Jennifer M. Harris

Senior Fellow


U.S. foreign policy; economic statecraft; energy and climate security; state capitalism; U.S.-China relations; U.S. competitiveness.


Jennifer M. Harris is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to joining the Council, Harris was a member of the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State responsible for global markets, geo-economic issues and energy security. In that role, Harris was a lead architect of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Economic Statecraft agenda, which launched in 2011. Before joining the State Department, Harris served on the staff of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, covering a range of economic and financial issues.

Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Quarterly, and the World Economic Forum among other outlets. A Truman and a Rhodes scholar, she holds degrees in economics and international relations from Wake Forest University (BA) and Oxford University (MPhil), and a JD from Yale Law School. Harris is the author of the forthcoming book, War By Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft (Harvard University Press, April 2016), co-authored with Robert Blackwill.

Geoeconomics and Statecraft

From Russia's coercive economic pressure against Ukraine to the steady sums of financing Gulf monarchies have extended to the current Egyptian government to the varied economic penalties China has imposed on nations in its neighborhood, an increasing number of states are waging geopolitics with capital. Many countries today are more likely to air disagreements with the foreign policies of other governments through trade restrictions, or the buying and selling of debt, than through military responses. Despite gaining utility elsewhere in the world, geoeconomic statecraft has diminished in American policymaking in recent decades, a shift insufficiently recognized by both economists and foreign policy strategists. My forthoming book, War By Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft co-authored with Robert Blackwill, outlines what geoeconomics is, why it matters, and how the U.S. government can better utilize this national security tool.

Energy, Economics, and International Security

Energy has long been intimately connected with the global economy and international relations. But rapid changes in the energy landscape, the international economy, and world affairs are challenging many of the existing understandings of how energy influences the world. I lead the project on Energy, Economics, and International Security jointly with Michael Levi. Through research, commissioned papers, and intensive workshops, my contributions aim to better understand the economic and security consequences of changes to the supply, production, and trade of fossil fuels, and policy opportunities that result. My current areas of interest include the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve, global oil and gas subsidies, and the operation of U.S.-based multinational oil companies. Future activities will continue to illuminate and clarify the relationships between energy, economics, and international security, with an eye toward insights that can inform pressing policy decisions.

This project is made possible through the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

All Publications


America’s Fatal Flaw in its Competition With China Is Thinking Militarily, Not Economically

Author: Jennifer M. Harris
The WorldPost

Last week, Washington attempted two important policy feats aimed squarely in Beijing’s direction. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter grabbed headlines by visitingthe South China Sea, after earlier announcing he would scrap a visit to Beijing amid rising tension over territorial disputes in the region.

See more in United States; China; Economics; Military Operations


Forging a New Check on China

Author: Jennifer M. Harris
U.S. News and World Report

U.S. leaders still haven't quite figured out the right formula for the greatest geopolitical challenge facing the United States this century: managing China's rise. But that may have changed Monday, when President Barack Obama welcomed leaders from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for a two-day summit at Sunnylands in California, the so-called Camp David of the West.

See more in United States; Asia and Pacific; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Regional Security