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 Speakers:

Please click on the date listed below to RSVP!

Wednesday, December 11th – Ernest J. Moniz

Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer, NTI

Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz was named the new chief executive officer and co-chair by the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in March 2017.  He began serving in June 2017.

Ernest J. Moniz served as the thirteenth United States Secretary of Energy from 2013 to January 2017.

Dr. Moniz served on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty from 1973 until becoming Secretary of Energy in 2013 and is now the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems emeritus and Special Advisor to the MIT President.

Dr. Moniz previously served in government as DOE Under Secretary from 1997 until January 2001 with science, energy, and nuclear security responsibilities and from 1995 to 1997 as Associate Director for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy with responsibility for the physical, life, and social sciences.

At MIT, Dr. Moniz was the Founding Director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and Director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment.

Dr. Moniz was also Head of the MIT Department of Physics during 1991-1995 and 1997 and Director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center from 1983-1991.

Dr. Moniz received a Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude in physics from Boston College, a doctorate in theoretical physics from Stanford University, and nine honorary doctorates1, including three from European universities.

Please visit nti.org for more information.

Thursday, January 30th, 2020 – Austin Dean

Austin Dean is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He specializes in Modern Chinese history and is the author of China and the End of Global Silver, 1873-1937 (Cornell University Press, Fall 2020). He has also written for a general audience in The Los Angeles Review of Books.

U.S-China Relations: How did we get here?

In the past three years, politicians, scholars, journalists and commentators, in China and the United States, have tried to explain the past, present, and future of U.S.-China Relations. Are the two countries headed toward a new Cold War? Was the U.S. policy of engagement with China a failure? This talk will analyze the contours of different narratives in the United States and China that seek to explain the downturn in U.S-China Relations and probe the assumptions behind them.

Past Speakers:

Meetings: High Quality Personal Experience

Our meetings are held at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines each month from September through May of the following year. 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 usually held at the Wakonda Club, 3915 Fleur Drive, Des Moines,  Iowa.

The typical agenda includes:

5:30PM Reception with the speaker
6:15PM Speaker’s presentation and Q&A
7:30PM Wrap up and closing comments