Independent Task Forces

The Council on Foreign Relations launched the Independent Task Force Program in 1995 with a Task Force on nuclear nonproliferation, chaired by Stephen J. Hadley, who most recently served as the national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration. More than seventy reports later, Task Forces have become a trademark of the Council.

The Council sponsors an Independent Task Force when an issue of current and critical importance to U.S. foreign policy arises, and it seems that a group diverse in backgrounds and perspectives may nonetheless be able to reach a meaningful consensus on a policy through private and nonpartisan deliberations. Once formed, Task Forces are independent. Task Force chairs, directors, and members are solely responsible for the content of their reports.

As Task Forces are intended to help shape the public debate on critical foreign policy issues, the Council mobilizes its resources to maximize the impact of Task Force reports, both at the time of the initial release and as developments warrant. In addition to media outreach, the Council supports the efforts of Task Force chairs and members to reach influential practitioners in the executive branch, in Congress, and beyond.

For a complete list of Council-sponsored Independent Task Force reports online, click here.

For more information on Independent Task Forces, please contact Chris Tuttle, director of the Independent Task Force Program, at 202.509.8422 or or Veronica Chiu, assistant director, at 202.509.8569 or

Current Independent Task Force Projects

Independent Task Force on U.S.-India Relations

Chairs: Charles R. Kaye, and Joseph S. Nye Jr., Distinguished Service Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Director: Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia
May 2015—Present

The Council on Foreign Relations has convened an Independent Task Force on U.S.-India Relations, co-chaired by Charles R. Kaye, co-chief executive officer at Warburg Pincus, and Joseph S. Nye Jr., university distinguished service professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The Task Force will analyze India's domestic and foreign policies as they relate to U.S. strategic interests, and generate a set of findings and recommendations to help inform policy options. The group aims to produce a report that will offer guidance to leading decision-makers on the U.S.-India bilateral relationship and India's role in the global economy, among other important issues.

The project is directed by CFR Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia Alyssa Ayres, who most recently served as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia from 2010 to 2013. The Task Force was launched in May 2015 and expects to release its report in the fall.