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

    • 13 Nov 2015
    • The University Club, 803 State Street, Madison, WI
    This is a special breakfast co-sponsored by the Madison Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany

    Speaker:  Professor Stephen Szabo, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

    Having emerged from the end of the Cold War as a unified country, Germany has quickly become one of the most interconnected countries in the world and the paradigm for an economic power in a market-driven world. Will this type of power replace the older military-based power of the past century or will its vulnerabilities prove too great?,

    Stephen F. Szabo will discuss German policy toward Russia. He will discuss how Germany is finding its global role in which its interests do not always coincide with the United States or its European partners.

    Szabo’s research reveals how Germans view Russians, and he uncovers the ways in which its dealings with Russia affect Germany in terms of the importing of corruption and crime. Szabo also explores the role of German business and finance in the shaping of foreign policy and investigates how Germany's Russia policy affects its broader foreign policy in the region, in addition to how it is perceived by key outside players such as the United States, Poland, and the EU.
    Note:  This event includes a breakfast buffet with a charge of approximately $15, payable at the event.

    • 18 Nov 2015
    • The University Club, 803 State Street, Madison, WI
    Dr. Khoury served for twenty-five years in the Foreign Service in the US Department of State, retiring with the rank of Minister Counselor. In Washington, he was Director of the Near East South Asia Office of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (2008-12). Overseas, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Yemen (2004-7), Deputy Director of the Media Outreach Center in London (2002-4), and during the 2003 Iraq war as the State Department Spokesperson for US Central Command in Doha and in Baghdad. He also served as Consul General in Morocco (1998-2002).

    Before his Foreign Service career, Dr. Khoury was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the College Saint Rose in Albany, NY and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Jordan, Amman.

    He has published in the Middle East Journal, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the International Journal of Middle East Studies on leadership and development in the Arab world.

    Nabeel Khoury is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, where he writes on the Arab transition countries, the rise of Islamist forces in the Middle East and North Africa, and US foreign policy in the region.

    Previously Dr. Khoury served as a Visiting Associate Professor at the Middle East and North African Studies program at Northwestern University. He is also a Visiting Scholar and a Senior Fellow for Middle East and National Security at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He also taught Middle East and US strategy courses at the National Defense University in Washington.

    He holds his MA and PhD from State University of New York at Albany in international relations and government, and a BA in political science from the American University of Beirut.

    • 09 Dec 2015
    • The University Club, 803 State Street, Madison, WI
    Foreign policy issues are already heating up a year before the next election.  The highly partisan debate has reveal sharp differences over such issues as the Iran nuclear agreement and opposing radical Islamic forces between and within the parties and the public.  It is far from certain how these debates will play out in the Congressional action, candidate debates, primary votes and the general election.  Dina Smeltz , Senior Fellow for Public Opinion of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA), is uniquely qualified to analyze the underlying dynamics of the forces at work in reaching decisions.  The CCGA’s annual  Chicago Council Survey, which she directs, systematically develops information on the opinions of both the general public and foreign policy “elites” on compelling issues such a Iran nuclear containment, Cuba, the use of force or diplomacy, etc.  The survey poses the same questions to a nationwide segmented sample of 2,100 individuals and, second, a specialized samples of the “elite” groups that closely follow foreign issues and directly input on high level debate or implementation.  Armed with this information, Smeltz is commenting in various forums and in the media on the underlying forces at play in the great political tests ahead. 

    Dina Smeltz joined The Chicago Council on Global Affairs in February 2012 as Senior Fellow leading their foreign policy public opinion program.   She has over 20 years experience in directing international social, political and foreign policy surveys for the highest level U.S. foreign policy “customers.”  At the Council she leads a staff of five experts and polling consultant firms and writes extended reports and policy briefs on their findings.  

    At the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, she was director of research in the Middle East and South Asia division (2001-2007) and director of the European division (1992-2001).  Smeltz conducted over a hundred surveys in these regions and briefed senior government officials on key research findings. Her experience includes mass public and elite surveys, as well as qualitative research. Her writing includes reports on the post-1989 political transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, and European attitudes toward a wide range foreign policy issues including globalization, European integration, immigration, NATO, and European security. She has unique experience dealing with post-conflict situations (informally referred to as a “combat pollster”) in Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, Israel-Palestinian Territories, and in Iraq (2003-2005).  For a number of years she also consulted for NGOs on women’s development in Afghanistan, civil society in Egypt, and evaluating voter education efforts in Iraq.  Smeltz has an MA from the University of Michigan and a BS from Pennsylvania State University.

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