Foreign Policy Association

Foreign Policy Association
Foreign Policy Association (FPA)
Type Non-profit
Founded 1918, New York,
Headquarters New York City, USA

The Foreign Policy Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world. Founded in 1918, it serves as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding of, and providing informed opinions on global issues. Through its balanced, nonpartisan programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.


Mission - 'Inspiring Americans to Learn More About the World'

The Foreign Policy Association's mission is to inspire the American public to learn more about the world. The FPA serves as a catalyst for developing awareness and understanding of global issues. Through its non-partisan programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.

The organization has a promotional video narrated by Tom Brokaw.

History - Engaging the Public Since 1918

Fpa logo.jpg

The Foreign Policy Association was founded in 1918 as the League of Free Nations Association. Under the chairmanship of journalist Paul Kellogg, it was formed by 141 distinguished Americans to support President Woodrow Wilson's efforts to achieve a just peace, including John Foster Dulles and Eleanor Roosevelt. The Association was reconstituted in 1923 as the Foreign Policy Association with a commitment to the careful study of all sides of international questions affecting the U.S.

In the 1920s FPA initiated Saturday luncheon discussions on foreign policy in New York City. The luncheon discussions quickly grew very popular and in 1938, 19 women formed FPA's "Off-the-Record" lecture series in order to learn even more about international affairs.

In the 1940s, the FPA pioneered international affairs radio discussions by broadcasting New York meetings and weekly talks on "The World Today" over the NBC network. Later, as the discussions among citizens spread, the FPA branches across the U.S. became forerunners of the independent World Affairs Councils founded in the 1950s. Meanwhile, the FPA's publications, Foreign Policy Reports (1925–51), Foreign Policy Bulletin (1920–61) and Headline Series(1935–present) became known and respected at the time for their clear and impartial analysis of foreign policy issues.

‎ The heart of the FPA's outreach effort, the Great Decisions program, was launched in 1954. The program has become the largest nonpartisan public education program on international affairs in the world. The FPA continued to undertake new educational challenges to improve the teaching of world affairs in the nation's schools in the 1960s when the forerunner of FPA's Citizen's Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy was published. In the 1970s, Great Decisions opinion ballots were tabulated nationally for the first time. Every year results of ballot tabulations are presented to the White House, the departments of State and Defense, Members of Congress and the nation's media. Today the preparation of innovative study materials and teachers' guides, as well as workshops for teachers, are among FPA top priorities.

An updated version of the history of the Foreign Policy Association is presented in this video narrated by Tom Brokaw. It builds on the well-documented history of the Foreign Policy Association's service to the U.S. Public and the U.S. policymakers including updates on currents FPA programs and meetings.

FPA Today - A Catalyst for Informed Opinion Making

“In a democracy the Government functions with the consent of the whole people. The latter must be guided by the facts. The Foreign Policy Association is performing a high duty in facilitating the lucid presentation of the facts of world problems and their impact upon the United States.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1943

The Foreign Policy Association continues to build on its impressive history. Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2008, the FPA today continues to inform a broad swath of the American public, including high schools, college and university students as well as adults throughout the country who want to keep up-to-date on world events. The efforts are structured around four main pillars: Multimedia, Editorial Publications, Programming, and Events.

Multimedia - Foreign Policy in a Digital World

The Foreign Policy Association distinguishes itself from other non-profits in the field of international affairs by engaging the public through a variety of different media: Internet and blogs, television and DVD. is the homepage of the Foreign Policy Association. It is driven in large part by the FPA's increasingly popular Global Job Board its Top Schools section and streaming video of all FPA events and programs. Original analysis, opinion and a weekly quiz on international news events are heavily trafficked by users from all over the world.

Launched in 2007 as part of the Great Decision Program, the Foreign Policy Blogs network has grown to be the largest network of global affairs blogs comprised by nearly 50 different blogs on a wide variety of different global issues ranging from U.S foreign policy to global films. With the Foreign Policy Blogs network the Foreign Policy Association brings the public discussion on global affairs to the web.

The Foreign Policy Blogs network is a production of the Foreign Policy Association but is staffed by professional contributors from the worlds of journalism, academia, business, non-profits and think tanks.

Great Decisions Television Series

The Foreign Policy Association produces the renowned Great Decision Television Series on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The Great Decision Program reaches more than 74% of all U.S. households. Making significant inroads online, the Great Decision Television Series also appears in streaming video as full episodes and extended interviews on, You Tube, Google Video and Brightcove.

The series features historical background information and thought-provoking analyses and debates on issues of concern to U.S. foreign policy-makers. The show was narrated by the legendary Walter Cronkite, and most recently hosted by CNN World Affairs Correspondent Ralph Begleiter. Former guests include Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Nonpartisan Publications

Great Decisions Briefing Book

Great Decisions is an annual briefing book on 8 currents foreign policy issues aiming at empowering readers to discuss global issues shaping U.S. foreign policy and the world. Written by internationally recognized experts and reviewed prior to publication by a panel of specialist, Great Decisions articles provide clear, concise, nonpartisan analyses of issues affecting the lives and livelihoods of all Americans. Fully illustrated, each article includes discussion questions, alternative policy options, an annotated list of resources, and opinion ballots for participants in FPA's nationwide Great Decisions Program.

Great Decisions is the primary resource for this program, which is the largest campus and community program of its kind in the United States. Residents of virtually every state in the U.S., as well as med and women living in other countries participate in Great Decisions. The program is widely used in universities, colleges, and secondary schools, as well as in public libraries, business groups, and local general-interest groups.

Great Decisions 2009

The 2009 edition features articles on U.S. and Rising Powers, Afghanistan/Pakistan, Energy and the Global Economy, The Arctic, Egypt in the 21st Century, Global Food Supply, Cuba after Castro, and Universal Human Rights.

Opinion Ballots since 1955

In relation to the Great Decision Program, the Foreign Policy Association produces a National Opinion Ballot Report each year based on the tabulation of opinion ballots submitted by the participants in the Great Decisions program. Since 1955, opinion ballots have been included in the Great Decisions briefing book for each topic presented, enabling all program participants to register their views. Every year, the FPA sends its National Opinion Ballot Report to the White House, the U.S. Department of State and Defense, members of Congress, educational institutions, the media, and concerned citizens. The report is available without charge upon request, as well as online.

Great Decisions Teacher's Guide

The Great Decisions Teacher's Guide is used as a companion to the Great Decisions briefing book by educators in their classrooms and by Great Decisions discussion group leaders. The Guide assists teachers in preparing students for their roles as citizens of an interdependent world. Lessons are designed to expand students' comprehension of the connections between their communities and the larger world and to encourage students to explore multiple viewpoints and ethical questions. Each topic presented in the guide contains a summary of a Great Decisions briefing book article and two lessons that include student objectives, key concepts, reproducible handouts, and a glossary of terms.

Headline Series

Headline Series are periodic, topical primers written by renowned experts on current international issues. In publication since 1935, the most recent Headline Series is "Mexico's Struggle with Drugs and Thugs" by George Grayson.

Programming - Foreign Policy 1-on-1

The Great Decisions program is the flagship educational program at the core of FPA's outreach. The aim is to increase the awareness of international issues in the American public. Launched in 1954 it is America's longest-standing civic global Affairs Education Program and has more than half a million participants across the U.S today.

The Foreign Policy Association organizes education programs such as the Great Decisions discussion groups and workshops across the U.S and promotes the use of the Great Decisions opinion ballots. FPA's national network of volunteer coordinators help implementing the Great Decisions program by setting up discussion groups, seminars and public forums in which participants can meet, discuss the issues, and arrive at an informed opinion on each topic.

To facilitate the programming, the FPA produces the weekly e-news letters, Great Decisions Online and Great Decisions in the Classroom, written for Great Decisions participants and educators. The organization makes a map of all discussion groups across the U.S. available, and encourages individuals to start groups of their own.

Teacher Training

Working to increase Great Decisions participation among high school students, FPA conducts outreach to hundreds of high school teachers from around the United States at meetings of the National Council for the Social Studies. Through Great Decisions workshop presentations and exhibitor booths, educators can learn about FPA's programming and receive samples of the Great Decisions educational materials.

In addition to the general outreach, the Foreign Policy Association organizes Great Decisions Teacher Training Institutes. Here, high school teachers learn about the Great Decisions programming materials, and resources to explore ways to integrate Great Decisions in the classroom curricula.

"The world can be extremely confusing for adults: we all know that. And even more so for students. The Great Decisions Program puts issues into order for them, so students can analyze the world in a manner that brings many, many differences together and allows them to make decisions on their own" - Participant in Teacher Training Institute


Since the launch of the luncheon series in the 1920s, the Foreign Policy Association has invited experts to discuss global affairs issues with the public. Aside from the recurrent annual events such as the Annual FPA dinner, the World leadership Forum, and the International Business Forum, the FPA also organizes events such as Town Hall meetings, lectures, luncheon discussions and open forums with world leaders and experts in the New York Metropolitan area.

Recent speakers include United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and Turkish President Abdullah Gul.


The Off-the-Record Lecture Series (OTR) is the largest women's foreign policy lecture series in the United States. Created under the aegis of the Foreign Policy Association in New York City in 1938, OTR today has some 700 members and a waiting list. Led by a volunteer Board of Governors, OTR provides a unique forum for businesswomen, academics, diplomats and educators to hear and question renowned foreign policy practitioners and thinkers on a regular basis.

FPA Membership

The Foreign Policy Association is a membership based organization. By becoming a member and supporting the FPA, national educational outreach is made possible. A membership is accompanied by a number of benefits depending on the level selected.

Board of directors

  • Mr. Louis Bacon, Chairman, Moore Capital Management
  • Mr. Kevin F. Barnard, Partner, Arnold & Porter
  • Dr. Carol E. Baumann, Prof. Emerita, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  • Mrs. Mary L. Belknap, Vice Chairman, Foreign Policy Association
  • Mr. John H. Biggs, former chairman of TIAA-CREF and serves on the Board of Directors of the Boeing Company
  • Mrs. Judith L. Biggs
  • Amb. Julia Chang Bloch, President, U.S.-China Education Trust
  • Mr. Michael D. Boyd, Vice President-Public Affairs, Biopharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Inc.
  • Mr. Paul Calello, CEO, Investment Bank, Member of the Executive Board, Credit Suisse
  • Mr. Terrence J. Checki, Executive Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Mr. John J. Conroy, Jr. Chairmen Of Executive Committee, Baker & McKenzie
  • Mr. David A. Coulter, Managing Director & Sr. Advisor, Warburg Pincus
  • Mr. Archibald Cox, Jr., Chairman, Barclays Americas
  • Mr. Edward F. Cox, Esq., Partner, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler
  • Mr. Gonzalo de Las Heras, Advisor to the Chairman, Grupo Santander
  • Dr. David B.H.Denoon, Professor of Politics and Economics, New York University
  • Ms. Katherine E. Dietze, Chairman, OTR Board
  • Mr. Brendan Dougher, New York Metro Region Managing Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Mr. James P. Dougherty
  • Mr. Jonathan Feigelson, Sr. Vice President & General Counsel, TIAA-CREF
  • Mr. Peter A. Flaherty, Arcon Partners
  • Mr. Robert M. Frehse, Jr., Consultant, William Randolph Hearst Foundation
  • Mr. Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman & CEO, C.V. Starr & Co., Inc.
  • Mr. Patrick W. Gross, Chairman, The Lovell Group
  • Ms. Nina Henderson
  • Mr. John Hofmeister, Founder & CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy
  • Mr. J. Michael Hopkins, GM, Fixed Income & Risk Securities Processing Solution, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
  • Mrs. Elbrun Kimmelman
  • Mr. Peter F. Krogh, Dean Emeritus of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Mr. Richard Lannamann, Vice Chairman, Spencer Stuart
  • Mr. Alex Lari, Chairman, The Clairmont Group, LLC
  • Mr. Noel V. Lateef, President and CEO, Foreign Policy Association
  • Ms. Donna Dillon Manning
  • Mr. Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies
  • Mr. Sanjeev K. Mehra, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
  • Mr. Robert C. Miller, Partner, Davidson, Dawson & Clark
  • Ms. Jeanne C. Olivier, Partner, Shearman & Sterling
  • Mr. Douglas L. Paul, Vice Chairman, Fixed Income, Credit Suisse
  • Ms. Ponchitta A. Pierce, magazine writer, television host and producer
  • Ms. Irene D. Pritzker, President, IDP Foundation, Inc.
  • Mr. Professor W. Michael Reisman, Myres S. McDougal Professor of Law, Yale Law School
  • Dr. William R. Rhodes, Chairman, Citibank, Senior Vice Chairman, Citigroup
  • Dr. Hugh R. Roome III, President, Scholastic International
  • Mr. Theodore Roosevelt IV, Managing Director, Barclays Capital
  • Mr. Alfred F. Ross, Founder & President, Institute for Democracy Studies
  • Mr. Edward B. Rust, Jr., CEO, State Farm Group
  • Dr. John W. Ryan, Indiana University
  • Ms. Frances Aldrich Sevilla Sacasa
  • Mr. Peter K. Scaturro
  • Mr. Everett M. Schenk, CEO-North America, BNP Paribas
  • Mr. Wolfgang A. Schmidt, former Advisory Board Chairman Institute of World Affairs University of Wisconsin
  • Mr. Keith Stock, Chief Strategy Officer, TIAA-CREF
  • Mr. John Temple Swing President emeritus Foreign Policy Association
  • Mr. Enzo Viscusi, Senior Advisor, ENI SpA
  • Mrs. Jeanette S. Wagner, Vice Chairman emerita The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
  • Mr. John C. Whitehead

Kennedy endorsement

“The complexity and multiplicity of the foreign policy questions facing the U.S. today places a premium on intelligent understanding of the issues by the widest possible cross-section of citizens…I am particularly impressed with the approach which the Foreign Policy Association has taken.” - John F. Kennedy, 1960

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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