|Type||Public policy think tank|
|Headquarters||Harold Pratt House, 58 East 68th Street, Manhattan|
|Richard N. Haass|
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), founded in 1921, is a United States nonprofit think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. It is headquartered in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C. Its membership, which numbers 5,103, has included senior politicians, more than a dozen secretaries of state,[ citation needed ] CIA directors, bankers, lawyers, professors, and senior media figures.
CFR meetings convene government officials, global business leaders and prominent members of the intelligence and foreign-policy community to discuss international issues. CFR has published the bi-monthly journal Foreign Affairs since 1922, and runs the David Rockefeller Studies Program, which influences foreign policy by making recommendations to the presidential administration and diplomatic community, testifying before Congress, interacting with the media, and publishing on foreign policy issues.
Towards the end of World War I, a working fellowship of about 150 scholars called "The Inquiry" was tasked to brief President Woodrow Wilson about options for the postwar world when Germany was defeated. This academic band, including Wilson's closest adviser and long-time friend "Colonel" Edward M. House, as well as Walter Lippmann, met to assemble the strategy for the postwar world. 13–14 The team produced more than 2,000 documents detailing and analyzing the political, economic, and social facts globally that would be helpful for Wilson in the peace talks. Their reports formed the basis for the Fourteen Points, which outlined Wilson's strategy for peace after war's end. These scholars then traveled to the Paris Peace Conference 1919 and participated in the discussions there. :1–5:
As a result of discussions at the Peace Conference, a small group of British and American diplomats and scholars met on May 30, 1919 at the Hotel Majestic in Paris and decided to create an Anglo-American organization called "The Institute of International Affairs", which would have offices in London and New York. 12 :5 Ultimately, the British and American delegates formed separate institutes, with the British developing the Royal Institute of International Affairs or Chatham House in London. Due to the isolationist views prevalent in American society at the time, the scholars had difficulty gaining traction with their plan, and turned their focus instead to a set of discreet meetings which had been taking place since June 1918 in New York City, under the name "Council on Foreign Relations". The meetings were headed by the corporate lawyer Elihu Root, who had served as Secretary of State under President Theodore Roosevelt, and attended by 108 "high-ranking officers of banking, manufacturing, trading and finance companies, together with many lawyers". The members were proponents of Wilson's internationalism, but were particularly concerned about "the effect that the war and the treaty of peace might have on postwar business". :6–7 The scholars from the inquiry saw an opportunity to create an organization that brought diplomats, high-level government officials, and academics together with lawyers, bankers, and industrialists to engineer government policy. On July 29, 1921, they filed a certification of incorporation, officially forming the Council on Foreign Relations. :8–9:
In 1922, Edwin F. Gay, former dean of the Harvard Business School and director of the Shipping Board during the war, spearheaded the Council's efforts to begin publication of a magazine that would be the "authoritative" source on foreign policy. He gathered US$125,000 (equivalent to $1,909,294in 2019) from the wealthy members on the council, as well as by sending letters soliciting funds to "the thousand richest Americans". Using these funds, the first issue of Foreign Affairs was published in September 1922, and within a few years had gained a reputation as the "most authoritative American review dealing with international relations". :17–18
In the late 1930s, the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation began contributing large amounts of money to the Council. 30–31In 1938, they created various Committees on Foreign Relations, which later became governed by the American Committees on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., throughout the country, funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation. Influential men were to be chosen in a number of cities, and would then be brought together for discussions in their own communities as well as participating in an annual conference in New York. These local committees served to influence local leaders and shape public opinion to build support for the Council's policies, while also acting as "useful listening posts" through which the Council and U.S. government could "sense the mood of the country". :
Beginning in 1939, and lasting for five years, the Council achieved much greater prominence within the government and the State Department, when it established the strictly confidential War and Peace Studies , funded entirely by the Rockefeller Foundation. 23 The secrecy surrounding this group was such that the Council members who were not involved in its deliberations were completely unaware of the study group's existence. :26 It was divided into four functional topic groups: economic and financial; security and armaments; territorial; and political. The security and armaments group was headed by Allen Welsh Dulles, who later became a pivotal figure in the CIA's predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). CFR ultimately produced 682 memoranda for the State Department, which were marked classified and circulated among the appropriate government departments. :23–26:
A critical study found that of 502 government officials surveyed from 1945 to 1972, more than half were members of the Council. 48 During the Eisenhower administration 40% of the top U.S. foreign policy officials were CFR members (Eisenhower himself had been a council member); under Truman, 42% of the top posts were filled by council members. During the Kennedy administration, this number rose to 51%, and peaked at 57% under the Johnson administration. :62–64:
In an anonymous piece called "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" that appeared in Foreign Affairs in 1947, CFR study group member George Kennan coined the term "containment". The essay would prove to be highly influential in US foreign policy for seven upcoming presidential administrations. Forty years later, Kennan explained that he had never suspected the Russians of any desire to launch an attack on America; he thought that it was obvious enough and he did not need to explain it in his essay. William Bundy credited CFR's study groups with helping to lay the framework of thinking that led to the Marshall Plan and NATO. Due to new interest in the group, membership grew towards 1,000. 35–39:
Dwight D. Eisenhower chaired a CFR study group while he served as President of Columbia University. One member later said, "whatever General Eisenhower knows about economics, he has learned at the study group meetings." 35–44 The CFR study group devised an expanded study group called "Americans for Eisenhower" to increase his chances for the presidency. Eisenhower would later draw many Cabinet members from CFR ranks and become a CFR member himself. His primary CFR appointment was Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Dulles gave a public address at the Harold Pratt House in New York City in which he announced a new direction for Eisenhower's foreign policy: "There is no local defense which alone will contain the mighty land power of the communist world. Local defenses must be reinforced by the further deterrent of massive retaliatory power." After this speech, the council convened a session on "Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy" and chose Henry Kissinger to head it. Kissinger spent the following academic year working on the project at Council headquarters. The book of the same name that he published from his research in 1957 gave him national recognition, topping the national bestseller lists. :39–41:
On November 24, 1953, a study group heard a report from political scientist William Henderson regarding the ongoing conflict between France and Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh forces, a struggle that would later become known as the First Indochina War. Henderson argued that Ho's cause was primarily nationalist in nature and that Marxism had "little to do with the current revolution." Further, the report said, the United States could work with Ho to guide his movement away from Communism. State Department officials, however, expressed skepticism about direct American intervention in Vietnam and the idea was tabled. Over the next twenty years, the United States would find itself allied with anti-Communist South Vietnam and against Ho and his supporters in the Vietnam War. 40, 49–67:
The Council served as a "breeding ground" for important American policies such as mutual deterrence, arms control, and nuclear non-proliferation. 40–42:
In 1962 the group began a program of bringing select Air Force officers to the Harold Pratt House to study alongside its scholars. The Army, Navy and Marine Corps requested they start similar programs for their own officers. 46:
A four-year-long study of relations between America and China was conducted by the Council between 1964 and 1968. One study published in 1966 concluded that American citizens were more open to talks with China than their elected leaders. Henry Kissinger had continued to publish in Foreign Affairs and was appointed by President Nixon to serve as National Security Adviser in 1969. In 1971, he embarked on a secret trip to Beijing to broach talks with Chinese leaders. Richard Nixon went to China in 1972, and diplomatic relations were completely normalized by President Carter's Secretary of State, another Council member, Cyrus Vance. 42–44:
Vietnam created a rift within the organization. When Hamilton Fish Armstrong announced in 1970 that he would be leaving the helm of Foreign Affairs after 45 years, new chairman David Rockefeller approached a family friend, William Bundy, to take over the position. Anti-war advocates within the Council rose in protest against this appointment, claiming that Bundy's hawkish record in the State and Defense Departments and the CIA precluded him from taking over an independent journal. Some considered Bundy a war criminal for his prior actions. 50–51:
In November 1979, while chairman of CFR, David Rockefeller became embroiled in an international incident when he and Henry Kissinger, along with John J. McCloy and Rockefeller aides, persuaded President Jimmy Carter through the State Department to admit the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, into the US for hospital treatment for lymphoma. This action directly precipitated what is known as the Iran hostage crisis and placed Rockefeller under intense media scrutiny (particularly from The New York Times ) for the first time in his public life.
In his book White House Diary , Carter wrote of the affair, "April 9  David Rockefeller came in, apparently to induce me to let the shah come to the United States. Rockefeller, Kissinger, and Brzezinski seem to be adopting this as a joint project".
The CFR has two types of membership: life membership; and term membership, which lasts for 5 years and is available only to those between the ages of 30 and 36. Only U.S. citizens (native born or naturalized) and permanent residents who have applied for U.S. citizenship are eligible. A candidate for life membership must be nominated in writing by one Council member and seconded by a minimum of three others. Visiting fellows are prohibited from applying for membership until they have completed their fellowship tenure.
Corporate membership (250 in total) is divided into "Associates", "Affiliates", "President's Circle", and "Founders". All corporate executive members have opportunities to hear speakers, including foreign heads of state, chairmen and CEOs of multinational corporations, and U.S. officials and Congressmen. President and premium members are also entitled to attend small, private dinners or receptions with senior American officials and world leaders.
Members of CFR's board of directors include:
The council publishes the international affairs magazine Foreign Affairs . It also establishes independent task forces, which bring together various experts to produce reports offering both findings and policy prescriptions on foreign policy topics. CFR has sponsored more than fifty reports, including the Independent Task Force on the Future of North America that published report No. 53, entitled Building a North American Community, in May 2005.
The council received a three star rating (out of a possible four stars) from Charity Navigator in fiscal year 2016, as measured by their analysis of the council's financial data and "accountability and transparency".
Henry Alfred Kissinger is an American politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. A Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, he became National Security Advisor in 1969 and U.S. Secretary of State in 1973. For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam, Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest.
The United States National Security council was established following the coordination of the foreign policy system in the United States in 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. An administrative agency guiding national security issues was found to be needed since world war II. The national Security Act of 1947 provides the council with powers of setting up and adjusting foreign policies and reconcile diplomatic and military establishments. It established a Secretary of Defence, a National Military Establishment which serves as central intelligence agency and a National Security Resources Board. The specific structure of the United States National Security Council can be different depending on the elected party of the time. Different party emphasize on different aspects of policy making and administrating.
The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental, nonpartisan discussion group founded by David Rockefeller in July 1973 to foster closer cooperation between Japan, Western Europe and North America.
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine of international relations and U.S. foreign policy published by the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. Founded on 15 September 1922, the print magazine is currently published every two months, while the website publishes articles daily and anthologies every other month.
The Rockefeller Foundation is an American private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. It was established by the Rockefeller family in New York State on May 14, 1913, when its charter was formally accepted by the New York State Legislature. The foundation was started by Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller ("Senior"), along with his son John D. Rockefeller Jr. ("Junior"), and Senior's principal business and philanthropic advisor, Frederick Taylor Gates.
William Putnam "Bill" Bundy was an American attorney and intelligence expert, an analyst with the CIA. Bundy served as a foreign affairs advisor to both presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He had key roles in planning the Vietnam War, serving as deputy to Paul Nitze under Kennedy and as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs under Johnson.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a think tank based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. CSIS was founded as the "Center for Strategic and International Studies" of Georgetown University in 1962. The center conducts policy studies and strategic analyses of political, economic and security issues throughout the world, with a specific focus on issues concerning international relations, trade, technology, finance, energy and geostrategy.
David Rockefeller was an American banker who served as chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation. He was the oldest living member of the third generation of the Rockefeller family, and family patriarch from August 2004 until his death in March 2017. Rockefeller was the youngest child of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and a grandson of John D. Rockefeller and Laura Spelman Rockefeller.
Charles Woodruff Yost was a career U.S. Career Ambassador who was assigned as his country's representative to the United Nations from 1969 to 1971.
Winston Lord is an American diplomat and leader of non-governmental foreign policy organizations. He has served as Special Assistant to the National Security Advisor (1970–1973), Director of the State Department Policy Planning Staff (1973–1977), President of the Council on Foreign Relations (1977–1985), Ambassador to China (1985–1989), and Assistant Secretary of State (1993–1997).
Maurice Raymond "Hank" Greenberg is an American business executive and former chairman and chief executive officer of American International Group (AIG), which was the world's 18th largest public company and the largest insurance and financial services corporation in history.
Clifford Michael Sobel is an American business executive, financier, Republican fundraiser, U.S. diplomat and former ambassador.
Thomas Joel Miller is an American diplomat and three-time U.S. ambassador who served from 2010 until 2018 as president/CEO of International Executive Service Corps (IESC). IESC is a 50-year-old non-profit started by David Rockefeller and other prominent American businesspeople focusing on creating prosperity and stability through private enterprise; it has worked in over 130 countries.
Executive oversight of United States covert operations has been carried out by a series of sub-committees of the National Security Council (NSC).
Kurt Michael Campbell,, is an American diplomat and businessman, who formerly served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama administration. He is the chairman and CEO of The Asia Group, LLC, which he founded in February 2013.
There are two types of Council on Foreign Relations membership: life, and term membership, which lasts for five years and is available to those between the ages of 30 and 36 at the time of their application. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have applied for U.S. citizenship are eligible. A candidate for life membership must be nominated in writing by one Council member and seconded by a minimum of three others.
Robert D. "Bob" Hormats is Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates. Immediately prior he served as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment from 2009 to 2013. Hormats was formerly Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs (International), which he joined in 1982. He served as Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary, from 1977 to 1979, and Assistant Secretary of State, from 1981 to 1982, at the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. He was Ambassador and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative from 1979 to 1981. He served as a senior staff member for International Economic Affairs on the United States National Security Council from 1969 to 1977, where he was senior economic adviser to Henry Kissinger, General Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski. He helped to manage the Nixon administration's opening of diplomatic relations with China's communist government. He was a recipient of the French Legion of Honor in 1982 and the Arthur S. Flemming Award in 1974.
The International Relations Council (IRC) is a non-profit non-partisan educational organization in Kansas City, Missouri, and a member of the World Affairs Councils of America. As an educational nonprofit, the IRC works in partnership with a range of businesses, universities, community organizations, K-12 schools, and other interested individuals to grow a global perspective and find international connections within the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. The IRC works to foster interest in and understanding of international affairs among the citizens of Kansas City through the development of various programs and events. As a membership organization, the IRC welcomes individuals and families, businesses, universities, and other organizations to join as IRC members in order to help sustain global-affairs education in the Kansas City community and receive various benefits.
The Bilderberg Conference 2012 took place at May 30 - June 3, 2012 and were held in Westfields Marriott Hotel, Chantilly, Virginia, United States, previous conferences were already held here in 2002 and 2008, Haifa in Israel was speculated as a possible venue earlier.
The Bilderberg Conference 2011 took place at June 9–12, 2011, and were held in Sankt Moritz, Switzerland at the Suvretta House.
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Council on Foreign Relations