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.

MCFR's 2016-17 season begins in September.  Check back here for event listings.

Upcoming events

    • 22 Sep 2016
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St, Madison, WI
    Speaker:  John Baffes, Senior Economist, World Bank Development Prospects Group

    The recent drop in oil prices has been dramatic with major ramifications. Oil prices are now about 50% lower than their early 2011 peaks.  Dr. Baffes will discuss the reasons for the plunge in oil prices, including the role of the shale oil industry and OPEC. He will discuss the consequences of low oil prices for global GDP and commodities such as agriculture. Finally, he’ll present the World Bank’s view on longer term energy price prospects and inherent risks.

    John Baffes is a Senior Economist with the World Bank's Development Prospects Group and since 2014 he has been the editor of Commodity Markets Outlook, a World Bank quarterly publication. Since joining the World Bank in 1993, he has worked in several Units, including Latin America, South Asia, East Africa, Evaluation, and Research. John holds a B.S. degree in Economics from the University of Athens, Greece (1983), an M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia (1986), and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland (1992). He has published nearly 70 book chapters and articles in various academic journals in the areas of economic development and resource economics, including the Journal of Development Economics, Oxford Economic Papers, and the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. John is also teaching an executive MBA course on Applied Econometrics for Commodity Markets.

    • 18 Oct 2016
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St, Madison, WI
    National Webcast followed by an in-person presentation by a China expert (to be announced)

    This event is Co-Sponsored by the the National Committee on US China Relations

    We are pleased to announce that Dr. Henry A. Kissinger will be the national webcast speaker for our tenth annual CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections.  In addition to his years as national security advisor (1969-1975) and secretary of state (1973-1977), Dr. Kissinger has also taught at Harvard University and is currently chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm.  While national security advisor, Dr. Kissinger played a crucial role in arranging President Nixon’s 1972 visit to China, which opened the door to the re-establishment of U.S.-China relations.  His many decades of efforts to strengthen the Sino-American relationship are why we can think of no better person to serve as our CHINA Town Hall speaker as we mark the National Committee’s 50th Anniversary in 2016.
    • 25 Oct 2016
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St, Madison, WI
    Speaker:  Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin

    This event is Co-Sponsored by the UW-Madison Center for German and European Studies and the Madison Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany

    German chancellor Merkel’s decision in the late summer of 2015 to open Germany’s doors to (mostly Muslim) refugees unwanted elsewhere in Europe presents a fascinating case study in leadership. Why did Merkel take the decision? What have been the key drivers of her policy since? What traps of political communication has she found herself in?
    Thorsten Benner is director of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin, an independent non-profit think tank he co-founded in 2003 inspired by his experience in the US. His areas of interest include peace and security, digital and technology policy as well as the interplay of the US, Europe and rising powers in the making of global (dis)order. Prior to co-founding GPPi, he worked with the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, the UN Development Program in New York and the Global Public Policy Project in Washington, DC.

    His commentary has appeared in DIE ZEIT, the International New York Times, LA Times, Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others. His publications include The New World of UN Peace Operations: Learning to Build Peace? (Oxford University Press 2011). He is an adjunct faculty member at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. He is also a member of the advisory board of Zahnräder Netzwerk, a platform for Muslim social entrepreneurs.

    He studied political science, history and sociology at the University of Siegen (Germany), the University of York (UK) and the University of California at Berkeley. From 2001-2003 he was a McCloy Scholar at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he received a Master in Public Administration.

    • 07 Dec 2016
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • TBA
    Speaker:  Dr. Mahajan, Lead Economist and Program Leader for the World Bank in Vietnam

    This communist country, through 30 years of economic reforms, has become a development success story.  We will learn how Vietnam seeks to balance its communist interests with its desire to be a major player in global capitalism.

    Dr. Mahajan has been the Lead Economist and Program Leader for the World Bank in Vietnam.  He is a lead author of the recent Vietnam 2035 report, jointly prepared with the Government of Vietnam.

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