The World Affairs Council of the Desert, a non-partisan and non-profit organization, provides a unique opportunity for the discussion of national and international topics. Founded in the early seventies as the “Desert Forum." it served initially as a branch of the Los Angeles Council. By 1975, the organization had changed its name to The World Affairs Council of the Desert, began to increase its membership, and established itself as a separate non-profit corporation. Its primary missions are education outreach, promoting and providing interesting and affordable programs in a social setting, and covering a wide-range of global topics.

The Council does not take positions on issues, but encourages discussion on varied points of view. Featured speakers are experts in their fields of endeavor, usually well published, and cover current events. Speakers might be Ambassadors, corporate leaders, foreign dignitaries, national media persons, higher education professors, and are well known.

Our major program embodies monthly speaker/dinner events held on Sunday evenings from October through April at Thunderbird Country Club, located in Rancho Mirage. We feature a reception beginning at 5 PM, followed by dinner at 6 PM, then our guest speaker’s presentation. The evening concludes at about 8:30 p.m. Members receive our tri-fold brochure in the spring of each season detailing our list of speakers for the upcoming season, and a monthly reservation letter and reservation card before each event.

Reservations for dinner are required and can be made online at, or call our office at 760-322-7711. Reservations must be made by 4 PM on Thursday prior to our scheduled dinner. Checks and/or credit card payments (Visa/Master Card) are accepted. The public is also invited to these events. Attendance at speaker dinner events varies from 125 to 230 people.

Membership dues and educational donations are the primary means to provide our speaker/dinner programs. The youth program reaches out to students in local high schools and colleges. Each month we invite students to attend the dinner speaker events and our major student project is the Academic Worldquest student outreach program. We are also a major supporter of the Distinguished Speaker series (see link.) The Academic World Quest competition, held in December each year, brings together teams of students from local high schools competing for a chance to win and compete in the National World Quest Competition, held in Washington, D.C. each spring.

The World Affairs Council of the Desert’s annual membership is on a fiscal year basis (July 1 - June 30) and our active roster includes approximately 300 members. Members also enjoy our newsletter covering Council information, the latest information on dinner/speaker events, notice of special events and more.

For more detailed information, look further throughout our web site, contact our office at (760) 322-7711, or e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also learn more about the World Affairs Council of the Desert by clicking on this link: Wikipedia.

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