Experts

Richard Haass

President, Council on Foreign Relations

About the Expert

Expert Bio

Dr. Richard Haass is a veteran diplomat, a prominent voice on American foreign policy, and a proven leader and manager. He is in his twentieth year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, publisher, and educational institution dedicated to being a resource to help people better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

In 2013, he served as the chair of the multiparty negotiations in Northern Ireland that provided the foundation for the 2014 Stormont House Agreement. For his efforts to promote peace and conflict resolution, he received the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award.

From January 2001 to June 2003, Dr. Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he directed the policy planning staff and was a principal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold the rank of ambassador, Dr. Haass also served as U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Dr. Haass has extensive additional government experience. From 1989 to 1993, he was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1991, Dr. Haass was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his contributions to the development and articulation of U.S. policy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Previously, he served in the Departments of State (1981–1985) and Defense (1979–1980), and was a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate.

A Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Haass holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctorate of philosophy degrees from Oxford University. He has also received numerous honorary degrees and was a member of the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Hamilton College.

Dr. Haass is the author or editor of fourteen books on American foreign policy and one book on management. His next book, The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens, will be published by Penguin Press in January 2023.

Dr. Haass was born in Brooklyn and lives in New York City.

Affiliations:

  • Member, Board of Directors, Lazard
  • Member, Advisory Board, Cyrus Capital Partners
  • Member, Investment Committee, Safra Foundation
  • Consultant: Dataminr, Interos.ai, and percipient.ai
  • United States

    CFR President Richard Haass discusses his new book, The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens, with Mary Louise Kelly.  In The Bill of Obligations, Richard Haass argues that the very idea of citizenship must be revised and expanded. Haass introduces ten obligations that are essential for healing our divisions and safeguarding the country’s future. Through an expert blend of civics, history, and political analysis, this book illuminates how Americans can rediscover and recover the attitudes and behaviors that have contributed so much to this country’s success over the centuries.
  • United States

    CFR President Richard Haass discusses his new book, The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens, with Juju Chang.  In The Bill of Obligations, Richard Haass argues that the very idea of citizenship must be revised and expanded. Haass introduces ten obligations that are essential for healing our divisions and safeguarding the country’s future. Through an expert blend of civics, history, and political analysis, this book illuminates how Americans can rediscover and recover the attitudes and behaviors that have contributed so much to this country’s success over the centuries.
  • Health

    After more than five decades at the National Institutes of Health, physician-scientist Anthony S. Fauci, MD recently stepped down as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and President Biden’s chief medical advisor. Here he discusses his thirty-eight years as NIAID director, the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic; the latest developments with emerging infectious diseases; and how countries should prepare for the next pandemic. 
  • United States

    This special event is being held to honor the memory of Leslie H. Gelb, CFR’s president from 1993 to 2003 and a dedicated member for forty-six years, who died on August 31, 2019. Gelb modernized the institution to reflect the changing realities of the post-Cold War era, and was a passionate advocate of common sense and strategy in U.S. foreign policy.
  • Asia

    A discussion of the U.S.-China relationship, including how Chinese domestic politics are influencing the country’s agenda abroad, the state of security in the Asia-Pacific with a focus on the future of Taiwan, and U.S. priorities and policy options in the region.
  • Globalization

    The conventional wisdom about globalization is wrong. When companies, money, people, and ideas went abroad more often than not they went regional. The Globalization Myth details the rise of three main regional manufacturing and supply chain hubs in Europe, Asia, and North America and lays out why it matters for the United States. The CFR Fellows’ Book Launch series highlights new books by CFR fellows.
  • Foreign Policy

    Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger discusses leadership in the twentieth century and lessons for contemporary foreign policy. The Lessons From History Series uses historical analysis as a critical tool for understanding modern foreign policy challenges by hearing from practitioners who played an important role in a consequential historical event or from experts and historians. This series is made possible through the generous support of David M. Rubenstein.
  • Ukraine

    Please join CFR fellows as they discuss recent developments around the world, including the ongoing war in Ukraine, tensions with China over Taiwan, the future of U.S. relations with the Middle East and Latin America, and issues concerning climate change, global supply chains, and polarization in the United States. The town hall meeting format gives members a unique opportunity to engage with CFR experts on a wide range of topics in a setting designed to promote candor.ZOOM LOG-IN INFORMATION:https://cfr.zoom.us/j/83654988598Zoom Meeting ID: 836 5498 8598Zoom Password: 104081Back-up Dial-in: +1.646.558.8656
  • Ukraine

    USAID Administrator Samantha Power discusses the pivotal moment we face to strengthen democracy and reverse the rise of authoritarianism across the world, and USAID's efforts to mitigate the global food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. For more information about the International Affairs Fellowship (IAF), please visit CFR’s Fellowship Affairs Page. 
  • United States

    The 2022 Robert B. Menschel Economics Symposium discusses the current state of inflation in the United States through the lens of behavioral economics, including how public perceptions might contribute to rising inflation rates. The full agenda is available here. The Robert B. Menschel Economics Symposium, presented by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies, generates critical thinking about the consequences of herd mentality behavior in global economics. This symposium was established in 2014 and was made possible through a generous endowment gift from Robert B. Menschel while a senior director at Goldman Sachs. Since Menschel’s death earlier this year, the symposium continues in his honor and memory.
  • Globalization

    Richard Haass, Sergio M. Alcocer, and Yul Sohn assess the degree of deglobalization and the dynamics behind any trend, whether the COVID-19 pandemic significantly accelerated developments, and the implications for international cooperation moving forward. 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.
  • Europe and Eurasia

    Our panelists discussed the current situation in and regarding Ukraine, the goals of NATO, Russia, and Ukraine, and alternative futures.
  • Diplomacy and International Institutions

    The 2022 Conference on Diversity in International Affairs was a collaborative effort by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Global Access Pipeline, and the International Career Advancement Program.
  • Military Operations

    U.S. military service chiefs discuss defense strategy in conflict areas around the world and cooperative efforts with U.S. allies. The Robert B. McKeon Endowed Series on Military Strategy and Leadership features prominent individuals from the military and intelligence communities.    
  • Religion

  • Education

  • United States

    A democracy has never succeeded in being both diverse and equal. Yet, treating members of many different ethnic or religious groups fairly is central to the democratic project in countries around the world. It is, Yascha Mounk argues, the greatest experiment of our time. In The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure, Mounk examines how diverse societies have long suffered from the ills of domination, fragmentation, or structured anarchy and shows that the past can offer crucial insights for how to do better in the future. The CFR Fellows’ Book Launch series highlights new books by CFR fellows. This meeting is part of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Project on the Future of Democracy.
  • United States

    Richard Plepler discusses his distinguished career in film and TV production, including his twenty-eight years at HBO, six of which he served as chairman and CEO, and his current role as founder and CEO of EDEN Productions, a film and TV production company that was announced in January 2020 with the signing of a multiyear exclusive content deal with Apple TV+. 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.
  • Asia

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong discusses Singapore's perspective on current geopolitical developments, the United States engagement of the Asia-Pacific, and U.S.-China relations.
  • Asia

    CFR fellows discuss the world, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, nuclear negotiations with Iran, recent coups in Africa, tensions with China, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The town hall meeting format gives members a unique opportunity to engage with CFR experts on a wide range of topics in a setting designed to promote candor.
  • Wars and Conflict

    Panelists discuss the Russia-Ukraine crisis, U.S.-Russia relations, and implications for European security. This event is part of CFR’s Home and Abroad series, which explores issues at the nexus of U.S. domestic and foreign policy that affect America’s role in the world.
  • Ukraine

    President Vladimir Putin of Russia recognized the independence of two territories in eastern Ukraine, portions of which are controlled by Russia-backed separatists, and has ordered the deployment of Russian troops into these regions.  Concerns are mounting that Russian actions to date could be a prelude to an all-out invasion of the country.  Our panelists discuss the escalating crisis in Ukraine, including how the United States and Europe should respond.
  • Diplomacy and International Institutions

    Jake Sullivan discusses the Biden administration’s work over the first year in office to address the current and future challenges facing the United States.
  • World Order

    Please join Richard Haass and Fareed Zakaria for a conversation of U.S. grand strategy and world order in the 21st century. This meeting is the ninth and final session in CFR’s centennial speaker series, The 21st Century World: Big Challenges & Big Ideas, which features some of today’s leading thinkers and tackles issues ​that will define this century. 

Top Stories on CFR

Health

This interactive examines how nationwide bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, as proposed by the Biden administration on April 28, 2022, could help shrink the racial gap on U.S. lung cancer death rates.

Japan

Sheila Smith, the John E. Merow senior fellow for Asia-Pacific studies at the Council, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the reasoning behind Japan’s new defense strategy and the Japanese government’s decision to double defense spending.

United States

In addition to minority communities and those on the political left, far-right and white supremacist extremism threatens violence against institutions conservatives cherish as well, such as the U.S. military.