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Speakers Program

Affiliated Committees on Foreign Relations present more than 125 speakers across the United States each year, engaging high level policy makers, diplomats, academics and opinion makers who are acknowledged experts on timely issues and deeply committed to civic dialog.

Engagements usually involve a brief (30 minutes or less) presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. ACFR speakers’ remarks are characteristically on a "not-for-attribution" basis, which encourages the most candid exchange of information and perspectives possible.


2016-2017 Program Selected Speakers

During the past year, ACFR Programs have featured the following distinguished speakers ... and many more!

  • Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center at the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Heritage Foundation
  • Ryan Crocker, Executive Professor at Texas A&M University and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon
  • Karen DeYoung, Senior National Security Correspondent & Associate Editor, The Washington Post
  • Jill Dougherty, Public Policy Scholar at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, and former CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent
  • Gary Grappo, Distinguished Fellow at the Korbel School’s Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver and former U.S. Ambassador to Oman
  • John E. Herbst, Director of the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and Uzbekistan
  • Frederic C. Hof, Director of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and former special adviser for transition in Syria
  • Michael McFaul, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia
  • Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the U.S.
  • Thomas R. Pickering, Vice Chairman of Hills & Company and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and to Russia, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan
  • R. James Woolsey, Chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy’s Leadership Council and former Director of the CIA
  • Thomas Wright, Director of the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution
  • Gen. Peter Zwack (ret.), Senior Research Fellow at the National Defense University’s Institute of National Security Studies and former U.S. Senior Defense Official


Past Featured Speakers


Speak at an ACFR Committee Event!

To communicate your interest in serving as an ACFR speaker, please contact Program Director and Advisor Charlie Ponticelli.



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