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

    • 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 Dr. Carla Freeman, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

    This event is Co-Sponsored by 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.

    Following the national webcast, Dr. Freeman will discuss the situation in the South China Sea, sharing her analysis of the Chinese perspective.  How does China view its territorial rights  and economic interests in the South China Sea? How is it responding  to the recent UNCLOS arbitral tribunal decision ruling against China’s maritime claims and actions in the South China Sea? How far will China be willing to go to assert its sovereignty in the region? How does it view US policy and actions on the South China Sea?  In addition to describing the Chinese government’s position, she will discuss the opinions of ordinary Chinese citizens on the issue.

    Carla Freeman is Director of the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she is concurrently Associate Director of the China Studies program and an Associate Research Professor. She has also served as the American Co-Director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, program officer for civil society and sustainable development for The Johnson Foundation, and a political risk consultant on Asian issues for various firms.  She has also been Peace Scholar with the United States Institute of Peace, a visiting fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Fairbank Center.

    Dr. Freeman received a B.A. with honors in Southeast Asia and History from Yale University and certificates from the Beijing Foreign Languages University and Sciences Po in Paris. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in international relations at SAIS. She is the author of numerous publications in academic and policy journals and the editor of several books.  Her current project is a book with the working title, China and the Global Commons.

    • 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
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St, Madison, WI
    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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