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The Philadelphia Committee on Foreign Relations

The Philadelphia Committee on Foreign Relations (PCFR) is a private group dedicated to informing its members about international relations and foreign policy.

PCFR engages experts and acute observers of foreign policy-related issues to speak to and respond to questions from PCFR members at a series of off-the-record dinner events throughout the year.


PCFR’s roots go back to 1921 when the New York Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) was founded. After World War II CFR began to establish affiliate committees in various U.S. cities to encourage members to become involved in foreign policy discussions. Affiliation with the CFR provided the regional committees with speakers in return for the payment of dues.

Several members of the CFR who lived in Philadelphia met to explore the possibility of creating a committee in their city. It was thus that the Philadelphia Committee on Foreign Relations came into being in 1948.

The arrangement with CFR worked well with CFR providing some speakers and PCFR independently recruiting others. In 1995, CFR announced a change in direction that would focus its resources more on its fellows. This meant that CFR would no longer support committees in other cities with speakers.

The uncoupling with CFR was not a hardship for PCFR since it was well versed in obtaining high quality speakers. In addition, Philadelphia’s geographic location is an asset in being able to attract speakers from Washington, New York, and other East Coast locations.

PCFR has had an enviable record of attracting a wide variety of highly qualified speakers, who have provided unusual insights and stimulating commentary on world events and issues.

You can contact PCFR at

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