Rachel Kleinfeld

Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior fellow in Carnegie’s 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 government of the United States and allied democracies on the issues of conflict, the rule of law, and policing and security sector reform. She has also consulted for international organizations such as the EU, OCED, and World Bank. She serves on the UN’s Security Reform Advisory Group and previously served on the agenda committee of the Halifax International Security Forum, where she is currently a fellow.


Kleinfeld also 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.


Before 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 three books on policy reform and foreign affairs. Kleinfeld’s TED talk on improving violent democracies has been translated into 17 languages and viewed over a million times.


In the Media: 

TED, A path to security for the world’s deadliest countries | Rachel Kleinfeld (2020)