skip navigation
Charles Hostler Institute of World Affairs, San Diego State University, Serving as a forum for the analysis and discussion of international relations since 1942 San Diego State University


Ambassador Charles W. Hostler

The Institute on World Affairs (IWA), founded in 1942, has long served as an academic and public policy forum for the analysis and discussion of international relations. It is the second oldest organization of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Its purpose is to make available to the SDSU community, and to the people of Southern California, a forum for the discussion of critical topics in international affairs. This purpose is accomplished primarily by inviting distinguished authorities to address the institute on issues of contemporary international import. The institute has hosted ambassadors to the U.S. 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 Professors Hans Morgenthau and Robert Scalapino, British Ambassador to the United Nations Lord Caradon, American statesman Ralph Bunche, California Governor Pat Brown, French diplomat and author Romain Gary, Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg, Russian Premier Alexander Kerensky, and USAF Chief of Staff and SDSU graduate General Merril McPeak. American politicians, military and government officials, diplomatic and governmental representatives from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East have also participated in institute sessions over the years.

For more than half a century, the institute has functioned according to the motto – AUDIATUR ET ALTERA PARS (Let The Other Side Be Heard). Given today’s pressing problems of international affairs and the obligation of an excellent university to help inform students, faculty, and the wider community regarding these problems, the Charles Hostler Institute on World Affairs plays a critical role in the educational mission of SDSU.

The Institute on World Affairs now bears the name of Ambassador Charles W. Hostler, former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, who has served his country with distinction and continues to do so through his ongoing diplomatic efforts, as well as through his generous support of the IWA.