Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Michael Froman to be Next President of Council on Foreign Relations

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has announced that Michael Froman will replace Richard Haass to become the think tank's fifteenth president.

Froman, a former US Trade Representative (USTR) under President Barack Obama, currently serves as vice chairman and president for strategic growth at Mastercard

Froman is also a distinguished fellow at CFR and a former fellow at the German Marshall Fund (GMF).

Here is what Politico reported about the selection process:

CFR’s board unanimously approved of the former trade representative’s appointment in a Tuesday meeting.

But the expectation from six people in CFR’s community (none of them in the search committee) was that a woman would be named to lead the organization or someone who would increase the organization’s gender, racial or ethnic diversity.

MEGHAN O’SULLIVAN was considered for the post but dropped out of contention in part because she had an offer to lead Harvard University's Belfer Center, per someone familiar with the search.

The seven search committee members narrowed down an initial list of 120 nominees to “a diverse group of 27 candidates,” DAVID RUBENSTEIN, the chair of the board of directors, wrote to CFR’s 5,000 members Wednesday morning. 

A search committee member told NatSec Daily that they held countless meetings, either over Zoom or in person, as the 120-person field winnowed. The search committee read packets on each candidate and updated the board on decisions on why someone was kept in or taken out of the process.


Haass has been president of CFR since 2003 and he will be stepping down in June 2023.  His annual salary has recently topped $1.7 million.