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Pacific Council on International Policy

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

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



The Pacific Council is “committed to building the vast potential of the West Coast for impact on global issues, discourse, and policy.”[2] The council connects a network of people from different industries to engage in foreign policy discourse and effect change on international issues. The council convenes events, teleconferences, and international delegations, and provides thoughtful foreign policy analysis and commentary in its online Newsroom.[3]


Jerrold D. Green currently serves as the Pacific Council's president and CEO. 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), 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. Abraham F. Lowenthal was the founding president of the Pacific Council. 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.[4]


The Pacific Council works with member experts and task forces to host conferences, events, and travel delegations. The Council has hosted a number of influential speakers, including former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Condoleezza Rice, former President George W. Bush, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, former CIA Director Leon Panetta, General James Mattis, Dr. Joseph S. Nye, foreign dignitaries, U.S. ambassadors, members of Congress, and foreign policy experts, among others.[5]


The Pacific Council encourages thoughtful dialogue on a wide variety of international issues, but focuses on four main initiatives: the Global Water Scarcity Project, Global Los Angeles, the Mexico Initiative, and the Guantánamo Bay Observer Program.[6]


Members often travel abroad on Pacific Council delegations, during which members meet with government officials and business leaders. Previous destinations include Mexico, North Korea, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Guatemala, China, and France, among many others.

The Pacific Council also organizes task forces to address international policy issues and make policy recommendations. Its U.S.-Mexico Border Security Task Force, 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, and the task force released a "report card" assessing progress made on previous recommendations.[7] The Council's 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.[8]

The Council's most recent task force is a part of the Guantánamo Bay Observer Program.[9] Since 2013, the Pacific Council has held official NGO observer status at GTMO, allowing Pacific Council member experts to observe proceedings at GTMO and report back to the Council. Recommendations made by the Council's GTMO Task Force were included in the FY2018 Defense Bill by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).[10]



  1. ^ "Mission & Governance". Pacific Council on International Policy. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  2. ^ Who We Are. "Mission & Values". Pacific Council on International Policy.
  3. ^ "Newsroom". Pacific Council on International Policy.
  4. ^ "Who We Are: History". Pacific Council on International Policy.
  5. ^ "Pacific Council Live". Pacific Council on International Policy.
  6. ^ "Initiatives". Pacific Council on International Policy.
  7. ^ "U.S.-Mexico task force seeks renewed ban on assault weapons". Washington Post.
  8. ^ "From California, a Game Plan on Climate Change". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Guantánamo Bay Observer Program". Pacific Council on International Policy.
  10. ^ "Rep. Schiff Uses Pacific Council GTMO Input in Defense Bill". Pacific Council on International Policy.