Corporate Program

CFR’s Corporate Program provides a unique forum for private-sector leaders to interact with decision-makers from government, media, nongovernmental organizations, and academia to discuss issues at the intersection of business and foreign policy.

Overview

Founded in 1953 with twenty-five corporate members, the Corporate Program has since expanded to include more than 120 companies from various industries and regions of the world. Through CFR’s unmatched convening power, the program links private-sector leaders with decision-makers from government, media, nongovernmental organizations, and academia to discuss issues at the intersection of business and foreign policy.

Executives at member companies have access to the Council’s intellectual capital through briefings with CFR fellows, rapid-response conference calls and livestreams, Foreign Affairs magazine, and hundreds of meetings hosted each year virtually or in New York, Washington, and other major cities throughout the United States and around the world. 

CFR President Richard N. Haass, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, and Executive Vice President of Standards and Practices at CNN Worldwide Calvin Sims discuss the international and foreign policy landscape at the 2021 Corporate Conference.
Executive Vice President of Standards and Practices at CNN Worldwide Calvin Sims, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, and CFR President Richard N. Haass discuss the current foreign policy landscape at the 2021 Corporate Conference.

Benefits of Corporate Membership

Corporate membership is available at three levels: Founders ($100,000), President’s Circle ($75,000), and Affiliates ($40,000). 

Member companies are offered briefings by in-house experts, a members-only website, CFR resources tailored to the private sector, and roundtables designed specifically for executives. The highlight of the program year is the annual Corporate Conference, which addresses such topics as competitiveness, geopolitical risk, and the global economic outlook. Additionally, the program provides professional development opportunities for individuals on a senior management track through its Corporate Leaders Program, and, for those with fewer than ten years of experience, through its Young Professionals Briefing series.

photo of a CFR Event
CFR’s Corporate Program provides a unique forum for business leaders to interact with noted thinkers and practitioners.

Corporate Events

Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google Ruth Porat reflects on her career, how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped business, and protecting consumer data and privacy with CFR Chairman David M. Rubenstein in the keynote session of the 2021 Corporate Conference.
In the keynote session of the 2021 Corporate Conference, CFR Chairman David M. Rubenstein and Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google Ruth Porat reflect on her career, how COVID-19 has reshaped business, and protecting consumer data and privacy.

Whether based in Bangkok, Bologna, or Burbank, corporate members can participate in virtual meetings and view replays of more than two hundred meetings with world leaders and experts each year. The Council on Foreign Relations is location-neutral with both in-person and virtual accessibility.

The Corporate Program convenes small, high-level discussions in New York and Washington, DC, for senior executives on global issues relevant to the private sector. Corporate members also have access to policy discussions in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle, when in-person meetings resume.

The Annual Corporate Conference

Open exclusively to CFR’s corporate members, the Corporate Conference provides candid, executive-level dialogue on pressing issues affecting the private sector. Experts, including executives from member companies, share their knowledge and insight in conference panels and breakout sessions.

The seventeenth annual Corporate Conference will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2022, and Friday, April 1, 2022. 

 

Fellow Briefings

An exclusive benefit of corporate membership, a fellow briefing is a discussion led by a CFR fellow and intended to provide a greater understanding of a particular topic or region. Each briefing is tailored to the company and can be held in person or virtually.

Examples of fellow briefings include a one-on-one meeting with the firm’s chief economist, a small briefing to C-suite executives on cybersecurity, and a company-wide conference call on global trade sanctions.

Professional Development Opportunities

Senior Management Track

Through the two-year Corporate Leaders Program, President’s Circle and Founders level companies have the opportunity to recognize highly accomplished individuals on a senior management track. Once designated as Corporate Leaders, executives with eight to twelve years of experience have access to CFR’s Stephen M. Kellen Term Member Program activities, as well as general meetings, the Corporate Conference, and other programming.


Young Professionals

The Corporate Program’s Young Professionals Briefing series involves early-career professionals in CFR’s foreign policy conversations. These career development opportunities are intended for employees with fewer than ten years of professional experience. Led by CFR fellows, Corporate Leaders, and other experts, briefings focus on critical global issues and include lessons learned from their careers.

Contact

To learn more about corporate membership, contact the Corporate Program at [email protected] or 212.434.9684.