Council on Foreign Relations

  www.cfr.org
  www.cfr.org

Council on Foreign Relations Reviews

Updated November 28, 2014
Updated November 28, 2014
39 Reviews
4.1
39 Reviews
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Council on Foreign Relations President and Director Richard N. Haass
Richard N. Haass
19 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    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
  2.  

    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 an 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
  3.  

    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 an 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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  5.  

    Though their internships are unpaid, they provide many intangible benefits.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Research Intern in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    There is a great focus at CFR on their junior professionals and interns. There are many professional development workshops and the provide great learning opportunities for those looking to begin a career in the international relations industry. Though it varies from department to department, the fellow for whom I worked went above and beyond in learning about my career aspirations and helping me make contacts.

    Cons

    The internships are unpaid and do not offer any kind of benefits. The organization as a whole is very hierarchical and it is sometimes difficult to connect with people outside of the department you work in.

    Recommends
  6.  

    Loved it here!

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

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

    Pros

    I absolutely loved the atmosphere here. It's such a very welcoming place to work. Everything is super efficient as well. There's a distinct workflow for everything, which is fantastic.

    Cons

    As an intern, it felt a little difficult to be taken seriously by the other interns because I didn't come from an Ivy like the rest of them. There does seem to be a "prestigious" attitude throughout the company. Despite that, people are friendly.

    Recommends
  7.  

    Great place to begin a career

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    Smart, interesting, driven people. personal room for growth in academic field of choice. Great benefits.

    Cons

    low pay. thats about it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay junior staff more and you might get a little more retention.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Don't expect to go anythwere

    • 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 as an intern

    Pros

    Excellent network, great events, really smart people.

    Cons

    Interns should be prepared to take a lot of initiative, everyone is busy and won't tell you what to do beyond the bare minimum. CFR.org was filled with grumpy journalists looking to go elsewhere and they don't suffer naive interns gladly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Mentoring at the very least for interns.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great place to park as a senior staffer. For junior staff, it's a great place to learn, but just for a few year stopover

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

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

    Pros

    This is probably the best place in the world for a foreign policy/national security oriented young person to learn by watching and listening. Keep your eyes and ears open and soak up the exposure to serious, strategic thinkers and operators. Also, enjoy the access to incredible meetings, and the cornucopia of free sandwiches.

    Cons

    Junior staff are generally under-utilized and under-employed given their talent level, and depending on who they are working for, they may be under-appreciated as well. In the studies department (the think tank side of the business) the junior staffers are nominally working for CFR, but really they are working for whatever senior fellow is their boss. This can be good or bad, depending entirely on the quality of that working relationship. Also, CFR's organizational culture confuses being serious with being humorless, which makes the place stuffier and more imperious than necessary.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create opportunities for research associates to become "junior fellows" so there is something between the two tiers of employment. Offer a matching contribution to research associates' retirement savings--they get paid so little that it would barely cost the organization, and it would be a nice gesture and would encourage good lifetime habits, especially since for many this is their first real post-college job.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Global Health Intern

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

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

    Pros

    Work on interesting topics, opportunities to attend roundtable and professional development events; great to put on a resume

    Cons

    All interns are put in one basement room with little opportunity to interact with others at the organization, apart from the occasional Roundtables that we are allowed to attend. Also, it's unpaid.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make an effort to interact with your interns. The Research Associates do a good job of this, but I only met the Fellow for whom I was interning once.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good for short-term and name recognition

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Council on Foreign Relations

    Pros

    Great for resume, good company culture and benefits. Growth potential and career opportunities vary greatly by department, but they tend to promote within.

    Cons

    Difficult to move up and avoid red tape because of non-profit status. Entry to Mid level salaries are low.

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