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Our Club Today

Welcome to Washington International Club is a volunteer, not-for-profit service organization, dependent on the efforts of its members to organize its activities and events. There are no salaried employees. Organizational expenses are covered by the modest annual member dues.

The Club remains faithful to its original mission of providing a social & educational environment to foster friendships between women from the US and around the world.  The Club adheres to the following Guiding Principles:

Current Membership

Currently, we have nearly 500 members from  80 nations who share the desire for international understanding, respect and friendship in a peaceful world. Membership is balanced among native-born US citizens, foreign-born US citizens, and citizens of other nations and includes women ambassadors and wives of ambassadors accredited to the United States.
If you would like more information about membership, please click here.

Adair & Quilt

Photo: Member, Caroline Dimmers, holding up a photo of her mother, the Club's Founder, Marian Adair, against the ceremonial quilt celebrating representative countries


The Club supports a wide variety of activities, many of which take place at venues not normally accessible to the public at large. Many events take place in members’ homes. Most of these activities are pursued in the framework of our Interest Groups, which form the core of the organization.  We also engage in joint programs with like-minded organizations.

Interest Groups

The Interest Group members sponsor monthly events. The Groups are:

Art Tours: Docent-conducted tours, studio visits, field trips and “meet the artist” events

Designing Women: Programs dedicated to the whole woman – her health, her appearance, her environment

Gourmet: Cooking demonstrations, special restaurant luncheons, specialty dishes and recipes shared by members
Literature & Travel Adventures: Travel experiences shared by members, as well as authors speaking about their experiences and books

Telling Our Stories: Life journeys shared by members, held in member's homes.

Washington Behind The Scenes: Trips in the DC area to destinations off the beaten track, including Embassy programs

Weekenders: Tours, entertainment, and dining for members and their guests

Language Groups

The Club also organizes Language Groups which meet regularly in a member’s home. Studies involve vocabulary, pronunciation, and reading. Most conversation groups are designed to give members the opportunity to enhance and maintain previously acquired language skills. We currently offer French and Mandarin Chinese. The English conversation group provides the opportunity for international members to practice and improve their English.

Informal Activities

Many members also pursue other interests not covered by the aforementioned activities. Customarily, these activities and events are smaller in attendance than those of the Interest Groups and have no formal schedule. Informal activities groups are created as interests change and grow. Among these groups are Body and Brain Wellness, Brunch Bunch, International Money Makers and Short Stories.

Club-Wide Events.
These include the Annual Meeting and Luncheon in May and the Fall Tea which features a keynote speaker and cultural presentations.  

We also engage in Club-wide events of interest to members: Embassy events, joint programs with like-minded institutions, "pop up" docent-led programs, and more.

The Beginning (1959)

Washington, DC was a very different place in 1959, the year of the founding of Welcome to Washington. At that time, the opportunity for visiting wives and professional women to make social contacts in the DC area was very limited. Very few social, cultural and educational organizations were available to them.

Being very well aware of the challenges facing women, an inspired woman, Marian Adair, recognized the need for an organization devoted to interaction between US women and those of other nations. Marian, from  Ann Arbor, Michigan, came to Washington when her husband, Ross, was elected to Congress in 1950. She understood and took to heart President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1958 initiative “People to People”, which promoted international peace through developing and nurturing personal relationships across international borders.

During her 20 years in the area, Marian fulfilled her goal of creating opportunities for women to interact by founding, among many other organizations, the Welcome to Washington International Club (WTW). On April 13, 1959, its first meeting took place and as aindication of positive things to come, 135 women attended.

Fourteen special interest groups were chartered at that meeting – the Club was on its way!

Welcome Clubs International

In 1986, it became apparent that an “umbrella organization” was needed to provide support to members of Welcome to Washington International Club who upon their return to their home countries were forming clubs modeled on the original club in Washington. It was then that Welcome Clubs International (WCI) was created.

Since 1986, WCI has steadily grown to include sister clubs throughout the world: Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South America.

To see a list of the sister clubs,
click here.

Note: Welcome to Washington International Club and WCI are completely separate and independent organizations.