Events

Each year CFR organizes more than one hundred on-the-record events, conference calls, and podcasts in which senior government officials, global leaders, business executives, and prominent thinkers discuss pressing international issues.  
  • New Zealand

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern discusses the future of New Zealand's foreign policy and lessons learned from the country's response to COVID-19 and reopening.  This meeting kicks off the 2021 Virtual National Conference and is open to all CFR members. The National Conference is underwritten by a generous gift given in memory of Peter E. Haas from the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund. Inaugurated in 1969, the Russell C. Leffingwell Lecture was named for Russell C. Leffingwell, a charter member of the Council who served as its president from 1944 to 1946 and as its chairman from 1946 to 1953. The lecture is given by distinguished foreign officials, who are invited to address Council members on a topic of major international significance.
  • Women and Women's Rights

    In recent years, activists in global social movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, and #BringBackOurGirls have harnessed social media to raise awareness of injustice and counter prevailing narratives. How has Twitter reshaped activism and to what extent has the platform empowered marginalized groups to achieve political victories? Brooke Foucault Welles, associate professor at Northeastern University and coauthor of the book #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice, and Meighan Stone, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and coauthor of the book Awakening: #MeToo and the Global Fight for Women's Rights, to discuss the role of Twitter in modern social justice movements in the United States and abroad, including the implications for race and gender equality.
  • Diplomacy and International Institutions

    Panelists discuss trends and uncertainties that will shape the future global strategic environment for the United States, including great power competition, climate change, and emerging technologies, and how they will affect international cooperation and global governance. 
  • State and Local Governments (U.S.)

  • U.S. Foreign Policy

    Although major power competition on the African continent is a reality, it should not dominate the Biden administration’s vision for U.S.-Africa relations, argues Michelle Gavin in her new paper Major Power Rivalry in Africa, for the Managing Global Disorder Discussion Paper series. Speakers discuss how the Biden administration can pursue strategic partnerships that align African aspirations and U.S. interests while managing competition with China.
  • Space

    General John Raymond discusses the establishment of the U.S. Space Force, current and potential national security threats in outer space, and areas of cooperation between the United States and both foreign allies and private-sector organizations.
  • Religion

  • Public Health Threats and Pandemics

    The 2021 Global Health Symposium on Lessons From Abroad on American Health will discuss how practices from other countries can be applied to current critical health crises in the United States and provide a framework for analysis to help strengthen health systems and guide public health investment strategies. The full agenda is available here. The Global Health Symposium, in partnership with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
  • Economics

    Afsaneh Beschloss discusses her distinguished career in finance, including her roles as founder and CEO of RockCreek, a leading global investment firm, her time as treasurer and chief investment officer of the World Bank, and as managing director and partner at the Carlyle Group. Lessons Learned is a roundtable series, open to term members and younger life members, which features distinguished speakers who reflect on their career experiences, the choices they made along the way, and the lessons they have learned from them.
  • Women and Women's Rights

    Working for low wages and few benefits, a large but invisible workforce keeps the internet running. Through her research, Mary L. Gray sheds light on the workers—many of them women caring for young children and elders—who support the technology industry and the lack of regulations governing their labor. Mary L. Gray, senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research, 2020 MacArthur fellow, and coauthor of the book Ghost Work, discusses what governments and the technology industry can do to address this emerging fault line of inequality.
  • Radicalization and Extremism

    Dana Coester, editor-in-chief at 100 Days in Appalachia, shares best practices for reporting on extremist activity at the local level. Bruce Hoffman, Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis senior fellow on counterterrorism and homeland security at CFR, provides context and background on domestic terrorism and extremist groups. Carla Anne Robbins, adjunct senior fellow at CFR and former deputy editorial page editor at the New York Times, hosts the webinar.
  • Public Health Threats and Pandemics

    Panelists discuss vaccine hesitancy in the United States and around the world and how misinformation, public confidence, and the efficacy of public health communication may affect global immunization against COVID-19.
  • Space

    Charles F. Bolden Jr., former NASA administrator and astronaut who flew on four space shuttle missions, and his son, Ché Bolden, a Marine Corps veteran, speak at a multigenerational conversation about leadership spanning decades of public, private, and military service.  
  • Afghanistan

    Panelists discuss the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September and its implications for the future of the country. The CFR Young Professionals Briefing Series provides an opportunity for those early in their careers to engage with CFR. The briefings feature remarks by experts on critical global issues and lessons learned in their careers. These events are intended for individuals who have completed their undergraduate studies and have not yet reached the age of thirty to be eligible for CFR term membership. Please note only U.S. citizens are eligible for CFR membership.
  • Diplomacy and International Institutions

    Panelists discuss U.S.-Europe relations under the Biden administration, including areas where the United States and Europe can partner to address common interests like climate change, cybersecurity, and trade; what the dynamics of potential leadership changes in European countries like Germany and France could mean for U.S.-Europe cooperation; and how the rise of populism in both the United States and Europe affects the relationship. The Transition 2021 series examines the major foreign policy issues confronting the Biden administration.
  • United Kingdom

  • Taiwan

    Panelists discuss the potential for escalation in the Taiwan Strait, the state of cross-Strait relations, and the outlook for U.S. policy toward Taiwan. For more information about the International Affairs Fellowship (IAF), please visit CFR’s Fellowship Affairs Page. 
  • United States

    The Conference on Diversity in International Affairs brings together college and graduate students and young professionals from diverse backgrounds for plenaries on foreign policy topics, seminars on professional development, and opportunities to interact virtually with senior foreign policy professionals. The 2021 conference featured a keynote session with President of the Ford Foundation Darren Walker. The 2021 Conference on Diversity in International Affairs is a collaborative effort by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Global Access Pipeline, and the International Career Advancement Program. For information about the conference in previous years, please click here
  • Religion

  • Education

    Growing inequality and exclusion around the world are resulting in destabilization, creating security risks, and damaging U.S. interests. Across the United States, polarizing discourse, deepening inequalities, and disparate treatment of different subpopulations create vulnerabilities, reduce U.S. influence, and limit U.S. foreign policy’s effectiveness. International affairs schools help shape the next generation of national security leaders, but they risk contributing to America’s continued vulnerability by failing to address the security implications of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Please join our speakers, Miguel Centeno of Princeton University and Carla Koppell of Georgetown University, to discuss transforming international affairs education to address diversity, equity, and inclusion.   Additional reading: Carla Koppell, Reuben E. Brigety II, and Jamille Bigio, “Transforming International Affairs Education to Address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” CFR.org.
  • Global Governance

    Richard N. Haass, Chen Dongxiao, and Nathalie Tocci discuss the mounting challenges to global governance and their implications for international cooperation, including rising climate concerns, economic volatility, and increasing great power tensions amid a global pandemic. The Council of Councils (CoC) is an international initiative created by the Council on Foreign Relations to connect leading foreign policy institutes from around the world in a dialogue on issues of global governance and multilateral cooperation. The CoC is composed of twenty-eight major policy institutes from some of the world’s most influential countries. It is designed to facilitate candid, not-for-attribution dialogue and consensus-building among influential opinion leaders from both established and emerging nations, with the ultimate purpose of injecting the conclusions of its deliberations into high-level foreign policy circles within members' countries.
  • U.S. Foreign Policy

    Panelists discuss the future of U.S. policy towards India and Pakistan under the Biden administration, including humanitarian aid and the recent COVID-19 spike in India, China’s geopolitical influence in the region, the domestic turmoil of each country, and the status of democratic norms throughout South Asia. The Transition 2021 series examines the major foreign policy issues confronting the Biden administration.
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

    Ajay Banga discusses sustainable economic recovery, the World Trade Organization and international standards for trade, and policies to promote financial inclusion and address the digital divide among communities with and without access to technology.
  • Women and Women's Rights