The complicated world we live in is illuminated a bit more every week at the North County Chapter’s Thursday Morning Forum in Rancho Bernardo. These free, weekly talks address a range of global topics in a relaxed and social atmosphere. Forums begin with a coffee social at 9:30 a.m., followed by a program at 10 a.m. and Q&A from 11:10 a.m. to noon. The public is invited and no reservation is needed. 

Unless otherwise indicated, Forums are held at the Remington Club (Phase II), 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA 92128. Parking is available in the adjacent shopping center. The public is invited and no reservation is needed.

For more information, contact Phyllis Murchland at

October 19, 2017

Hisham Foad, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics at San Diego State University, will discuss, “The Cultural, Economic and Political Influence of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.” Dr. Foad’sresearch focuses on the interactions between the movements of capital, goods, and people across national borders. Current research projects include an examination of the impact of migration on trade and the effects of living in an ethnic enclave on a migrant's income and education.

Dr. Foad earned his bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College and his master’s degree and Ph.D., both in economics, from Emory University. NCC members who wish to attend a round table luncheon after the presentation should contact Farouk Al-Nasser at

October 26, 2017

Rafael Fernández de Castro, Ph.D., professor and Director at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the School of Global Policy & Strategy at the University of California, San Diego, will discuss"Mexico’s Strategy Towards the United States." Dr. Fernández de Castro will take a historical look at Mexico's relations with the United States and examine the motives of Mexicans attempting to immigrate to this country, the effects of NAFTA and maquiladoras, and Mexico´s new strategy toward its northern neighbor.

A former foreign policy adviser to President Felipe Calderón, Dr. Fernández de Castro is an expert on bilateral relations between Mexico and the U.S  NCC members who wish to attend a round table luncheon after the presentation should contact Phyllis Murchland at

November 2, 2017

North County Chapter member Farouk Al-Nasser, Ph.D., will present “Yemen Today: The Tragedy of a Failed State.” Yemen, a country of rich biblical history, is caught in the middle of a proxy-sectarian war between predominantly Sunni Muslim countries of the Arabian Peninsula, led by Saudi Arabia, and predominantly Shi’a Muslim Iran. The result is a humanitarian catastrophe marked by acute shortages of food, water, fuel, and medical supplies in what is already one of the world’s poorest countries. Is there a path to end the fighting?

Dr.  Al-Nasser was born in Iraq. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Denver, and held technical, operational, and executive positions in the high technology industry for more than 40 years.

A North County Chapter Executive Committee meeting directly follows this program.

November 9, 2017

North County Chapter member Kiki Munshi, Ph.D., a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer, will examine “Why Democracy Building Hasn’t Worked.”  The U.S. has tried to export “democracy” for the past several decades with mixed results and mostly limited success.  Dr. Munshi will explore the various aims of this oft-used process.

Dr. Munshi has worked on democracy building in Iraq, Tanzania, Romania and Sierra Leone. She has a master’s degree in Indian History and Politics from UC Berkeley, and a Doctorate in History from the University of Bucharest.

A North County Chapter Program Committee meeting directly follows this program.

November 16, 2017

North County Chapter member Jack Bowsher will discuss “How Do We Make America Great Again in Global Affairs.” From 1942 to 2000, the United States was the economic and military leader in world affairs. Today, that leadership is shared by many countries and the United States is accumulating unprecedented levels of national debt. The presentation discusses 12 key decisions by either a Republican or Democratic President that are required for new leadership.

 Mr. Bowsher spent 33 years at IBM, where he was Director of Education, with responsibility for a $900 million budget. He has an accounting degree from the University of Illinois and an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago.

November 30, 2017

Retired Vice Adm. Robert Thomas will speak on “U.S. Alliances in the Indo-Pacific: A Practitioner’s Perspective.” The U.S. maintains five treaty alliances in the Indo-Pacific. Japan, Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand have militaries with varying capacities, capabilities, and interoperability with the U.S. Armed Forces. Examining these alliances through the lens of a former U.S. 7th Fleet Commander, Adm. Thomas will discuss their utility in the 21st century and applicability in five zones of interest: the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and Oceania. The operative question of today: Will the U.S. be the preferred security partner in the future? 

Adm. Thomas, a career submarine officer, was commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet from 2013 to 2015. The 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations.  Adm. Thomas received a bachelor of science degree from UC Berkeley and a master of arts in National Security Studies from the National War College.

SDWAC and NCC members who wish to attend a round table luncheon after the presentation should contact Phyllis Murchland at

North County Chapter President's Communiqué

  by Tom Reeve    


Each week we are privileged to meet and greet visitors and first-time attendees.  You are all welcome and we are very glad you have chosen to spend time with us.  Please come back and get more involved with our Chapter.

Join today and enjoy three months for free. The Chapter’s membership year is January thrrough December. As a special offer to new members, if you join In October 2017 your membership will run through December 2018. That's three three months for free.

Several members have already renewed for 2018.  Thank you. Please join them and renew early. Your renewal now will not shorten your full January-December 2018 membership.

Please do not be shy about sharing this Newsletter (whether on paper or in e-mail), with your friends and acquaintances. 

On December 21, 2017, the Chapter will present its first Authors’ Day and Celebration.  This will include an informal showcase of some of our talented members who are authors. The Authors’ Day presentations will be combined with a casual celebration with our friends as we enter the holiday season. We will have our member authors provide brief presentations on their books (and perhaps have some for signature and sale), followed by a shortened joint question and answer period and time to enjoy snacks while we chat with authors and friends.

All interested North County Chapter members who are authors are asked to contact Tom Reeve ( no later than October 28, 2017, to reserve a presentation place in the program. All books suitable for general discussion are welcome – not just foreign policy books. We know there is a lot of talent in our membership, so claim your presentation place early.

Mission Statement

The North County Chapter (NCC) of the San Diego World Affairs Council was formed in 1986 and since then has presented  more than 1,700 programs. The NCC free and fair discussions of foreign policy and international affairs by presenting speakers with diverse viewpoints and by maintaining civility in our discourse. The Chapter is steadfastly nonpartisan and takes no stand on any public issue, policy, or candidate. We thank the Remington Club for its continued cooperation and support. 


Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council

113 West G Street #601

San Diego, CA 92101


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