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Speakers Program


Speakers: Diverse, Timely, Expert Perspectives

The ACFR National Speakers Program provides prominent speakers at the ready edge of responsibility and expertise regarding timely foreign policy issues & events. We have hosted sitting Ambassadors, former Ambassadors, State Department officials, Officers of the military, policy experts & more from leading edge foreign relations organizations and consultancies in the nation.

We also feature speakers with special expertise and experiences in foreign relations from our congressional representatives, universities, and major news outlets.

Local Committee meetings are generally held each month from September through May of the following year. Those meetings provide a unique format for our members, giving the opportunity to meet the speaker, engage in discussion, and gain additional knowledge and information.


The Speakers

The ACFR National Speakers Program provides prominent speakers at the ready edge of responsibility and expertise regarding timely foreign policy issues & events.

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.


2017-2018 Program Selected Speakers

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

  • General William J. Begert - USAF (Ret.), former Commander, Pacific Air Forces, and Air Component Commander for the U.S. Pacific Command
  • Amb. John Beyrle - former U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria and to Russia
  • Ryan Crocker, Executive Professor at Texas A&M University and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon
  • Dr. Patrick M. Cronin - Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security
  • Abraham M. Denmark - Director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia
  • Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Senate Armed Services Committee
  • Jeff Greenfield - former senior political correspondent for CBS News and senior analyst for CNN
  • Amb. Christopher R. Hill - Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at The University of Denver and former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia, and Poland
  • Dr. Charles A. Kupchan - Senior Fellow and Director of European Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University
  • Rt. Hon. Henry McLeish - former First Minister of Scotland
  • Jung H. Pak - Senior Fellow and SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies, Center for East Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution
  • J. Peter Pham - Vice President of the Atlantic Council and director of the Council’s Africa Center
  • Gen. Norton A Schwartz (ret.) - former Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Dr. David Shambaugh - Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University
  • Admiral Patrick Walsh - former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and Senior Fellow at the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at SMU
  • Amb. Earl Anthony (Tony) Wayne - nonresident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program, and former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, deputy U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, and U.S. Ambassador to Argentina
  • Andrew Whittaker - British Consul General to San Francisco
  • Hon. Dirk Wouters - Ambassador of Belgium to the United States
  • Amb. Kenneth Yalowitz - Global Fellow at the Wilson Center and former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Belarus and Georgia


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.