The Foreign Affairs Policy Board was launched in December 2011 to provide the Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretaries of State, and the Director of Policy Planning with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of U.S. foreign policy. The Board serves in a solely advisory capacity, with an agenda shaped by the questions and concerns of the Secretary. Its discussions focus on assessing global threats and opportunities; identifying trends that implicate core national security interests; providing recommendations with respect to tools and capacities of the civilian foreign affairs agencies; defining priorities and strategic frameworks for U.S. foreign policy; and performing any other research and analysis of topics raised by the Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretaries, and the Director of Policy Planning.
The Board meets in a plenary session several times a year and is chartered to have up to 25 members. The Board comprises a distinguished, diverse, and bipartisan membership with a wide range of expertise and background, including past government service, academia, politics, development, and business. Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution and a former Deputy Secretary of State, serves as the Board’s Chair. He works closely with Secretary Kerry and his Policy Planning Director, Jon Finer , to coordinate the Board and its meetings.