The Trilateral Commission
Founded1973 (1973)
FoundersDavid Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter
TypeAnnual conference
More than 390

The Trilateral Commission is a nongovernmental international organization aimed at fostering closer cooperation between Japan, Western Europe and North America.[1] It was founded in July 1973, principally by American banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller, an internationalist[2] who sought to address the challenges posed by the growing economic and political interdependence between the U.S. and its allies in North America, Western Europe, and Japan.[3] The leadership of the organization has since focused on returning to "our roots as a group of countries sharing common values and a commitment to the rule of law, open economies and societies, and democratic principles".[4]

The Trilateral Commission is headed by an executive committee and three regional chairs representing Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region, with headquarters in Paris, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo, respectively. Meetings are held annually at locations that rotate among the three regions; regional and national meetings are held throughout the year.[5] Most gatherings focus on discussing reports and debating strategy to meet the commission's aims.[citation needed]

The Trilateral Commission represents influential commercial and political interests. As of 2021, there were roughly 400 members, including leading figures in politics, business, media, and academia. Each country within the three regions is assigned a quota of members reflecting its relative political and economic strength.[citation needed]



The Trilateral Commission was formed in 1973 by private citizens of Japan, North American nations (the U.S. and Canada), and Western European nations[3] to foster substantive political and economic dialogue across the world. The idea of the commission was developed in the early 1970s, a time of considerable discord among the United States and its allies in Western Europe, Japan, and Canada.[6] To quote its founding declaration:

Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Rockefeller advisor who was a specialist on international affairs (and later President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981), left Columbia University to organize the group, along with:[8]

Other founding members included Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker, both later heads of the Federal Reserve System. [citation needed]

The organization's records are stored at the Rockefeller Archive Center in North Tarrytown, NY.[13]


The Trilateral Commission initiated its biannual meetings in October 1973 in Tokyo, Japan. In May 1976 the first plenary meeting of all of the commission's regional groups took place in Kyoto, Japan. Since the ninth meeting in 1978, plenary meetings have taken place annually. Besides annual plenary meetings, regional meetings have also taken place in each of the Asia Pacific Group, the European Group and the North American Group.[14] Since its founding, the discussion group has produced an official journal, Trialogue.[citation needed]


Further information: List of members of the Trilateral Commission

Membership is divided into numbers proportionate to each of the think tank's three regional areas. North America is represented by 120 members: 20 Canadian, 13 Mexican and 87 American. The European group has reached its limit of 170 members from almost every country on the continent; the ceilings for individual countries are 20 for Germany, 18 for France, Italy and the United Kingdom, 12 for Spain and 1–6 for the rest. At first Asia and Oceania were represented only by Japan, but in 2000 the Japanese group of 85 members became the Pacific Asia group, comprising 117 members: 75 Japanese, 11 South Koreans, seven Australian and New Zealand citizens, and 15 members from the ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand). The Pacific Asia group also included 9 members from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The commission now claims "more than 100" Pacific Asian members.[7]

The Trilateral Commission's bylaws apparently deny membership to public officials. It draws its members from politics, business, and academia, and has three chairpersons, one from each region. The current chairs are former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Joseph S. Nye, Jr., former head of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet, and Yasuchika Hasegawa, chair of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.[15]


As of September 2021[16]

Name Position
Jean-Claude Trichet European Chairman
Meghan O'Sullivan North American Chairman
Akihiko Tanaka Asia Pacific Chairman
Alexandra Papalexopoulou European Deputy Chairman
Herminio Blanco Mendoza North American Deputy Chairman
Barry Desker Asia Pacific Deputy Chairman
Carl Bildt European Deputy Chairman
Jeffrey Simpson North American Deputy Chairman
Jin Roy Ryu Asia Pacific Deputy Chairman
David Rockefeller (deceased) Founder
Peter Sutherland (deceased) Honorary European Chairman
Georges Berthoin European Honorary Chairman
Paul Volcker (deceased) North American Honorary Chairman
Yasuchika Hasegawa Asia Pacific Honorary Chairman
Paolo Magri European Director
Richard Fontaine North American Director
Hideko Katsumata Asia Pacific Director

Notable members


Social critic and academic Noam Chomsky has criticized the commission as undemocratic, pointing to its key publication The Crisis of Democracy, which describes the strong popular interest in politics during the 1970s as an "excess of democracy".[60] He has cited it as one of the most interesting and insightful books showing the modern democratic system not to really be a democracy at all, but controlled by elites who seek to keep the general public disengaged from genuine democratic participation by subtle and mostly non-violent methods and to redefine democracy itself in operative terms that enshrine their own interests as a tiny privileged minority. Chomsky adds that as it was an internal discussion, they felt free to "let their hair down" and to talk openly about the need for an increasingly active and defiant public to be reduced back to its proper state of apathy and obedience lest it continue to use democratic means to deprive them of their power.[61]

Critics accuse the Commission of promoting a global consensus among the international ruling classes in order to manage international affairs in the interest of the financial and industrial elites under the Trilateral umbrella.[62][63]

In his 1980 book With No Apologies, Republican Senator Barry Goldwater suggested that the discussion group was "a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power: political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical... [in] the creation of a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nation-states involved."[64]

Conspiracy theories involving the Trilateral Commission

Some conspiracy theorists believe the organization to be a central plotter of a world government or synarchy. In his book Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground, Jonathan Kay wrote that Luke Rudkowski interrupted a lecture by former Trilateral Commission director Zbigniew Brzezinski in April 2007 and accused the organization and a few others of having orchestrated the 9/11 attacks to initiate a new world order.[65]

Economist Anthony C. Sutton was critical of the Trilateral Commission's goals and methods, but also said the group could not be characterized as conspiratorial. He wrote: "The Trilateral Commission is not a conspiracy. Its membership list is completely public - it costs a postage stamp to get one. The Commission publishes dozens of booklets. The organization is completely above ground." Futhermore, Sutton noted he had debated a high-ranking member of the group on a radio broadcast and concluded: "Conspirators just don't appear on radio talk shows to debate their objectives."[66]

Neo-conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer mockingly alluded to the conspiracy theories about the commission when he was asked in 2012 who makes up the "Republican establishment", saying, "Karl Rove is the president. We meet every month on the full moon... [at] the Masonic Temple. We have the ritual: Karl brings the incense, I bring the live lamb and the long knife, and we began... with a pledge of allegiance to the Trilateral Commission."[67]



See also


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  3. ^ a b "ABOUT THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION". Retrieved Jul 12, 2018.
  4. ^ "About Us". The Trilateral Commission. Retrieved 2024-05-23.
  5. ^ "Trilateral Commission | History & Facts | Britannica". Retrieved 2021-12-31.
  6. ^ "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS". The Trilateral Commission. Retrieved Jul 12, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "The Trilateral Commission FAQ". The Trilateral Commission. 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-17.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h “The Trilateral Commission (North America) Records“. Rockefeller Archives. Archived 2013-06-17 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b Historical Roster of Directors and Officers, Council on Foreign Relations
  10. ^ a b David Stout (March 7, 1996), "George S. Franklin Jr., 82, Foreign Policy Expert" obit, The New York Times: "From 1945 to 1971, he worked for the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, serving as executive director from 1953 to 1971. He served on the group's board for another decade."
  11. ^ a b George S. Franklin Jr., 82, Foreign Policy Expert David Stout. New York Times. March 7, 1996. Retrieved May 12, 2016
  12. ^ a b "Tadashi Yamamoto, pioneer of international exchange, dies at 76". Asahi Shimbun. 2012-04-16. Archived from the original on 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-05-08.
  13. ^ "Treasures Within a Treasure: The Rockefeller Archives Center". 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  14. ^ "Meetings". The Trilateral Commission. Retrieved Jul 12, 2018.
  15. ^ "Trilateral Commission Membership" (PDF). October 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  16. ^ Membership September 2021 Archived 2021-09-22 at the Wayback Machine. Trilateral Commission.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae (September 2021), Membership List Archived 2021-09-22 at the Wayback Machine, Trilateral Commission
  18. ^ Adam Shaw (July 14, 2021), "Nikki Haley blasts Blinken's invite to UN experts on racism, minority issues: 'This is insane' ", Fox News
  19. ^ (Oct. 6, 2014), "Former NYC mayor bestowed honor by Queen", CBS News: "Bloombеrg was made 'an Honorary Knight of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire' . . . Previous recipients of honorary knighthoods include . . . Bill Gatеs and actress-activist Angelina Jolie."
  20. ^ Robert Frank, (May 26, 2009), "Billionaires Try to Shrink World's Population, Report Says", The Wall Street Journal: "The New York meeting of billionaires Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller, Eli Broad, George Soros, Ted Turner, Oprah, Michael Bloombеrg and others was . . . a friendly chat . . . . 'Taking their cue from Gates they agreed that overpopulation was a priority' . . . "
  21. ^ Intelligencer Dossier (July 22, 2019), "Jeffrey Epstein's High Society Contacts", New York magazine: "Michael Bloombеrg . . . found in Epstein's black book."
  22. ^ Reuters (Sep 08, 2014) "Harvard receives record $350M gift for public health school", New York Daily News: "The largest cumulative donation to any U.S. university . . . is $1.1 billion . . . from former New York City Mayor Michaеl Bloomberg . . . to his alma mater Johns Hopkins University, including its now-eponymous [Bloomberg] School of Public Health."
  23. ^ Dana Vigue (Sep 8, 2020), "Experts predicted a coronavirus pandemic years ago. Now it's playing out before our eyes", CNN: "In 2017, a team of experts at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security published a scenario as part of a training exercise that they believed could happen in the not-so-distant future. The SPARS Pandemic Scenario"
  24. ^ a b c “Who's Who on the Trilateral Commission”. Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1980. ISBN 0896081036 ISBN 0896081044 OCLC 6958001 (pp. 90-122).
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h "Board of Directors", The Atlantic Council
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  27. ^ "Nicholas Burns" bio, The Aspen Institute
  28. ^ Seth Cotlar (July 24, 2023). "The Trilateral Shitpost Fire that was the 1980 GOP convention, part 1". Rightlandia. Substack. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Aspen Strategy Group" members, The Aspen Institute
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  31. ^ Landon Thomas Jr. (Oct. 28, 2002), "Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery", New York magazine: "He is an enthusiastic member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations."
  32. ^ "Jeffrey Epstein Was A Member Of The Trilateral Commission - Technocracy News & Trends | Podcast Search Engine by Vocalmatic". Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  33. ^ Tore Gjerstad & Gard Oterholm (2 Oct. 2020), "Bill Gates and Jeffrey Epstein met with Nobel Committee chair", Dagens Næringsliv Magasinet: "Not only did [Thorbjørn] Jagland meet Epstein, he hosted him at his lavish residence in Strasbourg, France. At the time, Jagland was the sitting chair of the committee, which awards the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. Also present: a philanthropist [Gates] touted as a possible Prize recipient."
  34. ^ (2013), "Jeffrey Epstein, Education Activist, Applauds Bloomberg's Plan for New York City Charter Schools", CBS MoneyWatch: " . . . Bloomberg's funding will come through his foundation, the Young Men's Initiative, which is also funded by Georgе Soros Open Society Foundations. . . . Jeffrey Epstein also founded the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvаrd University in 2003 with a $30 million grant. He is a former member of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, Rockefeller University, New York Academy of Science and sits on the board of the Mind, Brain and Behavior Committee at Harvard University."
  35. ^ a b "Leadership and Governance | Board of Trustees", World Economic Forum
  36. ^ Charles Creitz (June 12, 2021), "BlackRock, other investment firms 'killing the dream' of home ownership, journalist says", Fox News
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  40. ^ (17 Dec 2020), Amazon Board of Directors Compensation and Salary ~ Jamie Gorelick $952,741
  41. ^ (2008) "Pulitzer Prize Board 2007-2008", The Pulitzer Prizes: "Graham served as a Pulitzer Prize board member from 1999-2008."
  42. ^ The Globalist (Nov. 23, 2019), "Fiona Hill, Author at The Globalist", The Globalist: " . . . Fiona Hill recently testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment hearings of Donald J. Trump. . . . An expert on Russia, she was the last witness to be called and took Congress to school."
  43. ^ Zack Budryk (Nov. 21, 2019), "Hill says Soros conspiracy theories are 'new Protocols of the Elders of Zion'", The Hill
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  45. ^ (April 22, 2002), "UK bid to arrest Kissinger fails", "Kissinger's direction of the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 1970s amounted to a breach of British laws requiring people of all nationalities to observe the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war. It is the latest legal bid made against Kissinger."
  46. ^ Klaus Schwab (Jan. 20, 2017), "A Conversation with Henry Kissinger on the World in 2017", World Economic Forum: ". . . I met Dr. Kissinger the first time exactly 50 years ago at Harvаrd. . . . I would like to thank you personally also for the 50-year-long mentorship, and all the advice you have given me."
  47. ^ The World Economic Forum | A Partner in Shaping History | The First 40 Years | 1971 – 2010, p. 35: "Klaus Schwab with two important mentors, Henry Kissinger, . . . his former professor at Hаrvard, and Edward Heath . . ."
  48. ^ Eric Lichtblau (Aug 9, 2008), "Scientist Officially Exonerated in Anthrax Attacks", The New York Times
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  56. ^ "8 of the world's most exclusive clubs — can you join?". Fortune.
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  64. ^ Goldwater, Barry. With No Apologies. Co-authored with Stephen Shadegg. Berkley, 1980. ISBN 0-425-04663-X p. 299.
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Further reading