CFR President Richard N. Haass and Senior Fellow Stewart M. Patrick honor the Robina Foundation upon the establishment of the James H. Binger Chair in Global Governance. The chair was established in 2016 through a generous gift from the Robina Foundation and was named in honor of long-time CFR member James H. Binger. It builds upon the Robina Foundation’s previous investment in the Council’s International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) program by ensuring that CFR continues to promote independent scholarship on issues of global governance. Stewart M. Patrick was named the first chairholder on January 1, 2017.
HAASS: Well, good evening. Welcome to the Council on Foreign Relations. I’m Richard Haass, and it’s a pleasure to see so many of our members here for joining us on the discussion on the state of the world and even more focused on the state of global governance. That’s A-N-C-E, not M-E-N-T-S. Got it? (Laughter.)
Tonight, we are proud and honored— to use that same word again— to honor the legacy of James H. Binger, who was a dedicated council member from 1974 for 30 years, and when he died in 2004, he was the former CEO of Honeywell Corporation; a native Minnesotan with rich and diverse interests— maybe that’s redundant, for those of you from Minnesota— and spent much of his time in Minneapolis but also in New York. And in your program, you will be able to read about this gentleman. He felt so strongly about the work of The Council on Foreign Relations that he named the council, along with three other institutions of the principal beneficiaries of the Robina Foundation, which he established in the last year of his life. And since 2005, the foundation has provided literally tens of millions of dollars to The Council on Foreign Relations, primarily to help launch the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, known affectionately as IIGG, to support— as well as to support a number of our diversity initiatives here. And one of the important consequences of that was providing endowment support to expand the Franklin Williams Internship Program.
So tonight is an opportunity not just to publicly thank the foundation for their support of so many aspects of what we do here at The Council on Foreign Relations over the last dozen or so years, but also it’s to mark the investiture of CFR Senior Fellow Stewart Patrick, as the first the inaugural holder of the James H. Binger Chair in Global Governance. And again, it’s the Robina Foundation that has provided the endowment, which has allowed us to establish this chair and will ensure that Jim Binger’s name is associated with the council in perpetuity.
So, it’s a real personal privilege to me to welcome the many members of the Robina Foundation Board who are with us tonight.
And at this moment, what I’d like to do is turn it over to the Board Chair Kathleen Blatz.
(Audience member sneezes). Bless you. (Laughter.) This is probably the time to also talk about our program in noncommunicable as well as infectious diseases. (Laughter.) Serious health concerns here in the City of New York. We’ve got the former mayor here. We’re prepared.
But it’s a chance to turn things over to Kathleen Blatz for a few remarks to set—to get us launched here tonight, after which we will have a panel with Stewart, Jim Lindsay, and myself.
BLATZ: Good evening. It’s really truly wonderful for me to be able to join you, the wonderful staff and leadership of the CFR, so many of its members, and to have my colleagues here to celebrate the work of CFR globally, generally, but in particular tonight to celebrate the creation of the James Binger Chair Global Governance.
We have been at this kind of work in partnership with CFR for about nine years, and what we have been funding is best known— and I have to read it— The International Institutions Global Governance Initiative. We’ve been funding it for nine years, and I have to say, Richard, that if you put together, with Jim’s able help here, a grant request to hire someone to help you with naming programs, I think it would be funded immediately— (laughter)— because this has been a tongue twister for the entire Board for nine years. We call it IIGG, which is also very catchy, as you can see.
But anyway, the work has been led by Stewart Patrick, and it’s really been nothing short of fantastic, and we’ll hear a little bit more from him later on tonight on the program, and I think he’s no stranger to people in this room. My colleagues— I just want to recognize them briefly— we have Gordy Aamoth, who is our Board member emeritus, who was a liaison to CFR; and Steve Lewis, who is our liaison now to CFR; and we have Marianne Short and Susan Berresford, who has been a member of CFR for years; and our able Executive Director Penny Hunt and our assistant Nancy Gilberg here— all from Minnesota.