Since our inception in 1943, the Birmingham Committee
on Foreign Relations has been the leading international study group in our state.
Our committee prides itself on the intellectual content of our meetings, the
caliber of our speakers, and the knowledge and diversity of our members. Since
our inception, the Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations has been the leading
international study group in our state.
As the oldest foreign relations committee in the State of Alabama with a history
tracing back to early 1943, the Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations currently
has 125 members. We meet monthly from September through May to hear topics of
interest on foreign policies and affairs. Our speakers, evaluated in advance
to make sure they meet our high expectations for communicating skills, are nationally
recognized authorities with extensive experience and expertise. We generally
hold our meetings at The Club, with approximately 70-75 people in attendance.
We start our meetings at 6:00 and end at 8:30 p.m. Our dues are $150.00 per
year and the cost of attending one of our meetings is generally in the range
of $35.00 - $40.00. Spouses and guests are always welcome.
Our committee is non-political. We do not take sides or advocate any policy
or position as a group. Our members range the full spectrum of political thought
from ultra conservative to ultra liberal. Our speakers take the same range.
We try to bring excellent speakers with proven experience and credentials who
will be able to entice meaningful thought and debate on topics of current international
interest. Our question and answer session after the talks last approximately
20-30 minutes. We are noted for keen and insightful questions. Many of us find
that we learn more during the Q and A session than during the main topic. We
have many knowledgeable and experienced members who have distinguished careers
in foreign business, foreign policy, diplomacy law, medicine, government and
military service. We are proud of our diversity. Membership in the Birmingham
Foreign Relations Committee gives direct access to some of the leading foreign
policy thing in our country today.
We are affiliated with the American Committees on Foreign Relations in Washington,
D.C. Many of our members attend the national conference of the American Committee
in Washington D.C. held in May of each year. Membership in the Birmingham Committee
carries with it automatic membership in the American Committees. Through the
American Committees our membership is offered an opportunity for an email service,
which provides excellent, timely, well written and in-depth articles, sometimes
daily, on current topics of international importance. This added membership
benefit began in 2002 and has been a welcome benefit to our membership. A sample
of some of these email articles can be found by clicking on the link to the
American Committees on Foreign Affairs in the link section of this website.
The purpose of our organization is to expand our knowledge and understanding
of foreign affairs, exchange ideas, recognize free speech and enjoy fellowship
and conviviality. Apart from the educational component of memberships, many
of us have made lasting friends through the committee with people we would not
have normally come to know. Many of us believe that live presentations,
with knowledgeable speakers you can interact with, are more stimulating than
reading, watching television, or listening to the news.
Because of the current importance of foreign affairs
and foreign policies, our membership is increasing. Our future is very much
in front of us. We hope to take an active outreach role in our community and
in our state with educational speaker programs. We have good working relationship
with all of the Universities in our area, as well as with the major media, civic
clubs and Chambers of Commerce. Our speakers generally have a wonderful experience
when they visit Birmingham.
- Frank M. Young, III, Chairman