Rachel Kleinfeld

Senior Associate
Democracy and Rule of Law Program
Kleinfeld is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program. She is the founder and president emeritus of the Truman National Security Project.


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




Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on issues of security and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states, and countries transitioning to democracy. As the founder of the Truman National Security Project, she spent nine years as CEO of a movement of national security, political, and military leaders working to improve the security policies of the United States, efforts she continues as president emeritus. Kleinfeld was also chosen by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a founding member of the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, advising the Secretary of State quarterly from 2011-2014

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 U.S. government agencies. She is the author of Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 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 (on humanitarian intervention) (Philadelphia UP, 2008), Promoting the Rule of Law: The Problem of Knowledge (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2006), With All Our Might (Rowen and Littlefield, 2006), and other publications. She also coauthored Let There Be Light: Electrifying the Developing World with Markets and Distributed Generation (Truman Institute, 2012).

Named one of the top “40 Under 40 New Civic Leaders” in America by Time magazine in 2010, Kleinfeld has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other national television, radio, and print media. Kleinfeld serves on the boards of various for-profit companies and social sector organizations that align with her passion for issues on the intersections of national security, human security, and empowerment. She was born and raised in a log house on a dirt road in her beloved Fairbanks, Alaska.

  • 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.

  • Op-Ed Breaking Defense June 23, 2014
    Corruption IS A National Security Problem: Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan

    Curbing corruption before it tips into Kalashnikov-carrying rebels and public crucifixions is good security policy. And the world needs to get better at it.

  • Op-Ed Democracy: A Journal of Ideas June 5, 2014
    Empathy and the Water's Edge

    President Obama’s coolness to core progressive values has been felt not just by those who work for him but by the broad left, producing a resignation about what’s possible

  • Paper April 23, 2014
    Extreme Violence and the Rule of Law: Lessons From Eastern Afghanistan

    The international community’s approach to building the rule of law in extremely violent situations can be improved. And a program implemented in Afghanistan can help.

  • Op-Ed San Francisco Chronicle March 8, 2014
    Benevolent Dictatorship Is Never the Answer

    Democracy can be difficult, especially in developing countries. But dictatorship is no answer: it’s playing roulette where almost every spot on the wheel leads to a Yanukovych or worse.

  • 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

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