January 12, 2006

HARRISONBURG—National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) announced yesterday that Dr. J. Peter Pham, director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, was appointed to the New York-based organization’s twenty-member academic Board of Advisors.

Dr. Pham, a member of the National Committee since 2004, was elected to the board position on the nomination of the NCAFP’s trustees at the organization’s annual meeting on Tuesday. The trustees are chaired by Paul A. Volker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, and William J. Flynn, chairman emeritus of Mutual of America. With his election, Dr. Pham assumes the seat on the advisory board left vacant by the death last year of one of his own college professors, Saul Bellow of the University of Chicago, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Current members of the NCAFP Board of Advisors include Dr. Kenneth J. Arrow of Stanford University, winner of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Economics; Professor Herman J. Cohen of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African Affairs; Dr. Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick of Georgetown University, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Dr. Richard Pipes and Dr. James M. Schlesinger, Jr., of Harvard University.

“I am both honored by the appointment as well as humbled by company among whom I am called to serve, all of whom are far-more-distinguished than me,” said Dr. Pham. “The National Committee does a tremendous public service by leveraging its resources to stimulate and inform our national discussion of America’s vital interests in a changing world and I look forward to being even more a part of that work.”

The NCAFP, a research organization founded in 1974 by the late Dr. Hans J. Morgenthau, is dedicated to identifying, articulating, and helping advance American foreign policy interests from a nonpartisan perspective within the framework of political realism. The Committee offers educational programs that address security challenges facing the United States and publishes a variety of publications, including a bimonthly journal, American Foreign Policy Interests, which analyzes all aspects of U.S. foreign policy. The group has been led since 1993 by Dr. George D. Schwab.

Within policy circles, the NCAFP is best known for its reliance on the “Track II approach” of bringing together government officials, academics, and think tank experts to discuss current security challenges in an informal atmosphere where, free from official constraints, they can engage in frank discussions away from the glare of publicity and build trust and mutual confidence—something that is not always possible in official meetings. Last summer, the group hosted a conference in New York under the chairmanship of former U.S. secretary of state Dr. Henry A. Kissinger that facilitated the encounter between U.S. and North Korean officials leading to a resumption of the stalled six-party talks. The NCAFP currently has ongoing projects in Northeast Asia, the Middle East (Islamic law and peace), Russia and Central Asia, Western Europe (transatlantic relations), Northern Ireland, and Cyprus.