Council on Foreign Relations Reviews | Glassdoor

Council on Foreign Relations Reviews

Updated January 15, 2017
65 reviews

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3.5
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Council on Foreign Relations President and Director Richard N. Haass
Richard N. Haass
32 Ratings

65 Employee Reviews

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More Pros and Cons

  1. "Cool work in frilly, cold-war era setting"

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

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

    Pros

    Work is often fascinating. Junior staff is surprisingly serene, reasonable work hours, full gym with showers! Bel ami is a decent (overpriced?) cafe, plus there's a dos toros nearby ;). Team EDU is full of all-stars.

    Cons

    Not sure if there's a bike rack now, but when I was there they didn't have one! Drama in upper management, junior staff sometimes seems forgotten. The place can be eerily quiet and is likely haunted.


  2. "Internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Council on Foreign Relations (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Meaningful and useful experience
    -Great networking opportunities
    -Focus on professional development
    -Interesting Events
    -Fun and intelligent colleagues
    -Brand name on resume

    Cons

    -Most internships are unpaid
    -Somewhat rigid hierarchy makes the organization feel highly bureaucratic at times
    -Limited communication between departments and offices

    Advice to Management

    -Increase communication across departments
    -Reduce red tape for interns and junior staff
    -Provide more feedback to interns
    -Make lunch available daily


  3. "Interesting people"

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

    Pros

    Lots of passionate, smart, and interesting young staff members. Opportunity to interact with global leaders, U.S. policymakers, etc. and work with distinguished public servants.

    Cons

    Salary isn't great and not much room to grow.


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  5. "There are worse places to work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Council on Foreign Relations full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work.
    Some smart coworkers. (More at a junior staff level. Quality deteriorates the higher up you go.)
    Good benefits.
    A lot of time off.
    Name recognition (although not as much as they'd like to think).

    Cons

    This is a very old fashioned place to work in some ways and things are very political at the senior level. The org would do well to institute some accountability at the director/vp level. Too much turnover at the junior level and not enough at the senior level.

    Advice to Management

    Get career coaches for your C suite. Most, if not all, of them really need a lot more oversight/training.


  6. "Remember that junior staff are people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate
    Former Employee - Research Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Most of the fellows are great bosses, easy to work with, and very flexible.
    You learn a lot, both through the nature of the work and the people you are working with.
    Fellow junior staff are amazing.
    Lots of cool opportunities to sit in on meetings with high-profile people.

    Cons

    Pay is awful
    Excessive bureaucratic micromanagement
    Severe silos between departments
    Management has no idea how to interact with human beings

    Advice to Management

    Remember that junior staff are people to, and as it becomes more apparent that they are not valued, they will pursue opportunities elsewhere. CFR can't bank on its well known brand forever.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Caution: Don't do it. Turn around now!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -All-Staff meetings
    -Summer Fridays
    -Tuition reimbursement
    -8% Employer match 401(k) contribution

    Cons

    Firstly, the salary, or lack thereof, will quickly make you feel like you are working for free. The turnover rate is indescribable, no matter what department. The only people staying are those in c-level positions, executives/VP's and directors. This company is very top-heavy. VP's and directors are never there to help. They stream-line the work through their managers, who are barely capable of managing themselves let alone a group of people. Overtime work is a must, overtime pay is a never! Some people without degrees are making 2x or 3x more than those who do. Health benefits are abysmal. The rates are high; the copays are high; the prescriptions are high - might as well buy private insurance. Future applicants need only apply to put this job on their resume. DO NOT expect to stay longer than 2-3 years.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees and listen to their issues. You will find that the issues are repetitive and it's because they aren't being addressed.


  8. "Internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good Brown Bag Professional Development series for interns each cycle. Close exposure to high level VIPs in the government. Work helps to support a world-ranked Think Tank.

    Cons

    Only allow for part-time, unpaid interns. Can only serve for one semester in a position. HR touts opportunities for advancement "We love to hire interns!" However, they do not give preferential treatment to former interns, and the availability of full time paid positions are very limited and competitive.


  9. "Junior staffs need a super raise"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Council on Foreign Relations full-time

    Pros

    Most of the junior staffs are friendly. Good benefits. Has a gym.

    Cons

    1 Low salary, 2 undervalued and 3 overworked. 4 Strict rules. Turnover rate is crazy. There's not much growth for a Research Associates or for any junior staffs. Can't afford living anywhere in NYC with this low salary.

    Advice to Management

    It depends which department you're in. If you're in my department and you're an assistant. You're screwed.


  10. "Excellent Institutional Experience"

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

    I worked at Council on Foreign Relations (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -- Strong professional development
    -- Unparalleled access to foreign policy, business, and thought leaders
    -- Mission-driven
    -- Organized and efficient relative to most other nonprofits
    -- Strong sense of community

    Cons

    -- Opportunity for upward mobility is heavily dependent on the department you work in


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Research Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate
    Current Employee - Research Associate
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    CFR provides a great work life balance. The work is really interesting and you have access to some incredible people and are able to build an incredible network for someone just out of college.

    Cons

    There is not much room for career growth, senior management expects juniors to move out after only a few years. Research associate work and experience depends greatly on individual fellow.

    Advice to Management

    Empower junior level employees. Provide opportunities for actual career growth and support their work. Also, senior management should take the time to get to know their employees.



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