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A preeminent, behind-the-scenes statesman, Richard Haass provides an update on the state of the world and the complexities of foreign relations during these tenuous times.
Dr. Richard Haass is a veteran diplomat, a prominent voice on American foreign policy, and an established leader of nonprofit institutions. He is in his seventeenth year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, publisher, and educational institution — dedicated to being a resource to help people better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.
In 2013, Dr. Haass served as the chair of the multiparty negotiations in Northern Ireland that provided the foundation for the 2014 Stormont House Agreement. For his efforts to promote peace and conflict resolution, he received the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award.
From January 2001 to June 2003, Dr. Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he directed the policy planning staff and was a principal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold the rank of ambassador, Dr. Haass also served as U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process.
Dr. Haass has extensive additional government experience. From 1989 to 1993, he was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1991, Dr. Haass was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his contributions to the development and articulation of U.S. policy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Previously, he served in the Departments of State (1981–1985) and Defense (1979–1980), and was a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate.
A Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Haass holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctorate of philosophy degrees from Oxford University. He has also received numerous honorary degrees and was a member of the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Hamilton College.
Dr. Haass is the author or editor of fourteen books on American foreign policy and one book on management. His next book, The World: A Brief Introduction, will be published in May 2020 by Penguin Press.
Dr. Haass was born in Brooklyn and lives in New York City.
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Richard Haass' Speech Topics
A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. In this thought-provoking presentation rich in history and modeled after his book, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order, Haass describes the current world, along with how we got here and what needs doing. Haass shows that the world cannot have stability or prosperity without the United States and explains what the United States and the Biden Administration need to do at home so that it can continue to act and lead effectively in the world.
Introduction to the World
Visionary thinker Richard Haass delivers unparalleled insights that will help anyone, experts and non-experts alike, become more globally literate so they can better navigate our fast-changing world. Modeled on his book The World: A Brief Introduction, this presentation provides audiences with the essential background and building blocks needed to answer the critical questions generated by today’s headlines. With the tectonic plates of international relations constantly moving, this is a critical time for individuals, businesses, and organizations to understand what is taking place around the world, why it is taking place, and how it affects our lives and our work. In this talk, Haass will elucidate the essential history, point out what makes each region of the world (and the most important countries) tick, analyze the most challenges globalization presents, and explain the ideas most critical for understanding international developments and why they matter.
Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order
The biggest threat to America's security and prosperity comes not from abroad but from within. In this provocative and thought-provoking presentation modeled after his book, Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order, Haass describes how the biggest threat to the United States comes from its burgeoning deficit and debt, crumbling infrastructure, second class schools and an outdated immigration system. The result is a country less competitive and more vulnerable than it should be on the global stage. He proposes a new foreign policy of Restoration. At home, it would concentrate on restoring the economic foundations of American power. Overseas, it would stop trying to remake the Middle East with military force as was tried unsuccessfully in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, it would emphasize maintaining the balance of power in Asia, promoting economic integration and energy self-sufficiency in North America, and narrowing the gap between global challenges and global arrangements. Adopting Restoration will ensure the United States has the resources it needs to lead the world, set an example other societies will want to emulate, reduce the country’s vulnerability to hostile forces and fickle markets, and discourage would-be adversaries from mounting aggression. It will require hard choices, but hard choices are called for. At stake is nothing less than America’s future and the character of the coming era of history.
Works by Richard Haass
War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars (opens in a new tab)
Foreign Policy Begins at Home (opens in a new tab)