“American leadership in world affairs has never been more vital than today. Such leadership can be sustained only with an engaged and informed electorate. Since September 11, Americans, in growing numbers, are eager to learn about the world…” -Noel V. Lateef, Current President
The Foreign Policy Association was founded in 1918 as the League of Free Nations Association, named after President Wilson’s vision for an association of nations that would “provide mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.” In 1923, the Association was reconstituted as the Foreign Policy Association, a non-profit organization committed to the study of international questions facing the United States. Today, the Foreign Policy Association works to develop awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues, encouraging citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.
The Foreign Policy Association is well known for its Great Decisions Global Affairs Education Program. The program is used to engage citizens in learning about the world. Established in 1955, Great Decisions works to inform the electorate of pressing foreign policy issues and gives Americans a chance to influence foreign policy decisions. Today, the program is active in 47 states and participants number about 400,000.
The program is comprised of discussion groups, made up of people who are interested in international issues. Talks are centered on the Great Decisions briefing book that contains eight timely global topics. Also included are the use of the Great Decisions Television Series and the Great Decisions online newsletter. The program culminates with the publication of the National Opinion Ballot Report, which includes the participants’ opinions on U.S. foreign policy issues and is presented to the White House, departments of State and Defense, and to members of Congress.
The 2007 program topics include: the Middle East, Climate Change, Mexico, Migration, South Africa, War Crimes, Central Asia, and Children.
Public Diplomacy Speeches and Publications
- Public Diplomacy and U.S. Foreign Policy, by Jerrold Keilson. Written for the Foreign Policy Association's Great Decisions 2004 Program.
- Foreign Policy Blogs
- Foreign Policy, Democracy, and the Art of Association Flash History of FPA
- History of the Foreign Policy Association Streaming Video hosted by Tom Brokow