Jonathan Tepperman

Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs


U.S. foreign policy, national security, international law, the UN, and the Middle East.


Jonathan Tepperman is the managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine.

Tepperman has spent close to twenty years working on international affairs as an editor, writer, and analyst. He started his career in foreign policy working as a speechwriter at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1994. After stints as a reporter at the Forward and the Jerusalem Post, he joined Foreign Affairs in 1998 as a junior editor. He later moved to Newsweek International, where he was deputy editor (under Fareed Zakaria), and then worked as a political risk consultant before returning to Foreign Affairs in January 2011.

Tepperman has written for a range of publications, including Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the New Republic, and others, on subjects ranging from international affairs to municipal politics to food and fashion. Tepperman has interviewed more than a dozen world leaders, including Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto, Indonesia’s Joko Widodo, and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. He is the coeditor of the books The U.S. vs. al Qaeda (2011), Iran and the Bomb (2012), and The Clash of Ideas (2012), and is currently writing a book (to be published in 2016) on how to solve the world’s toughest economic and political challenges.

Tepperman has a BA in English from Yale, an MA in law from Oxford, and an LLM in law from New York University. He is vice chairman of the Halifax International Security Forum, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow of the New York Institute of Humanities. He lives in Brooklyn with his family.

All Publications

Ask CFR Experts

After President Obama’s trip to the Middle East, can he be more assertive in solving Israeli-Palestinian issues?

Asked by Mirvet S Muca, Ph.D, from Naugatuck Valley Comm. College

The conventional wisdom has it that second-term presidents, freed from the need to win another election, tend to be bolder in their initiatives. While that logic may apply to President Obama's domestic policy, it is unlikely to extend abroad.

Read full answer

See more in Israel; Palestine; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Presidents and Chiefs of State


I Interviewed Bashar al-Assad About Syria's Civil War. He's Still Too Delusional to End it.

Author: Jonathan Tepperman
Washington Post

In recent weeks, Western governments have begun subtly shifting their positions on Syria. The Obama administration seems to have quietly dropped its demand that President Bashar al-Assad resign as a precondition of peace talks. Instead, reports suggest it has embraced proposals that would allow Assad to be part of an interim deal. The new approach implies that the White House and its allies believe that the Syrian president might be open to a compromise that could end his country’s four-year civil war.

See more in Syria; Conflict Assessment


Asian Tensions and the Problem of History

Author: Jonathan Tepperman
International Herald Tribune

A recent gaffe by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe exposes the tense relations between Japan, China, and South Korea, and "helps explain why the region seems on the brink of not one by several conflicts," says Jonathan Tepperman.

See more in Japan; China

CFR Events


U.S.-Led Airstrikes in Syria

Speakers Max Boot

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, CFR

, Janine Davidson

Senior Fellow for Defense Policy, CFR

Presider Jonathan Tepperman

Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs

September 24, 2014

This meeting is on the record.

Read Listen

Meeting ⁄ New York

Turkey Update

Panelists Steven A. Cook

Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

, Henri J. Barkey

Cohen Professor of International Relations, Lehigh University

Presider Jonathan Tepperman

Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs

April 7, 2014 12:30–1:00 p.m. - Lunch
1:00–2:00 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

Read ListenWatch


The Future of Special Operations

Speaker Linda Robinson

Public Policy Scholar, Wilson Center

Presider Jonathan Tepperman

Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs magazine

January 8, 2013

This meeting is on the record.


Meeting ⁄ New York

Views from the Newsroom: Challenges to American Power

Speakers David E. SangerChief Washington Correspondent, New York Times; Author, Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, Daniel KlaidmanSpecial Correspondent, Newsweek; Author, Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency
Presider Jonathan TeppermanManaging Editor, Foreign Affairs
June 19, 2012 5:30–6:00 p.m. - Reception
6:00–7:00 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

Read ListenWatch