The Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs plays a critical role in the educational mission of SDSU. It was founded in 1942 as the Institute on World Affairs to inform students, faculty, and the wider public on global affairs. The Institute has provided the SDSU and greater San Diego community with high level and spirited intellectual engagement on a rich diversity of international issues and controversies.
The institute has hosted ambassadors from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, and Yemen. Distinguished speakers have included Nobel Laureates Willard Libby, Linus Pauling, and Harold Urey, as well as leading international relations and legal scholars Hans Morgenthau and Richard Falk, British Ambassador to the United Nations Lord Caradon (who drafted UN Security Council Resolution 242, the “land for peace” Middle East resolution), American statesman Ralph Bunche, California Governor Pat Brown, Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg, Russian Premier Alexander Kerensky, and a leading global jurist and diplomat Richard Goldstone (former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals on the Former Yugoslavia and on Rwanda. Recent topics have included drone warfare and targeted killings, international war crime courts, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and new challenges in U.S. foreign policy. It plans upcoming talks on the legacy of President Obama’s foreign policy and on Iran’s evolving foreign policy in the region, including its complex historical relations with Israel.
The Institute prides itself on encouraging robust critical debate, including the airing of highly controversial themes. Its operating motto is AUDIATUR ET ALTERA PARS (Let the Other Side be Heard). The Institute’s speakers are drawn from all areas of global affairs, including international diplomacy, academia, national security, and protest politics. It is now honored to bear the name of Charles W. Hostler, former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain. Ambassador Hostler served his country with distinction and provided generous support in time and money to the Institute and many other worthy causes.