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Stephen Sestanovich

George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies

Expertise

Russia and the former Soviet Union; Caucasus and Central Asia; U.S. foreign policy.

Programs

Europe Program

Bio

Stephen Sestanovich is the George F. Kennan senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis professor of international diplomacy at Columbia University. He is the author of Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama, just published by Knopf.

From 1997 to 2001, he served as U.S. ambassador-at-large for the former Soviet Union. He has also served as vice president for Russian and Eurasian affairs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, director of Soviet and East European studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and senior director for policy development at the National Security Council.

Ambassador Sestanovich received his BA from Cornell University and his PhD from Harvard University. He is coauthor or editor of several volumes on international affairs and has contributed articles to the National Interest, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, American Interest, New Republic, Politico Magazine, and other publications.

Languages:

Russian, German, and Spanish (familiar).

Featured Publications

All Publications

Testimony

Russian Civil Society and U.S. Policy

Author: Stephen Sestanovich

In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Stephen Sestanovich discusses Russia's human rights situation and how America's concern for the state of Russian democracy reflects a commitment to partnership between the two countries.

Events

George F. Kennan Roundtable on Russia and Eurasia

Director: Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies
October 1, 2001—Present

The Kennan Roundtable is an ongoing series of meetings that focus on the major policy questions posed by changing U.S. relationships with Russia and the former Soviet states of Eurasia. Meetings examine areas of expanding cooperation and emerging areas of discord, with topics including governance and the rule of law, social and economic issues, and nuclear weapons and nonproliferation.

CFR Events

General Meeting ⁄ Washington

What To Do About Russia and Ukraine

Speakers:

Karen E. Donfried, President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Robert Kahn, Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations, Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
June 9, 2014 6:00-6:15 p.m. - Registration
6:15-7:30 p.m. - Meeting
7:30-8:00 p.m. - Reception

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Guest Event ⁄ Washington

Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama

Speaker:

Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

James M. Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
April 28, 2014 5:30-6:00 p.m. - Registration
6:00-6:45 p.m. - Meeting
6:45-7:15 p.m. - Reception and Book Signing

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

General Meeting ⁄ New York

Does U.S. Leadership Have a Future?

Speakers:

Robert Kagan, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Project on International Strategy, Brookings Institution; Author, The World America Made, Michael Mandelbaum, Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Author, The Road to Global Prosperity, Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies; Council on Foreign Relations; Author, Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama

Presider:

Gideon Rose, Peter G. Peterson Chair and Editor, Foreign Affairs
April 23, 2014 12:30-1:00 p.m. - Lunch
1:00-2:00 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

General Meeting ⁄ New York

U.S.-Russia Relations on the Eve of the Sochi Winter Olympics

Panelists:

John Beyrle, Director, U.S. Russia Foundation; Former U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2008-12), Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for the former Soviet Union (1997-2001); Author, Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama, Angela E. Stent, Professor and Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian and Eastern European Studies, Georgetown University; Former National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia, National Intelligence Council; Author, The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century

Presider:

Andrew J. Guff, Managing Director, Siguler Guff & Company L.P.
January 27, 2014 5:30-6:00 p.m. - Reception
6:00-7:00 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

The Iron Curtain and Beyond: Eastern Europe in the Cold War and Today

Speaker:

Anne Applebaum, Columnist, Washington Post and Slate

Presider:

Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
November 27, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

General Meeting ⁄ New York

Russia Update

Panelists:

Masha Gessen, Author, The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin , Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Drew J. Guff, Managing Director, Siguler Guff & Company L.P.
March 2, 2012 1:00-1:30 p.m. - Lunch
1:30-2:30 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

General Meeting ⁄ Washington

Russia: Politics, Protests, and the Presidential Election

Speakers:

Leon Aron, Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies, American Enterprise Institute, Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., Member, Federal Council, Solidarity Democratic Movement (Russia); Former Duma Candidate, Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Fred Hiatt, Editorial Page Editor, Washington Post
February 29, 2012 12:00-12:30 p.m. - Lunch Reception
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Academic Conference Call

Russia's Upcoming Election

Speaker:

Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
February 22, 2012 12:00-1:00 p.m. - (ET)

This meeting is not for attribution.

Listen

Corporate Meeting

Why the Russian Protests Matter

Speaker:

Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Moderator:

Anya Schmemann, Director, Task Force Program, Council on Foreign Relations
December 14, 2011 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Conference Call

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Conference Panel Session

CFR Symposium on NATO at 60, Panel Two: NATO, Russia, and the Near Abroad

Speakers:

Victoria Nuland, National Defense University, Ivan Krastev, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Konstantin Remchukov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta Newspaper

Moderator:

Stephen Sestanovich, Council on Foreign Relations
February 26, 2009 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

Symposium

Symposium on Russian-American Relations, Session Two: Russian Foreign Policy

Speakers:

Fedor Lukyanov, Editor in Chief, Russia in Global Affairs, Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Celeste A. Wallander, Professor, School of International Service, American University
January 22, 2009

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

General Meeting ⁄ Washington

Negotiating Iran from the European and Russian Perspectives

Speakers:

Charles A. Kupchan, Senior Fellow and Director for Europe Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
May 25, 2006

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

General Meeting ⁄ New York

U.S. Policy Toward Russia

Speakers:

John Edwards, Former U.S. Senator, Vice Presidential Candidate and Task Force Co-Chair, Jack Kemp, Founder and Chairman, Kemp Partners and Task Force Co-Chair, Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations and Task Force Project Director

Presider:

David Remnick, Editor, The New Yorker
March 7, 2006

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Press/Panels