Jessica Tuchman Mathews

Distinguished Fellow
Mathews is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She served as Carnegie’s president for 18 years.


PhD, California Institute of Technology
AB, Radcliffe College




Jessica Tuchman Mathews is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She served as Carnegie’s president for 18 years. 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.


  • The Road from Westphalia
    New York Review of Books February 27, 2015
    The Road From Westphalia

    Almost from the beginning of its history, America has struggled to find a balance in its foreign policy between narrowly promoting its own security and idealistically serving the interests of others.

  • Year in Crisis December 10, 2014 عربي Русский 中文
    2015: A World Confused

    U.S. foreign policy in a more difficult, intrusive world.

  • Op-Ed New York Review of Books October 9, 2014 Русский 中文
    Is There an Answer for Syria?

    The rapid rise of the Islamic State means core assumptions driving policy on Syria must be rethought.

  • Op-Ed New York Review of Books July 10, 2014 Русский
    Iraq Illusions

    The story in Iraq, which has seemed to be all about religion and military developments, is actually mostly about politics: access to government revenue and services, a say in decision-making, and a modicum of social justice.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • January 28, 2015 Washington DC
    Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide

    Although the issue of what most of the world calls the Armenian Genocide of 1915 is now a century old, it is still a live and divisive issue that mobilizes Armenians across the world, shapes the identity and politics of modern Turkey, and has consumed the attention of U.S. politicians for years.

  • December 10, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    New EU Ambassador in Conversation With Jessica T. Mathews

    In his first major public event since becoming EU ambassador, David O’Sullivan offered his perspective on the many common challenges shared by the European Union and the United States.

  • December 3, 2014
    Prospects for China U.S. Cooperation on Oil and Its Impacts

    China and the United States have multiple fronts for cooperation, including trading technology, the role of their navies in the international oil trade, domestic energy security, climate change issues, and dealing with other actors such as Afghanistan and Iran.

  • December 2, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    China Oil Forum

    With China’s economy slowing after decades of double-digit growth, now is the time to think strategically about how the nation will deal with its physical resource limitations, their associated environmental concerns, and oil’s evolving geopolitical realities. The China Oil Forum will engage key thinkers, policymakers, and civil society in a discussion about these strategic questions.

  • European Union
    November 20, 2014 Brussels, Silken Berlaymont Brussels Hotel
    A New Ambition for Europe

    With a new EU foreign policy high representative coming into office, it is high time for the EU to become the strategic actor it has set out to be.

  • October 29, 2014
    U.S. Policy and the Islamic State

    Deputy national security adviser Antony Blinken delivered remarks on the U.S. policy to degrade and destroy the Islamic State and the political, security, and humanitarian crisis in Iraq and the Levant.

  • October 23, 2014
    China’s Evolving Foreign Policy and Global Role

    The world order is changing amid a host of global challenges and Sino-U.S. bilateral relations are evolving in response to China’s growing capabilities and assertiveness.

  • September 23, 2014 Washington, DC
    Carnegie Open House

    An opportunity to learn about Carnegie’s role in public policy and international relations, working in a think tank, and Carnegie’s Junior Fellows Program.

  • July 25, 2014 Washington, DC
    India’s New Growth Story: Revitalizing U.S.-India Relations

    India recently witnessed watershed election result and expectations are high for the policy initiatives emerging from New Delhi.

  • July 24, 2014 Washington, DC
    The New Geopolitics of Energy: Challenges and Opportunities

    Ambassador Pascual shared his perspectives on some of the key energy issues during his tenure at the Bureau of Energy Resources at the State Department, as well as ongoing energy challenges.

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