Monday, July 30, 2007

The Council on Foreign Relations

By: Stewart Brennan

Source: Wikipedia (2007)
Council on Foreign Relations

Council on Foreign Relations

Formation 1921
Headquarters New York CityWashington D.C.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an influential and independent, nonpartisan foreign policy membership organization founded in 1921 and based at 58 East 68th Street (corner Park Avenue) in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C. Through its membership, meetings, and studies, it has been called the most powerful agent of United States foreign policy outside the State Department. It publishes the respected bi-monthly journal Foreign Affairs. It has an extensive website, featuring links to its "think tank", The David Rockefeller Studies Program, other programs and projects, publications, history, biographies of notable directors and other board members, corporate members, and press releases.[1]


The Council's mission is promoting understanding of foreign policy and America’s role in the world. Meetings are convened at which government officials, global leaders and prominent members debate major foreign-policy issues. It has a "think tank" that employs prominent scholars in international affairs and it commissions subsequent books and reports. A central aim of the Council, it states, is to "find and nurture the next generation of foreign policy leaders". It established "Independent Task Forces" in 1995, which encourage policy debate. Comprising experts with diverse backgrounds and expertise, these task forces seek consensus in making policy recommendations on critical issues; to date, the Council has convened more than fifty times.[1]
The internal "think tank" is the The David Rockefeller Studies Program, which grants fellowships and whose programs are described as being integral to the goal of contributing to the ongoing debate on foreign policy; fellows in this program research and write on the most important challenges facing the United States and the world.[2]
At the outset of the organization, founding member Elihu Root said the group's mission, epitomized in its journal Foreign Affairs, should be to "guide" American public opinion. In the early 1970s, the CFR changed the mission, saying that it wished instead to "inform" public opinion.[3]

Early History

The earliest origin of the Council stemmed from a working fellowship of about 150 distinguished scholars, called "The Inquiry", tasked to brief President Woodrow Wilson about options for the postwar world when Germany was defeated. Through 1917-18, this academic band, including Wilson's closest adviser and longtime friend Col. Edward M. House, as well as Walter Lippmann, gathered discreetly[citation needed] at 155th Street and Broadway in New York City, to assemble the strategy for the postwar world. The team produced more than 2,000 documents detailing the analyzing the political, economic, and social facts globally that would be helpful for Wilson in the peace talks. Their reports formed the basis for the Fourteen Points, which outlined Wilson's strategy for peace after war's end.[4]
These scholars then travelled to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 that would end the war; it was at one of the meetings of a small group of British and American diplomats and scholars, on May 30, 1919, at the Hotel Majestic, that both the Council and its British counterpart, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), formerly known as Chatham House in London, were born.[1] Although the original intent was for the two organizations to be affiliated, they became independent bodies, yet retained close informal ties.[5]
Some of the participants at that meeting were, apart from Edward House, Paul Warburg, Herbert Hoover, Harold Temperley, Lionel Curtis, Lord Eustace Percy, Christian Herter, and American academic historians James Thomson Shotwell of Columbia University, Archibald Coolidge of Harvard and Charles Seymour of Yale.

Morgan and Rockefeller involvement

The Americans who subsequently returned from the conference became drawn to a discreet club of New York financiers and international lawyers who had organized previously in June 1918 and was headed by Elihu Root, JP Morgan's lawyer;[6] this select group called itself the Council on Foreign Relations.[7] They joined this group and the Council was formally established in New York on July 29, 1921, with 108 founding members, including Elihu Root as a leading member and John W. Davis, the chief counsel for J. P. Morgan & Co. and former Solicitor General for President Wilson,[8] as its founding president. Davis was to become Democratic presidential candidate in 1924 .

Other members included John Foster Dulles, Herbert Lehman, Henry Stimson, Averell Harriman, the Rockefeller family's public relations expert, Ivy Lee,[9] and Paul M. Warburg and Otto H. Kahn of the law firm Kuhn, Loeb.[10]

The Council initially had strong connections to the Morgan interests, such as the lawyer, Paul Cravath, whose pre-eminent New York law firm (later named Cravath, Swaine & Moore) represented Morgan businesses; a Morgan partner, Russell Leffingwell, later became its first chairman. The head of the group's finance committee was Alexander Hemphill, chairman of Morgan's Guaranty Trust Company. Harvard economist Edwin F. Gay, editor of the New York Evening Post, owned by Morgan partner Thomas W. Lamont, served as Secretary-Treasurer of the organization. Other members related to Morgan included Frank L. Polk, former Under-Secretary of State and attorney for J.P. Morgan & Co. Former Wilson Under-Secretary of State Norman H. Davis was a banking associate of the Morgans.[11] Over time, however, the locus of power shifted inexorably to the Rockefeller family. Paul Cravath's law firm also represented the Rockefeller family.[12]

Edwin Gay suggested the creation of a quarterly journal, Foreign Affairs. He recommended Harvard colleague Archibald Coolidge be installed as the first editor, along with his New York Evening Post reporter, Hamilton Fish Armstrong, as assistant editor and executive director of the Council.[13]

Even from its inception, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was a regular benefactor, making annual contributions, as well as a large gift of money towards its first headquarters on East 65th Street, along with corporate donors (Perloff 156). In 1944, the widow of the Standard Oil executive Harold I. Pratt donated the family's four-story mansion on the corner of 68th Street and Park Avenue for council use and this became the CFR's new headquarters, known as The Harold Pratt House, where it remains today.

Several of Rockefeller's sons joined the council when they came of age; David Rockefeller joined the council as its youngest-ever director in 1949 and subsequently became chairman of the board from 1970 to 1985; today he serves as honorary chairman.[14] The major philanthropic organization he founded with his brothers in 1940, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, has also funded the Council, from 1953 to at least 1980.[15]

Another major support base from the outset was the corporate sector; around 26 corporations provided financial assistance in the 1920s, seizing the opportunity to inject their business concerns into the weighty deliberations of the academics and scholars in the Council's ruling elite. In addition, the Carnegie Corporation contributed funds in 1937 to expand the Council's reach by replicating its structure in a diminished form in eight American cities.[16]

John J. McCloy became an influential figure in the organization after the Second World War, and he held connections to both the Morgans and Rockefellers. As assistant to Secretary of War (and JP Morgan attorney) Henry Stimson during World War II, he had presided over important American war policies; his brother-in-law John Zinsser was on the board of directors of JP Morgan & Co. during that time, and after the war McCloy joined New York law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hope, Hadley & McCloy as a partner. The company had long served as legal counsel to the Rockefeller family and the Chase Manhattan bank. McCloy became Chairman of the Board of Chase Manhattan, a director of the Rockefeller Foundation and Chairman of the Board of the CFR from 1953 to 1970. President Harry Truman appointed him President of the World Bank and U.S. High Commissioner to Germany. He served as a special adviser on disarmament to President John F. Kennedy and chaired a special committee on the Cuban crisis. He was said to have had the largest influence on American foreign policy of anyone after World War II. McCloy's brother-in-law, Lewis W. Douglas, also served on the board of the CFR and as a trustee for the Rockefeller Foundation; Truman appointed him as American ambassador to Great Britain.[17]

Influence on Foreign Policy

Beginning in 1939 and lasting for five years, the Council achieved much greater prominence with government and the State Department when it established the strictly confidential War and Peace, funded entirely by the Rockefeller Foundation.[18] The secrecy surrounding this group was such that the Council members (total at the time: 663) who were not involved in its deliberations were completely unaware of the study group's existence.[18]

It was divided into four functional topic groups: economic and financial, security and armaments, territorial, and political. The security and armaments group was headed by Allen Dulles who later became a pivotal figure in the CIA's predecessor, the OSS. It ultimately produced 682 memoranda for the State Department, marked classified and circulated among the appropriate government departments. As an historical judgment, its overall influence on actual government planning at the time is still said to remain unclear.[18]

In an anonymous piece called "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" that appeared in Foreign Affairs in 1947, CFR study group member George Kennan coined the term "containment". The essay would prove to be highly influential in US foreign policy for seven upcoming presidential administrations. 40 years later, Kennan explained that he had never meant to contain the Soviet Union because it might be able to physically attack the United States; he thought that was obvious enough that he didn't need to explain it in his essay. William Bundy credited the CFR's study groups with helping to lay the framework of thinking that led to the Marshall Plan and NATO. Due to new interest in the group, membership grew towards 1,000.[19]

Dwight D. Eisenhower chaired a CFR study group while he served as President of Columbia University in New York City. One member later said, "Whatever General Eisenhower knows about economics, he has learned at the study group meetings."[19] The CFR study group devised an expanded study group called "Americans for Eisenhower" to increase his chances for the presidency. Eisenhower would later draw many Cabinet members from CFR ranks and become a CFR member himself. His primary CFR appointment was Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. As an attorney for Standard Oil and a longtime board member of the Rockefeller Foundation, Dulles maintained strong ties to the Council and to the Rockefellers.[20] Dulles gave a public address at the Henry Pratt House in which he announced a new direction for Eisenhower's foreign policy: "There is no local defense which alone will contain the mighty land power of the communist world. Local defenses must be reinforced by the further deterrent of massive retaliatory power." After this speech, the council convened a session on "Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy" and chose a Harvard scholar, Henry Kissinger, to head it. Kissinger spent the following academic year working on the project at Council headquarters. The book of the same name that he published from his research in 1957 gave him national recognition, topping the national bestseller lists.[19]

On 24 November 1953, a study group heard a report from political scientist William Henderson regarding the ongoing conflict between France and Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh forces, a struggle that would later become known as the First Indochina War. Henderson argued that Ho's cause was primarily nationalist in nature and that Marxism had "little to do with the current revolution". Further, the report said, the United States could work with Ho to guide his movement away from Communism. State Department officials, however, expressed skepticism about direct American intervention in Vietnam and the idea was tabled. Over the next twenty years, the United States would find itself allied with anti-Communist South Vietnam and against Ho and his supporters in Vietnam War.[19]

The Council served as a "breeding ground" for important American policies such as mutual deterrence, arms control, and nuclear non-proliferation.[19]

A four-year long study of relations between America and China was conducted by the Council between 1964 and 1968. One study published in 1966 concluded that American citizens were more open to talks with China than their elected leaders. Kissinger had continued to publish in Foreign Affairs and was appointed by President Nixon to serve as National Security Adviser in 1969. In 1971, he embarked on a secret trip to Beijing to broach talks with Chinese leaders. Nixon went to China in 1972, and diplomatic relations were completely normalized by President Carter's Secretary of State, another Council member, Cyrus Vance.[19]

In November 1979, while chairman of the CFR, David Rockefeller became embroiled in an international incident when he and Henry Kissinger, along with John J. McCloy and Rockefeller aides, persuaded President Jimmy Carter through the State Department to admit the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, into the US for hospital treatment for lymphoma. This action directly precipitated what is known as the Iran hostage crisis and placed Rockefeller under intense media scrutiny (particularly from The New York Times) for the first time in his public life.[21]

About the organization

From its inception the Council was non-partisan, welcoming members of both Democratic and Republican parties. It also welcomed Jews and African-Americans, with only women initially barred from membership. Its proceedings were almost universally private and confidential.[22] It has exerted influence on US foreign policy from the beginning, due to its roster of State Department and other government officials as members; as such, it has been the focus of many conspiracy theories (Perloff 37, et passim). A study by two critics of the organization, Laurence Shoup and William Minter, found that of 502 government officials surveyed from 1945 to 1972, more than half were members of the Council.[23][24]

It has today about 3,700 life members (plus five-year term members), which over its history have included senior serving politicians, more than a dozen Secretaries of State, former national security officers, bankers, lawyers, professors, former CIA members and senior media figures. Nearly every former US president since WWII has been a member as well as the majority of State Department influentials. As a private institution however, the CFR maintains through its official website that it is not a formal organization engaged in U.S. foreign policy-making.[citation needed]

In 1962, the group began a program of bringing select Air Force officers to the Harold Pratt House to study alongside its scholars. The Army, Navy and Marine Corps requested they start similar programs for their own officers.[23]

Vietnam created a rift within the organization. When Hamilton Fish Armstrong announced in 1970 that he would be leaving the helm of Foreign Affairs after 45 years, new chairman David Rockefeller approached a family friend, William Bundy, to take over the position. Anti-war advocates within the Council rose in protest against this appointment, claiming that Bundy's hawkish record in the State and Defense Deparments and the CIA precluded him from taking over an independent journal. Some even called Bundy a "war criminal" for his prior actions.[23]

Seven American presidents have addressed the Council, two while still in office-- Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.[25]

Journalist Charles Kraft, a member of both the CFR and its funded Trilateral Commission, said the Council "comes close to being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite – a group of men, similar in interest and outlook, shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes."[20]

Economist John Kenneth Galbraith resigned in 1970, objecting to the Council's policy of allowing government officials to conduct twice-a-year off-the-record briefings with business officials in its Corporation Service. [26] The Council says that it has never sought to serve as a receptacle for government policy papers that cannot be shared with the public, and they do not encourage government officials who are members to do so. The Council says that discussions at its headquarters remain confidential, not because they are secret, but because the system allows members to test new ideas with other members.[27]

Arthur Schlesinger, in his book on the Kennedy presidency, A Thousand Days, wrote that Kennedy was not part of what he called the "New York establishment":
"In particular, he was little acquainted with the New York financial and legal community-- that arsenal of talent which had so long furnished a steady supply of always orthodox and often able people to Democratic as well as Republican administrations. This community was the heart of the American Establishment. Its household deities were Henry J. Stimson and Elihu Root; its present leaders, Robert Lovett and John J. McCloy; its front organizatons, the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie foundations and the Council on Foreign Relations; its organs, the New York Times and Foreign Affairs."[28]

Notable projects

Among its regional projects is its Middle East Program, including the Middle East Forum, described as a "Roundtable," which sponsors meetings and discussions about the Middle East and is directed by Judith Kipper, Adviser for Middle East Programs and Director of the Energy Security Group.[29]

Chairman of the Board David Rockefeller began the Trilateral Commission in 1973 with finances from the Council and the Rockefeller Foundation.[30]
Board of Directors


Chairman of the Board: Peter G. Peterson
Vice Chairman: Carla A. Hills
Vice Chairman: Robert E. Rubin
President: Richard N. Haass

Board of Directors:
Director Peter Ackerman
Director Fouad Ajami
Director Madeleine K. Albright
Director Charlene Barshefsky
Director Henry S. Bienen
Director Stephen W. Bosworth
Director Tom Brokaw
Director Frank J. Caufield
Director Kenneth M. Duberstein
Director Martin S. Feldstein
Director Richard N. Foster
Director Ann M. Fudge
Director Helene D. Gayle
Director Maurice R. Greenberg
Director Richard C. Holbrooke
Director Karen Elliott House
Director Alberto Ibargüen
Director Henry R. Kravis
Director Michael H. Moskow
Director Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
Director Ronald L. Olson
Director James W. Owen
Director Thomas R. Pickering
Director Colin L. Powell
Director David M. Rubenstein
Director Richard E. Salomon
Director Anne-Marie Slaughter
Director Joan E. Spero
Director Laura D'Andrea Tyson
Director Vin Weber
Director Christine Todd Whitman
Director Fareed Zakaria

The Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations is composed in total of thirty-six officers. David Rockefeller is a Director Emeritus (Honorary Chairman). It also has an International Advisory Board consisting of thirty-five distinguished individuals from across the world.[1][31]

There are two types of membership: life, and term membership, which lasts for 5 years and is available to those between 30 and 36. Only US citizens (native born or naturalised) and permanent residents who have applied for U.S. citizenship are eligible. A candidate for life membership must be nominated in writing by one Council member and seconded by a minimum of three others (strongly encouraged to be other CFR members).[32]

Corporate membership (250 in total) is divided into "Basic", "Premium" ($25,000+) and "President's Circle" ($50,000+). All corporate executive members have opportunities to hear distinguished speakers, such as overseas presidents and prime ministers, chairmen and CEOs of multinational corporations, and US officials and Congressmen. President and premium members are also entitled to other benefits, including attendance at small, private dinners or receptions with senior American officials and world leaders.[33]

Corporate Members


American Express Company
American International Group, Inc.
BP p.l.c.
Bridgewater Associates, Inc. CA
Chevron Corporation
Cognizant Technology
Solutions Corporation
ConocoPhillips Company
Drake Management LLC
DynCorp International
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Fortress Investment Group LLC
Guardsmark LLC
H. J. Heinz Company
Investcorp International, Inc.
Kingdon Capital
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Lehman Brothers
Th e McGraw-Hill Companies
McKinsey & Company, Inc.
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
Moody’s Investors Service
Nike, Inc.
OppenheimerFunds, Inc.
Reliance Industries Limited
The Rohatyn Group
Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Veritas Capital LLC


Abbott Laboratories
ABC News
ACE Limited
AEA Investors Inc.
Airbus North America
Alleghany Corporation
Allen & Overy LLP
American Standard Companies
Apax Partners, Inc.
Apollo Management, LP
ARAMARK Corporation
Aramco Services Company
Archer Daniels Midland Company
Armor Holdings, Inc.
Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Holdings, Inc.
Arrow Electronics, Inc.
A.T. Kearney, Inc.
Avaya Inc.
Baker, Nye Advisers, Inc.
Banco Mercantil
Bank of America
Th e Bank of New York
Barclays Capital
BASF Corporation
Th e Blackstone Group L.P.
BNP Paribas
Th e Boeing Company
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
Boston Properties, Inc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
CALYON Corporate and Investment Bank
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Cantillon Capital Management LLC
Caxton Associates
The Chubb Corporation
Cisneros Group of Companies
CIT Group Inc.
The CNA Corporation
Th e Coca-Cola Company
Continental Properties
Corning Incorporated
Corsair Capital
Corus America Inc.
Credit Suisse
DaimlerChrysler Corporation
De Beers
Deere & Company
Deutsche Bank AG
Devon Energy Corporation
Dresdner Bank AG
DTAP Capital Partners LLC
Electronic Data Systems Corporation
Eli Lilly and Company
Eni S.p.A.
Equinox Management Partners, L.P.
Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Fannie Mae
Federal Express Corporation
Ford Motor Company
Freddie Mac
Future Pipe Industries, Inc.
Galt Industries Inc.
General Atlantic LLC
General Electric Company
General Maritime Corporation
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Grey Global Group Inc.
Hess Corporation
Hitachi, Ltd.
Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin
IBM Corporation
InsCap Management, LLC
Interpipe Inc.
IXIS Capital Markets
Jacobs Asset Management, LLC
J. H. Whitney Investment
Management, LLC
Jones Day
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Kometal GMBH Austria
Kuwait Petroleum Corporation
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Loral Space & Communications Ltd.
Lucent Technologies Inc.
Lukoil Americas
Mannheim LLC
Marathon Oil Company
Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc.
Marubeni America Corporation
Masthead Management Partners
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP
MBIA Insurance Corporation
MeadWestvaco Corporation
Merck & Co., Inc.
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Mitsubishi International Corporation
Moore Capital Management LLC
Morgan Stanley
The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc.
The News Corporation
New York Life International, Inc.
Northrop Grumman Corporation
NYSE Group, Inc.
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
The Olayan Group
Paul, Hastings, Janofksy & Walker
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pfizer Inc.
Phelps Dodge Corporation
Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation
Pitney Bowes Inc.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Prudential Financial, Inc.
Rho Capital Partners
Rothschild North America, Inc.
Sageview Capital
Sandalwood Securities, Inc.
Shell Oil Company
Sidley Austin LLP
Siemens Corporation
Sony Corporation of America
Soros Fund Management
Standard & Poor’s
Standard Chartered Bank
Starwood Capital Group
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Swiss Re America Holding Corporation
Symbol Technologies, Inc.
Time Warner Inc.
Tishman Speyer Properties, Inc.
Union Pacifi c Corporation
United Technologies Corporation
U.S. Trust Corporation
Verizon Communications Inc.
Veronis Suhler Stevenson
Vinson & Elkins LLP
Visa International
Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Vornado Realty Trust
Wyoming Investment Corporation
Xerox Corporation
Young & Rubicam Inc.
Ziff Brothers Investments LLC

BASIC Members

Access Industries, Inc.
American Re Corporation
American Red Cross
Andrews Kurth LLP
Apple Core Hotels Inc.
Areva US
Arnold & Porter LLP
Artemis Advisors
Baker & Hostetler LLP
Baker Capital Corp.
Th e Baldwin-Gottschalk Group
Banca di Roma
Banca d’Italia
Banca Intesa S.p.A.
Barbour Griffith and Rogers
Barst & Mukamal LLP
Bloomberg L.P.
Bramwell Capital Management, Inc.
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
C & O Resources, Inc.
Claremont Capital Corporation
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Th e Consulate General of Japan
Control Risks Group
Covington & Burling
Craig Drill Capital Corporation
The Cross Country Group
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Ehrenkranz & Ehrenkranz LLP
Eisner LLP
First Atlantic Capital, Ltd.
French-American Chamber of Commerce
Gale International
GLG Inc.
Granite Associates LP
Hemispheric Partners
IC & A Inc.
Idemitsu Apollo Corporation
Integrated Finance Limited
Intellispace, Inc.
Interaudi Bank
Intracom S.A.
Invus Group, LLC
Japan Bank for International Cooperation
JETRO New York
Joukowsky Family Foundation
KS Management Corporation
Mark Partners
Marvin & Palmer Associates, Inc.
Medley Global Advisors
Mine Safety Appliances Company
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Mutual of America
Oxford Analytica Inc.
PanAmSat Corporation
Peter Kimmelman Asset
Management LLC
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw
Pittman LLP
POSCO America Corporation
Riverstone Holdings LLC
Rolls-Royce North America, Inc.
RWS Energy Services, Inc.
Saber Partners, LLC
Simpson Th acher & Bartlett LLP
Sperry Fund Management LLC
Thales North America, Inc.
Tiedemann Investment Group
Torys LLP
Transclick, Inc.
Tudor Investment Corporation
Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association
Warburg Pincus LLC
Watson Wyatt & Company
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Wilpon Investors LLC
Zephyr Management, L.P.

Notable current Council members

· Dick Cheney
· Jonothan S. Bush - George W. Bush's First Cousin. [2]
· Fred Thompson
· Condoleezza Rice
· Paul Wolfowitz
· Robert M. Gates
· John D. Negroponte
· Leslie Gelb
· Colin Powell
· Alice Rivlin
· Madeleine Albright
· Zbigniew Brzezinski
· Henry Kissinger
· Jack Welch
· Alan Greenspan
· Paul Volcker
· Vernon Jordan
· John C. Whitehead
· George Soros
· Brent Scowcroft
· George Shultz
· James Woolsey
· Jimmy Carter
· Warren Christopher
· James D. Wolfensohn
· Steven Weinberg
· Edgar Bronfman
· Barbara Walters
· Lawrence Eagleburger
· Thomas Friedman
· Paul R. Krugman
· Peggy Dulany
· David Rockefeller, Jr.
· John D. Rockefeller, IV
· Ethan Bronner
· Warren Hoge
· Bill Brock (U.S. navy)
· Tom Brokaw (media, anchor)
· Bill Clinton (former U.S. President)
· Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.
· Chris Heinz (politics, banking)
· John Kerry (politics)
· Stan O'Neal (banking)
· Henry Paulson
· Charles Prince (banking)
· Karenna Gore Schiff
· Ron Silver (actor)
· Jonathan Soros
· Lesley Stahl (media)
· Adam Wolfensohn
· Robert Zoellick
· Charlie Rose (journalist, media)
· Angelina Jolie (UN Goodwill Ambassador)[35]
· Irving Kristol
· Mikhail Fridman (International Advisory Board member)
· Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby (International Advisory Board member)

Notable historical members

· Charles Peter McColough
· George Kennan
· John J. McCloy
· Paul Nitze
· Strobe Talbott
· Caspar Weinberger
· Robert Lovett
· John Foster Dulles
· Allen Dulles
· Dean Rusk
· Nelson Rockefeller
· John D. Rockefeller 3rd
· Robert McNamara
· Felix Rohatyn
· Paul Warburg
· C. Douglas Dillon
· Eugene Rostow
· Walt Rostow
· Albert Wohlstetter
· Roberta Wohlstetter
· Arthur Schlesinger
· McGeorge Bundy
· William Bundy
· Gerald Ford
· Conrad Black (International Advisory Board member)
· Sergei Karaganov (International Advisory Board member)

List of Chairmen

· Russell Cornell Leffingwell 1946-53
· John J. McCloy 1953-70
· David Rockefeller 1970-85
· Peter George Peterson 1985-

List of Presidents

· John W. Davis 1921-33
· George W. Wickersham 1933-36
· Norman H. Davis 1936-44
· Russell Cornell Leffingwell 1944-46
· Allen Welsh Dulles 1946-50
· Henry Merritt Wriston 1951-64
· Grayson L. Kirk 1964-71
· Bayless Manning 1971-77
· Winston Lord 1977-85
· John Temple Swing 1985-86 (Pro tempore)
· Peter Tarnoff 1986-93
· Alton Frye 1993
· Leslie Gelb 1993-2003
· Richard N. Haass 2003-

Source: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996: Historical Roster of Directors and Officers[36]


The Council has been the subject of many conspiracy theories, partly due to the number of high-ranking government officials in its membership, its secrecy clauses, and the large number of aspects of American foreign policy that its members have been involved with, beginning with Wilson's Fourteen Points. Many organizations, such as the John Birch Society, believe that the CFR plans a one-world government. Wilson's Fourteen Points speech was the first in which he suggested a worldwide security organization to prevent future world wars.[37]

Some believe that the CFR is working towards a North American Union, a joining of the three governments of Canada, Mexico and the US. They point to a CFR task force which was headed by professor Robert Pastor, head of North American Studies at American University, which produced a report called "Building a North American Community" on cooperation within North America.[38] Pastor authored a 2001 book, Towards a North American Community: Lessons from the Old World for the New. Plans allegedly center on a 10-lane superhighway which would run from Mexico to Canada.[39]

Assistant Secretary of Commerce David Bohigian says that there is no truth to the rumors. Senator Kit Bond, who is a member of committees that would have to authorize funding for a NAFTA superhighway, has said that there are no plans for a North American Union and the theories are not valid.[40] However, Rep. Ron Paul has said that Congress has provided "small amounts" of money to study the feasibility of such a highway. Paul also suggested that because the funding constituted "just one item in an enormous transportation appropriations bill... most members of Congress were not aware of it."[3] Rep. Virgil Goode introduced a resolution, with 21 co-sponsors, to prohibit the building of a NAFTA superhighway and an eventual North American Union with Canada and Mexico. The resolution was sent to committee.[4]

In 2005, CFR task force co-chairman Pastor testified in Congress in front of the Foreign Relations Committee: "The best way to secure the United States today is not at our two borders with Mexico and Canada, but at the borders of North America as a whole."[41] The CFR task force he headed called for one border around North America, freer travel within it, and cooperation among Canadian, Mexican and American military forces and law enforcement for greater security. It called for full mobility of labor among the three countries within five years, similar to the European Union.[5] He also appeared at a CFR forum called "The Future of North American Integration in the Wake of the Terrorist Attacks" on October 17, 2001, discussing the prospect of North American integration in the wake of the September 11 attacks.[42] Conservative commentator Phyllis Schlafly wrote of the 2005 report, "This CFR document, called 'Building a North American Community,' asserts that George W. Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin 'committed their governments' to this goal when they met at Bush's ranch and at Waco, Texas on March 23, 2005. The three adopted the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America and assigned 'working groups' to fill in the details."[43] The document advocated allowing companies to recruit workers from anywhere within North America and called for large loans and aid to Mexico from the US. It called for a court system for North American dispute resolution and said that illegal aliens should be allowed into the United States Social Security system through the Social Security Totalization Agreement. The report called for a fund to be created by the US to allow 60,000 Mexican students to attend US colleges. The report says the plan can be carried out within five years. Other members of the task force included former Massachusetts governor William Weld and immigration chief for President Clinton, Doris Meissner.

Pastor wrote in a piece for Foreign Affairs: "The U.S., Mexican, and Canadian governments remain zealous defenders of an outdated conception of sovereignty even though their citizens are ready for a new approach. Each nation's leadership has stressed differences rather than common interests. North America needs leaders who can articulate and pursue a broader vision... Countries are benefited when they changed these [national sovereignty] policies, and evidence suggests that North Americans are ready for a new relationship that renders this old definition of sovereignty obsolete."[44] Pastor appeared at a CFR-sponsored symposium at Arizona State University on issues that would face the next president.[45]

See also

· Trilateral Commission
· Bilderberg Group
· Brookings Institution
· David Rockefeller
· David Rockefeller, Jr.
· Rockefeller family
· Rand Corporation


1. ^ a b c "President's Welcome ("About CFR"), with a hyperlink to "History", both accessed February 24, 2007. (Date accessed applies to other citations to the CFR website.)
2. ^ Council on Foreign Affairs "Research Projects".
3. ^ Council on Foreign Affairs "The Second Transformation".
4. ^ "President Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points (1918)"
5. ^ James Perloff, The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline (Appleton, WI: Western Islands Publishers, 1988) 36.
6. ^ Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy
7. ^ "Continuing the Inquiry: Inquiry".
8. ^ Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy
9. ^ John Ensor Harr and Peter J. Johnson, The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988) 156.
10. ^ Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy
11. ^ Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy
12. ^ For discussion of this shift in influence from Morgan to Rockefeller, see Perloff 38.
13. ^ Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy
14. ^ "David Rockefeller: Honorary Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations".
15. ^ Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) List of RBF Grantees
16. ^ "Continuing the Inquiry: Dissension".
17. ^ Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy
18. ^ a b c "Continuing the Inquiry: War and Peace"
19. ^ a b c d e f "Continuing the Inquiry: “X” Leads the Way"
20. ^ a b Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy
21. ^ Scrutiny by NYT over the Shah of Iran - David Rockefeller, Memoirs (pp.356-75)
22. ^ "Continuing the Inquiry: Basic Assumptions".
23. ^ a b c
24. ^ "Continuing the Inquiry: Consensus Endangered".
25. ^ "American Presidents at the Council on Foreign Relations".
26. ^ Marrs, Jim. "Rule By Secrecy." 36.
27. ^ "The Second Transformation".
28. ^ "A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House"
29. ^ The Middle East Forum, described as a "Roundtable", part of the Middle East Program, is distinct from the Middle East Forum founded and directed by Daniel Pipes. For their critique of the Council on Foreign Relations Middle East Program and Middle East Forum, and its director Judith Kipper, see Daniel Mandel and Asaf Romirowsky, "The Council on Foreign Relations Does the Middle East", Middle East Quarterly 12.4 (Fall 2005), particularly the section "Panegyrics over Policy"; accessed February 23, 2007. (Middle East Quarterly is a publication of Pipes's Middle East Forum.)
30. ^
31. ^ "Leadership and Staff". Accessed February 24, 2007.
32. ^ "Membership".
33. ^ "Corporate Program"PDF (330 KiB).
34. ^ Corporate Membership.
35. ^ Washington Post, Columnists, "Talk About Your Serious Roles", By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, Wednesday, February 28, 2007; Page C03. Nominated by council member Trevor Neilson. If she's voted in at the June board meeting, the 31-year-old Jolie will receive a five-year "term" membership.
36. ^ Continuing the Inquiry: Historical Roster of Directors and Officers.
37. ^ President Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points (1918).
38. ^ {{cite web What people are reffering to when they say the North American Union, is The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. |url= |title=Creating a North American Community}}
39. ^ North American Union? Rumor sweeps the right.
40. ^ Urban legend of "North American Union" feeds on fears.
41. ^ A North American Community Approach to Security.
42. ^ The Future of North American Integration in the Wake of the Terrorist Attacks.
43. ^ CFR's Plan to Integrate the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
44. ^ North America's Second Decade.
45. ^ ASU and the Council on Foreign Relations Present Symposium on Foreign Policy Issues That Face Next President.


Publications by the Council on Foreign Relations
· Council on Foreign Relations in association with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales. Building a North American Community: Report of an Independent Task Force. Washington, DC: Council on Foreign Relations, 2005. (Task Force Observers: Sam Boutziouvis, Canadian Council of Chief Executives; Daniel Gerstein, Council on Foreign Relations; Lawrence Spinetta, Council on Foreign Relations; David Stewart-Patterson, Canadian Council of Chief Executives; multiple authors.)


· De Villemarest, Pierre, Danièle De Villemarest, and William Wolf. Facts and Chronicles Denied to the Public. Vol. 1. Slough, Berkshire, UK: Aquilion, 2004. ISBN 1-904-99700-7.
· Grose, Peter. Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996. New York: Council on Foreign Relations: 1996. ISBN 0-876-09192-3.
· Perloff, James. The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline. Appleton, WI: Western Islands, 1988. ISBN 0-882-79134-6.
· Schulzinger, Robert D. The Wise Men of Foreign Affairs. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984. ISBN 0-231-05528-5.
· Shoup, Laurence H., and William Minter. Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy. 1977; New York: Authors Choice Press, 2004. ISBN 0-595-32426-6 (10). ISBN 978-05953-2426-2 (13).
· Wala, Michael. The Council on Foreign Relations and American Foreign Policy in the Early Cold War. Providence, RI: Berghann Books, 1994. ISBN 1-571-81003-X
Miscellaneous articles
· Kassenaar, Lisa. "Wall Street's New Prize: Park Avenue Club House With World View". Bloomberg December 15, 2005. [Profile of the Council and its new members.]
· Mandel, Daniel, and Asaf Romirowsky. "The Council on Foreign Relations Does the Middle East". Middle East Quarterly 12.4 (Fall 2005). Accessed February 23, 2007.
· Sanger, David E. "Iran's Leader Relishes 2nd Chance to Make Waves". The New York Times September 21, 2006, Foreign Desk: A1, col. 2 (Late ed.-Final). Accessed February 23, 2007. (TimesSelect subscription access). ("Over the objections of the administration and Jewish groups that boycotted the event, Mr. Ahmadinejad, the man who has become the defiant face of Iran, squared off with the nation’s foreign policy establishment, parrying questions for an hour and three-quarters with two dozen members of the Council on Foreign Relations, then ending the evening by asking whether they were simply shills for the Bush administration.")

External links

· Council on Foreign Relations – Organization website
o "For Educators" – "Academic Outreach Initiative": Resources for educators and students; links to selected CFR publications
o "For the Media" – Resources for the media, concerning requests for press materials, transcripts of meetings, and annual reports; contact information
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Categories: NPOV disputes | Articles with unsourced statements since June 2007 | All articles with unsourced statements | Foreign policy and strategy think tanks | Political and economic think tanks | Council on Foreign Relations | International relations | Rockefeller Foundation | 1921 establishments

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