World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and engage North Texans in national and international affairs. The council serves as a portal to the world by offering over 100 programs annually for the public and its 4,000 members, with the primary focus on the international facets of business, politics, foreign policy and culture.
Through coordination with the International Visitor Program and the City of Dallas Office of Protocol, the council has hosted diplomats, politicians, military leaders, business pioneers, scientists, heads of state and government, artists and dignitaries from around the world, serving as a vehicle to broaden horizons of members and North Texans.
The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is also dedicated to the education of a future generation of leaders by offering a program tailored for members in their 20s and 30s, Meridian: Young Professionals. Members come from all professions but share a common interest in business, politics, current events and supporting international opportunities in the area.
The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth also takes international education into North Texas schools with the Global Young Leaders education program. Junior World Affairs Council clubs are on 75 local high school campuses, directly impacting more than 8,000 students and 1,500 teachers in the region.
Since 1951, the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth has established international relationships for the region when Dresser Industries’ Chairman and President Henry Neil Mallon identified a need for a local organization that would provide citizens with the opportunity to understand and become involved in international affairs, positioning North Texas as a player on the world stage. Mallon gathered a group of 17 leaders to create the Dallas Council on World Affairs, a “who’s who” of the region’s 20th century leaders, including J. Woodall Rodgers, Tom E. Braniff, Stanley Marcus, Brooks Keller, John A. Steel, Charles P. Storey, Mrs. H.R. Aldredge, Jr., and Dr. J.C. Karcher, joined later by Ray Nasher and L. Frank Pitts.
Early on, the group became affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America, an organization founded in 1918 in conjunction with the Foreign Policy Association with headquarters now in Washington, D.C.
In the 1950s, the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosted several dignitaries, such as President Herbert Hoover and King Baudin of Belgium. During the 1960s, visitors included filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille and special panels comprised of CBS reporters Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Eric Sevareid, Daniel Schorr, David Schornbrun, Marvin Kalb and Peter Kalischer.
Over the years, the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth has welcomed many more world leaders and influencers, including Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former President Richard Nixon, Queen Noor of Jordan, General David Petraeus, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and humanitarian, philanthropist and cultural icon Bono.
In 2006, the name of the organization changed to the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth when the Dallas and Fort Worth Councils merged, bringing North Texas efforts together as the combined groups continue to invite world leaders here to the Metroplex.