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

    • Tuesday, October 24, 2017
    • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St

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

    The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is pleased to announce that Ambassador Susan E. Rice will be the national webcast speaker for our eleventh annual CHINA Town Hall, to be held on October 24, 2017.

    In addition to her foreign policy experience as national security advisor (2013-2017) and U.S. permanent representative to the UN (2009-2013), Ambassador Rice also served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for African Affairs and senior director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. Her decades of public service and critical role in developing and executing the Obama administration's policies towards China make her perspective on the relationship especially relevant as we navigate this uncertain time in the bilateral relationship.

    Following the webcast, Taiya Smith will lead a conversation on China’s role in managing global climate change. Motivated by its own need for security and environmental clean up, China has become the global leader in climate change action. The country’s use of coal — considered the single biggest contributor to anthropogenic climate change — has dropped every year since 2013, while its investments in clean energy, especially renewables have soared as has its recent focus on green finance. President Xi announced in 2016 that China was launching a national carbon trading system, the largest in the world. And yet, China continues to refrain from assuming political leadership, and instead appears to be shrinking its own ambition in the wake of the Trump administration’s ambivalence towards climate change.

    Ms. Smith is currently the Director of the China Program at the Climate Leadership Council in Washington DC.  Previously, she has served as former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s top advisor on China. She designed and managed the U.S.- China Strategic Economic Dialogue, the highest level dialogue between the two countries governments, and was the architect of the U.S-China Ten Year Cooperative Framework on Energy and the Environment, which continues to serve as the foundation of the bilateral relationship on energy and environmental issues. Ms. Smith is the founder of the Green Trust, a platform for innovation in environmental and clean energy technologies.

    • Wednesday, November 08, 2017
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St

    Speaker:  Dr. Paul Pillar, Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Center for Security Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

    The presidency of Donald Trump has highlighted issues concerning the relationship between policymakers and intelligence agencies.  Trump already has publicly rejected the U.S. intelligence community's judgment on what may turn out to be the most important issue of his presidency: Russian interference in the election of 2016.  Further strains are apparent concerning compliance with the Iran nuclear agreement.  Episodes during past administrations of politicization and policy-intelligence tensions help to put the current situation into perspective.

    Our speaker is Dr. Paul Pillar. Dr. Pillar is a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Center for Security Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  He also is an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Center for Security Policy. He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community, in which his last position was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia.
    • Tuesday, December 12, 2017
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St

    Speaker:  Dr. Molly Jahn, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison Dept. of Agronomy, Center for Sustainability, Global Health Institute

    Professor Jahn will share her thoughts as an active participant in world agricultural development debates as well as an advisor on food security risks to the insurance industry and U.S. agencies.  Emerging trends and vulnerabilities in the global food system present wide-ranging, strategic challenges to U.S. security interests.  In recent years, food price shocks in Syria, the Middle East and Africa have contributed to disastrous impacts including armed conflict, violent extremism, regime change, migration pressures, and famine.  Dr. Jahn will share updates on some recent work she and her research team have done on emerging risks and vulnerabilities in global food systems and will discuss implications for U.S. national and global security. 

    Molly Jahn is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with appointments in the Department of Agronomy, the Center for Sustainability, and the Global Health Institute.  Through her Jahn Research Group, she also consults globally on agriculture and risks in the world food system with business, government, foundations, and international institutions.  From 2006-2011, she was Dean of the UW College of Agriculture.  In 2009-10, she served as acting Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  In her distinguished career in plant genetics and breeding, she has authored over 100 publications, and trained dozens of graduate and postdoc students at UW Madison and Cornell University.  Crop varieties from her research programs are grown commercially on six continents under over 60 commercial licenses.  Jahn is a graduate of Swarthmore College and holds graduate degrees from MIT and Cornell.
    • Thursday, January 18, 2018
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • TBA

    Speaker:  Professor Nadav Shelef
    Department of Political Science, UW-Madison

    Professor Shelef will explore the current strategies of the participants in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the prospects of alternative approaches to resolving this conflict. New uncertainties in American politics create an interesting tableau of possibilities and pitfalls.

    Nadav Shelef is the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Israel Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science. Professor Shelef teaches and studies nationalism, religion and politics, Israeli politics and society, and middle east politics. His current projects focus on understanding how homelands change and the conditions under which religious parties moderate their positions.

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