Madison Committee
on Foreign Relations


MCFR Individual, Family and Institutional Members can attend the regular monthly event with no event fee.  During registration, please use the email under which you became a member to see all the registration options available to members.

Upcoming events

    • 14 Mar 2017
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St, Madison, WI
    Speaker: Rick Scott of US AID

    As the first representative of the US AID effort in Timor Leste, at the birth of its sovereignty, Rick Scott will discuss the programs he instituted. With a blank slate upon which to write he was able to attempt new and creative approaches. His long experience in development and crisis management equipped him to make the most of this opportunity. His experience in virtually all other parts of the world, from southern Africa to Central Asia, equips him to comment on many of the current situations where U.S. policy is being sharply tested.”

    Mr. Scott, a graduate of Wausau high school, became interested in international development as a young man following reports of the killer tsunami that struck Bangladesh in 1970.  The tsunami flooded almost the entire southern part of the country, including the island of Bhola. From a comfortably-off family, Rick - like many idealistic young people, and especially youth of that era in American history - always wanted to help people less fortunate.  The tsunami’s dramatic destruction of millions of lives, however, propelled him towards the field of international development.

    After two years on the road with the Harlem Globetrotters as a driver and gofer in the United States and Mexico, Rick went to the School for International Training in Vermont to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Development Management.  As part of the study requirements, he taught at an experimental elementary school in a small town in Maharashtra, India, for 6 months.

    After graduation, a job with CARE International took him to the island of Bhola.  There he managed more than 100 Bangladeshi staff, and implemented agriculture, health, and feeding programs targeted at improving the lives of the people who had suffered so much from the tsunami.  He also met his wife, Pam, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, there.

    After three years on Bhola Island, and a brief CARE posting in Sierra Leone, Rick joined UNICEF, and was posted to the city of Lucknow in North India to run UNICEF programs, which included safe water provision and child nutrition among others.  While in Lucknow, Rick decided to pursue a second master’s degree and after three years returned to Madison, where he completed a Master of Science in Forestry.  Rick then went to Haiti where he directed a large CARE reforestation project, establishing nurseries and planting literally millions of trees. 

    In 1990 Rick began a career with USAID.  He and his wife and two children lived in Morocco, Russia, and West Bank/Gaza. After his children went on to college, Rick and Pam served in Ethiopia, Liberia, Timor Leste, and Washington DC.  Rick served without his family in Afghanistan.  He served as USAID Mission Director in Timor Leste and as Acting Mission Director in Liberia.  In Washington he directed a regional office covering USAID missions and programs in East Asia, and after that a regional office for Southern Africa.  Since retiring in 2014, Rick returned to serve in Kabul where he managed an office of 80 professional and administrative staff.  Further consulting with USAID since returning from Kabul in December, 2015 took him to Eastern Europe earlier this year.

    • 05 Apr 2017
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St, Madison, WI
    Speaker:  John Kutzbach, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    More information to follow!

    • 27 Apr 2017
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • TBA
    Speaker:  John Mullen, McLarty Associates

    Co-Sponsored by the UW Division of International Studies

    Mr. Mullen will briefly summarize the history of American involvement in the region, its importance economically and strategically, the purpose of the US “pivot” or “rebalance” and the TPP, the role of economic, security and financial infrastructure, APEC’s goal of a FTAAP, the rise of China, and other ongoing trade negotiations including RCEP.  With TPP off the table for the foreseeable future, he then will consider possible paths forward for the US, the other 11 TPP countries, non-TPP “allies” such as Korea, and influential countries from Indonesia to India, as all weigh the draw of Chinese markets and concerns with Chinese hegemony.

    John Mullen is a Senior Advisor at McLarty Associates, an international strategic advisory firm in Washington and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, teaching a course on trade in the Asia Pacific.  At McLarty, he advises clients on trade and investment in the Asia Pacific, with a particular focus on Australia and New Zealand, but he also offers clients expertise from a global career in law, business and government.

    Mr. Mullen served as President and CEO of the US-New Zealand Council from 2004 through 2011. In this role, he instituted the US-New Zealand Partnership Forum and led the Council’s part in support of the establishment of the Friends of New Zealand Congressional Caucus, as well as the U.S. entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. Mr. Mullen was inducted into the New Zealand Order of Merit as Officer (ONZM) in 2010 by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

    Previously, Mr. Mullen served at high levels of the U.S. Agency for International Development, including Deputy General Counsel, Acting General Counsel, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Democracy and Governance, and Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise. In 1992-93, he served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State Eagleburger for the reform and restructuring of U.S. aid, trade, and investment programs for developing countries. As a result of his government service, Mr. Mullen achieved the highest rank of the Senior Executive Service and highest government honor - the Presidential Rank Distinguished Service Award, presented by President George H. W. Bush. He also received a Presidential Rank Meritorious Award during the Reagan Administration.

    After leaving government, Mr. Mullen was the first President and CEO of a $50 million non-profit venture capital fund for Romania; Of Counsel to a Minneapolis law firm; and founding partner of an international financial advisory firm.   He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and received a Master of Comparative Law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, and a BS degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

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