About the World Affairs Forum

The Shepaug World Affairs Forum is an annual public event that showcases and celebrates student interest in international affairs.  Each year an accomplished expert in international relations serves as the keynote speaker. The speaker engages with student panelists and community members in spirited discussion and at times debate regarding the most pressing issues that shape the world today.  The implications of climate change on foreign policy, human migration, food security, and exploring trends in nuclear proliferation are just a few of the issues that have been explored through this forum. Past keynote speakers include ambassadors to the United Nations (Ambassador Mark Wallace), American ambassadors to foreign countries (Ambassador William Luers), past president to Columbia University (Dr. George Rupp) and Pulitzer Prize winner Les Payne.  Similar to the Model United Nations club, the World Affairs Forum involves students in the study and discussion of global issues and encourages the development of skills useful throughout their lives--skills including research techniques, writing, public speaking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, compromise, and cooperation.

About the Shepaug World Affairs Forum Panelist

Students interested in participating as a world affairs panelist have demonstrated an awareness and passion for researching and analyzing America’s role in an increasingly interdependent and globalized world.  Involvement in Model United Nations, while not required, is strongly encouraged.

Meeting Schedule

World Affairs Forum panelists will largely communicate informally through email and in meetings to be determined by the advisor and selected student panelists. Student panelists are highly motivated, eager and independent thinkers.  While most of the research will be done independently, panelists will meet for 2 days as a group prior to the forum to draft position papers, coordinate discussion points, and rehearse for the forum. The forum typically occurs on a Saturday in March.

Student Dress Code

Students are required to dress in business attire for the forum.


Chris Dennis


Click the titles below for access to recordings of past World Affairs Forums.

March 10, 2018
 “The Iran Nuclear Agreement: A Test for Diplomacy and Domestic Politics.”

March 11, 2017
“Immigration and the Refugee Crisis” 

March 16, 2016
"Examining the Relationship Between Globalization and Security"