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.

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Upcoming events

    • Thursday, September 06, 2018
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St
    Ambassador Scott DeLisi will address key challenges of US diplomacy, from the perspective of his 35-year journey on the diplomatic backroads on behalf of our nation.  He will consider important challenges faced by diplomats in countries in the midst of conflict, experiencing dramatic transformation, or following paths that are in conflict with our interests and values. He will comment on the challenges of engaging youth and communicating through social media.

    Scott DeLisi was a career diplomat for 35 years. His overseas postings included as American Ambassador to Uganda, Nepal, and Eritrea.  He also served overseas in India, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Botswana.  Ambassador DeLisi’s Washington postings included service as Director of Career Development and Assignments, Director for Southern Africa Affairs and work as in the Intelligence Community.  He was the recipient of two Presidential Rank Awards, the Cobb Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development, the James Clement Dunn Award for Excellence, the CIA Director’s Award, and the DIA Director’s Award, among others. Today he is the Executive Director of the Soarway Foundation working on Nepal, a Special Advisor to the State Department, and a lecturer at the Joint Forces War College in Norfolk, VA.  He has also been a recent speaker at events hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Council for Global Equality, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
    • Tuesday, October 09, 2018
    • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St

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

    CHINA Town Hall provides Americans the opportunity to participate in a national conversation about issues in the US-China relationship, via an interactive webcast and in-person discussion with leading experts. This year’s webcast features former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    The Webcast will be followed with an in-person presentation and discussion on US-China trade relations (speaker to be announced.)

    Dr. Rice is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and professor of Political Science at Stanford University.  From January 2005 to 2009, Secretary Rice served as U.S. Secretary of State. She served as President George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005.
    • Wednesday, November 14, 2018
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • TBD
    The war in Afghanistan is the longest in American history. At seventeen years and nearly $1 trillion and counting, the war has taken quagmire to new levels. The Afghan government is hopelessly corrupt, the Taliban remain resilient, and Afghanistan’s neighbors have no interest in seeing the United States succeed. Over 2,400 American service members have died during service in Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of Afghans are killed or wounded each year. Now, a branch of Islamic State seems on the rise in Afghanistan, too. The country’s Presidential election, slated for 2019, is highly likely to have a disputed outcome. Many experts believe this could lead to a wider civil war.

    The Trump administration ended the Obama timelines, bolstered the advisory effort, and put more pressure on Pakistan in the hopes that the Taliban would sue for peace. Despite the increase in troops, firepower, and pressure, the Taliban contests nearly half of Afghanistan’s districts. Nonetheless, the Taliban issued a letter to the American people on February 14, 2018, requesting talks. After Afghan President Ghani declared a cease fire for the Eid holiday in June, the Taliban issued their own 3-day cease fire directive. For the first time in 40 years, Afghans celebrated Eid in peace. Can the United States still succeed in Afghanistan?

    Colonel (Ret.) Christopher D. Kolenda commanded of U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan, as featured in Jake Tapper’s bestselling book, The Outpost. His unit was the only one in the 17-year history of the war to have motivated a large insurgent group to stop fighting and eventually join the government. He served as a senior adviser to Generals McChrystal, Petraeus, and Dunford, and to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle A. Flournoy, and was selected to be the Secretary of Defense’s representative in the Obama administration’s exploratory talks with the Taliban. He’s the only American to have fought the Taliban as a commander in combat and engage them in high level diplomacy. His recent volunteer efforts with an international NGO have helped bring about a resumption of US-Taliban talks.
    For Further Information

    • Wednesday, December 05, 2018
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • TBD
    Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield will discuss the International Refugee Crisis. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield had a 35-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service. From 2013 to 2017 she served as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs. Her Foreign Service career includes an ambassadorship to Liberia (2008-2012), and postings in Switzerland (at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations), Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica.   She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (2004-2006).

    Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group. Previously she served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (2013 – 2017). In this capacity, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield led U.S. policy toward sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on peace and security, democracy and governance, economic empowerment and investment opportunities. Prior to this appointment, she served as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources where she oversaw all personnel functions for the U.S. Department of State’s 70,000-strong workforce.

    Previously, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield served as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia (2008-2012) and held postings in Switzerland (at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations), Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica. Her Washington postings include the Bureau of African Affairs, where she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, and the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, where she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield taught political science at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

    Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was awarded the Hubert Humphrey Public Leadership Award, the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, and the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs. She has also received the Presidential Rank Award and the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award.

    She earned a bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University and a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin, where she worked towards a PhD.

    Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is also a Distinguished Resident Fellow in African Affairs at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service.

    She is based in Washington, DC.

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