The Atlanta Council on International Relations (ACIR) is the successor organization to the Atlanta Committee on Foreign Relations (ACFR). ACFR was the Atlanta Chapter of the Council on Foreign Relations, the pre-eminent foreign policy think tank which was instituted in 1921 and continues as a national organization today. The founders of ACFR, Robert Summerville and Granger Hansell, a prominent businessman and lawyer, respectively, sought to bring to Atlanta business, professional and academic communities exposure to issues relating to United States foreign policy through this association with the Council on Foreign Relations. The Council on Foreign Relations sponsored visiting speakers which they brought to the ACFR with particular knowledge and expertise concerning international issues facing the United States. The ACFR was one of Atlanta's first international organizations and has impacted Atlanta's growth into the vibrant international city it is today.
In the early 1990s the membership of ACFR voted to terminate its affiliation with the Council on Foreign Relations and form a new organization, ACIR, which would act independently through the organization of its own programs and speakers. Since its formation, ACIR has sought to provide an important platform for local experts, visiting diplomats, and academics for the discussion of significant international issues and matters relating to the foreign policy of the United States.
ACIR's educational purpose is to INFORM the public on subjects meaningful to individuals and beneficial to the community living in an interconnected world; to STIMULATE INTEREST in and KNOWLEDGE of international relations, world affairs, and foreign policies that affect the community and its economic, social, and intellectual well-being and security; and to PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING of international affairs through a broad dialogue on those subjects. It achieves these purposes through public discussion groups, forums, panels, lectures, and other similar programs.
ACIR is dedicated to providing its members and the community with a better understanding of the complex issues that confront the United States and the global community in the fields of international and security affairs, global economics and policy, and relations between and among nations and non-state actors in the international arena. It seeks to be a forum for high-level discussion and learning between those individuals in metro Atlanta who desire to interact with others with similar interests and with world-class experts. Through ACIR programs, we attract additional members who have a keen interest in thoughtful discussion of international affairs to broaden our forum. This will give rise to opportunities for those speakers with commanding knowledge of international events to inform our members further and to continue ACIR's growth and its influence in the Atlanta metropolitan area and beyond.