Ian Klaus
Founding Director, Carnegie California


Ian Klaus is the founding director of Carnegie California. He is a leading scholar on the nexus of urbanization, geopolitics, and global challenges, with extensive experience as a practitioner of subnational diplomacy.

Ian has built and led a number of global research efforts focused on bringing localized knowledge into a cohesive whole. Most recently, he co-led and served as the series editor for the Summary for Urban Policymakers, and landmark report that distilled over 8,000 pages of IPCC science into eighty pages of accessible, policy relevant material for urban policymakers at the city, provincial, and national levels. The report was launched at the UNFCCC pavilion at COP27 with all six IPCC co-chairs and remains unique for the IPCC. 

As a practitioner, Ian has extensive experience advancing and implementing policy. He served as the deputy U.S. negotiator for Habitat 3, as senior adviser for global cities at the U.S.  State Department, and as a member of the Policy Planning Staff.  More recently, he helped lead the development of both the Urban 20 and Urban 7, the G20 and G7 urban-focused engagement groups. He served as an adviser to the National Intelligence Council on the urban elements of the most recent Global Trends report.

He was a senior fellow in global cities and a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Ian has also been a member of the World Economic Forum's advisory board on the future of urban development, the Creative Cities Working Group at Stanford University, a visiting fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Ernest May Fellow for history and security studies at the Kennedy School of Government. 

He is currently the chair of the advisory board for the Pattis Family Foundation Global Cities Book Award. He holds an MA from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and a PhD in international history from Harvard University. He has published widely on the implications of urbanization for global challenges. In addition to academic journals, his writing has appeared in the Washington Post and frequently in Bloomberg. He is the author of The Belt and Road City (Yale, forthcoming in 2023 with co-author), Forging Capitalism (Yale, 2014), and Elvis is Titanic (Knopf, 2007).

PhD, International HIstory, Harvard University, MA, Oxford University

All work from Ian Klaus

16 Results
The New Corridor Competition Between Washington and Beijing

How groundbreaking infrastructure projects will shape cities and geopolitics.

· April 12, 2024
The Belt and Road City: Geopolitics, Urbanization, and China’s Search for a New International Order

An exploration of how China’s Belt and Road Initiative seeks to reshape international order and how it has catalyzed a new era of infrastructural geopolitics.

· April 2, 2024
Yale University Press
Climate Science, Policy, Fiction, and Narrative: Framing the Upcoming Special Report on Cities and Climate Change
April 2, 2024

On April 16, scientists, academics, and other experts will convene in Riga, Latvia, for the scoping meeting for the Special Report on Climate Change and Cities, to be included in the Seventh Assessment Report (AR7) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

  • +6
Subnational Practices in AI Policy: A Working Guide

Subnational jurisdictions are grappling with the tangible impacts that AI is beginning to have. Their efforts provide an important space to learn best practices for policy going forward.

· December 12, 2023
In The Media
in the media
China’s Path to Power Runs Through the World’s Cities

To Push Back, the West Must Invest More in Urban Life

· November 27, 2023
Foreign Affairs
In the Media
With APEC in Town, San Francisco Sees an Opportunity for Rebranding in Diplomacy

The summit is a chance for Californians to consider their place in the world.

· November 14, 2023
2023 Carnegie California Global Affairs Survey

Westward-looking, often aligned with their fellow Americans, and confident in U.S. global engagement, Californians would prefer that the role of their state and local leaders on the world stage be decided close to home.

· October 23, 2023
In The Media
in the media
To Test AI’s Risks and Benefits, Cities Must Play a Leading Role

Artificial intelligence holds huge potential for urban-scale applications — and cities have already started to unlock them.

· September 7, 2023
In The Media
in the media
Notes From Another Los Angeles: Gregory Ain and the Construction of a Social Landscape, Edited by Anthony Fontenot

Creating more architects and planners like Ain is less the business of Sacramento and more the concern of the world of ideas.

· August 31, 2023
Journal of Urban Affairs
Go West: California and Global Policy Leadership
June 22, 2023

On June 22, 2023, Carnegie celebrated the launch of Carnegie California, the new West Coast outpost of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

  • +3