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Founded in 1938, Off the Record's mission is to provide a forum for its members to listen to and question leading experts about current and emerging global issues.

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Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Speakers

Dear OTR members, we are happy to announce that going to the new season, all membership levels include admission to ten member-only Foreign Policy Association lectures! Additionally, OTR members will get a subscription to selected Foreign Policy Association publications.

2024- 2025 Season


Dr. Carla Ann Robbins


Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Co-host of The World Next Week podcast, Marxe faculty director of the master of international affairs program, professor of national security studies at Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.

October 16, 2024

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 Michael O 

Michael O'Hanlon


Senior Fellow and director of research in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, Director of the Strobe Talbott Center on Security, Strategy and Technology, as well as the Defense Industrial Base working group, and is the inaugural holder of the Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and Strategy.

December 10, 2024 (Tuesday)

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Susan Thornton


Senior Fellow at the Yale Law School Paul Tsai China Center, Director of the Forum on Asia-Pacific Security at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, Nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. 

January 15, 2025

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Speakers Endorse Off The Record

"It was a great pleasure to give a talk at OTR. The audience was diverse, engaged and well informed, leading to a stimulating discussion during the Q and A.  I highly recommend OTR as a venue for public debate and exploration of current affairs."

- Dr. Karen Jacobsen, Henry J. Leir Professor in Global Migration, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

"I love my engagements with OTR. The audience is intensely intellectually curious, and I always learn something new from their questions and comments." 

- Dr. Elizabeth Economy, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

"I am writing to thank you for hosting me again at Off the Record. This was the third time I have had the opportunity to address your members and have always found them to be well-informed, engaged, and eager to learn, making the conversation always interesting and enjoyable. I hope that people interested in foreign affairs will continue to join your ranks since an informed public is essential to the effective conduct of American foreign policy."

- Martin Indyk, Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, and Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.

"OTR has an extremely well-informed and dynamic audience."

- Yun Sun, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the East Asia Program, Director of the China Program, Stimson Center. 

"OTR lives up to its reputation as a longstanding home for thoughtful, nuanced discussion of the day's most pressing foreign policy matters. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and strategic competition with China have thrust us into an uncertain era, making OTR's work all the more critical. The candor, discretion and expertise of its members and staff are a welcome asset in confronting these challenges."

- Karen KornbluhFormer US Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2009- 2012; Director, Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative, German Marshall Fund.

HISTORY | The Founding of FPA and of OTR

In 1918, the Foreign Policy Association was founded as the League of Free Nations Association. Formed by 141 distinguished Americans to support President Woodrow Wilson’s peace efforts, the Association was reconstituted in 1923 as the Foreign Policy Association. John Foster Dulles and Eleanor Roosevelt were among the founders.

OTR was created in 1938 by 19 prominent women, including Eleanor Robson Belmont (later known as Mrs. August Belmont), to give women a greater voice in foreign policy discussions. 

OTR was founded as a series of lectures solely for women, to be conducted in smaller, more intimate groups and "off the record,” so that speakers would not be quoted in the press.

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