At the end of World War I there was a concern that the US would choose an isolationist foreign policy over engagement. In 1918 two organizations, the Foreign Policy Association and the Word Affairs Councils worked together to nurture grassroots citizen involvement in international affairs. By 1947 these two organizations operated as a national organization composed of a network of independent community councils. In 1986 these two organizations merged into The World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The Indiana Council on World Affairs was founded in Indianapolis in 1955 as one of these community councils.
For more than a half a century the Indiana Chapter has brought to Indianapolis meaningful programming to Indianapolis to help enlighten and engage its citizenry.