General James Mattis - "I owe this organization."
I can say a lot of nice things about FPRI but I may be biased, having worked here for over 37 years. Let me quote therefore the words of the former Commander of US Central Command, General James Mattis, as he spoke at our annual dinner last month:
"I am here because I owe this organization. It is one of a handful of organizations for which I feel this sense of gratitude. When you go into public service and you get to the level where hundred-hour work weeks are the short weeks . . . you need other people to be doing a lot of the thinking. . . .So we need an organization like FPRI -- one with a keen interest in America's future. You need them because any organization dedicated to the proposition that a country must think before it acts is critical, especially in transition times when the old rules no longer apply. I think that the proposition that guides FPRI is more relevant today than ever before. . . . It is critical that we have people who are willing to challenge the conventional wisdom and are willing to put it on the line with the degree of rigor and discipline and yet unregimented thinking that I experienced here."
This past year, FPRI has made many strides in developing --
* programming for new venues (Princeton and the Main Line, in addition to Philadelphia, Manhattan, and Washington DC), plus new interactive programming like Geopolitics with Granieri, which enjoys both a "studio" audience and a web audience;
* a worldwide audience of 40,000 "fans" through Facebook, where the top 5 cities in the world with respect to number of FPRI Facebook fans are Cairo, New Delhi, Dhaka, Lahore, and Islamabad, and the top 10 countries represent 6 different continents (Philadelphia is ranked 37 among cities, and the US is ranked second, behind India!);
* a professional development program for high school teachers that has trained over 1000 teachers in over 700 schools in 46 states;
* a website that enjoys 2 million hits a month and is ranked by alexa.com in the top 110,000 websites in the country, and top 410,000 website in the world (with respect to web traffic volume).
We will make new strides in 2014 but only if we have your continued support. On this "Giving Tuesday," we hope you will consider renewing or upgrading your membership or partnership in FPRI. The higher the level of your support, the more opportunities to engage with some of the nation's leading experts in the field -- and the more we can do to reach an ever larger audience.
You can contribute online right here.
Thanks for your support and interest and participation, and note these upcoming events:
December 5 in Princeton: Sumit Ganguly on India and the Geopolitics of Asia
December 11 in the Main Line: Ed Turzanski on The Three Biggest Threats to American Security
December 17 on Geopolitics with Granieri: John Haines on Weapons of Mass Disruption: Threat Assessment and the Realities of Mass Disruption
January 7 on Geopolitics with Granieri: Mark Cohen (Princeton) on Muslim-Jewish Relations in the Middle Ages and What They Mean for Today
January 14 in Philadelphia: Kenneth Pollack on his new book Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy
And much, more to be announced!
With all good wishes,