Research Projects

Below you will find a chronological list of research projects in the Studies Program. You can search by issue or region by selecting the appropriate category. In addition to this sorting control, you can search for specific subjects within the alphabetical, regional, and issue categories by choosing from the selections in the drop-down menu below.

Each project page contains the name of the project director, a description of the project, a list of meetings it has held, and any related publications, transcripts, or videos.

2017 (continued)

Critical Issues in the Middle East Roundtable Series

Director: Robert Danin, Senior Fellow for Middle East Studies
October 18, 2010—Present

From the Atlantic to the Gulf of Oman, the Middle East is witnessing unprecedented change and transformation. At this pivotal time of popular uprisings, revolutions, and ongoing efforts toward Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, this roundtable series seeks to generate a deeper, richer understanding of the vast array of issues currently shaping the region. To this end, the series brings together policymakers, opinion leaders, and government officials with the most intimate knowledge of the Middle East to enrich the dialogue both on developments in the region and U.S. policy.

Global Stakes in Human Rights Roundtable Series

Director: Mark P. Lagon, Centennial Fellow and Distinguished Senior Scholar, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
September 1, 2010—Present

The Global Stakes in Human Rights Roundtable Series examines the tangible interests of the United States and international community in promoting political, civil, economic, and labor rights.

Bringing together regular participants of diverse sectors and ideological positions, it identifies best practices of international institutions, governments, nonprofits, and corporations to advance democratic pluralism and the rule of law.

Meeting Note: Business and Human Rights

U.S. Foreign Policy Roundtable Series

Director: Robert D. Blackwill, Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy
September 1, 2010—Present

The U.S. Foreign Policy Roundtable Series is an ongoing series that provides a forum for discussion with leading experts on the major issues and developments that impact U.S. foreign policy. The series has covered a broad range of topics, such as domestic and international counterterrorism efforts, the global financial crisis, evolving media coverage of international news developments, and U.S. policy in the Greater Middle East, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Roundtable Series on Aging Populations

April 2010—Present

As nations across the world face the realities of unprecedented population aging, this series examines the resulting policy challenges. As large numbers of people age into retirement at the same time, what will it mean for health, work, and financial security? Are governments ready for this coming demographic trend? Similarly, are global institutions such as the G8 and G20 prepared to face the global implications of a graying world? This series of discussions will serve as a venue for policymakers, scholars, business professionals, and journalists to exchange ideas and reach conclusions on the challenges presented by what has been characterized as a "slow-burning fuse."

Ambassador Apakan's remarks, with brief introduction from Michael Hodin, from the meeting titled "Population Aging and Development: Opportunities for Economic Growth" held on September 7, 2012 can be found here.

High-Level Roundtable Series on International Economics

Staff: Sebastian Mallaby, Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economics
April 2010—Present

This roundtable series brings together senior financial experts from the private sector and the academic world to discuss ideas presented by a guest speaker on a pressing topic in international economics.

ExxonMobil Women and Development Series

Director: Rachel B. Vogelstein, Senior Fellow and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program
November 20, 2009—Present

The ExxonMobil Women and Development Series explores the ways in which governments, companies, and NGOs can promote economic development by focusing on women. With the generous support of the ExxonMobil, the series has so far examined such topics as women's role as change agents in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the potential of new technologies to promote women's economic empowerment in developing countries. Transcripts, audio, and video recordings of meetings in this series are available below.

Roundtable Series on U.S. Strategic African Partners

September 2009—Present

The U.S. Strategic African Partners roundtable series addresses issues of governance, corruption, insecurity and violence, national security, development and trade, and human rights in sub-Saharan Africa.

The CFR Africa program fosters discussion about how the United States can play a positive role in the region by strengthening the capacity of states to provide for their people and working with other African democracies on interests of mutual concern. The roundtables highlight the central importance of improving governance for peace, security, and development. The Africa program has a special focus on Nigeria and South Africa because of their size and strategic importance for the United States.

Middle Eastern Studies Roundtable Series

Staff: Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
May 2009—Present

Conflict in the Middle East has been near the top of the American foreign policy agenda for a half century. Through discussions with academic experts and especially with current and former government officials, this roundtable series aims to inform the debate surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as other challenges facing the region. These roundtables discuss developments in the region and the goals and impact of U.S. actions, with an eye to deepening understanding of the Middle East and analyzing how to make U.S. foreign policy more effective.

Asia and the World Roundtable Series

March 2009—Present

The Asia and the World roundtable series examines the global implications of the rise of Asian power. For a thousand years, Asia was the engine of the global economy, a locus of science and innovation, a center of ideas and intellectual ferment, and the nexus of global power. After a long hiatus, Asia's major powers have now reemerged on the global stage, but their interaction with one another, and with the United States, on important issues and challenges is unsettled and evolving. Speakers and participants analyze the reemergence of China and India as global players, the changing role of Japan on the international stage, and efforts to reshape the international architecture to accommodate the rise of China and India, in particular. Sessions also consider the ways in which greater involvement in the world, not just their immediate neighborhood, is changing the strategic, economic, and political calculations of major countries in East, Central, and South Asia. Meetings look at the tensions, opportunities, and constraints that will determine whether and how the United States can forge partnerships with major Asian powers on issues of global scope. Other sessions may examine timely issues that arise in Central Asia, such as connections to the international oil and gas market, international institutions, and the global economy.

Center for Preventive Action Contingency Roundtable Series

Staff: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
March 2009—Present

This meeting series seeks to organize focused discussions on plausible short- to medium-term contingencies that could seriously threaten U.S. interests. Contingency meeting topics will range from specific states or regions of concern to more thematic issues and will draw on the expertise of government and nongovernment experts. The goal of the meeting series is not only to raise awareness of U.S. government officials and the expert community to potential crises but also to generate practical policy options to lessen the likelihood of the contingency and to reduce the negative consequences should it occur. A summary memo of the resulting recommendations will be distributed to participants and important policymakers and published on

This series is made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.