Pacific Council on International Policy

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Pacific Council on International Policy
Pacific Council Logo.jpg
Formation 1995
Type Foreign Policy Membership Organization
President and CEO
Jerrold D. Green
Rockwell Schnabel
Marc Nathanson

The Pacific Council on International Policy is a non-partisan membership-based organization focused on foreign policy. Founded in 1995 in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council is a 501c(3) non-profit organization. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Its activities include speaking events, policy-focused task forces, and international fact-finding missions.[1]


The mission of the Pacific Council is to address global issues “by giving more effective voice to West Coast perspectives on them.”[2] To that end, the Council convenes speaking events, conference calls, international trips,[3] based throughout the West Coast of the United States.[4]

The Council organizes an annual Members Weekend[5] conference, which convenes “business, government, civic, and academic leaders from around the world to analyze and debate the most important global policy issues.”[6] Since 2010, it has also hosted an annual Spring Conference.[7]


Jerrold D. Green[8] currently serves as the Pacific Council’s President and CEO.[9] Rockwell Schnabel, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union (2001-2005), U.S. Ambassador to Finland (1986-1989), and Acting Secretary of Commerce (1992),[10] and Marc Nathanson, Chairman of Mapleton Investments, are Co-Chairmen of the Board of Directors, which also includes Susan McCaw, Antonia Hernández, Mel Levine, and Mickey Kantor, among others.[11] Abraham F. Lowenthal was the founding President of the Pacific Council.[12]

Prominent members of the Pacific Council Board of Directors have included Robert F. Erburu, former Chairman of the Times Mirror Co. and founding Board Chairman of the Pacific Council; former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who followed Erburu as Board co-Chair; John Bryson, who served as co-Chair with Christopher and later Chair of the Pacific Council Board before his appointment as U.S. Secretary of Commerce; and former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon M. Huntsman.[13]


The Pacific Council has hosted a number of influential speakers. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, at the time a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, unveiled his national security views in front of the Council in December 2003.[14] John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, addressed a number of foreign policy concerns in June 2006.[15] In May 2009, it hosted then-CIA Director Leon Panetta, who defended air strikes against al Qaeda in Pakistan, calling them “very effective.”[16] Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, General Stanley McChrystal, Joseph S. Nye, and Alec Ross were among the speakers that addressed the Pacific Council in 2011. In 2012, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Huntsman, and World Bank President Robert Zoellick all spoke in front of the Council.[17] In 2013, the Council hosted U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (2009-2011) Karl Eikenberry, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Lady Catherine Ashton, and Chief Prosecutor of the Office of Military Commissions U.S. Department of Defense Brigadier General Mark S. Martins. In May 2013 the Council honored former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with their inaugural Warren Christopher Public Service Award.[18]

Pacific Council Special Events[edit]

Event Year Keynote Speaker(s)
Spring Conference 2014 General Lloyd Austin - Commander of CENTCOM
Members Weekend 2013 Mayor Eric Garcetti - Mayor of Los Angeles
Chairman's Gala 2013 Secretary Hillary Clinton
Spring Conference 2013 Ambassador Cameron Munter - Former Ambassador to Pakistan, Serbia
Members Weekend 2012 Hon. Michèle Flournoy - Undersecretary of Defense for Policy; Hon. Thomas Nides - Deputy Secretary of State
Spring Conference 2012 Naveen Jain - Founder & CEO of Intelius Inc.
Members Weekend 2011 General James Mattis - Commander of CENTCOM; Dr. Eric Schmidt - Executive Chairman at Google

Missions and Task Forces[edit]

Members also participate in international fact-finding missions, during which members meet with government officials and business leaders. 2010 destinations included Iraq, Afghanistan, Guatemala, and France. At a 2011 meeting in Juba, South Sudan, members met with Vice President Riek Machar and discussed how the Council could support the country’s development and establishment of its independence.[19] In the same year, member delegations visited Afghanistan, China, and Australia. In 2012, a delegation visited North Korea, as well as Chile and Argentina. In January 2013 a delegation visited Myanmar[20] and in March, Cuba.[21]

The Pacific Council also organizes task forces to address international policy issues and make policy recommendations. Its U.S.-Mexico Border Security Task Force,[22] led by former DEA Administrator and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner, recommended that the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration renew a ban on assault weapons.[23] In April 2013 they released a "report card" assessing progress made on previous recommendations.[24] In 2010, its Climate Change Adaptation Task Force recommended that the state of California create a Climate Risk Council and reported the potential effects of climate change on the California coast.[25] Findings of the Latino Leadership Task Force were released in August 2012.[26]

Pacific Council Member Committees[27] are groups within the Pacific Council that participate in activities focused around a particular topic. Member committees offer Members a more personalized experience with the Council, giving them opportunities to design Council programming and delve deeply into subjects of interest. The National Security Membership Committee, launched in 2010, is composed of Pacific Council members with a deep interest in defense and security issues.


According to its website, “Excellence, insight, and impact are key components of Pacific Council membership. Membership is extended to select professionals engaged in business with international reach, experts in international policy, civic and political leaders, and qualified individuals interested in international affairs.”[28] New members are nominated by current members and approved by the Board of Directors. All members are required to pay an annual fee.

External links[edit]

Pacific Council Reports


  1. ^ "Mission & Governance". Pacific Council on International Policy. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mission & Governance". Pacific Council on International Policy. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Membership Overview". Pacific Council on International Policy. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Programs Overview". Pacific Council on International Policy. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Jerrold D. Green
  9. ^ "Jerrold D. Green". USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  10. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "Board of Directors". Pacific Council on International Policy. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Abraham F. Lowenthal". USC School of International Relations. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Board of Directors". Pacific Council on International Policy. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Wilgoren, Jodi and Randal C. Archibald (16 December 2003). "The 2004 Campaign: Democratic Contenders; Dean's Speech on Iraq Brings Rebuttals". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  15. ^ Leavey, Pamela (1 June 2006). "John Kerry Addresses Pacific Council on National Security". The Democratic Daily. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "U.S. airstrikes in Pakistan called 'very effectice'". CNN. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "Recent Programs". Pacific Council on International Policy. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "South Sudan: American Institute Expresses Support to Country". Sudan Tribune. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Hsu, Spencer S. (13 November 2009). "U.S.-Mexico task force seeks renewed ban on assault weapons". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ Barringer, Felicity (22 November 2010). "For California, a Game Plan on Climate Change". Green: A Blog about Energy and The Environment, The New York Times. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Membership Overview". Pacific Council on International Policy. Retrieved 4 June 2012.