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Richard Haass      

President, Council on Foreign Relations

Dr. Richard Haass is in his fourteenth year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, publisher, and educational institution dedicated to being a resource to help people better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

In 2013, he served as the chair of the multiparty negotiations in Northern Ireland that provided the foundation for the 2014 Stormont House Agreement. For his efforts to promote peace and conflict resolution, he received the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award.

From January 2001 to June 2003, Dr. Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he was a principal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold the rank of ambassador, Dr. Haass also served as U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process. In recognition of his service, he received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award.

Dr. Haass has extensive additional government experience. From 1989 to 1993, he was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1991, Dr. Haass was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his contributions to the development and articulation of U.S. policy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Previously, he served in the Departments of State (1981–1985) and Defense (1979–1980), and was a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate.

Dr. Haass also was vice president and director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, the Sol M. Linowitz visiting professor of international studies at Hamilton College, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. A Rhodes scholar, Dr. Haass holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctorate degrees from Oxford University. He has also received numerous honorary degrees.

Dr. Haass is the author or editor of thirteen books on American foreign policy and one book on management. His latest book is A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order, published in 2017 by Penguin Press.

Dr. Richard Haass was born in Brooklyn, New York, and lives in New York City.

Speech Topics


Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order

The biggest threat to America's security and prosperity comes not from abroad but from within. In this provocative and thought-provoking presentation modeled after his book, Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order, Haass describes how the biggest threat to the United States comes from its burgeoning deficit and debt, crumbling infrastructure, second class schools and an outdated immigration system. The result is a country less competitive and more vulnerable than it should be on the global stage. He proposes a new foreign policy of Restoration. At home, it would concentrate on restoring the economic foundations of American power. Overseas, it would stop trying to remake the Middle East with military force as was tried unsuccessfully in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, it would emphasize maintaining the balance of power in Asia, promoting economic integration and energy self-sufficiency in North America, and narrowing the gap between global challenges and global arrangements. Adopting Restoration will ensure the United States has the resources it needs to lead the world, set an example other societies will want to emulate, reduce the countrys vulnerability to hostile forces and fickle markets, and discourage would-be adversaries from mounting aggression. It will require hard choices, but hard choices are called for. At stake is nothing less than Americas future and the character of the coming era of history.

Foreign Policy Update

President Obama continues to face an ever-growing daunting slate of foreign policy challenges: war in Afghanistan; turmoil and unrest in North Africa and the Middle East; a global struggle against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups; nuclear development by North Korea and Iran; a rising China; an increasingly assertive Russia and the need for measures to meet global challenges such as climate change, rising energy and the future of nuclear power around the world. Formerly a senior aide to Secretary of State Colin Powell and before that to President George H. W. Bush, Haass explains the major issues facing U.S. foreign policy and outlines what President Obama and Congress will need to do both at home and abroad to promote stability in the world

The Economic and Strategic Consequences of Global Recession

President Obama inherited a global economic slowdown, large and growing deficits, a mushrooming national debt,and a weak dollar. This unprecedented confluence of circumstances continues to significantly alter international relations as economic forces generate instability within countries, trigger multiple forms of protectionism, and constrain U.S. power and influence. Richard Haass looks at how political developments -- for example, a crisis involving Iran or Pakistan or Russia -- could make difficult situations far worse. He assesses existing policies and international institutions and what the US and others need to do to increase the odds of a sustained global recovery.

Doing Business in a Global World

International business leaders today face more complex risks and opportunities than ever before. They must navigate not only traditional business issues but also political ones, ranging from corporate social responsibility and climate change to political instability and backlashes against globalization. Haass, president of the country’s most influential foreign policy organization and author of an acclaimed book on management, analyzes the environment in which today’s business leaders operate, one that is increasingly transparent, demanding, and crowded with a wide array of players. He draws on his experience at the top levels of government and working with business to offer lessons on how business can both meet challenges and seize opportunities in a global world.

The Age of Nonpolarity

The principal characteristic of international relations in the 21st century is turning out to be nonpolarity. This is a world dominated not by one or two or even several states but by dozens of actors possessing and exercising various kinds of power. While the United States remains the single most powerful entity, many other states and non-state actors – ranging from China and India to foundations, media organizations, and terrorist groups – are on the rise. Drawing on his groundbreaking article in Foreign Affairs, “The Age of Nonpolarity,” Haass explains the origins and consequences of a nonpolar world and outlines what the United States must do, both at home and on the international stage, to lead efforts to tackle the global challenges that are this era’s greatest threat to peace and prosperity.

News


Richard Haass: Time to End the North Korean Threat - WSJ

In The Wall Street Journal, Richard Haass writes that there are signs that Beijing is viewing the regime in Pyongyang as more strategic liability than asset.

How to Live With the Iran Nuclear Deal | Richard Haass

NEW YORK -- No one should confuse this outcome with a solution to the problem of Iran's nuclear ambitions or its contributions to the ongoing turmoil in the ...

Haass To Address Class of 2016

Richard Haass, the U.S. envoy to the most recent Northern Ireland peace process and currently the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, will deliver the University of New Hampshire commencement address on Saturday, May 21.??

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