Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) states that it is "dedicated to increasing America's understanding of the world and contributing ideas to U.S. foreign policy. The Council accomplishes this mainly by promoting constructive debates and discussions, clarifying world issues, and publishing Foreign Affairs."
In a September 2005 makeover of its website, the Council proclaimed itself to be "A Nonpartisan Resource for Information and Analysis"(sic), "to be the first-stop, nonpartisan resource on U.S. foreign policy and America’s role in the world", according to the press release.
- Council on Foreign Relations - Homeland Security
- Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on Latin America
- Council on Foreign Relations: Arthur Ross Book Award
- Council on Foreign Relations: Historical Roster of Directors and Officers
- Council on Foreign Relations: Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship
The CFR dates back to 1921, and in 1996 published its history, available on its website.
The membership of the CFR includes past Presidents, Ambassadors, Secretaries of State, Wall Street investors, international bankers, foundation executives, think tank executives, lobbyist lawyers, NATO and Pentagon military leaders, wealthy industrialists, journalists, media owners and executives, university presidents and key professors, select Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, Federal Judges, wealthy entrepreneurs, and as many as ten 9-11 Commission Members.  
Due perhaps more to its origins, associations, and history, than to its current composition and activities, the CFR does have a reputation as one of the "triumvirate of elite organizations" together with the Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission. Elitism doesn't necessarily preclude the ability to provide unbiased and useful service however. 
Carroll Quigley, Professor of History at Georgetown University, stated, "The Council of Foreign Relations is the American Branch of a society which originated in England and believes national boundaries should be obliterated and one-world rule established." 
They hold regular private meetings including members, and very select guests. Occasionally they will hold a public meeting, and invite the open press (including C-SPAN). The image of the CFR as a closed-shop bi-partisan discussion forum for the foreign policy establishment has fuelled criticism that the organisation and its members are controlling world policy and events.
In 1938 the Council created numerous Committees on Foreign Relations throughout the county, in 1995 the Committees became a separate organization under the umbrella of the American Committees on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C..
Current Independent Task Force Projects (January 2008)
- Independent Task Force on Civil Liberties and National Security (November 21, 2006—Present) – Chairs: Bob Kerrey and William H. Webster; Director: Daniel B. Prieto
- Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy toward Latin America (February 23, 2007—Present) – Chairs: Charlene Barshefsky, James T. Hill, and Shannon O'Neil; Directors: Julia E. Sweig - see Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on Latin America
- Independent Task Force on Global Climate Change (July 11, 2007—Present) – Chairs: George E. Pataki and Thomas J. Vilsack; Directors: Michael A. Levi and David G. Victor
Conspiracy theorists' views
The CFR and its members commonly feature prominently in conspiracy-oriented writings, such as those of anti-establishment conservatives, such as Lyndon LaRouche and Pat Robertson, as central advocates of the 'new world order'.
By way of example, James W. Wardner , claims he "exposes the evil forces behind the 'New World Order' and reveals the unholy alliances that are bringing about The Planned Destruction of America." 
In these writings the CFR is linked to other groups - such as the Trilateral Commission, the Illuminati , the Skull and Bones Society, and the Bilderberg Group - and portrayed as between them seeking to impose the 'new world order'.  (See also "Illuminati and Council on Foreign Relations" by Myron Fagan  ).
CFR Reports & Publications
- Nicholas Lehman, "How It Came To War" writes in The New Yorker, March 31, 2003, that in an interview with Richard Haass, Director of the Policy Planning staff at the State Department, he learned that Haass would be leaving the State Department to take the position of President of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. The position is currently held by Leslie H. Gelb.
- "Senior Statesmen Henry Kissinger and Lawrence Summers Chair New Council Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward Europe," April 14, 2003: Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and former Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence H. Summers will "co-chair a Council-sponsored independent task force on a new U.S. policy toward Europe. The bi-partisan task force will bring together leaders from business, former senior government officials, and policy experts to issue a report that will address the rift. The group will also include a number of European experts ... The Council-sponsored Task Force on Transatlantic Relations is made possible by generous grants from ENI SpA and Merrill Lynch."
- "U.S. Should Provide Iraqis and Americans With a More Coherent and Compelling Vision for Iraq's Political Future. Experts Urge President to Deliver Major Address to the Nation on Importance of Getting the Job Done Right in Post-War Iraq... the George Walker Bush administration must sharpen and deepen its commitment to making Iraq a better and safer place, conclude former UN Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering and former Defense and Energy Secretary James R. Schlesinger, co-chairs of the Council-sponsored Independent Task Force on post-war Iraq," June 25, 2003.
- "New Council-sponsored Independent Task Force on Emergency Responders, a blue-ribbon panel of Nobel laureates, U.S. military leaders, former high-level government officials, and other senior experts, led by former Senator Warren Bruce Rudman and advised by former White House terrorism and cyber-security chief Richard A. Clarke," June 29, 2003.
- "Nearly Two Years After 9/11, the United States is Still Dangerously Unprepared and Underfunded for a Catastrophic Terrorist Attack, Warns New Council Task Force. Overall Expenditures Must Be as Much as Tripled to Prepare Emergency Responders Across the Country."
- "The study was carried out in partnership with the Concord Coalition and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment, two of the nation's leading budget analysis organizations."
- "Jamie Metzl, Council Senior Fellow and a former National Security Council and Senate Foreign Relations Committee official, directed the effort."
- The Task Force on Emergency Responders is a follow on to the Council's highly acclaimed Hart-Rudman Task Force on Homeland Security , which made concrete recommendations in February 2001 on defending the country against a terrorist attack.
- TASK FORCE MEMBERS
- Warren B. Rudman (Chair)
- Charles Graham Boyd, Chief Executive Officer and President, Business Executives for National Security; Former Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command
- Richard A. Clarke (Senior Adviser); Senior Adviser, Council on Foreign Relations; Chairman of Good Harbor Consulting, LLC; Former Senior White House Adviser
- William J. Crowe, Jr., Senior Advisor, Global Options; Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
- James Kallstrom, Senior Executive Vice President, MBNA America; Former Director, Office of Public Security for the State of New York
- Joshua Lederberg, President-Emeritus and Sackler Foundation Scholar, Rockefeller University; Nobel Laureate
- Donald Marron, Chairman, UBS America and Chairman, Lightyear Capital
- Jamie Metzl (Project Director), Senior Fellow and Coordinator for Homeland Security Programs, Council on Foreign Relations; Former National Security Council aide; Former Senate Foreign Relations Committee official
- Philip A. Odeen, Former Chairman, TRW Inc.
- Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
- Dennis Reimer, Director, Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism; Former Chief of Staff, USA
- George P. Shultz, Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Former Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Labor, and Director, Office of Management and Budget
- Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
- David Stern, Commissioner, National Basketball Association
- Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner, National Football League
- Harold E. Varmus, President and Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Nobel Laureate
- John W. Vessey, Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
- William H. Webster, Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency; Former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Steven Weinberg, Director of the Theory Group, University of Texas; Nobel Laureate
- Mary Jo White, Partner and Chair of the Litigation Department, Debevoise & Plimpton; Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
- Commission of the Center for Preventive Action releases report: "Andes 2020: A New Strategy for the Challenges of Colombia and the Region," January 8, 2004.
- The central finding of which is stated as "Over the past two decades the United States has spent billions of dollars and significant manpower in the Andes region to stem the flow of illegal drugs; assist local security forces in the fight against drugs, terror and insurgency; and promote free markets, human rights, and democracy. Yet the democracies of the Andean region-Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia--are still at risk, and the prospect of regional collapse is real and poses a serious threat to U.S. lives and interests."
- link to .PDF version of the report
- The Commission attempts to redress what it considers to be a major weakness of current U.S. policy as embodied in Plan Colombia and the Andean Counter-drug Initiative: an overly narrow focus on counternarcotics and security issues, and the relative absence of complementary, comprehensive, regionally-oriented strategies.
- The Commission puts forth three objectives to rectify current policy. Determined action on these three strategic objectives will, over time, accomplish sustainable progress toward political, economic, and security goals that a policy focused mainly on supply-side counterdrug efforts cannot achieve.
- I. The need to more equitably distribute political and economic resources and power in each country, with a commitment to strategic rural land reform.
- II. The importance of greater participation by the international community on a range of diplomatic, political, economic, social, security, and humanitarian issues.
- III. The recognition that regional problems require regional approaches and that greater cooperation among the Andean countries is essential.
- Scott Sherman, Kissinger's Shadow Over the Council on Foreign Relations, The Nation, December 27, 2004 (print edition), December 6, 2004 (electronic version). Article describes the attempts by Kissinger to censor articles in a CFR's publication, Foreign Affairs. It reveals some of the internal politics, and the relationship between the operators.
- William Fisher, "Hope For Improving U.S. Communications With The Muslim World?," Scoop (New Zealand), May 26, 2005. A CFR report titled "A New Beginning: Strategies for a More Fruitful Dialogue with the Muslim World" suggests the U.S. try "listening more, a humbler tone, and focusing on bilateral aid and partnership, while tolerating disagreement on controversial policy issues" when trying to relate to Muslim nations. The report, based on focus groups in Morocco, Egypt and Indonesia, found that focus group members "do not take seriously U.S. government media, such as Radio Sawa, al-Hurra TV, and Hi magazine, as information sources." Specific recommendations include engaging "local and regional media via press releases, interviews, Op-Eds, press conferences, and site visits," and launching "an advertising campaign on U.S. aid and support for reform in local and regional media, and acknowledge the U.S. government as the source."
- Jim Lobe, in "Ignore Africa at Your Peril, Think Tank Warns Bush" (IPS News Agency, December 5, 2005), noted that the CFR's report, "More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach toward Africa," urges the Bush administration "to upgrade its diplomatic and intelligence capabilities in the region by appointing an ambassador to the African Union (AU) and opening more missions in key African cities, particularly in energy-producing countries. It also calls for greater high-level attention to resolving conflicts in the region, particularly those, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), that threaten the stability of whole sub-regions or involve large-scale atrocities."
As of June 2007:
- Richard N. Haass, President
- Janice L. Murray, Senior Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Operating Officer
- Jeffrey A. Reinke, Chief of Staff to the President
- Nita Colaço, Special Assistant to the President
- Charles Landow, Special Assistant to the President, Research
- Heather Parker, Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Operating Officer
- Eva Tatarczyk, Executive Assistant to the President
- Lilita V. Gusts, Secretary of the Corporation
- Sharon R. Herbst, Assistant Director, Special Projects
- Alton Frye, Presidential Senior Fellow Emeritus
- Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow
- Darren Geist, Research Associate to the President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow
- Elva Murphy, Assistant to the President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow
Accessed March 2011: 
- Carla A. Hills - Co-Chairman; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hills & Company
- Robert E. Rubin - Co-Chairman; Former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury
- Richard E. Salomon - Vice Chairman; Managing Partner, East End Advisors, LLC
- Richard N. Haass - President, Council on Foreign Relations
- John P. Abizaid
- Peter Ackerman - Managing Director, Rockport Capital, Inc.
- Fouad Ajami - M. Khadduri Prof. of Middle Eastern Studies, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
- Madeleine K. Albright - Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group LLC
- Henry S. Bienen - President Emeritus, Northwestern University
- Alan S. Blinder - Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University
- Mary Boies - Managing Partner, Boies & McInnis LLP
- David G. Bradley - Chairman, Atlantic Media Company
- Tom Brokaw - Special Correspondent, NBC News
- Sylvia Mathews Burwell - President, Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Kenneth M. Duberstein - Chairman and CEO, The Duberstein Group, Inc.
- Martin S. Feldstein - President Emeritus, National Bureau of Economic Research
- Stephen Friedman - Chairman, Stone Point Capital
- Ann M. Fudge
- Pamela Gann - President, Claremont McKenna College
- J. Tomilson Hill - Vice Chairman, The Blackstone Group
- Donna J. Hrinak - Senior Director, Latin America Government Affairs, PepsiCo, Inc.
- Alberto Ibargüen - President & Chief Executive Officer, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
- Shirley Ann Jackson - President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Henry R. Kravis - Co-CEO and Co-Chairman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
- Jami Miscik - President and Vice Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
- Joseph S. Nye, Jr. - Distinguished Service Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
- James W. Owens - Chairman, Caterpillar Inc.
- Peter G. Peterson - Chairman, Peter G. Peterson Foundation
- Colin L. Powell - United States Army (Ret.)
- Penny Pritzker - President & Chief Executive Officer, Pritzker Realty Group, L.P.
- David M. Rubenstein - Cofounder and Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
- George E. Rupp - President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
- Frederick W. Smith - Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Express Corporation
*Joan E. Spero - Visiting Fellow, Foundation Center
- Vin Weber - CEO and Managing Partner, Clark & Weinstock
- Christine Todd Whitman - President, The Whitman Strategy Group
- Fareed Zakaria - Editor, Newsweek International
Officers and Directors Emeriti:
- Leslie H. Gelb (President Emeritus)
- Maurice R. Greenberg (Honorary Vice Chairman)
- Peter G. Peterson (Chairman Emeritus)
- David Rockefeller (Honorary Chairman)
- Robert A. Scalapino (Director Emeritus)
As of June 2007:
- Peter Ackerman, Managing Director, Rockport Capital, Inc.
- Fouad Ajami, M. Khadduri Prof. of Middle Eastern Studies
- Madeleine K. Albright, Principal, The Albright Group LLC
- Charlene Barshefsky
- Henry S. Bienen, President, Northwestern University
- Stephen W. Bosworth, Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
- Tom Brokaw, former NBC News anchor
- Frank J. Caufield, Co-Founder, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- Kenneth M. Duberstein
- Martin S. Feldstein, President, National Bureau of Economic Research
- Richard N. Foster
- Ann M. Fudge
- Helene D. Gayle, President & CEO, CARE
- Maurice R. Greenberg
- Richard N. Haas, President
- Carla Anderson Hills, Vice Chairman; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hills & Company
- Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke
- Karen Elliot House
- Alberto Ibargüen
- Henry R. Kravis
- Michael H. Moskow, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
- Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
- Ronald L. Olson
- James W. Owens, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar Inc.
- Peter G. Peterson, Chairman; Senior Chairman and Co-Founder, The Blackstone Group
- Thomas R. Pickering
- Colin L. Powell, United States Army (Ret.)
- Robert E. Rubin, Vice Chairman; Director/Chairman of the Executive Committee, Citigroup, Inc.
- David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
- Richard E. Salomon
- Anne-Marie Slaughter
- Joan Edelman Spero
- Laura D'Andrea Tyson
- Vin Weber
- Christine Todd Whitman
- Fareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek International
- Leslie H. Gelb
- Maurice R. Greenberg, Honorary Vice Chairman
- Charles McC. Mathias, Jr.
- David Rockefeller, Honorary Chairman
- Robert A. Scalapino
International Advisory Board
Accessed September 2008: 
- Peter G. Peterson, Chairman
- Syed Babar Ali
- Khalid A. Alturki
- Mukesh D. Ambani
- Ahmad E. Bishara
- Mark C. Chona
- Gustavo A. Cisneros
- Gerhard Cromme
- Abdel Raouf El Reedy
- Jacob A. Frenkel
- Mikhail Fridman
- Toyoo Gyohten
- Baba Gana Kingibe
- Yotaro Kobayashi
- Rahmi M. Koc
- Luiz Felipe Lampreia
- Maurice Levy
- Brian Mulroney
- Sari Nusseibeh
- Sadako Ogata
- Lubna S. Olayan
- Ana Palacio
- Surin Pitsuwan
- Prannoy Roy
- Zalman Shoval
- Khehla Shubane
- Washington SyCip
- Horst M. Teltschik
- Jacob Wallenberg
- Jusuf Wanandi
- Shirley V. T. Brittain Williams
- Yuan Ming
- Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León
New York office
The Harold Pratt House
58 East 68th Street
New York, NY 10021
Tel. (212) 434-9400
Fax: (212) 434-9800
1779 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 518-3400
Fax (202) 986-2984
Web site: http://www.cfr.org/
Resources and articles
Related Sourcewatch articles
- Katrina vanden Heuvel
- Alan D. Bersin
- Council on Foreign Relations - Homeland Security
- CFR Personnel (Last updated in April 2003)
- Center for Preventive Action
- European Council on Foreign Relations
- Council on Foreign Relations: Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship
- ↑ Board, Council on Foreign Relations, accessed March 20, 2011.
- ↑ International Advisory Board, Council on Foreign Relations, accessed September 21, 2008.
- Council on Foreign Relations, "Membership Roster", Council on Foreign Relations 2008 Annual Report. (Pdf)
- Laurence H. Shoup, "Bush, Kerry, CFR and The Ruling Class", Z magazine, October 2004.
- Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, "Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy", (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977).
- Ben Lando, "Analysis: Report, nuke reality don't mesh," UPI, April 23, 2007.
- Michael Barker, "Elite ‘Democratic’ Planning at the Council on Foreign Relations", (Part 2), Znet, February 26, 2008.
- American Committees on Foreign Relations American Committees on Foreign relations website