Making History

It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story. Our story begins in 1923 with the formation of World Affairs Council in Cincinnati, a chapter of a larger network, The World Affairs Councils of America. The national chapter founding members were concerned that at the end of World War I, Americans would choose an isolationist foreign policy over one of engagement and worked to nurture grassroots citizen involvement in international affairs. The Cincinnati chapter hosted renowned foreign affairs speakers to inform the community.

In 1961, the International Visitors Council of Cincinnati opened its doors following the national chapter, Global Ties U.S. (formerly National Council on International Visitors) in Washington D.C. As each nonprofit grew independently, it became clear that combining efforts would allow for stronger ties locally and across the world. In the early 90s, the World Affairs Council and International Visitors Council merged in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 2010, this chapter took on new leadership. During this time, exchange visitors to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky increased from 150 international visitors to 300 emerging leaders within the year and has consistently stayed this way. Education programming has grown from reaching 500 to 8,000 students in the area. Initiatives have grown to include Global Classrooms, Build the World, and our newest program, Teacher Workshops, that launched in 2016.

In 2017, the World Affairs Council is strengthening its capacity to work with community, individuals, and organizations. With the help of one of the top global marketing firms headquartered in Cincinnati, DeanHouston, the council’s branding and story are able to be showcased on a world class platform. This new logo and look represents the Council’s growth and ability to adapt to the 21st century global environment. The colors of our logo represent trust (blue), sophistication (purple) and optimism (yellow) with a nod to diversity. The symbol illustrates the literal link between Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati through the Brent Spence Bridge, the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge and the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. The symbol represents the figurative bridges the World Affairs Council is building between this area and the world.

Headquartered at the Northern Kentucky University, World Affairs Council takes advantage of our area’s unique geographic location enabling us to work with institutional partners across states and in multiple cities. Today, the World Affairs Council builds global understanding and promotes international awareness through education, information and exchange of people and ideas. We work in cooperation with the government, companies, as well cultural and educational bodies.

By facilitating the open exchange of ideas, the World Affairs Councils also celebrate the principles of voluntary association and free speech.”
- George Bush, Former President of the United States