Skip to Content

About the International Speaker Series

About the International Speaker Series


Please note, ticket sales are no longer handled via the World Affairs Council of Oregon offices.

Portland'5's service team is available to help you. You can purchase tickets online, (, by phone (800.273.1530), and in-person at 1111 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205.

Series ticket prices start at $80 and up to $650 for all 4 speakers. You may request specific seats on a first-come, first-served basis when you contact Portland5 by phone or online.


Become a member and save 10% on 4-ticket series!
If you are not yet a member, or need to renew, the time is now! Members receive a 10% discount off of ticket prices! Your email code will be emailed to you if you are a current member, or will be included in your new membership or renewal receipt if you join now.


The 2017 International Speaker Series, hosted by the World Affairs Council of Oregon, this year addresses the theme of “NOW/NEXT.” This event explores the horizon of major global ideas and issues alongside some of the most vibrant thinkers, writers, and doers of today.  


The International Speaker Series began in 2000 in celebration of the World Affairs Council of Oregon’s 50th anniversary. Speakers have included Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Condoleezza Rice, Vicente Fox, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Madeleine Albright, Desmond Tutu, Sandra Day O’Connor, Bono, and Bill Moyers, among many others. Over the past 17 years, the Series has become the nation’s premier speaker series presenting the people, ideas, and issues shaping our global future.  


The 2017 series features:

  • Rick Steves: "Travel as a Political Act"

  • Tawakkol Karman: "Freedom & Democracy in the Middle East"

  • Shaun King: "The New Civil Rights & Global Justice"

  • Deborah & James Fallows: "Understanding China"


Wednesday, March 1, Rick Steves speaks on "Travel As A Political Act." 

Over the past 20 years, Rick Steves, popular public television host and best-selling author, has helped everyday explorers discover the rich and powerful ways that travel broadens our perspectives and shapes our worldviews on social reform, the role of government, and America's place in the world. Made possible in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting. @RickSteves 

Thursday, April 6, Tawakkol Karman—Yemeni Human Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Laureate—speaks on "Freedom and Democracy in the Middle East." 

In 2011, at the age of 32, Tawakkol Karman became the youngest person and the first Arab woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Known as “The Mother of the Revolution” and the “Iron Woman” in her native Yemen, she has been at the forefront of the struggle for human rights and women’s participation in peacebuilding for years. @TawakkolKarman 

Thursday, May 4, journalist and civil rights activist Shaun King discusses "The New Civil Rights and Global Justice." 

New York Daily News journalist Shaun King is one of the rising go-to voices for crucial conversations around social justice, race, and inequality. In his columns and through social media, King has become a powerful force in shaping how the world knows about those most affected by racism and injustice. @ShaunKing 

Tuesday, June 6, journalists and authors Deborah and James Fallows jointly speak on the topic of "Understanding China." 

Author and linguist Deborah Fallows has spent many years absorbing the culture, politics, and people of China, offering readers and audiences a vivid picture of the enormity of Chinese life through language. James Fallows is an award-winning correspondent for The Atlantic and has written extensively on the economic and political transformations occurring in China, as well as the crisis facing contemporary news media. @DeborahFallows  @JamesFallows 


All events in the Series are held at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and begin at 7:00 pm. 


While every effort is made to keep ticket prices affordable, we realize that the cost may be prohibitive for some people. In an effort to make tickets more accessible, we have scholarship tickets available. If you'd like to be considered for scholarship tickets, please contact the World Affairs Council at (503) 306-5252 or communityatworldoregon [dot] org  

Additionally, the World Affairs Council of Oregon is a proud participating member of Arts for All. Anyone who receives food stamps (SNAP) and has the Oregon Trail Card is eligible to purchase individual International Speaker Series tickets for $5. Please note: Purchases are available on the day of Series events and limited to two tickets per cardholder. You must show your Oregon Trail Card at the time of purchase and pay with cash or credit card. SNAP credit on the Oregon Trail Card cannot be used to buy tickets. 

Members of the Media: Please contact the World Affairs Council of Oregon offices to be added to a press list for Series’ events. Press passes can be requested by emailing timatworldoregon [dot] org



Visit the FAQ section or contact us communityatworldoregon [dot] org


Hosted by Spiretech