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Council on Foreign Relations Overview

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Website www.cfr.org
Headquarters New York, NY
Size 51 to 200 Employees
Founded 1921
Type Nonprofit Organization
Industry Business Services
Revenue $50 to $100 million (USD) per year
Competitors Unknown
The Council on Foreign Relations was established in 1921, with support from the Rockefeller family, to provide a forum for government officials, corporate executives, journalists, students, and other interested parties to study and discuss world issues and the related impact on ... More

Council on Foreign Relations Reviews

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Council on Foreign Relations President and Director Richard N. Haass
Richard N. Haass
26 Ratings
  • Helpful (2)

    Unparalleled people and opportunities, but

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Research Associate in New York, NY
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Council on Foreign Relations full-time (Less than a year)


    The access, influence, and reputation of the Council allow it to attract some of the brightest and most original thinkers to its staff, creating an almost university-like milieu of highly intellectual pursuit. For junior staff -- i.e. non-fellows -- this provides plenty of opportunities to "get one's hands dirty" and collaborate with high-level people on important issues. In short, your work can actually matter.


    The Council is not a place to build a career if you're a junior staffer, and that's made clear to you from almost day one. Research associates are expected to move along to graduate school or another job after roughly two years, though there is no hard-and-fast limit or contract that enforces this. Instead, the Council encourages turnover by treating its junior staffers as more or less disposable: they are paid very meagerly, given little public recognition in the form of bylines or credits, and offered few-to-no opportunities for advancement within the organization, all while still being expected to perform at a consistently high level. For this reason, research associates often leave the Council with a "burned out," disillusioned attitude, even as they acknowledge the uniqueness and value of the experience.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce the bureaucracy, which is disproportionately large for the size of organization. Don't be afraid to fire unproductive people, pay your research associates more (they are, after all, the real engines of the think tank) and more generally forge a stronger connection between junior staff performance and salary/compensation.

Council on Foreign Relations Photos

One of the function rooms in the New York office

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Council on Foreign Relations Interviews

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Interview Experience


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  1. Helpful (1)  

    Program Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Council on Foreign Relations (New York, NY) in September 2015.


    I applied remotely, so they were very accommodating in using Skype interviews for the first rounds. Initial phone interview with HR to gauge interest and determine availability next round, then Skype interview with HR and two co-workers/higher-ups, skills test based on job requirements, Skype interview with head bosses of program, in-person final interview at their office in NYC.

    Interview Questions

    • What's the biggest mistake you've made professionally? How did you handle it?   Answer Question

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