulting Group
  • Timothy Noonan
    • President and CEO - Lockton Insurance Brokers, LLC
  • Mark Okuma
    • Partner, Sheppard Mullin
  • Joan Payden
    • President and CEO, Payden & Rygel
  • Dr. Jane G. Pisano
    • President Emerita, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Dr. Elliot Ponchick
    • President, The William C. Bannerman Foundation
  • Scott Porter
    • Partner, Advisory Services, Ernst & Young LLP
  • Stefanie Powers
    • Actress/Environmentalist
  • Michael P. Reilly
    • Chief Investment Officer, Equities Director of U.S. Equity Research - TCW
  • Michael Rich
    • President & CEO, RAND
  • Thomas Rosenbaum
    • President, California Institute of Technology
  • Priscilla Sands
    • Head of School, Marlborough School
  • Dan Schnur
    • Professor, University of Southern California
  • Michael Segal
    • Managing Partner, Fred Segal Santa Monica
  • Bryan Shaffer
    • Principal/Managing Director, George Smith Partner
  • Timothy Snyder, Ph.D.
    • President, Loyola Marymount University
  • Candy Spelling
    • President, Candyland, Inc
  • R.K. Spackman
    • Manager-Policy, Government & Public Affairs - Chevron Corporation
  • Andrew Tavakoli
    • CEO, Tavaco Properties, LLC
  • William Temko
    • Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson
  • James A. Thomas
    • President - Thomas Investment Partners, LLC
  • Dr. James A. Thomson
  • Emily Wang
    • Director of Marketing and Community Development, East West Bank
  • Charles Weber
    • CEO, Weber Communications, Inc.
  • Tracy Williams
    • CEO and President, Olmstead Williams Communications
  • Michelle Wroan
    • Partner, KPMG LL

Below are the most recent Audited Financial Statements and IRS Form 990 of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council:
Read LAWAC Audit Report 2019
Read LAWAC IRS Form 990 2018