The Thomas J. Watson Meetings Program

Established in 1967 by the sons and daughters of Thomas J. Watson, the Thomas J. Watson Meetings Program brings high-ranking U.S. and foreign government officials to the Council. Meetings with foreign or U.S. leaders of cabinet and higher rank are funded by this program.

Thomas J. Watson (1874-1956)

Thomas J. Watson was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1923 to 1956. He joined CTR (Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co.) as general manager in 1914, and became its president the following year. In 1924, CTR changed its name to International Business Machines (IBM) In 1937, he was named president of the International Chamber of Commerce. In 1949, Mr. Watson became Chairman of IBM, a position he held until his death in 1956.

Thomas J. Watson Speakers:

 
2005-2006
Abdullah Abdullah
Saud al-Faisal
Hajim Al-Hasani
Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani
Joseph Biden
Ahmad Chalabi
Vicente Fox Quesada
Alberto Gonzalez
Ferenc Gyurcsany
John Kerry
Olusegun Obasanjo
Kapil Sibal
K. Natwar Singh
Javier Solana
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
 
2004-2005
Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Thierry Breton
Mustafa Ismail
Mikhail Kasyanov
Lee Kuan Yew
Pervez Musharraf
Olusegun Obasanjo
Tassos Papadopoulos
Donald Rumsfeld
Mikhail Saakashvili
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
Peter J. Schoomaker
 
2003-2004
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Hamid Karzai
Nestor Kirchner
Luis Inacio Lula de Silva
Pervez Musharraf
Olusegun Obasanjo
Shimon Peres
Alejandro Toledo
Hosyar Zebari
 
2002-2003
Ahmed Maher el Sayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arab Republic of Egypt
Jeremy Greenstock and Jean-David Levitte, Permanent Representatives of the United Kingdom and France to the United Nations
Xanana Gusmao, President of East Timor, and Jose Horta, Foreign Minister of East Timor
Stephen J. Hadley, Deputy National Security Advisor, United States
Hamid Karzai, President, Afghanistan
Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan
Taher Masri, The Arab League; Abdul ilah Khatib, former Foreign Minister of Jordan; and Mustafa B. Hamarneh, University of Jordan
John Shalikashvili and John Vessey, former Chairmen, the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Javier Solana, Secretary General, Council of the European Union
Alvaro Uribe, President, Republic of Colombia
Paul Wolfowitz, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense
Dov S. Zakheim, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense
 
2001-2002
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to
the United Nations
William J. Clinton, former President of the United States
Albert Gore, former Vice President of the United States
Hamid Karzai, President, Afghanistan
Ruud F.M. Lubbers, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President, Republic of the Philippines
Pervez Musharraf, President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister of Israel
Romano Prodi, President, European Commission
Charles Schumer, United States Senator (D-NY)
 
2000-2001
Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State
Yassir Arafat, President, Palestinian National Authority
Samuel R. Berger, former U.S. National Security Advisor
Jorge Castaneda; Minister of Foreign Affairs, United Mexican States
Chen Shui-bian, President, Republic of China
Warren Christopher, former U.S. Secretary of State
Milo Djukanovic, President of Montenegro
Hugo Chavez Frias, President, Republic of Venezuela
William H. Frist, United States Senator (R-TN)
Alberto Fujimori, President, Republic of Peru
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, former President, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Henry A. Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State
Vojislav Kostunica, President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Lee Kuan Yew, Senior Minister, Republic of Singapore
Festus Mogae, President, Republic of Botswana
Pedro Sampaio Malan, Minister of Finance, Federal Republic of Brazil
Pervez Musharraf, Chief Executive, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Olusegun Obasanjo, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Andres Pastrana, President, Republic of Colombia
Shimon Peres, Minister of Foreign Affairs, State of Israel
Felipe Perez Roque, Foreign Minister, Republic of Cuba
Jorge Sampaio, President, Portuguese Republic
Brent Scowcroft, forrmer U.S. National Security Advisor
Ariel Sharon, Chairman, Likud Party, State of Israel
George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State
Jean-Claude Trichet, Governor, Bank of France
K. H. Abdurrahman Wahid, President, Republic of Indonesia
Jiang Zemin, President, People's Republic of China
Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
 
1999-2000
Martti Ahtisaari, President, Republic of Finland
Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister, Malaysia
Yassir Arafat, President, Palestinian National Authority
Charlene Barshefsky, U.S. Trade Representative
Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President, Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria
Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, United Kingdon
Harold Brown, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General, WHO and former Prime Minister of Norway
Jose Alberto Bustamante, Prime Minister, Peru
Michel Camdessus, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Victor Chernomyrdin, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation
Antoly Chubais, former Finance Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister, Russian Federation
Wesley K. Clark, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. European Command
Herman Cohen, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
William S. Cohen, U.S. Secretary of Defense
Chester A. Crocker, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
William J. Crowe, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Fernando de la R ú a, President, Republic of Argentina
Aleksander Dimitrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Macedonia
Joschka Fischer, Vice Chancellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Federal Republic of Germany
Lee Hoi-Chang, President, Grand Nationalist Party, Republic of Korea
Richard C. Holbrooke, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Igor S. Ivanov, Foreign Minsiter, Russian Federation
David C. Jones, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Luiz Felipe Lampreia, Foreign Minister, Brazil
Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister, Republic of Singapore
Frank Loy, Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs
John Major, Member of Parliament and former Prime Minster, United Kingdom
Robert S. McNamara, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Rexhep Meidani, President of Albania
Richard Moose, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Paek Nam-Sun, Foreign Minister, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Boris Nemstov, Deputy Speaker, Russian Duma
William J. Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Colin L. Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
William B. Richardson, U.S. Secretary of Energy
Donna E. Shalala, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
John M. Shalikashvili, former Chairman, The Joint Chiefs of Staff
Jaswant Singh, Minister of External Affairs, Republic of India
Lawrence H. Summers, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Jean-Claude Trichet, Governor, Banque de France
John W. Vessey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Caspar W. Weinberger, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
 
1998-99
Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State
Sartaz Aziz, Foreign Minister, Pakistan
Charlene Barshefsky, U.S. Trade Representative
Sir Leon Brittan, Vice President, European Commission
Ismail Cem, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turkey
Glafcos Clerides, President, Republic of Cyprus
Emil Constantinescu, President, Romania
Hugo Chavez Frias, President, Venezuela
Rosario Green, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mexico
Abdullah bin Hussein, King, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Bob Kerrey, Member, U.S. Senate (D-Neb.)
Luiz Felipe Lampreia, Minister of Foreign Relations, Brazil
Janos Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Hungary
John McCain, Member, U.S. Senate (R-Ariz.)
Paskal Milo, Foreign Minister, Republic of Albania
Andres Pastrana, President, Colombia
Renato Ruggiero, Director-General, World Trade Organization
Charles E. Schumer, Member, U.S. Senate (D-NY)
Costas Simitis, Prime Minister, Greece
Javier Solana, Secretary General, NATO
 
1997-98
Madeleine K Albright, U.S. Secretary of State
Madeleine K Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 75 th Anniversary
Samuel R. Berger, Assistant to President Clinton for National Security Affairs
Joseph R. Biden, Jr., United States Senator, (D-Delaware)
Joachim Bitterlich, Foreign Policy and Security Advisor to the Chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany
Ismail Cem, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turkey
Nabil Elaraby, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the U.N.; Sergey V. Lavrov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the U.N.; Sir John Weston, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the U.N.
Richard Gephardt, Democratic Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
Dore Gold, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations
I.K. Gujral, Prime Minister, India
Nizar Hamdoon, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Iraq
Rev. Jesse Jackson, President & CEO, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; Special Envoy for the Promotion of Democracy in Africa, U.S. Department of State
Gohar Ayub Khan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan
Klaus Kinkel, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and Federal Vice-Chancellor, Germany
Thomas F McLarty, Counselor to the President, Special Envoy for the Americas
Amre Mahmoud Moussa, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arab Republic of Egypt
Thomas Pickering, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Ernesto Samper Pizano, President of Columbia
Bill Richardson, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Felix Rohatyn, U.S. Ambassador to France
Stanley O. Roth, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Robert Rubin, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Hun Sen, Cambodia
Gen. Henry H. Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, France
George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency
Chee Hwa Tung, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People’s Republic of China
Jiang Zemin, President, People’s Republic of China
 
1996-97
Ali Alatas, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia
Yasir Arafat, President, Palestinian National Authority
James A. Baker III, former U.S. Secretary of State
Boris Berezovsky, Deputy Secretary, Security Council of the Russian Federation
Michel Camdessus, Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board, International Monetary Fund
Richard Danzig, Under Secretary of the Navy, Department of Defense
Lynn E. Davis, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO, American International Group
I.K. Gujral, Minister of External Affairs, Republic of India
Abdullah Gul, Minister of State, Republic of Turkey
Ryutaro Hashimoto, Prime Minister, Japan
Richard Hu, Minister of Finance, Republic of Singapore
Razali Ismail, President, 51st U.N. General Assembly; Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations
Alija Izetbegovic, President, Chair of the Presidency of Bosnia Herzegovina
Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State; Samuel Berger, Acting Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; William P. Rogers, former U.S. Secretary of State; Cyrus Vance, former U.S. Secretary of State; Alexander Haig, former U.S. Secretary of State; and Li Daoyu, Ambassador of China to the United States
Henry A. Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State
Sandra J. Kristoff, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asian Affairs, National Security Council
Luiz Felipe Lampreia, Minister of External Relations, Federal Republic of Brazil
Martin C.M. Lee, Chairman of the Democratic Party, Hong Kong
Emmanuel Fritz Longchamp, Foreign Minister, Republic of Haiti
Richard G. Lugar, Member, U.S. Senate (R-Ind.)
Graça Machel, Expert of the U.N. Secretary General, U.N. Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children
Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.), Director, Office of the National Drug Control Policy; Mathea Falco, President, Drug Strategies
Sam Nujoma, President, Republic of Namibia
Ichiro Ozawa, Leader of the New Frontier Party, Japan
Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister, State of Israel
Yevgeny M. Primakov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation
Malcolm Rifkind, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom
Dennis B. Ross, Special Middle East Coordinator, U.S. Department of State
John M.Shalikashvili, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense
Natan Sharansky, Minister of Trade and Industry, State of Israel
John J. Sheehan, Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic; Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command
John P. White, Deputy Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense
Shirley V.T. Brittain Williams, Member, British House of Lords
James D. Wolfensohn, President, The World Bank
Ernesto Ponce de León Zedillo, President, Mexico