Meetings and Speakers


Speakers: Diverse, timely, expert perspectives

We participate in the ACFR National Speakers Program which provides prominent speakers at the ready edge of responsibility and expertise regarding timely foreign policy issues & events. We have hosted sitting Ambassadors, former Ambassadors, State Department officials, Officers of the military, policy experts & more from foreign relations organizations and consultancies in the nation.

We also feature Iowa based speakers with special expertise and experiences in foreign relations from our congressional representatives, universities, and major news outlets.

At the Committee on Foreign Relations, our monthly meetings are dedicated to advancing discourse of relevant U.S. foreign relations issues and events while supporting our non-partisan, non-profit position.  We provide a high quality personal experience with a unique intimate forum for dialogue and discussion. We support diverse, timely, well-informed perspectives that contribute to understanding concerning foreign relations.

Upcoming Speaker: March 6th at 5:30, Mr. Ali Wyne, Wakonda Club

 Our March speaker will be Mr. Ali Wyne (\ ), Senior Research and Advocacy Advisor, U.S.-China for the International Crisis Group ( ).  

The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.  Mr. Wyne last spoke to our group virtually in December of 2021; we are excited to hear him in-person on March 6th.  Mr. Wyne will be speaking on current issues in China.  Listed below are his profile and experience.

Crisis Group Role

As Crisis Group’s Senior Research and Advocacy Advisor, U.S.-China, Ali reports on and analyses the development of U.S. policy toward China in the U.S. Congress and the executive branch. He helps to formulate Crisis Group’s recommendations for easing tensions, managing crises, and preventing conflicts between Washington and Beijing, and works to introduce them into debates among U.S. policymakers and thought leaders.

Professional Background
Ali joined the International Crisis Group in January 2024. He previously worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2008-09), the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (2009-12), the State Department (2013), the RAND Corporation (2017-20), and Eurasia Group (2020-23). He has also been a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a nonresident fellow at the Modern War Institute.

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard Kennedy School, Ali is a security fellow with the Truman National Security Project, a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a former David Rockefeller fellow with the Trilateral Commission. He is the author of “America’s Great-Power Opportunity: Revitalizing U.S. Foreign Policy to Meet the Challenges of Strategic Competition” (Polity, 2022) and a co-author of “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the  World” (MIT Press, 2013)                              

Past Speakers:

Meetings: High Quality Personal Experience

For the 2023-2024 season our meetings will be held at Wakonda Club in Des Moines. We meet each month from September through May of the following year. Please email for more information.

Because we limit the size of the membership and the size of the venue, we provide a unique intimate format for our members…giving the opportunity to meet the speaker, engage in discussion, and gain additional knowledge and information.

Agenda & Venue

Our meetings are currently being held at Wakonda Club, 3915 Fleur Dr, Des Moines, IA 50321

The typical agenda includes:

5:30PM – Reception and Happy Hour with the speaker
6:00PM – Speaker’s presentation and Q&A
7:00PM Wrap up and closing comments