Term Member Program

The Stephen M. Kellen Term Member Program encourages promising young leaders in government, media, nongovernmental organizations, law, business, finance, and academia to engage 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 30 and 36, is elected to a five-year membership term.

The Term Member Program is supported by a generous gift from the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.


In addition to taking part in the full range of Council activities, the 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 around the country, and a one-week-long study trip abroad every two years. This year's Nineteenth Annual Term Member Conference featured Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson, and included plenaries featuring Middle East experts and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael G. Mullen.  Concurrent breakout session roundtables with CFR Fellows offered term members a chance for in-depth conversations on topics ranging from Europe’s economic future and developments in U.S. trade policy, to energy and geopolitics, and Israel and Palestine after the Gaza war. The conference ended with a team debate over whether the United States should do more to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the spring of 2015, a term member delegation visited Russia and Germany 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 day trips have included visits to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC, Google in New York, Eglin Air Force Base in Valparaiso, Florida, and the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington, DC.

How To Apply

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For further information about applying for term membership, please contact Membership at applications@cfr.org or +1.212.434.9456.