Madison Committee
on Foreign Relations


Our 2017-2018 season has concluded.  Look for our 2018-2019 schedule of events later in the summer.

To get an idea of what you can expect for next season, see our previous programs below.

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.

Share MCFR with your friends! We encourage members to invite guests to our regular programs. Members may invite as many guests as they like. A guest may attend one program at no charge. To register guests for their free program, members should register guests when they register themselves. Guests wishing to attend any further programs should register themselves under the Guest registration type and pay the registration fee.

    • Thursday, April 25, 2019
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St

    This event is co-sponsored with the UW International Division

    For 70 years after WWII, the United States led the development of ‘Global Rules’ for international trade.   But as traditional manufacturing jobs disappear, and foreign countries catch up to US standards of living, people are questioning whether this system of Global Rules continues to serve US interests.

    Wisconsin Alum Ambassador David D Nelson draws on his decades of experience working on international economic policy with the US government and the private sector to lead a discussion about the pros and cons of Global Rules for American trade policy.

    Ambassador Nelson promoted US economic and business interests during 7 overseas assignments, including as Ambassador to Uruguay.  He also served in senior positions in the Economic Bureau of the State Department, leading at various times the offices responsible for Global Debt Policy, and for Economic Sanctions and Fighting Terrorist Finance.   He led preparations for a G8 Summit from the National Security Council.  He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Finance and Development, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Economic Bureau.   During the first half of 2009 he was the senior economic official in the Department, fulfilling the responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary for Economics, and of the Undersecretary for Economics.  He has six years of experience leading GE policy interests in Latin America, and currently leads a consulting firm, Global Business Policy-DC.   

    Ambassador David D. Nelson is the founder, CEO and principal of Global Business Policy-DC.  He brings 30 years of experience working on international economic issues from the U.S. Department of State and six years of experience managing GE government relations related to Latin America, Canada and Western Europe.

    That breadth of experience provides a deep understanding of how the policy-making
    apparatus of the federal government works, and domain expertise in a variety of relevant issues. Prior to his assignment as Ambassador to Uruguay, he was the senior Economic official in the State Department (Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs). He served as a negotiator for G-20 and G-8 agreements, led the office responsible for global finance and for rescheduling of official debt (Paris Club), and led the office managing Sanctions and efforts to combat terrorist finance. He served on the National Security Council, coordinating inter-agency preparations for a US-hosted G8 Summit. During postings to US Embassies in Mexico, Uruguay, Ecuador, Germany and Spain, he worked on trade, finance, energy and support for US business.

    During his six years at GE, Ambassador Nelson effectively translated that domain expertise into
    specific actions to support business opportunities. He led creation of a US-Mexico CEO Dialogue, chaired by the GE Vice Chairman, and involving Cabinet-level officials from both governments. He led GE engagement on NAFTA — identifying and promoting specific proposals for the negotiations. He led the successful GE re-entry into Cuba after 60 years absence. He was the founding chairman of a business coalition, collaborating with the Inter American Development Bank and Chambers of Commerce throughout Latin America to advise regional governments on energy policies.

    Ambassador Nelson has a Masters degree in Economics (U-Maryland) and a BA from the
    University of Wisconsin (Economics and International Relations - 1978). He is fluent in Spanish
    and has conversational German.

    Members, do you have questions about registering?  Check out our "Registration Tips For Members".
    • Wednesday, May 15, 2019
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St
    Presenter:  Wade Warren, Chief Strategy Officer for International Development, Deloitte

    Foreign assistance programs are under unprecedented pressure due to world events, including humanitarian crises, immigration and refugees, insecure environments and demographic shifts.  At the same time, US foreign assistance is increasingly challenged by skepticism about the role of foreign aid, an uncertain foreign policy environment, and differing attitudes towards foreign aid in Congress and the White House. The US is out of sync with the rest of the international community in areas such as climate change, family planning and reproductive health, and bilateralism vs. multilateralism.  Mr. Warren will illustrate and discuss the implications of these trends.  He will also discuss the growing role of the private sector in international development.

    Wade Warren is the Chief Strategy Officer for International Development at Deloitte Consulting. In this role, he leads strategic insight, provides thought leadership, and brings innovative technology solutions to U.S. foreign assistance and international development clients.  A globally recognized leader in international development, he previously served as the Acting Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.  With 12,000 people and more than $25 billion in annual funding, USAID is the world’s largest bilateral aid agency.  During 27 years with USAID, Warren served in a broad range of senior management positions in the Bureaus for Policy, Planning and Learning, Global Health, and Africa.  Additionally, he was the Acting Chief Operating Officer of the State Department’s Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance.  Warren also served at USAID’s Missions in Zimbabwe and Botswana.  Warren received his undergraduate degree in history from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1981 and his graduate degree in international business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1990.  Throughout the 1980s, he worked as an analyst and speechwriter in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Members, do you have questions about registering?  Check out our "Registration Tips For Members".

Past events

Monday, March 11, 2019 U.S. - Turkey Relations: Challenges and Policy Options
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 India in the Age of the Indo-Pacific: New Alliances, New Challenges?
Monday, February 04, 2019 Special Dinner Event - Across the Pond, in the Field
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 Brexit and the Future(s) of the European Union
Wednesday, December 05, 2018 The Global Refugee Situation: Driving Forces and Implications
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Is Peace Possible in Afghanistan?
Friday, November 02, 2018 CANCELLED: Special Breakfast Event - North Atlantic Alliance
Tuesday, October 09, 2018 CHINA Town Hall with Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Thursday, September 06, 2018 But Do You Wear A Uniform: Thirty-Five Years in America’s Other Army
Thursday, July 19, 2018 Special Breakfast Event - Education in Africa (advance registration and online payment required)
Thursday, June 14, 2018 Recent Geopolitical Situation on the Korean Peninsula and Prospects for the U.S.-Korea Relations (advance registration and online payment required)
Thursday, May 10, 2018 Global Health Programs:  Big Successes in the Midst of Big Transitions
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Brace Yourself!  Africa is Coming!
Wednesday, March 07, 2018 North Korea: The Political and Military Challenges of a Rogue State
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 Edward Snowden’s Damage to the U.S. Cyber-Security Structure
Thursday, February 01, 2018 MCFR Special Breakfast With William Drozdiak (advance registration and online payment required)
Thursday, January 18, 2018 The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Where Do We Stand, and Where Do We Go From Here?
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Global Food Systems & U.S. National Security
Wednesday, November 08, 2017 How Should a President Use the CIA: Tensions between the Intelligence Community and the Administration
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 CHINA Town Hall with Ambassador Susan Rice
Wednesday, September 06, 2017 The U.S., Mexico, and the NAFTA Mess
Monday, June 26, 2017 MCFR Annual Membership & Board Meeting
Friday, May 05, 2017 Stay tuned for 2017-18 season event announcements!
Thursday, April 27, 2017 American Interests in the Asia Pacific:  Trade, Geopolitics, and Relations with China in the Trump Era
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 The Climate Challenge: Clearer Than Ever
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 U.S. Development Aid in the New Nation of Timor Leste – A Grizzled Development Officer is Surprised by Optimism
Thursday, February 16, 2017 Empowering the World’s Poor Through Savings-Based Credit Programs
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 International Challenges in a New Administration
Wednesday, December 07, 2016 Vietnam: The Realities of Communism in the Global Economy
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Merkel & the Refugees: a Case Study in Leadership
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections with Henry Kissinger
Thursday, September 22, 2016 The 2014-15 Plunge in Oil Prices: Causes and Implications
Thursday, May 05, 2016 Global Food Security: Are We Meeting the Challenge?
Wednesday, April 06, 2016 Inside Iranian politics: The Basij Militia, the Hardliners Groups, and the Iranian People
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 The Evolving Crisis in Venezuela
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 The European Union in Economic, Political, and Social Crisis
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Human Health – the Greatest Beneficiary From Climate Change Policy
Wednesday, December 09, 2015 Foreign Policy in the Campaign: Attitudes of Elites & the Public
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 Diplomacy on the Front Lines: The Case for Saving Yemen
Friday, November 13, 2015 Special Breakfast! Germany and Russia: The New Pivotal Relationship in Europe
Monday, October 05, 2015 China Town Hall: Chinese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the United States
Thursday, September 17, 2015 Lessons from Turkey's Democratic Experience for the Middle East
Thursday, June 04, 2015 Why Do Capitalist Societies Have a Problem with Financial Profits?
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 Saudi Arabia's Bold Attack on Oil Competitors: Motives and Sustainability
Monday, April 20, 2015 What Does the World Do Now? Longer-term Implications of Ebola and Institutional Responses
Thursday, March 26, 2015 Fast Track to Where?: Free Trade Agreements and Trade Promotion Authority
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 Reshaping U.S. Defense Forces for the Fourth Generation of Warfare: Small, Smart, and Multiple
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 Diplomacy from Midwest Lenses: Reflections from Wisconsin's U.S. Ambassadors –Ebola to Ukraine
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 For Both the People and Wildlife: How Will the World Meet the Threats to the Mekong River Basin?
Monday, October 27, 2014 ISIS and the Challenge to Leadership in the Middle East
Thursday, October 16, 2014 CHINA Town Hall
Monday, September 22, 2014 Russia: Dealing with Conflict in Ukraine
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 Global Philanthropy and Global Governance
Monday, May 05, 2014 Special Luncheon: Point Alpha at "Freedom's Frontier"
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 Ronald Reagan & the War on Terror
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 From Reset to Regret: The Rocky Road of US-Russian Relations
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 Learning to Navigate the Ethics of Global Health and Humanitarian Reporting
Thursday, January 23, 2014 Al Jazeera America: Bringing a Complex World to US Audiences
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Immigration Reform Needs for the Midwest
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Humanitarian Intervention, Arms Control and the Syrian Dilemma
Monday, October 28, 2013 CHINA Town Hall
Wednesday, October 02, 2013 Eyewitness to the United Nations General Assembly
Monday, May 20, 2013 “Defense Policy for an Era of Shifting Priorities and Constrained Resources”
Monday, May 06, 2013 Fighting Anti-Semitism in the Global Community
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 Dinosaurs, Democracy and Development: A New Era in Mexico and U.S.-Mexico Relations
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Sri Lanka's Saravodaya Movement: Health and Hope in Times of Civil War and Natural Disaster
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 "Islamic Constitutionalism for the 21st Century: Not Theocratic. Not Secular. Not Impossible."
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 On the Ground with the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria
Monday, November 26, 2012 "Feed a Person a Fish or Teach a Person to Fish?" Steve Radelet, Chief Economist, USAID, and Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Acting Director of the Peace Corps
Monday, October 29, 2012 CHINA Town Hall with Amb. Gary F. Locke via Webcast & Dr. Min Jiang on Chinese Twitter and China's Political Affairs
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 Cyber-Technology as a Tool (Weapon) of International Affairs: The Context of Discussion and Defense
Monday, September 24, 2012 Global Challenges and Prospects for the U.S. Economy
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