The Council on Foreign Relations launched the Independent Task Force Program in 1995 with a Task Force on nuclear nonproliferation, chaired by Stephen J. Hadley, who most recently served as the national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration. More than seventy reports later, Task Forces have become a trademark of the Council. For more information about Task Forces, please contact

77 Independent Task Force Reports

Independent Task Force Program

Recent Independent Task Forces

Innovation and National Security

For the past three-quarters of a century, the United States has led the world in technological innovation, but it now risks falling behind its competitors, principally China. To ensure it remains the predominant power in a range of emerging technologies, the United States needs to advance a national innovation strategy based on four pillars: restoring federal funding for research and development, attracting and educating a science and technology workforce, supporting technology adoption in the defense sector, and bolstering and scaling technology alliances and ecosystems. With renewed dedication, the United States can ensure its continued and future economic growth and national security.

The Work Ahead

The world is in the midst of a transformation in the nature of work, as smart machines, artificial intelligence, new technologies, and global competition remake how people do their jobs and pursue their careers. The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century focuses on how to rebuild the links among work, opportunity, and economic security for all Americans in the face of accelerating change. To prosper and to lead, the United States must find new ways to meet the workforce challenges of the twenty-first century.

Arctic Imperatives

With the Arctic warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet and melting sea ice opening up the resource-rich region to new trade routes and commercial activities, the Arctic offers both opportunities and challenges for the United States and other countries. Given the region's growing economic and geostrategic importance, the Task Force proposes specific actions to improve the United States’ strategic presence in the region, including bolstering infrastructure investment, defending national borders, protecting the environment, and maintaining U.S. scientific and technological leadership.

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Anya Schmemann

Program Director

Chelie Setzer

Assistant Director

Sara Shah

Program Associate