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 an established leader of nonprofit institutions. He is in his nineteenth 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 latest book is The World: A Brief Introduction, published by Penguin Press.

Dr. Haass was born in Brooklyn, New York, 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
  • 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.
  • South Korea

    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. 
  • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

    Fei-Fei Li discusses artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies that are certain to have enormous implications for this country and the world.    This meeting is the eighth 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. 
  • U.S. Foreign Policy

    Martin Indyk discusses his new book, Master of the Game: Henry Kissinger and the Art of Middle East Diplomacy. A perceptive and provocative history of Henry Kissinger’s diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East that illuminates the unique challenges and barriers Kissinger and his successors have faced in their attempts to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors and how Kissinger overcame them to lay the foundations for an American-led Middle Eastern order.  The CFR Fellows’ Book Launch series highlights new books by CFR fellows.
  • Energy and Environment

    This CFR Home and Abroad Public Forum discusses current and projected climate change, options for reducing emissions, and policies to help communities adapt to a changing climate. 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.
  • China

    Elizabeth Perry discusses China, its role in the world, and how emerging great power competition could shape the 21st century. This meeting is the seventh 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. 
  • Biotechnology

    Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath discusses the future of biotechnology and how policymakers can best leverage scientific advances to confront 21st century challenges. This meeting is the sixth session in CFR’s 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. 
  • Ireland

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin discusses what he will prioritize while Ireland holds the UN Security Council presidency, the future of transatlantic relations, and Ireland's approach to Brexit.
  • Pakistan

    Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi of Pakistan discusses Pakistan's relationship with the United States and the quest for peace and stability in the region.  
  • Aging, Youth Bulges, and Population

    Nicholas Eberstadt discusses U.S. demographic exceptionalism and how demographic trends will drive policymaking in the 21st century. This meeting is the fifth session in CFR’s 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. Our first session on April 13 featured Margaret MacMillan on “What Are the Lessons of History for Our Era?,” the second session on May 4 featured Anne Applebaum on “Can Democracy Survive?,” the third with Nicholas Stern on “Will Climate Change Us Before We Change It?” took place on June 16, and the fourth on July 15 with Minouche Shafik on “Balancing the Role of Government and Markets.”

Top Stories on CFR

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

The Madrid summit paved the way for Finland and Sweden to join and underscored that Russia is NATO’s chief security threat. But the alliance’s new defensive efforts aren’t likely to change Putin’s strategy in Ukraine.

Immigration and Migration

Support for immigration in the West must be balanced with concern about governance in African countries. 

Ukraine

Ukraine’s first steps toward eventual EU membership are the start of a long process that has raised the stakes in the country’s war with Russia.