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 fifty 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 Anya Schmemann, director of the Task Force Program, at 202-509-8419 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kristin Lewis, assistant director, at 202-509-8455 or email@example.com.
Current Independent Task Force Projects
The Council on Foreign Relations has convened an Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy in the Digital Age, co-chaired by John D. Negroponte, former deputy secretary of state and director of national intelligence, and Samuel J. Palmisano, former chairman of the board of IBM Corporation.
The Task Force is examining U.S. interests in the digital realm, assessing existing policy, and making recommendations for future policy. In its analysis, the Task Force will consider issues of Internet governance and international cooperation on cybersecurity, trade, and intellectual property, among other important issues.
Adam Segal, CFR's Maurice R. Greenberg senior fellow for China Studies, serves as the project's director. The Task Force was launched in August 2012, and the group aims to produce a report in early 2013.