Mark Medish

Former Visiting Scholar tel 202-939-2323
Medish served in the Clinton administration as special assistant to the President and senior director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council from 2000 to 2001.


B.S.F.S., Georgetown University; A.M., J.D., Harvard University; post-graduate work at University of Oxford (Merton College)


Mark Medish is no longer with the Carnegie Endowment.

Mark Medish was a visiting scholar and senior adviser at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

He joined the Endowment in 2006, and served as vice president for studies from 2006–2008.

Prior to joining the Endowment, Medish was a partner in the Washington public law and policy practice group of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. Before joining Akin Gump, Medish served in the Clinton administration as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council from 2000–2001.

Medish served under Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs from 1997–2000; his regional portfolio covered Central Europe, the Newly Independent States (NIS), the Middle East and South Asia. Previously, he was Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program, and Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Europe and the NIS at the U.S. Agency for International Development from 1994–1996.

Before entering public service, he worked as an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, from 1992–1994. He served as a law clerk to an appellate judge from 1991–1992, and was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1992.

Medish is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a board member at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs, Tokyo from 1990–1991.

He was educated at Harvard University and Law School, Oxford University (Merton College), and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He has held Fulbright, Mellon, Luce and Shintaro Abe scholarships.

  • Deeply Rethinking Defense
    Op-Ed openDemocracy December 2, 2010
    Deeply Rethinking Defense

    Global leaders must carefully craft a new way to approach international security challenges that will allow them to trim costly defense programs while still maintaining a modern security apparatus.

  • Obama's Season for Change
    Op-Ed The New York Times October 28, 2010
    Obama's Season for Change

    Despite poor midterm poll prospects for the Democrats and a number of domestic and foreign policy promises that remain unfulfilled, President Obama may still emerge as the transformative leader many voters expected.

  • Time to Take Biodefense Seriously
    Op-Ed The Washington Times October 7, 2010
    Time to Take Biodefense Seriously

    Given the real risk of potential future biological attacks, the United States must be able to better assess the bioweapons threat, develop stronger tracking mechanisms, and implement a system to protect the civilian population.

  • Where Is Russia?
    Op-Ed The International Herald Tribune June 22, 2010
    Where Is Russia?

    Modern Russian must overcome a number of internal and external pressures in the course of its struggle to determine its role in the changing global community.

  • Assassination Season Is Open
    Op-Ed The International Herald Tribune April 14, 2010
    Assassination Season Is Open

    State-sponsored assassination is on the rise worldwide. Aside from questions of moral justification and legality, political assassination also brings to the fore practical policy considerations, not least the law of unintended consequences.

  • Ukraine’s Presidential Election—The End of the Ora
    Q&A February 8, 2010
    Ukraine’s Presidential Election—The End of the Orange Revolution

    Viktor Yanukovich will likely be the winner of the presidential election in Ukraine, and once in office, he will have to confront the biggest risk to Ukraine's independence and security: a continuation of divided government and policy paralysis.

  • The Difficulty of Being Ukraine
    Op-Ed International Herald Tribune December 22, 2009
    The Difficulty of Being Ukraine

    Whoever wins the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine must lead a country divided by identity issues and hit hard by the global financial meltdown, while maintaining a delicate balance between Western integration and Eastern cultural roots and affinities.

  • What's With Iran?
    Op-Ed The New York Times October 21, 2009
    What's With Iran?

    The Russian, Israeli, Iranian and U.S. positions on Iran’s nuclear ambitions are open to several interpretations. The most realistic endgame scenario to best serve the chief interests of all players is one in which Iran maintains the ability to produce a nuclear weapon but refrains from testing one.

  • When Thief Stole From Thief
    Op-Ed the New York Times August 27, 2009
    When Thief Stole From Thief

    Tensions over Europe’s troubled past have increased with the approach of the 70th anniversary of the start of WWII. Prime Minister Putin’s upcoming visit to Poland can help turn a new page in history.

  • What's Russian for 'Empathy'?
    Op-Ed The Washington Post July 6, 2009
    What's Russian for 'Empathy'?

    Obama’s message in Moscow needs to translate his visionary pragmatism into a language that will resonate with Russians.

  • Minnesota Public Radio November 20, 2007
    Cool Peace or Cold War?
  • Medish
    November 7, 2007
    Is Russia Becoming Our Enemy Again?

    Mark Medish, vice president for studies, took part in a debate sponsored by Intelligence Squared U.S. to argue that Russia is not becoming the United States' enemy again.

  • January 28, 2009 Washington, D.C.
    Russia's Economic Meltdown: Consequences and Prospects for the Future

    Russia's economic dependence on declining oil revenues has prompted calls to diversify into other industries, but the first step to economic stability is diversification within the oil industry.

  • Mark Medish, Misha Glenny, Ron Suskind
    April 17, 2008 Washington, D.C.
    McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Misha Glenny

    On April 17, 2008, the Carnegie Endowment hosted a discussion with authors Misha Glenny and Ron Suskind on the publication of Glenny’s new book McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld.

  • David Rothkopf
    April 9, 2008 Washington, D.C.
    Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making

    David Rothkopf discusses his new book, Superclass, at a launch party at Carnegie Washington.

  • Stiglitz
    April 8, 2008 Washington, D.C.
    The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict

    Nobel Laureate in Economics, Joseph E. Stiglitz discusses his new book on the real cost of the War in Iraq with moderator Mark Medish of Carnegie and Steven Mufson of the Washington Post.

  • Luncheon
    September 25, 2007 Washington, D.C.; Moscow
    200 Years of U.S.-Russian Relations: Public Luncheon

    Public Luncheon at the Carnegie Endowment to celebrate 200 Years of U.S.-Russian Diplomatic Relations.
    videoFeatures event Video

  • June 18, 2007 Washington, D.C.
    Riding the Dragon: Hong Kong’s Economic Developments since 1997

    This talk included Bernard Chan and Stephen Cheung with Carnegie Endowment’s Vice President for Studies, Mark Medish, as moderator. C.Y. Leung joined for the Q&A period.

  • China Debate Series
    April 20, 2007 Washington, D.C.
    China's Role in Asia

    Though China’s long-term strategic ambitions are unknown and unpredictable, it seems certain that Chinese leadership seeks a preponderant role in Asia. But will Beijing try to reduce or eliminate the United States' influence in the region?

  • event photo
    April 12, 2007 Washington, D.C.
    Developments in the South Caucasus and Caspian: A Georgian Perspective

    On April 12, 2007, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted a meeting entitled "Developments in the South Caucasus and Caspian: A Georgian Perspective" with The Honorable Zurab Nogaideli, Prime Minister of Georgia. Mark Medish, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment, chaired the discussion. A summary of his remarks are provided below.

  • Aram Sirkissian
    February 13, 2007 Washington, D.C.
    Armenia at the Crossroads: A Preview of the 2007 Parliamentary Elections

    On February 13, 2007, former Armenian Prime Minister and opposition leader Aram Sarkissian discussed his country's upcoming parliamentary election.

  • January 31, 2007 Washington, D.C.
    Ukraine's Economic Rise

    The only effective economic reforms in the Ukraine will come through the free market system. Increasing the value of its workforce and improving the pensioner system should not come through populist measures.

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