Carla Anne Robbins

Adjunct Senior Fellow


U.S. national security policy; politics and foreign policy; Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs; nonproliferation and arms control; the nuclear complex and budget; Cuba


Roundtable Series on National Security in an Age of Austerity


Carla Anne Robbins is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where she is leading a roundtable series on national security in an age of austerity. She is also faculty director of the Master of International Affairs program and clinical professor of national security studies at Baruch College's Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.

An award-winning journalist and foreign policy analyst, Dr. Robbins was deputy editorial page editor at the New York Times and chief diplomatic correspondent at the Wall Street Journal. She has reported from Latin America, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East.

Dr. Robbins is a graduate of Wellesley College and received a PhD in political science from U.C., Berkeley. She was a Nieman fellow at Harvard and a media fellow at Stanford.


  *   Winner, 2003 Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting, Georgetown University

  *   Co-winner, 2000 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting on the Post-Cold War defense    budget

  *   Co-winner, 1999 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting on the Russian financial crisis

  *   Co-winner, 1984 Morton Frank Award, the Overseas Press Club

  *   Media Fellow, Stanford University

  *   Nieman Fellow, Harvard University

All Publications


What Can We Know and When Can We Know It?

Author: Carla Anne Robbins
The American Interest

As questions remain about Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections and President Trump’s allegations that Barack Obama wiretapped him during the campaign, Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, seems less than willing to pursue a robust investigation. Carla Anne Robbins argues that this is a mistake.

See more in United States; Russian Federation; Elections


Bill Clinton’s Post-Presidential Adventures in Philanthropy and Legacy Building

Author: Carla Anne Robbins
The Washington Post

The American people tend not to trust Hillary Clinton, despite her and Bill’s best efforts to combat these sentiments. In this review of Joe Conason's book, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, Carla Anne Robbins explores why the Clintons have had trouble with their public image.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State


The World Next Week: 9/11

In this special edition, CFR's Director of Studies James Lindsay, Managing Editor Robert McMahon, and Adjunct Senior Fellow Carla Anne Robbins examine the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

See more in Global; 9/11 Impact; Terrorism


Why It's a Mistake to Ignore Russia

Author: Carla Anne Robbins

Carla Robbins argues that ignoring the Kremlin and putting current U.S.-Russia relations on pause is not an option worth pursuing. She stresses the importance of publicly warning Russia of the damage done to its global reputation through current policies, and the need to engage with Russia in areas of common interest, such as Iran.

See more in Russian Federation; Politics and Strategy; United States

Ask CFR Experts

Will "sequestration" lead to a more isolationist U.S. foreign policy?

Asked by Andreas Maldener, from Trier University

After more than a decade of war and several years of a deep financial crisis, many Americans are asking whether the country should focus more of its attention—and more of its resources—at home. That said, the impulse to lead is still strong in both political parties and most polls show that Americans still feel both a moral and strategic imperative to remain fully engaged in the world.

Read full answer

See more in United States; Budget, Debt, and Deficits; Financial Crises


CFR Events

Meeting ⁄ New York

What to Worry About in 2017

Speakers Richard Atwood

Director of Multilateral Affairs and Head of the New York Office, International Crisis Group

, Sarah F. Cliffe

Director, Center on International Cooperation, New York University

, Paul B. Stares

General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider Carla Anne Robbins

Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

January 12, 2017 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Meeting

January 12, 2017

This meeting is on the record.

Read Watch

Meeting ⁄ New York

U.S.-Iran Relations: Past, Present, and Future

Speakers Trita Parsi

President, National Iranian American Council; Author, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel, and the United States

, Barbara Slavin

Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace; Senior Diplomatic Reporter, USA Today; Author, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation

Presider Carla Anne Robbins

Deputy Editorial Page Editor, New York Times

January 7, 2008 12:30–1:00 p.m. - Lunch
1:00–2:00 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

Read ListenWatch

Meeting ⁄ New York

A Conversation with Hoshyar Zebari

Speaker Hoshyar ZebariMinister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Iraq
Presider Carla Anne RobbinsDeputy Editorial Page Editor, The New York Times
June 14, 2007 5:30–7:00 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

Read Listen


Video Interview

Commercial airlines begin flights to Cuba

There were charter flights to Cuba before and “horrific lines,” said Carla Robbins, an adjunct senior fellow with the Council of Foreign Relations. The difference now is it will be cheaper and easier to go, she said.


Video Interview

How Durable are Improved Relations With Cuba?

President Obama's and Cuban President Raul Castro's meeting Saturday is being heralded as a new era of diplomatic relations between the two countries. But many obstacles still remain until the two can reach normalized ties. Carla Robbins joins Hari Sreenivasan on PBS NewsHour to discuss.


Video Interview

U.S.-Saudi Relations and the Middle East

Carla Robbins speaks on President Obama's visit to Riyadh and the implications for U.S. relations with Iran, U.S. involvement in Syria, and prospects for peace in the Middle East.



Sanctions and Foreign Policy

Along with Mark Dubowitz, Carla spoke about the effectiveness of sanctions as a tool of foreign, diplomatic, and national security policy. The discussion looked at recent sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Russia, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Cuba, as well as prior use of sanctions in places such as the Balkans, Iraq, South Africa, and other regions of conflict.


Video Interview

United States Fighting Cyber Attacks

The U.S. government remains concerned with hacking coming out of China. John Rutledge, Safand; Dave Aitel, Immunity CEO; and Carla Robbins, CUNY National Security Studies, discuss. (Source: CNBC)


Video Interview

Vera, Robbins on Venezuela's Presidential Election

Kathryn Rooney Vera, strategist for Bulltick Capital Markets, and Carla Anne Robbins, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, talk about the outlook Venezuela's presidential election on April 14 between Nicolas Maduro and Henrique Capriles Radonski. They speak with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)


Video Interview

South Korea Economy at Risk in Attack, Bremmer Says

Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, Gordon Chang, author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World," and Carla Robbins, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, talk about the risk of war on the Korean peninsula. They speak with Adam Johnson and Sara Eisen on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)


Video Interview

China's Role in North Korea Crisis

Discussing what role China plays in tensions with North Korea, and how worried the United States should be about hacking, with Carla Robbins, Council on Foreign Relations. (Source: CNBC)



2013 Schatt Lecture at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Carla Anne Robbins, award-winning journalist and foreign policy analyst, joins Phil Boas, editorial page editor of The Arizona Republic, to discuss the challenges of opinion writing in the seventh annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture.

Sponsored by the Paul J. Schatt Endowment, The Arizona Republic and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. (Source: Cronkite School)

For more on the lecture series: