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About Us

Our Mission

The American Committees on Foreign Relations (ACFR) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C. since 1938.  ACFR sponsors rigorous and informed foreign relations discussions–out of the beltway–across the U.S. It is comprised of a national confederation of Member Committees with over 1,200 members across America from Tampa Bay to Santa Barbara.  The Washington D.C. team connects government agencies, officials, distinguished foreign service members, leading think tanks, consultancies, businesses, and associations with our unique network of Member Committees across the country.


What We Do

We are a grass-roots organization convinced that only through respectful, face-to-face dialogue among and between the public and the international affairs community will we achieve understanding of, and appreciation for, the importance of international affairs in our nation’s welfare.

ACFR serves our Member Committees across the US by providing:

  • National Speakers Program:  Provision of over 120 speakers at the ready edge of responsibility and expertise regarding timely foreign policy issues and events for Member Committees
  • Annual National Conference: Prestigious annual conference held in Washington DC for our diverse membership, drawing together eminent high level foreign relations professionals around a compelling foreign policy theme
  • Young Leaders Initiative: Annual conference for young scholars in the areas of foreign relations, policy and international interests; sponsored through the Member Committees & featuring leading experts and dignitaries including networking and ongoing membership
  • Newsgroup:  Email subscription for summary of multiple sources/ access for domestic and foreign media information with world-wide reach
  • Leadership, counsel and coordination: Governance, assistance and networking for our Committees


Our History

In 1938, the Council on Foreign Relations, possibly the most prestigious “think tank” in America believed it was time to create a number of non-partisan, non-profit Committees across the country for the purpose of bringing business and professional local leaders together to discuss world events due to isolationist attitudes and emerging international conflicts.  The original committees hosted respected experts on foreign policy issues that were considered timely and informative for the committees as well as providing insights for the speakers on what Americans across the country were thinking about world affairs.

In 1995, through mutual agreement, the Committees separated to form ACFR, maintaining headquarters in Washington D.C.  Comprised of a network of affiliated Member Committees, with over 1,200 individual members around the country, AFCR promotes rigorous and informed foreign relations discussions–out of the beltway–across the U.S.  We believe this is an important element for successful foreign policy, increased national security and understanding of the world around us.

We continue to be as vibrant and relevant today as we ever were. The Committees from coast to coast convene community leaders, educators and members of the general public in off-the-record discussions with international affairs experts.  The Washington D.C. team provides speakers for over 100 local committee meetings per year; hosts the annual conference drawing together eminent high level policy makers and other experts around a compelling foreign relations theme; plans & hosts the Young Leadership Initiative and other key activities on behalf of the members.  The Committees continue to grow in membership and purpose.


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