Council on Foreign Relations

www.cfr.org

Council on Foreign Relations Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
46 Reviews
4.1
46 Reviews
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Council on Foreign Relations President and Director Richard N. Haass
Richard N. Haass
23 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A good overall experience. Great group of young, motivated professionals. Lots of people stay for 1-2 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Council on Foreign Relations

    Pros

    Great time-off policies, a fair amount of flexibility, great access to speakers, materials, etc. Good networking and training. Overall, the organization wants you to succeed.

    Cons

    No real possibility for advancement.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Well worth the experience there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Council on Foreign Relations

    Pros

    Working as a Research Associate at times could become very monotonous, and can leave junior staff employees with the hard-to-shake opinion that their views on matters do not matter, and that their job is far different than they believed it would be. There are institutional and non-institutional sources of these opinions. All in all, a worthwhile place to spend 2 years of your life working and gaining fantastic exposure to interesting and influential people to see how it all happens.

    Cons

    The pay is ordinarily abysmally low, especially in light of Washington, DC's high cost of living. The above mentioned feeling that one's opinion isn't important would also be appropriate under this section.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in your junior staff. Honestly. We are ambitious and wanting to really contribute, really be a part of what CFR is doing, and the reality is, we are (barely) glorified secretaries. Utilize the bright minds that work there for real, meaningful work, and I think the morale among junior staff would improve drmatically.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    The Council on Foreign Relations is an exciting and invigorating place to work, with valuable learning opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Council on Foreign Relations

    Pros

    Valuable Network, Idea Exchange, Events, Elite Brand, Professional Development

    Cons

    Older organization means it is slightly slower to change, high turnover rate at the entry level positions

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Intern - Good place to learn and meet people, low opportunities for advancement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at Council on Foreign Relations

    Pros

    Learn a lot from an incredibly smart group of foreign policy analysts, lots of great events that staff can attend

    Cons

    Some negative sentiment toward interns, all internships are unpaid. Non-interns also expressed not being paid well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees fairly. Not doing so creates a bad working environment!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good for straight out of college only

    Former Employee - Research Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Research Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at Council on Foreign Relations

    Pros

    Access to senior fellows, research opportunities

    Cons

    Low salary, limited mid level opportunities

  7.  

    My financial debt from work here is still being paid off.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Associate
    Former Employee - Research Associate

    I worked at Council on Foreign Relations full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting and ambitious work, people, events. Great benefits and work-life balance. If you work at the think tank then you can be assured that most of your work is of little consequence so if you get something wrong, it's not the end of the world. On the studies side: if you are a junior staff working with a good fellow, you will have a stimulating time and feel very fulfilled.

    Cons

    Junior staff get paid terribly. CFR knows that it's world-renowned name makes people want to work there for free so they take advantage of that. Junior staff also have no room for professional growth; you get in and get out within a couple of years because there's nowhere else to go in the organization.

    It's a non-profit that pays junior employees worse than many other non-profits though the President's upper east side penthouse and luxurious travel habits remained untouched during the financial crisis.

    This is not a defamatory attack but a well-known fact: President Haass is known to take a liking to certain younger women, so please beware, ladies.

    Many fellows suffer from the common CFR ailment of simultaneous pomposity, obliviousness, and intellectual insecurity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to become the Secretary of State and consider meeting some of your staff instead of thinking they're unimportant and incessantly hitting on young women.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at Council on Foreign Relations as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Academically enriching and stimulating environment, highly-recognized membership and think-thank/non-profit organization, young staff, employee perks such as gym and Summer Fridays.

    Cons

    Difficult to move up, low pay, senior staff can be tough to work with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide transit benefits to interns and have brown bags with senior fellows.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great colleagues and friendly culture, but not a ton of room for growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Council on Foreign Relations full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues
    Good benefits, including gym in-building

    Cons

    Salaries are ok, but year-end bonuses are usually generous
    Not a ton of room for advancement + low salaries for junior staff leads to a lot of turnover

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great Place to Learn

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Council on Foreign Relations as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    -Variety of Work
    -Exposure to current events, and prominent people in the foreign relations fields
    -Flexibility in work schedule
    -Hands on approach
    -Very Smart People

    Cons

    -Difficult to move up without PhD or upper level degree
    -Loose focus

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Enjoyable and challenging, but ultimately stuck in your section

    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at Council on Foreign Relations as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    -Young, friendly and enthusiastic staff
    -The opportunity to work with knowledgable, well-know and respected senior staff
    -Involvement in cool events like the General Assembly at the UN

    Cons

    -from what I hear, compensation is not that great
    -Most socialisation is done within (small) sections - e.g. global health, foreign relations, etc. - so it takes a lot of effort to meet other people

    Recommends

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