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Thomas Carothers    

The vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Thomas Carothers is the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the founder and director of the Democracy and Rule of Law Program, which analyzes the state of democracy in the world and the efforts by the United States and other countries to promote democracy. He also oversees the Carnegie Endowment’s European activities, including Carnegie Europe in Brussels.

Carothers is a leading authority on democracy promotion and democratization worldwide as well as an expert on U.S. foreign policy generally. He has worked on democracy assistance projects for many public and private organizations and carried out extensive field research on democracy-building efforts around the world. In addition, he has broad experience in matters dealing with development aid, human rights, rule of law, and civil society development.

He is the author or editor of eight critically acclaimed books on democracy promotion, as well as many articles in prominent journals and newspapers. He has worked extensively with the Open Society Foundations, including currently as chair of the OSF Think Tank Fund and previously as chair of the OSF Global Advisory Board and the Human Rights and Governance Grants Program. He is an adjunct professor at the Central European University in Budapest and was previously a visiting faculty member at Nuffield College, Oxford University and Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Prior to joining the Endowment, Carothers practiced international and financial law at Arnold & Porter and served as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State.

Selected Publications: Confronting the Weakest Link: Aiding Political Parties in New Democracies (Carnegie, 2006); Promoting the Rule of Law Abroad: In Search of Knowledge (Carnegie, 2006); Uncharted Journey: Promoting Democracy in the Middle East, co-edited with Marina Ottaway (Carnegie, 2005); Critical Mission: Essays on Democracy Promotion (Carnegie, 2004); Funding Virtue: Civil Society Aid and Democracy Promotion, co-edited with Marina Ottaway (Carnegie, 2000); Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve (Carnegie, 1999); Assessing Democracy Assistance: The Case of Romania (Carnegie, 1996)

Areas of Expertise

Carothers is an expert in democracy promotion, democratization, civil society development, foreign aid, rule of law reform, and human rights in Latin America, Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Russia and Eurasia.


A.B., Harvard College; M.Sc., London School of Economics; J.D., Harvard Law School


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