President, Council on Foreign Relations

“What Americans need to understand is that our welfare here at home is fundamentally tied to events in the world.”
- Richard Haass

Delece Smith-Barrow of Hechinger Report Interviews Richard Haass





WHY HIM, WHY NOW? Richard’s extensive experience in foreign affairs positions him to discuss the dilemmas presented by a pandemic that simultaneously emphasizes the need for global cooperation and encourages nations to isolate themselves from dangers from abroad.


American foreign policy, the Middle East, U.S.-China relations


Prior to becoming president of the Council on Foreign Relations in 2003, Haass served as the United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland and the Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State under President George W. Bush (from 2001 to 2003, including during the lead-up to the Iraq war). He was also an advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell. From 1989 to 1993 he served as Special Assistant to President George H.W. Bush and as National Security Council Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs. He worked at the Department of State from 1981 to 1985 and the Department of Defense from 1979 to 1980. He’s also held the titles of Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, a visiting professor of international studies at Hamilton College, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He received the State Department’s Distinguished Award for his work to advance the peace process in Northern Ireland, as well as the Presidential Citizens Medal for helping to plan and explain U.S. policy during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Richard is also the author or editor of 13 books on American foreign policy and one on management.

DEGREES Bachelor’s (B.A.) from Oberlin College Master’s (MPhil) from Wadham College, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar) Doctorate (DPhil) from St. Antony’s College, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar)

FURTHER READING “The World Waits for No Country,” Project Syndicate, June 2020 “The Pandemic Will Accelerate History Rather Than Reshape It,” Foreign Affairs, April 2020 “The Challenges of a Threatening World,” Mark Atwood Lawrence, The New York Times, May 2020 “At Home: Richard Haass in New York,” The Financial Times, May 2013 A peek inside Haass’s Manhattan apartment and a portrait of his personality. He’s an art collector, including a set of black-and-white pictures the celebrated photographer Anne Leibovitz took of his son a few days after he was born.

RECENT INTERVIEWS “Richard Haass on China’s treatment of Hong Kong, EU banning U.S. travelers” CNBC, July 1, 2020. Haass joins “Squawk Box” to take a closer look at Hong Kong in the wake of China’s recent passage of a new security law giving Beijing broad new powers as well as the European Union’s decision to ban American travelers from entering member nations amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the United States. “What is America’s Place in the World Order Post COVID-19?,” PBS, May 2020 Haass discusses globalization, China, Russia, sovereignty, American foreign policy, and his new book. His overarching message is that we need to abandon rivalry and embrace global cooperation. “Navigating the Global Era” Council on Foreign Relations Podcast, May 2020. James M. Linsday interviews Richard about why it’s important to gt smarter about the world around us. “Syria Pullout Shows US No Longer Predictable: Richard Haass | Morning Joe | MSNBC,” MSNBC, October 2019 Haas was interviewed on Morning Joe following President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the northern border of Syria. He characterizes the pullout as part of a larger strategy to get troops out of Afghanistan and says the move sends the message to U.S. allies that the country is no longer a reliable or predictable partner.