Michael Froman

President, Council on Foreign Relations

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Michael Froman is president of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He previously served as vice chairman and president, strategic growth, at Mastercard, chairman of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, and a distinguished fellow at CFR. 

Ambassador Froman served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the U.S. trade representative from June 2013 to January 2017. Major initiatives under his leadership included the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in the Asia Pacific and negotiations toward a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union; the negotiation of agreements on trade facilitation, agriculture and information technology products at the World Trade Organization; the monitoring and enforcement of U.S. trade rights; and congressional passage of Trade Promotion Authority, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the Generalized System of Preferences program, and the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act.

From January 2009 to June 2013, Froman served at the White House as assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs, where he was responsible for coordinating policy on international trade, finance, energy, climate change, and development issues. He served as the U.S. sherpa for the Group of Twenty and Group of Eight Summits and staffed the president for the APEC Leaders Meetings. In addition, he chaired or co-chaired the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, the Transatlantic Economic Council, the U.S.-India CEO Forum, and the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. He played a leading role in the launch of several of the Obama administration’s development initiatives, including Power Africa and Trade Africa.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Froman served in a number of roles at Citigroup, including as chief executive officer of its international insurance business, chief operating officer of its alternative investments business, and head of its infrastructure investment business. He also has served as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund.

In the 1990s, Froman spent seven years in the U.S. government. He served as chief of staff and deputy assistant secretary for Eurasia and the Middle East at the U.S. Department of Treasury. He also worked at the White House, where he served as a director for international economic affairs at the National Security Council and National Economic Council.

Dr. Froman received a bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University, a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, and law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

He has published a book and several articles on international relations, international law and trade. He has received numerous fellowships and scholarships, including a White House Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Fellowship in International Law, a Social Science Research Council/MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in International Peace and Security, and a Fulbright Scholarship. In 2016, he was selected by Fortune magazine as one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” and by Politico as one of the “50 thinkers, doers and visionaries shaping American politics in 2016.”

Froman was born in California. He, his wife, Nancy Goodman, and their two children, Benjamin and Sarah, currently reside in Washington, DC.

 

affiliations

  • General Atlantic, member, Advisory Board
  • Indo-Pacific Partnership for Prosperity, Steering Committee Member

  • Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, Trustee

  • Walt Disney Company, member, board of directors

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  • Trade

    Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger discusses developments in the tech industry, implications of geopolitical conflicts on global trade, and leadership lessons learned.
  • United States

    With RealEcon, CFR is creating an initiative to study and debate the role of the United States in the international economy. The launch event of this multiyear, multifaceted initiative will explore what the challenges are for U.S. leadership, what is at stake for American interests, and what new approaches would be helpful to rebuild an affirmative consensus on American economic leadership. Chair Jared Bernstein of the Council of Economic Advisers discusses the future of U.S. economic leadership as CFR launches its new RealEcon initiative. Immediately following the conversation with Chair Bernstein, there will be a panel discussion on the new initiative. Members may bring a guest to this event.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    This symposium explores the trajectory of three critical foreign policy domains that Henry Kissinger, a longtime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, engaged with throughout his career in and out of government, and the lessons learned for U.S. foreign policy today.
  • Brazil

    Brazil plays a pivotal role on the global stage as a top ten economy, a leading democracy, and the dominant steward of the Amazon. A founding member of the BRICS, the country holds the 2024 G20 presidency and will host the United Nations climate summit in 2025. Experts from CFR and elsewhere examined Brazil’s current political, economic, and social opportunities and challenges, its evolving role in the world, and the decisive role it could play in combatting climate change. This event was made possible by the generous support of the Hauser Foundation.
  • Climate Change

    John Kerry discusses his work as U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, the challenges the United States faces, and the Biden administration’s priorities as it continues to address climate change.  
  • Ukraine

    As the two-year mark of the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo discusses the U.S. coalition’s sanctions strategy, its effectiveness, and the challenges that remain. The C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics brings the world’s foremost economic policymakers and scholars to address members on current topics in international economics and U.S. monetary policy. This meeting series is presented by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.
  • Iran

    In a collaboration between CFR and Open to Debate, panelists debate the threat of Iran to global security. Did Biden’s diplomacy fail? Can Israel live with a nuclear Iran? Does Iran pose a challenge to the global order? Open to Debate is the nation’s only nonpartisan, debate-driven media organization dedicated to bringing multiple viewpoints together for a constructive, balanced, respectful exchange of ideas. Open to Debate is a platform for intellectually curious and open-minded people to engage with others holding opposing views on complex issues.
  • United States

    Austan Goolsbee of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago discusses the U.S. economy and monetary policy. The C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics brings the world’s foremost economic policymakers and scholars to address members on current topics in international economics and U.S. monetary policy. This meeting series is presented by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.
  • Trade

    Ambassador Katherine Tai discusses the role of trade policy in the global economy, current U.S. trade strategy, and priorities for the WTO Ministerial Conference. The C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics brings the world’s foremost economic policymakers and scholars to address members on current topics in international economics and U.S. monetary policy. This meeting series is presented by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.
  • China

  • China

    National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan discusses U.S.-China relations and the Biden administration’s policy priorities for the relationship going forward. This event is co-organized by the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, as part of its annual China Forum.
  • Technology and Innovation

    Gideon Rose celebrates the winners of this year’s Arthur Ross Book Award: Chris Miller, Susan L. Shirk, and Daniel Treisman. The program includes an award ceremony with each winner, and a discussion with Chris Miller on how critical technology is shaping the global balance of power.

Top Stories on CFR

Haiti

Panelists discuss the escalating economic and political situation in Haiti with a focus on the humanitarian crisis, how the destabilization of the region has impacted Haitian people both domestically and across the diaspora, and policy options to help de-escalate and stabilize the nation.If you wish to attend virtually, log-in information and instructions on how to participate during the question and answer portion will be provided the evening before the event to those who register.Please note the audio, video, and transcript of this hybrid meeting will be posted on the CFR website. 

United States

The United States’ commodified data market is creating increasing national security threats that federal authorities are currently incapable of meeting; the problem will only increase as AI advances.  

Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s Washington summit on April 11 comes at a time of deepening security cooperation as well as some challenges to economic ties.