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 also serves on the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advises the secretary of state quarterly. 

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 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.

  • Op-Ed San Francisco Chronicle January 31, 2014
    Sanctions Could Disrupt Negotiations With Iran

    The new government of President Hassan Rouhani may not be moderate, but it is practical. It would like a nuclear weapon, but it wants economic relief more.

  • Op-Ed Breaking Defense January 29, 2014
    Beef Up UN Peacekeepers; Let Them Kill Bad Guys

    UN Peacekeepers are regularly deployed to deal with the world’s intractable problems. Sensible rules of engagement, a standing fund, and a well-trained reserve force would make them more effective.

  • Needed—New Business Models, Not Just Tech, to Solv
    Op-Ed San Francisco Chronicle January 10, 2014
    Needed—New Business Models, Not Just Tech, to Solve Global Unrest

    Organizations are a form of technology. From the creation of the corporation to Wikipedia’s crowdsourcing, new organizational forms can provide new ways to cooperate and resolve today’s global problems.

  • Op-Ed San Francisco Chronicle November 17, 2013
    Boehner’s Immigration Bill Halt Will Hurt GOP for Decades

    Boehner’s decision to kill immigration reform will cost his party the Latino vote and harm America’s economy.

  • California Gov. Jerry Brown
    Op-Ed San Francisco Chronicle September 20, 2013
    Do-it-Yourself Foreign Policy

    The recent agreement between China and California paves the way for a new era of foreign policy that leverages greater cooperation between citizens, business, and all levels of government

  • Op-Ed Defense One September 12, 2013
    America at a Crossroads—Able to Lead, or Gulliver in Lilliput?

    In a world of no good options and no risk-free alternatives, the greatest risk and the worst risk is to deny the president, as commander-in-chief, the discretion to use military tools.

  • Op-Ed New York Daily News September 11, 2013
    Intervene in Syria, and Do It Smartly

    Force, whether a threat or a reality, must be only one part of a comprehensive strategy. Such a strategy would internationalize this conflict, so that America is acting with allies to add legitimacy and share the burden.

  • Policy Outlook September 4, 2013
    How to Advance the Rule of Law Abroad

    Successful rule-of-law reform requires reformers to think less like development professionals with technical expertise and more like advocacy organizations mobilizing reformers and finding pressure points to change the policy, politics, or culture of countries.

  • Op-Ed Breaking Defense September 3, 2013
    Fix These National Security Cracks

    The American national security system is fracturing and no one is talking about the causes.

  • 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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