Leveraging its reputation and resources to provide unique educational opportunities to local high school and college students, the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville exposes the next generation of leaders from across Northeast Florida to new ways of thinking and career paths.

Great Decisions

Great Decisions is a year-long student enrichment program on foreign affairs that fosters critical thinking, conversation, and decisions making skills. Since 2004, the Great Decisions program has grown to include 20 area high schools, reaching students from schools in low-income communities as well as career academies and private schools. Briefing books published annually by the Foreign Policy Association highlight eight of the most thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing Americans. College professors and high school teachers co-facilitate monthly sessions encouraging students to drive the conversation, ask questions, and share opinions.

2023 Participants

High Schools:

  • Allen D. Nease
  • Bolles School
  • Creekside
  • Darnell-Cookman
  • Douglas Anderson
  • Duncan U. Fletcher
  • Episcopal School of Jacksonville
  • Fernandina Beach
  • Fleming Island
  • Jean Ribault
  • Mandarin
  • Ponte Vedra
  • Riverside
  • Samuel W. Wolfson
  • Stanton
  • Terry Parker
  • Tocoi Creek
  • West Nassau
  • William M. Raines
  • Yulee


  • University of North Florida
  • Flagler College
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Jacksonville University

Companion Programs

Student Interactions

Great Decisions students receive unique opportunities for exposure to timely topics and world-class speakers in an interactive setting. These student interactions include an hour of dialogue with Global Issues Evening speakers, followed by dinner with university students who facilitate further conversation before the students attend the Global Issues Evenings.

International Crisis Management Exercise (ICME)

ICME is a role-play exercise where students serve as members of the National Security Council and collaborate to develop recommendations for an acting president regarding a timely international crisis. Students foster strong teamwork skills and are encouraged to analyze events from multiple points of view.

Kick-Off Dinner & Dialogue

The Kick-Off Dinner & Dialogue allows students from 19 high schools in Duval, Nassau, Clay, and St. Johns counties to start each school year with a timely discussion on world events. Participants from our Great Decisions program hear from a diverse of group of expert panel speakers about current developments in some of the world’s most fragile regions and the unique challenges they pose to U.S.and global security. Q&A with the panelists and opportunities to continue the conversation following the presentation are key components of the program.


Admiral Jonathan T. Howe Academic WorldQuest

Academic WorldQuest, a flagship program of the World Affairs Council network, is a team game testing competitors’ knowledge of international affairs, geography, history, and culture. There are currently more than 40 local competitions held around the country, and the winners of these local competitions are invited to compete in the National Academic WorldQuest competition held in Washington, D.C. each spring.

The 2024 competition will take place on February 8, 2024. The competition is open to all Northeast Florida high schools, and registration is free of charge. Make sure to click the button below for more information and register your team today!

Ambassador Marilyn McAfee Scholarship

The annual Ambassador Marilyn McAfee Scholarship Program presents multiple scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students with outstanding academic performance and career aspirations in international business, public policy, foreign affairs, or military service. Named in honor of former Council Chairman Ambassador Marilyn McAfee, the purpose of the scholarship program is to help defray costs of an international experience outside of the United States as part of the recipients’ educational development. The 2024 application is open from January 8, 2024 to March 11, 2024.

Please click HERE to access the application.

Join the Council’s Board of Directors

The Board Fellows program offers two exceptional area undergraduate students the opportunity to serve as non-voting members on the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville’s Board of Directors for a one-year term. Board Fellows work closely with the Board of Directors and Council staff, attend board meetings and Council programs, serve on committees, and gain firsthand experience in community service and stewardship. Additionally, Board Fellows are provided professional networking opportunities with Jacksonville’s business and philanthropic leaders and special access to premier Council offerings. The 2024 application is open from January 8, 2024 to March 11, 2024.

Please click HERE to access the application.

Featured Events

Welcome New Members