CIP has been a leading progressive voice on U.S. foreign affairs for nearly 50 years. The Center works to make a peaceful, just, and sustainable world the central pursuit of U.S. foreign policy by promoting greater cooperation, transparency, and governmental accountability. Critical to this mission is the inclusion of diverse perspectives and the integration of new voices into research and policymaking circles.
Through research and advocacy, our programs offer common-sense solutions to address the most urgent threats to our planet: war, corruption, inequity, and climate change.
The Center for International Policy is an independent nonprofit center for research, public education and advocacy on U.S. foreign policy. CIP's scholars, researchers, journalists, analysts and former government officials provide a unique mixture of issue-area expertise, access to high-level officials, media savvy and strategic vision. We work to inform the public and decision makers in the United States on policies to make the world more peaceful, just, and sustainable.
CIP was founded in 1975, in the wake of the Vietnam War, by former diplomats and peace activists who sought to reorient U.S. foreign policy to advance international cooperation as the primary vehicle for solving global challenges and promoting human rights
We bring diverse voices to bear on key foreign policy decisions and make the evidence-based case for why and how the United States must redefine the concept of national security in the 21st century.
Our 5R Strategy for Change
Redraw the Stakeholder Map to change rigid and exclusionary policymaking structures and address racism and discrimination for more equity and inclusivity in how policies are shaped and communicated.
Redefine Security to include pressing threats to global human safety and well-being that fall outside of - and are often exacerbated by - the conventional militarized approach to national security.
Reframe US Foreign Policy from an antiquated, nation-state analysis to include the roles of non-state actors, emerging technology, and other factors unique to the new power configurations of today's world.
Restore Accountability by working to improve oversight both at home and abroad, as corruption and authoritarianism undermine collaborative efforts to address shared global threats.
Revive Diplomacy through convening and researching to identify the structural barriers to peaceful solutions and draw on lessons learned to avoid war escalation and nuclear threats.
The Center for International Policy's staff and board are very grateful for the generous support CIP continues to receive in support of its mission.
Supported by individual donors, foundations, businesses and churches, CIP has stayed steadfastly true to its goals since its founding in 1975. Foundations, businesses and churches currently supporting CIP's work include:
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Colombe Peace Foundation
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
Open Society Foundations
Pentagon Budget Campaign
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Samuel Rubin Foundation
Stewart R. Mott Foundation
United Church of Christ
CIP’s founders wanted to build on the massive grassroots movements that helped end the Vietnam War and to make sure the lessons of the war were not distorted or forgotten. CIP’s mix of experts from inside the government and those from outside by choice has shaped both our methodology and our agenda since our founding. Today, our programs continue to strive to achieve advances in U.S. foreign policy that fall in line with our mission.
CIP has led or played a vital role in an impressive number of citizens' initiatives. Working closely with allies in Congress, including two members who were to become co-chairs of CIP’s board, Tom Harkin and Don Fraser, CIP campaigned to make sure that a government's human rights record was a factor in allocating foreign aid.
CIP’s initial regional focus was on Asia. In the late 1970s, the Indochina program promoted the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
In the 1990s, CIP attracted a number of senior diplomats to its staff and expanded its agenda to include reform of the nation's intelligence agencies. We continued to play an important role in Central America's post-conflict reconciliation, the effort to end the counter-productive isolation of Cuba, and efforts to condition military assistance to the Western Hemisphere on improvements in governance and increased respect for citizens’ human rights
In the 1980s, CIP staff turned its focus to Central America. Program staff became the Washington advocates for Costa Rican president Oscar Arias's peace plan for Central America. Executive director Bill Goodfellow and research director Jim Morrell ran a U.S. campaign to publicize and build public support for first the Contadora and then President Arias’s peace plan, which ultimately silenced the guns in Central America.
In the first decade of the 2000s, our work expanded to include programs mobilizing opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. CIP also hosted projects aimed at exposing illicit financial flows and the existential threat of climate change. Our programs had in common both their impact on human rights and national security as well as a research-based approach to public policy advocacy. CIP's monitoring of U.S. military aid and training in Latin America evolved into the country's leading database on U.S. Security Assistance worldwide, now known as the Security Assistance Monitor.
CIP's work continued to focus on ending what had become the 'endless wars' spawned by the so-called global war on terror during the previous decade. We expanded our work on the Pentagon budget and U.S. weapons exports and hosted the international Financial Transparency Coalition. In 2017, long-time executive director Bill Goodfellow stepped down and was succeeded by Salih Booker as President and CEO. This transition saw CIP grow with the addition of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative, the Africa Program, and Freedom Forward to CIP’s roster of programs. In 2019 CIP released its most influential report, produced by CIP's Sustainable Defense Task Force, which laid out a detailed plan for reducing the Pentagon budget by 10% a year, saving $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, while providing improved security.