Member Programs

Stephen M. Kellen
Term Member Program

CFR’s Term Member program allows younger members to interact with seasoned foreign policy experts and participate in a variety of events and trips designed especially for them.


The Stephen M. Kellen Term Member Program provides young professionals in government, media, nongovernmental organizations, law, business, finance, and academia the opportunity to participate in a sustained conversation on international affairs and U.S. foreign policy. The program allows these younger members to interact with seasoned foreign policy experts and participate in a wide variety of events designed especially for them. Each year, a new class of term members between the ages of thirty and thirty-six is elected to serve a fixed five-year membership term.

The Stephen M. Kellen Term Member Program is named in honor of long-time Council member Stephen Kellen who was deeply committed to the development of the next generation of foreign policy leaders. The program continues to be generously supported by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.


In addition to taking part in a full range of CFR activities, term members also enjoy an array of special events with high-profile speakers, including an annual Term Member Conference, roundtables, workshops, trips to financial and governmental institutions across the country, and a week-long study trip abroad every two years. The Twenty-Second Annual Term Member Conference featured CIA Director Mike Pompeo, CENTCOM Commander Joseph L. Votel, and Futurist Ray Kurzweil. Concurrent breakout-session roundtables with CFR Fellows offered term members the opportunity for in-depth conversations on critical issues, ranging from Iran and the war against the self-declared Islamic State, to emerging markets, clean energy technology, and cybersecurity. The conference also included sessions on innovation and development in Africa and the future of civil-military relations.

In the spring of 2016, a term member delegation visited Mexico for a week-long series of briefings and meetings with government officials, and with leaders in business, academia, local communities, and nongovernmental organizations. Other recent trips have included visits to the National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency, Capitol Hill, West Point, Annapolis, and Seattle, Washington.

To Apply

CFR term membership is restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have formally applied to become citizens. Candidates for term membership must be between thirty and thirty-six years of age on January 1, nominated in writing by a current CFR member, and seconded by two to three other individuals. Detailed information about membership and eligibility requirements can be found on the Individual Membership page.

Candidates must submit an online application, which consists of three parts:

  • contact information
  • CV
  • nominator and seconder information

Request an online application by clicking here.


For further information about applying for term membership, please contact Membership at or 212.434.9456.