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.


Founded in 1953 with twenty-five corporate members, the Corporate Program now includes approximately 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.

Photo of two seated people on a stage.
CFR President Michael Froman in conversation with World Bank Group President Ajay Banga.

Through exclusive events and engagement with globally respected experts, executives at member companies expand their knowledge and understanding of international affairs and foreign policy as they relate to their business interests. These business leaders have access to the Council’s intellectual capital through briefings with CFR fellows, rapid-response discussions led by CFR fellows and other experts, Foreign Affairs magazine, and hundreds of meetings hosted each year virtually and in New York, Washington, and other major cities throughout the United States and around the world. 

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, CFR resources tailored to the private sector, and invitations to events covering a wide range of foreign policy issues. 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 at the start of their careers, 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

Corporate members are invited to hundreds of Council on Foreign Relations events featuring distinguished speakers throughout the year.

Members can join virtually or in person in CFR’s New York or Washington, DC, offices. Corporate members also have access to the program’s frequent high-level discussions on global issues relevant to the private sector, as well as in-person-only policy discussions in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle.

The Annual Corporate Conference

Open exclusively to CFR’s corporate members, the Corporate Conference provides candid, high-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 nineteenth annual Corporate Conference will be held on Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, 2024. 

Photo of three seated people on a stage.
CFR Chairman Emeritus Robert E. Rubin presides over a conversation on the global economy with Christiana Riley and Catherine L. Mann during the 2023 Corporate Conference.


Fellow Briefings

An exclusive benefit of corporate membership, fellow briefings are discussions led by CFR fellows that are intended to provide a greater understanding of a particular topic or region. Each briefing is tailored to a company’s interests and can be held in person or virtually.

The many possible formats of a fellow briefing include a one-on-one meeting with the firm’s chief economist, a briefing designed for C-suite executives on cybersecurity, or a company-wide virtual brown-bag event on global trade policy.

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 many CFR 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.


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