Rachel Kleinfeld

Senior Associate
Democracy and Rule of Law Program
Kleinfeld is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program. She was the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project.


DPhil, MPhil, International Relations, St. Antony’s College, Oxford. 
BA, Yale University 




Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on issues of rule of law, security, and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states, and states in transition.

As the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, she spent nearly a decade leading a movement of national security, political, and military leaders working to promote people and policies that strengthen security, stability, rights, and human dignity in America and around the world. In 2011, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton appointed Kleinfeld to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advises the secretary of state quarterly, a role she served through 2014.

Kleinfeld has consulted on rule of law reform for the World Bank, the European Union, the OECD, the Open Society Institute, and other institutions, and has briefed multiple government agencies in the United States and abroad. She is the author of Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform (Carnegie, 2012), which was chosen by Foreign Affairs magazine as one of the best foreign policy books of 2012. Her writings have appeared in Relocating the Rule of Law (Hart, 2009), Promoting Democracy and the Rule of Law: American and European Strategies (Palgrave, 2009), The Future of Human Rights (Philadelphia UP, 2008), Promoting the Rule of Law: The Problem of Knowledge (Carnegie Endowment, 2006), With All Our Might (Rowen and Littlefield, 2006) and other publications. She has also co-authored Let There Be Light: Electrifying the Developing World with Markets and Distributed Generation (Truman Institute, 2012).

Named one of the top 40 Under 40 Political Leaders in America by Time magazine in 2010, Kleinfeld has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and other national television, radio, and print media.

  • Global Risks Insights December 23, 2015
    U.S. Foreign Policy, Corruption, and Rule of Law

    The rule of law is about constraining power. It is meant to prevent those with the power of violence or the power of money or the power of status from getting more power, money, and status than anyone else.

  • Op-Ed Stanford Social Innovation Review December 2, 2015
    In Development Work, Plan for Sailboats, Not Trains

    Much of the international development community remains stuck in its old ways, focused on short time horizons, rigid planning, and unproductive evaluation.

  • Current aid design and evaluation favor autocracie
    Op-Ed Oxfam: From Poverty to Power June 30, 2015
    Current Aid Design and Evaluation Favor Autocracies. How Do We Change That?

    Political and policy reform is not just complicated; it is a fundamentally different kind of problem than those tackled by current design and evaluation processes.

  • Report March 2, 2015
    Improving Development Aid Design and Evaluation: Plan for Sailboats, Not Trains

    Effective reform efforts require planning for and measuring change that is nonlinear and nonincremental. Complexity, or systems, theory offers insights for improving program design and evaluation.

  • Op-Ed Hill November 6, 2014
    A Wake-Up Call for Democracy

    Democracy requires more people to care about the state of their government than their favorite reality tv show. But as government becomes more distant and less relevant, fewer and fewer people show up.

  • Rule of Law Research Consortium Conference Panel November 2, 2014
    Implementing Rule of Law in Practice

    Much the existing empirical work fails to understand how countries can move toward some portion of the rule of law.

  • Op-Ed Hill October 1, 2014 中文
    ISIS and Ebola—Two Sides of the Same Coin

    Both the Islamic State and Ebola have the same root cause: failed governance. Western aid at times serves as support and patronage for ill-governing regimes that do not develop their own countries for the good of their people.

  • World Justice Project and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace September 24, 2014
    Reducing Violence and Improving the Rule of Law: Organized Crime, Marginalized Communities, and the Political Machine

    This literature review seeks to highlight specific policy interventions against risk factors that predispose comm- unities towards gangs, organized crime, and electoral violence; and interventions that attack each of those types of violence directly.

  • Op-Ed New York Times July 18, 2014
    Lack of Training and Money Imperil U.N. Missions More Than Does Liability

    If military leaders lack control over their troops' role in U.N. missions, but can be held legally responsible for their troops’ actions, then troop contributions from richer states with better courts may be less forthcoming.

  • Op-Ed Hill July 10, 2014
    US Should Respond to Bahrain

    If the United States does not respond to Bahrain’s expulsion of U.S. diplomat Tom Malinowski, it will not just be interpreted as weakness by other countries, it will also damage America’s ability to conduct foreign policy.

  • Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2012 April 18, 2012
    Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform

    A growing movement of second-generation reformers view the rule of law not as a collection of institutions and laws that can be built by outsiders, but as a relationship between the state and society that must be shaped by those inside the country.

Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=699

Areas of Expertise

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036-2103 Phone: 202 483 7600 Fax: 202 483 1840
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