The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. Our goal is to start a conversation in this country about the need for Americans to better understand the world.

CFRMission Statement

 

What We Do

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CFR’s membership represents a group unmatched in accomplishment and diversity in the field of international affairs. In this video, members including Robert E. Rubin, Condoleezza Rice, Fareed Zakaria, and Angelina Jolie explain why CFR is a trusted and indispensable resource on the foreign policy choices facing the United States. 

MORE ABOUT CFR

Our Leadership

President
Council on Foreign Relations
Chairman
Cofounder and Co-executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group
Vice Chairman
Cofounder, Centerview Partners
Vice Chairman
CEO and Vice Chairman, Kissinger Associates

Our History

The Founders of CFR

After the difficult negotiations of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, a group of diplomats, financiers, generals, and lawyers concluded that Americans needed to be better prepared for significant responsibilities and decision-making in world affairs. With this in mind, they founded the Council on Foreign Relations in 1921 to “afford a continuous conference on international questions affecting the United States, by bringing together experts on statecraft, finance, industry, education, and science.”

Membership

Shannon O'Neil speaking at a Term Member Conference

The Council on Foreign Relations is first and foremost a membership organization whose individual and corporate members represent a group unmatched in accomplishment. Based throughout the country and around the world, CFR members are exposed to top talent and expertise brought together to generate intellectual conversation regarding the most relevant topics in foreign policy and international relations.

“The mission is to be a resource and a source of ideas, and to provide analysis and background to help people understand the world.” — Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
2018 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report of the Council of Foreign Relations

The 2018 Annual Report of the Council of Foreign Relations is available online.

Funding

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

Foreign Affairs

Published by the Council on Foreign Relations since 1922, just a year after the organization’s founding, Foreign Affairs has long been America’s leading forum for serious discussion of foreign policy and international affairs.