Council on Foreign Relations

Director, Washington External Affairs

Meetings and Membership


CFR’s Washington External Affairs operation is focused primarily on actively engaging members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and their staff to provide timely, relevant, and useful analyses to further inform policymaking at the U.S. Capitol. Through discussion and examination of the critical challenges facing the United States and international community, the program seeks to serve as both a direct resource for Congress and a convener of leading thinkers and practitioners both on and off the Hill in a variety of nonpartisan fora. The secondary focus on this program is facilitating engagement with the diplomatic community and executive branch.

The major responsibilities of this position will include (but are not limited to):

  • Set strategy and direct outreach and programming to members of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, congressional staff, executive branch officials and foreign embassies
  • Serve as CFR’s primary representative on Capitol Hill, responsible for building strong and extensive relationships with bipartisan Members of Congress and congressional staff
  • Develop and maintain a professional network within executive branch and diplomatic community and leverage that network to advance institutional priorities
  • Oversee a robust electronic outreach operation to the Washington policy community
  • Provide strategic support to CFR’s communications and marketing efforts and to CFR fellows engaging with the policy ecosystem
  • Track and analyze international affairs developments on Capitol Hill and policy initiatives within the executive branch
  • Supervise Washington External Affairs staff team and manage the Washington External Affairs budget


  • 7 years of experience in foreign policy, government relations or international affairs. Congressional legislative or committee experience required
  • MA in international relations, political science or a related field with high academic achievement preferred
  • Demonstrated management, supervisory, and team leadership experience. Related experience in program planning.
  • Ability to think strategically and create and execute multi-faceted advocacy and outreach strategies
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including exceptional proofreading and editing ability
  • Strong public speaking skills and ability to create and deliver presentations before high-profile audiences
  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities, meet deadlines, and work under pressure in a team-based environment
  • High level of proficiency in MS Word, Excel, Adobe suite and database management
  • Client-service oriented mindset and ability to work flexible hours (many events are held over breakfast or in the evening)
  • Strong collaboration skills capable of reaching across organizational hierarchies and structures


About CFR

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is a leading nonprofit membership organization, research center, and publisher, with headquarters in New York, an office in Washington, DC, and programs nationwide. It is dedicated to increasing America's understanding of the world and contributing ideas to U.S. foreign policy. CFR's 5,000+ members are leaders in international affairs and foreign policy. CFR also publishes Foreign Affairs, the preeminent magazine on global issues, and provides up-to-date information about the world and U.S. foreign policy on its award-winning website,


The Council on Foreign Relations offers a benefits package that is among the best offered by nonprofit institutions today, including an award-winning health and wellness program, an on-site fitness center, and generous leave policies and health insurance programs.


The Council on Foreign Relations is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks candidates from a diverse background.


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