Jessica Tuchman Mathews

Mathews is president of the Carnegie Endowment. Before her appointment in 1997, her career included posts in both the executive and legislative branches of government, in management and research in the nonprofit arena, and in journalism and science policy.


PhD, California Institute of Technology
AB, Radcliffe College




Jessica Tuchman Mathews is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the global think tank with offices in Washington, DC, Moscow, Beijing, Brussels, and Beirut. Before her appointment in 1997, her career included posts in both the executive and legislative branches of government, in management and research in the nonprofit arena, and in journalism and science policy.

She was director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington program and a senior fellow from 1994 to 1997. While there she published her seminal 1997 Foreign Affairs article, “Power Shift,” chosen by the editors as one of the most influential in the journal’s seventy-five years.

From 1982 to 1993, she was founding vice president and director of research of the World Resources Institute, an internationally known center for policy research on environmental and natural resource management issues.

She served on the Editorial Board of the Washington Post from 1980 to 1982, covering arms control, energy, environment, science, and technology. Later, Mathews wrote a popular weekly column for the Washington Post that appeared nationwide and in the International Herald Tribune.

From 1977 to 1979, she was director of the Office of Global Issues at the National Security Council, covering nuclear proliferation, conventional arms sales, and human rights. In 1993, she returned to government as deputy to the undersecretary of state for global affairs. Earlier, she served on the staff of the Committee on Energy and the Environment of the Interior Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mathews is a member of the Harvard Corporation, the senior governing board of Harvard University. She has served as a trustee of leading national and international nonprofits including, currently, the Nuclear Threat Initiative. She has previously served on the boards of Radcliffe College, the Inter-American Dialogue (co-vice chair), four foundations (the Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Century Foundation, and the Joyce Foundation), and the Brookings Institution. She co-founded the Surface Transportation Policy Project, has served on study groups at the National Academy of Sciences, and is an elected fellow of the American Philosophical Society. Since 2001 she has served as a director of SomaLogic, a leading biotech firm in the breakthrough field of proteomics. She is also a director of Hanesbrands Inc.

Mathews has published widely in newspapers and in scientific and foreign policy journals, and she has co-authored and co-edited three books. She holds a PhD in molecular biology from the California Institute of Technology and graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College.


  • Other Publications Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident February 26, 2014
    Review of “The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Disaster: Investigating the Myth and Reality”

    While physical aftershocks from the earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, have long ceased, societal aftershocks are still reverberating.

  • Op-Ed New York Review of Books January 22, 2014
    Iran: A Good Deal Now in Danger

    For the first time in decades, the United States has an opportunity to test whether it can reach a settlement with Iran that would turn what may still be an active weapons program into a transparent, internationally monitored, civilian program.

  • Article December 31, 2013
    Washington’s World in 2014

    Barack Obama has had a tough year. Does 2014 portend more of the same?

  • Op-Ed Washington Post September 13, 2013 Русский عربي
    We Can Stop Syria by Using Lessons From Iraq

    The Syria crisis presents a great opportunity. If an international effort successfully disarms Syria's chemical arsenal, and that success is recognized, the positive repercussions would be felt far beyond the Middle East.

  • Op-Ed Cleveland Plain Dealer September 13, 2013 عربي
    A New Way Forward Is Now Possible With Iran

    As current events demonstrate, the security challenges of the Middle East cannot be permanently solved solely through the use of American military power. On Iran and other regional challenges, the only lasting solutions will be diplomatic ones.

  • Op-Ed Reuters August 1, 2013
    More Anxious to Agree Than to Disagree?

    The United States should be able to address Iran’s focus on getting an understanding of the “endgame” in return for substantial Iranian agreement on the compelling nuclear issues.

  • Obama
    Strategic Europe July 3, 2013 Русский
    Obama’s Murky Foreign Policy

    If President Obama is hoping to attract public and international support on major foreign policy challenges, he urgently needs to share his elusive thinking.

  • Global Ten November 29, 2012 Русский 中文
    The World in 2013

    The Obama administration must realize that no “foreign policy” issue will matter as much to global economic, political, and ultimately security conditions in the coming year as whether the United States can demonstrate that it is able to deal with its economic crisis.

  • World in 2012, Syria, Egypt, Russia, China, Euro
    Q&A December 30, 2011 Русский
    The World in 2012

    After a year that included the Arab Awakening, the euro crisis, Japan’s nuclear catastrophe, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the unanticipated reaction to Russia’s recent parliamentary elections, there are many unanswered questions left for 2012.

  • Iraq U.S.
    Op-Ed Washington Post December 26, 2011 Русский
    The Lost Opportunity in Iraq

    An international commitment to keep weapons of mass destruction out of Saddam Hussein’s hands could have worked and led to a WMD enforcement mechanism for use not only in Iraq, but also in North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere.

  • Washington October 18, 2001
    Managing Global Issues: Lessons Learned

    This volume identifies the successes and failures of international and transnational governance and provides the basis for a broad comparative analysis across problem areas.

  • PBS NewsHour March 18, 2014
    Calculating a U.S. Response to ‘New Reality’ of Russia’s Claim in Crimea

    Russia’s swift claim of Crimea has raised serious questions about the future of the region, Moscow’s next moves, and what else the United States and other countries should be doing about it.

  • Diplomacy, Sanctions And A Nearing Red Line With I
    NPR’s Talk of the Nation April 29, 2013
    Diplomacy, Sanctions, And A Nearing Red Line With Iran

    Sanctions against Iran aren’t self-executing. They don’t work absent a negotiating strategy to use them with.

  • Bloomberg Surveillance March 22, 2013
    A Smaller U.S. World Role

    In a changing global environment, U.S. foreign policy may have to adopt a posture of leading from behind.

  • Chuck Hagel Obama John Brennan
    PBS NewsHour January 8, 2013
    Lawmakers Promise Tough Questions for Defense, CIA Nominees

    The personal gravitas and experience of both Chuck Hagel and John Brennan make them qualified additions to President Obama’s second-term cabinet.

  • Voice of America November 10, 2012
    The Domestic and International Policy Implications of a Second Obama Term

    The world is seeking leadership from U.S. President Obama on a range of foreign policy challenges, from Iran’s nuclear program to Sino-U.S. relations.

  • President Obama
    Diane Rehm Show September 26, 2012
    President Obama, the UN, and the U.S. Role in the World

    President Obama’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly welcomed democratic change but called on governments to show respect for freedom of speech.

  • Photo of Jessica Mathews
    Diane Rehm Show January 2, 2012
    International Issues Outlook: 2012

    The chilling of the Arab Spring, Iran's nuclear program, Iraq after the U.S withdrawal, and the continuing European financial crisis are just some of the key issues facing the international community in 2012.

  • PBS NewsHour April 28, 2011
    How Will Leadership Changes Affect National Security Policy?

    By shuffling existing high ranking members of its national security team to cover the departure of the Secretary of Defense, the Obama administration maintains continuity, but risks creating a circle of insiders.

  • PBS NewsHour April 6, 2011
    'Huge Step up for Democracy' in Arab World Revolts

    The revolutions sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa are changing the relationship of people to their governments, with ramifications that could potentially be felt across the world.

  • Diane Rehm Show March 9, 2011
    Libya: The Politics of Intervention

    As the international community pursues a range of activities to help end the violence in Libya, analysts and politicians should avoid creating a false dichotomy between imposing a no-fly zone on the country and doing nothing to prevent the deaths of Libyan civilians.

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