This discussion paper assesses the state of knowledge on tropical dry forests as it relates to CIFOR's strategy and identifies research opportunities that align with CIFOR's strategic goals. Over the past two decades, CIFOR has accumulated a substantial body of work on dry forests, with a particular focus on African dry forests. This paper is intended to build on that work, by gathering wider research from around the world, as CIFOR seeks to widen the geographic scope of its research on dry forests. The present assessment explores five themes: climate change mitigation and adaptation; food security and livelihoods; demand for energy; sustainable management of dry forests; and policies and institutional support for sustainable management. These themes emerged as priority areas during discussions on dry forest research priorities held at CIFOR's Dry Forests Symposium in South Africa in 2011. Research on these themes should be considered a priority, given the importance of dry forests to people and ecosystems around the world and the threats posed to them.