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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs announced today that it has received a $1.9 million five-year grant from the Charles Koch Foundation to expand the conversation on U.S. grand strategy in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. The grant will fund a senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy, a research associate and travel support that will increase the Council’s ability to promote and expand public dialogue on how the U.S. should engage the world through policy analysis and active outreach to communities and organizations in our city and throughout our region.

“The world is at an inflection point, and the choices made about how the U.S. should engage the world will have enormous consequences for our country and the world far into the future,” said Chicago Council President, Ambassador Ivo Daalder.  “As was true when the Council was founded nearly 100 years ago, views from the Midwest play an important role in shaping the direction of U.S. foreign policy.”

“We believe it is critical that the American people – who ultimately have to pay the human and financial costs of Washington’s decisions – participate in the making of U.S. foreign policy by engaging in a robust and inclusive debate about America’s role in the world,” said Will Ruger, advisor to the Charles Koch Foundation and the Vice President for Research and Policy at the Charles Koch Institute. “The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is uniquely positioned to lead this conversation in the nation’s heartland as the leading global affairs organization in the Midwest that combines public outreach and dialogue with high-level policy analysis and scholarship. We are extremely honored to partner with the Council on this important dialogue.”

To assure that debates and discussions in the region represent the range of important perspectives in the debate over the role of the U.S. in the world, the Council is seeking a senior fellow and research associate who favor the concept of “restraint” in American foreign policy, which constitutes a longstanding tradition that emphasizes focusing on America’s national interests, favors diplomatic engagement, and seeks to limit the deployment and use of military force to the defense of core U.S. national security interests. 

The new fellow will be part of the Lester Crown Center on U.S. Foreign Policy and will develop and implement a robust local and regional outreach strategy to foster dialogue on U.S. grand strategy and role in the world with public and civic leaders throughout the Midwest. The fellow also will conduct research and analysis on U.S. foreign policy issues to further the mission of the Lester Crown Center and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. 

“The Council was founded in 1922 on the idea that our democracy requires a public that is knowledgeable about and engaged in debates over foreign policy,” said Brian Hanson, Vice President of Studies at the Council. “This grant significantly enhances our ability to advance this vision in Chicago and our region today.”

The Council will conduct the search for the senior fellow and research associate under Daalder’s direction, with the participation of Council board members.  

About the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight on critical global issues, advances policy solutions, and fosters dialogue on what is happening in the world and why it matters to people in Chicago, the United States, and around the globe. Founded in 1922, the Council takes no institutional policy positions. Learn more at