We’re pleased to feature this Q&A with Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass on key issues in foreign affairs, globalization, higher education and his latest book, The World: A Brief Introduction.

Haass spoke with NEBHE President and CEO Michael K. Thomas and NEJHE Executive Editor John O. Harney on Monday, July 28, 2021, via Zoom.

Among Haass’s mantras: “Universities have departments but the world doesn’t.” He believes in interdisciplinary thinking. And he believes higher ed is ripe for disruption.


The complete Q&A session:

Video excerpts:

Globalization: What Began in Wuhan Didn’t Stay in Wuhan

About the participants:

  • Richard Haass is in his 19th year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, publisher, and educational institution dedicated to being a resource to help people better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the U.S. and other countries. He served as the senior Middle East advisor to President George H.W. Bush, as the State Department’s director of policy planning under Secretary of State Colin Powell, and in various positions in the Defense and State departments during the Carter and Reagan administrations. He was also U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and the U.S. envoy to both the Cyprus and Northern Ireland peace talks. Haass is also the author or editor of more than a dozen books on U.S. foreign policy, most recently, The World: A Brief Introduction.

  • Michael K. Thomas is the president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), a regional organization working with the 260 colleges and universities in the six New England states. NEBHE works to expand education opportunity and services and to address issues related to New England’s human capital and economic competitiveness.
  • John O. Harney has been the executive editor of The New England Journal of Higher Education (formerly called Connection) since 1990.