Sunday, February 25, 2007

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"I wonder why this Council on Foreign Relations meeting is so well-attended?"

Jeremy Grant reports in the Financial Times that the Council on Foreign Relations has announced its latest batch of term members. One of them apparently has some prior experience as a U.N. ambassador:

The dead-pan world of the Washington policy wonk looks set for a dash of Hollywood glamour with the nomination of actress Angelina Jolie to join one of the most venerable think-tanks in the US.

The Council on Foreign Relations, whose members include former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, decided on Friday to accept the 32-year-old to be considered for a special five-year term designed to “nurture the next generation of foreign policy makers”.

Membership would allow Ms Jolie access to 40 academic “fellows” – such as Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister, and Max Boot, a neoconservative military historian – and to meet current world leaders.

The Council does not require members to hold any particular academic qualifications. Ms Jolie’s formal education ended at a high school in Beverly Hills . Applicants must be nominated by one existing member and seconded with at least three supporting letters from others.

It is not clear who nominated Ms Jolie, but fellow Hollywood actors Michael Douglas and Richard Dreyfuss are life members of the Council, founded in 1921 as a non-partisan membership organisation to “promote understanding of foreign policy and America’s role in the world”.

Note to self: check immediately to ascertain if Salma Hayek would be interested in CFR membership. [Um.... don't you have to be an American citizen to belong to the Council?--ed. Hayek is now a U.S. citizen, to vdare's everlasting chagrin.]

posted by Dan on 02.25.07 at 07:18 PM


This reminds me of when figure-skating champion and new University of Denver student Michelle Kwan become the first American Public Diplomacy Envoy

posted by: Pedantic on 02.25.07 at 07:18 PM [permalink]

This reminds me of figure-skating champion and new University of Denver student Michelle Kwan becoming the first American Public Diplomacy Envoy

posted by: Pedantic on 02.25.07 at 07:18 PM [permalink]

Great post title!

posted by: eszter on 02.25.07 at 07:18 PM [permalink]

re: angelina jolie to CFR

She's at least as qualified as Charlie Kupchan, and far better looking. plus, when there's philanthrophy to be done, she has the bucks to back it up.

seriously, why can't she be on CFR? Audrey Hepburn did a lot of charitable UN work and Bob Hope did a lot of work entertaining the troops--he was a veritable rock of US foreign policy in those USO tours.

If an otherwise vapid entertainer wants to spend some of their ill-gotten gain on world matters, and they have a publicist and a manager advising them properly then perhaps the CFR is the right forum, so long as they are listening.

Plus, at least she's TRAVELED to many of the countries under discussion, unlike many of the so-called scholars who belong to the CFR (sorry Charlie).

I have a college classmate who is unheralded teaching at Stanford Law, who has been to Macedonia, Albania and half a dozen other countries, who is now in Morocco this year, teaching law and women's rights--people who travel and have an innate understanding of persons abroad have as much right to comment on foreign policy as the Graham Allisons and Joe Nyes of the world.

--arthur j kyriazis, philly

--arthur j kyriazis, philly

posted by: arthur john kyriazis on 02.25.07 at 07:18 PM [permalink]

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