The W. Averell Harriman Program annually supports a Studies Department activity pertaining to Europe.
W. Averell Harriman joined the Council in 1923, two years after its founding, and remained a member for 63 years. Originally an executive with the Union Pacific Railroad, he later founded Harriman Brothers (now Brown Brothers Harriman). In 1941 he became a special representative of President Roosevelt to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union for the lend-lease program. He became ambassador to the Soviet Union for the duration of the Second World War, and then became Ambassador to the United Kingdom before being appointed secretary of commerce in 1947. He later served as governor of New York from 1954 to 1958, and then became assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs. He was one of the lead negotiators for the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. From 1968 to 1969 he headed the U.S. delegation at the Paris peace talks with North Vietnam.