Rachel Kleinfeld

Senior Fellow
Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program
Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, where she focuses on issues of rule of law, security, and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states, and states in transition.
Education

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

Languages
  • English

Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program. Her work on troubled democracies facing problems such as polarized populations, violence, corruption, and poor governance bridges the United States and international cases.

Kleinfeld’s focus on the intersection of democracy and security has led her to regularly brief the governments of the United States and allied democracies on issues of conflict, the rule of law, and policing and security sector reform, and she has also consulted for international organizations such as the European Union, OECD, and World Bank. She serves on the United Nations’ Security Sector Reform Advisory Group, and previously served on the agenda committee of the Halifax International Security Forum, where she is currently a fellow.

In addition to her research and analysis, Kleinfeld is engaged in actively seeking solutions. To that end, she serves as a trustee of the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, and States United for Democracy and on the advisory board of Protect Democracy. She is a senior advisor to the Democracy Funders Network and is a member of the National Task Force on Election Crises.

Prior to joining Carnegie, Kleinfeld spent a decade co-founding and directing the Truman National Security Project, for which Time magazine named her one of the top 40 political leaders under 40 in America. Under her leadership, the Truman Project fostered a new generation of military veterans and national security leaders to advance policies that would enhance global security, democracy, and human dignity. With 80,000 advocates and chapters in most major U.S. cities, they assisted scores of national, state, and local candidates and elected officials and advocated for legislation nationally and in multiple states. In 2011, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton appointed Kleinfeld to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advises the secretary of state quarterly, a role she held through 2014.

Kleinfeld is the author of A Savage Order (Pantheon, 2018); Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform (Carnegie, 2012), chosen by Foreign Affairs magazine as one of the best foreign policy books of 2012; and co-author of Let There Be Light: Electrifying the Developing World with Markets and Distributed Generation (Truman Institute, 2012). Her popular writing has appeared in venues from the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic to the Journal of Democracy and the Annual Review of Political Science. Kleinfeld’s TED talk on improving violent democracies has been translated into 17 languages and viewed over a million times.

You can find out more about her work and activities on her website, rachelkleinfeld.com.

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