The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. CFR carries out its mission by maintaining a diverse membership, including special programs to promote interest and develop expertise in the next generation of foreign policy leaders and publishing Foreign Affairs, the preeminent journal of international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.

CFR Mission Statement

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Our Leadership

President
Council on Foreign Relations
Co-Chairman
Chairman & CEO, Hills & 
Company, International 
Consultants
Co-Chairman
Former Secretary of the U.S. 
Treasury
Vice Chairman
Cofounder & Managing Director,
The Carlyle Group

Our History

Founders of CFR

After the difficult negotiations of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, a group of diplomats, financiers, generals, and lawyers concluded that Americans needed to be better prepared for significant responsibilities and decision-making in world affairs. With this in mind, they founded the Council on Foreign Relations in 1921 to “afford a continuous conference on international questions affecting the United States, by bringing together experts on statecraft, finance, industry, education, and science.”

Clemenceau and members of the Council on Foreign Relations
“To afford a continuous conference on international questions affecting the United States...” — CFR's founders mission

Funding

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

Annual Report

The 2016 Annual Report of the Council of Foreign Relations is available online.

Arthur Ross Book Award

Ross Logo

The annual Arthur Ross Book Award recognizes books that make an outstanding contribution to the understanding of foreign policy or international relations. The prize, endowed by the late Arthur Ross in 2001, is for nonfiction works from the past year, in English or translation, that merit special attention for: bringing forth new information that changes the understanding of events or problems; developing analytical approaches that offer insights into critical issues; or introducing ideas that help resolve foreign policy problems.

Foreign Affairs

Published by the Council on Foreign Relations since 1922, just a year after the organization’s founding, Foreign Affairs has long been America’s leading forum for serious discussion of foreign policy and international affairs.