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Richard N. Haass

President, Council on Foreign Relations

Expertise

U.S. foreign policy; international security; globalization; Asia; Middle East

Bio

Dr. Richard Haass is in his fourteenth year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, publisher, and educational institution dedicated to being a resource to help people better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

In 2013, he served as the chair of the multi-party negotiations in Northern Ireland that provided the foundation for the 2014 Stormont House Agreement. For his efforts to promote peace and conflict resolution, he received the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award.

From January 2001 to June 2003, Dr. Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he was a principal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold the rank of ambassador, Dr. Haass also served as U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process. In recognition of his service, he received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award.

Dr. Haass has extensive additional government experience. From 1989 to 1993, he was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1991, Dr. Haass was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his contributions to the development and articulation of U.S. policy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Previously, he served in the Departments of State (1981-85) and Defense (1979-80) and was a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate.

Dr. Haass also was vice president and director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, the Sol M. Linowitz visiting professor of international studies at Hamilton College, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. A Rhodes scholar, Dr. Haass holds a BA from Oberlin College and Master and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Oxford University. He has also received numerous honorary degrees.

Dr. Haass is the author or editor of twelve books on American foreign policy and one book on management. His next book, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order, will be published in January 2017 by Penguin Press. 

Dr. Richard Haass was born in Brooklyn, New York and lives in New York City.

Featured Publications

All Publications

Op-Ed

To the Victors Go the Foils

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate

Richard N. Haass says that seemingly different nations with elections and political transitions in the coming months possess common internal challenges–a loss of economic and physical autonomy, the diffusion of information technology, and slower growth against a backdrop of larger and older populations–that will make more difficult the task of generating global consensus on how to meet threats beyond borders.

See more in Elections; Political Movements and Protests; Global

Press/Panels

Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on Meet the Press Daily

Dr. Richard Haass discusses the impact of a British exit from the European Union on U.S.-U.K. relations with Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily.

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Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on PBS Newshour

Dr. Richard Haass talks about the foreign policy outcomes of the British referendum vote with Judy Woodruff on PBS Newshour.

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Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on Squawk Box

Dr. Richard Haass addresses the potential repercussions of the British referendum vote on the unity of the United Kingdom on CNBC's Squawk Box

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Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on Bloomberg Surveillance

Dr. Richard Haass discusses the need for lifelong education that he spoke to in his commencement address at the University of New Hampshire on Bloomberg Surveillance

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Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on Morning Joe

Dr. Richard Haass discusses a Pew Research poll that describes views towards U.S. involvement in the world on Morning Joe. 

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Article

Dr. Richard Haass on Cuba

Dr. Richard Haass is quoted in this Politico article by Edward-Isaac Dovere on President Obama's approach to Cuba. 

Article

Dr. Richard Haass quoted in the Washington Post

In an article by Jenna Johnson and Phillip Rucker, Dr. Richard Haass comments that “the presidential campaign here is of intense interest to the entire world, in no small part because people and countries everywhere will be affected by our choice.”

Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on MSNBC

Dr. Richard Haass discusses the severing of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports

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Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on CNN

On CNN's Quest Means Business Dr. Richard Haass discusses ISIS funding and the United Nations Security Council Resolution. 

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Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on Morning Joe

On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Dr. Richard Haass talks about President Obama's speech at the Pentagon on counter-ISIS strategy. 

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Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on Bloomberg

On Bloomberg, Dr. Richard Haass talks about nations' ability to follow through on the climate change agreement reached in Paris. 

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Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on Bloomberg News

Dr. Richard Haass discusses President Obama’s address to the nation and Hillary Clinton's foreign policy on Bloomberg's With All Due Respect.

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Video Interview

Paris Climate Summit

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Dr. Richard Haass talks about the Paris Climate Summit and the role of China and India. 

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Video Interview

Attacks in Paris

On CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Dr. Richard Haass discusses the attacks in Paris. 

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Article

Eradicating ISIS

In this Huffington Post article by Sam Stein and Jessica Schulberg, Dr. Richard Haass says, "Eliminating or eradicating the threat is impossible. We could be 99.99% effective and there would still be enough people to cause real harm. The goal should be to reduce -- dramatically -- the scale of the threat and what it can accomplish."

Article

How to Form an Army to Fight Islamic State

In this Wall Street Journal article by Gerald Seib, Dr. Richard Haass says, "The answer is not going to be an enormous force of Westerners. That’s not an answer. A U.S. or a NATO force wouldn’t fare better in western Iraq and much of Syria than the U.S. force did in Iraq or a NATO force did in Afghanistan. We need local partners.”

Article

Yearning to Breathe Free

In this Economist article on refugees, Dr. Richard Haass is quoted saying “We have a history of openness to immigrants and refugees, which has been good for us, and made the DNA of our country.”

Video Interview

Troops in Afghanistan

Following President Obama's announcement to maintain a higher troop presence in Afghanistan, Dr. Richard Haass comments on MSNBC. 

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Article

Obama's Doctrine of Restraint

In Roger Cohen's New York Times op-ed, Dr. Richard Haass says “I think Obama exaggerates the limits and underestimates the upside of American power, even if the trend is toward a more difficult environment for translating power and influence. By doing so, he runs the risk of actually reinforcing the very trends that give him pause. Too often during his presidency the gap between ends and means has been our undoing.”

Video Interview

Russia's Actions in Syria

On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Dr. Richard Haass interviews Secretary Albright about Putin's actions in Syria.

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Video Interview

Dr. Richard Haass on Tavis Smiley Show

On PBS's Tavis Smiley Show, Dr. Richard Haass discusses the Iranian nuclear deal, the EU migrant and refugee crisis, and other global issues. 

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Radio Interview

Iran Nuclear Deal

Dr. Richard Haass discusses the Iran nuclear deal on Sirius XM Morning Briefing.

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Video Interview

American Foreign Policy: Does it Begin at Home?

Dr. Richard Haass joins Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs director Graham Allison in the JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard University for a conversation on U.S. foreign policy.

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Article

The Irony of American Strategy

A decade ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the United States chose to immerse itself in the greater Middle East when it had little reason to dive in. But now that most Americans want little to do with the region, U.S. officials are finding it difficult to turn away.

Article

Why a Foreign Policy Debate Is an Anachronism

Presidential candidates should not only be asked how they will deal with foreign policy challenges but also what they would do ensure the United States is positioned to meet them, says Richard N. Haass in this Politico op-ed.

Video Interview

Obama Speaks at UN General Assembly

Dr. Richard Haass talks about President Obama's speech at the UN General Assembly, anti-American protests throughout the Arab world, and the Obama administration's foreign policy, on the PBS NewsHour.

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Article

Lack of Skilled Employees Hurting Manufacturing

In this USA Today op-ed, Richard Haass and Klaus Kleinfeld argue, "If the United States is to remain economically competitive, it must do a better job educating its children."

Video Interview

The China Challenge

Dr. Richard Haass discusses necessary restructuring of China's economy in light of imminent political change on CNBC's Squawk Box.

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Video Interview

What Should Be Done in Syria?

On the PBS Newshour, Dr. Richard Haass speaks about the ramifications of international intervention in Syria.

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Video Interview

Davos Talking Points

Dr. Richard Haass previews the geopolitical landscape ahead of the 2012 World Economic Forum on CNBC's Closing Bell.

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