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 currently writing a book on the modern use of economic and financial instruments as tools of statecraft.

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 work on the place of geoeconomics in U.S. foreign policy will result in a book with Robert Blackwill outlining 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.

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