The Committee for Economic Development (CED) was formed in 1942. Whereas the CFR was interested in international issues, the CED focused on economic issues at home and abroad. It was mainly made up of corporate managers with a few university presidents added in to give it credibility. Its aim was to speak on behalf of business ‘in the national interest’ beginning with opposition to the New Deal. It received its funding from large foundations and ran a series of study groups in conjunction with selected academics. The groups produced policy recommendations that were then disseminated in pamphlet form and often converted into public policy by government.
Today CED membership is comprised of "some 200 senior corporate executives and university leaders" that conducts "policy research on the major economic and social issues of our times" and seeks to have its policy recommendations implemented by governments. Its major sponsors include Caterpillar, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, State Farm Insurance and Toyota.