The Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh announced today the appointment of Steven E. Sokol as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective this June. Sokol succeeds Dr. Schuyler Foerster, who led the organization for the past 13 years.
In his role as President and CEO, Sokol will oversee all Council operations, including the development and implementation of some 175 programs that reach over 17,000 people annually. Through these programs – plus a weekly radio show and webcasts – the Council seeks to foster informed, independent, and critical thinking about important global issues as they affect the nation, the region, and Pittsburgh.
“We are delighted to have Steve take over at the helm of the Council,” said David A. Murdoch, Chairman of the Council’s Board of Directors. “Steve’s unique background and experience promoting a deeper understanding of global issues with policy makers, business leaders, journalists, and academics will serve the Council well as it positions itself to address the challenges of the 21st century.”
Murdoch also noted that Sokol brings an “entrepreneurial spirit” to the management of a non-profit organization. Sokol has 20 years of experience with foundations, think tanks, and NGOs in Europe and the United States, and has spent over ten years working at non-partisan membership-based organizations focusing on a range of domestic and foreign policy issues.
Since 2002, Sokol has served as Vice President and Director of Programs at The American Council on Germany (ACG), where he oversees programming in New York as well as the ACG’s 18 Eric M. Warburg Chapters across the United States. In addition to his work at the ACG, Sokol launched the Political Salon which brings together mid-career professionals in New York City to discuss pressing foreign policy issues and global concerns. Prior to the ACG, Sokol was the Deputy Director of the Aspen Institute Berlin. He has also worked for a non-profit consulting company and as a Program Officer at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
“It is an honor and a privilege to join the team at the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh,” said Sokol. “The Council has a stellar reputation as one of the premier organizations of its kind. I am very excited to contribute to the continued growth and excellence of this organization.” Sokol added that he wants to make sure the Council focuses on issues of relevance for the Pittsburgh community and that he hopes to work closely with the Council’s board and staff to excite decision makers and opinion leaders – as well as the successor generation – about the importance of global affairs. “The World Affairs Council can serve as Pittsburgh’s window on the world.”
Sokol is a frequent commentator on transatlantic relations and German and American political affairs in the U.S. and European media. He is currently working on a Doctorate in Law and Policy at Northeastern University and holds an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University’s Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. Sokol has also studied at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Freie Universität in Berlin.