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James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair

Expertise

U.S. foreign and defense policy; international security; globalization; Congress; domestic politics of U.S. foreign policy; public opinion.

Programs

Roundtable Series on America’s Governability Crisis , Renewing America Roundtable Series

Bio

James M. Lindsay is senior vice president, director of studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg chair at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where he oversees the work of the more than six dozen fellows in the David Rockefeller Studies Program. He is a leading authority on the American foreign policy–making process and the domestic politics of American foreign policy.

Before returning to CFR in 2009, Dr. Lindsay was the inaugural director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin, where he held the Tom Slick chair for international affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. From 2003 to 2006, he was vice president, director of studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg chair at CFR. He previously served as deputy director and senior fellow in the foreign policy studies program at the Brookings Institution. From 1987 until 1999, he was a professor of political science at the University of Iowa.

From 1996 to 1997, Dr. Lindsay was director for global issues and multilateral affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. He has also served as a consultant to the United States Commission on National Security/21st Century (Hart-Rudman Commission) and as a staff expert for the United States Institute of Peace's congressionally mandated Task Force on the United Nations.

Dr. Lindsay has written widely on various aspects of American foreign policy and international relations. His book with Ivo H. Daalder, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy, was awarded the 2003 Lionel Gelber Prize, named a finalist for the Arthur S. Ross Book Award, and selected as a top book of 2003 by the Economist. His other books include Agenda for the Nation (with Henry J. Aaron and Pietro S. Nivola), which was named an "Outstanding Academic Book of 2004" by Choice magazine; and Congress and the Politics of U.S. Foreign Policy. He has also contributed articles to the op-ed pages of many major newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. He writes the blog The Water's Edge, which discusses the politics of American foreign policy and the domestic underpinnings of American global power.

Dr. Lindsay holds an AB in economics and political science from the University of Michigan and an MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University. He has been a fellow at the Center for International Affairs and the Center for Science and International Affairs, both at Harvard University. He is a recipient of the Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs and an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Lindsay was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, in 1959 and lives in the Washington, DC, suburbs.

Featured Publications

All Publications

Podcast

The World Next Week: October 10, 2013

A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: The United States Congress considers a short term debt limit increase; African leaders meet to discuss the International Criminal Court; world powers meet in Geneva to discuss Iran's nuclear program; and Saudi Arabia prepares for the Hajj amidst the virus concerns.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Podcast

The World Next Week: September 26, 2013

A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: The threat of a U.S. government shutdown looms over Congress; Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House; and the twentieth anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu is marked.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Podcast

The World Next Week: August 8, 2013

A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: U.S. diplomatic missions are set to reopen throughout the Middle East and Africa; U.S. and African officials discuss extending trade ties; and Mali holds a runoff presidential election.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Podcast

The World Next Week: July 11, 2013

A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: Egypt faces turmoil during transition; the UN Security Council meets to discuss African conflicts and the protection of journalists worldwide; and North and South Korea resume Kaesong talks.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Podcast

The World Next Week: June 6, 2013

A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: U.S. president Barack Obama hosts Chinese president Xi Jinping in California and Peru's president Ollanta Humala in Washington; and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies before the House budget committee.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Podcast

The World Next Week: April 4, 2013

A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits South Korea, Japan and China; President Obama submits a budget to Congress; and the re-trial of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak begins in Cairo.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Recent Activity from The Water's Edge

Events

Roundtable Series on America’s Governability Crisis

Director: James M. Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair
April 27, 2012—Present

The Roundtable Series on America's Governability Crisis focuses on the challenge of governing effectively during a time of sharp partisan polarization in Washington. The series seeks to examine the challenges that domestic division poses to developing and executing sound fiscal, economics, defense, and foreign policies. The series is held as part of the Renewing America initiative, which considers how policies at home will directly influence the economic and military strength of the United States and its ability to act in the world.

Renewing America Roundtable Series

Director: James M. Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair
July 1, 2011—Present

Part of CFR's Renewing America initiative, this roundtable series brings high-level attention to homegrown challenges to U.S. national security. Meetings in this series are led by individual CFR fellows and examine how policies at home will directly influence the economic and military strength of the United States and its ability to act in the world.

CFR Events

Meeting ⁄ Washington

DC CFR Fellows' Book Launch Series Guest Event: The Pragmatic Superpower--Winning the Cold War in the Middle East

Speakers Steven Simon

Visiting Fellow, Dickey Center for International Understanding, Dartmouth College; Former Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

, Ray Takeyh

Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations


, James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

June 7, 2016 5:30 p.m.-7:15 p.m.


5:30 p.m.—6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception 
6:00 p.m.—6:45 p.m. Discussion
6:45 p.m.—7:15 p.m. Cocktail Reception and Book Signing
*Please note special timing*

June 7, 2016

This meeting is on the record.

Read Watch

Meeting ⁄ Washington

DC Fellow's Book Launch Series: War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft

Speakers Robert D. Blackwill

Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

, Jennifer M. Harris

Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations


Presider James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

May 19, 2016 5:30 p.m.-7:15 p.m.


5:30 p.m.—6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception 
6:00 p.m.–6:45 p.m. Discussion
6:45 p.m.–7:15 p.m. Cocktail Reception and Book Signing
*Please note special timing*

May 19, 2016

This meeting is on the record.

Read Watch

Meeting ⁄ Washington

CANCELED: DC Book Launch: State Capitalism: How the Return of Statism is Transforming the World 

Speaker Joshua Kurlantzick

Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations


Presider James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

April 18, 2016 5:30 p.m.-7:15 p.m.


5:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Reception
6:00 p.m.–6:45 p.m. Meeting
6:45 p.m.–7:15 p.m. Reception and Book Signing
*Please note special timing* 

April 18, 2016

This meeting is on the record.

Meeting ⁄ Washington

DC CFR Fellows’ Book Launch Series Guest Event: Dark Territory-The Secret History of Cyber War

Speaker Fred Kaplan

National Security Columnist, Slate Magazine; Former Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations


Presider James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

March 8, 2016 5:30 p.m.-7:15 p.m.


5:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
6:00 p.m.–6:45 p.m. Meeting
6:45 p.m.–7:15 p.m. Reception and Book Signing
*Please note special timing*

March 8, 2016

This meeting is on the record.

Read Listen Watch

Meeting ⁄ Washington

CFR DC Fellows' Book Launch Series: Red Team-- How to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy by Micah Zenko

Speaker Micah Zenko

Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations


Presider James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

November 10, 2015 5:30 p.m.-7:15 p.m.

November 10, 2015

This meeting is on the record.

Read Listen Watch

Meeting ⁄ Washington

CFR Fellows' Book Launch Series: Ashley's War--The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield

Speakers Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

, James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

April 28, 2015 5:30–6:00 p.m. - Cocktail Reception
6:00–6:45 p.m. - Meeting
6:45–7:15 p.m. - Cocktail Reception and Book Signing

This meeting is on the record.

Read Listen Watch

Meeting ⁄ New York

CFR Fellows' Book Launch Series: Ashley's War--The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield

Speaker Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations


Presider James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

April 21, 2015 5:30–6:00 p.m. - Cocktail Reception
6:00–6:45 p.m. - Discussion
6:45–7:15 p.m. - Cocktail Reception and Book Signing

This meeting is on the record.

Read Listen Watch

Meeting ⁄ Washington

Session I: The Global Debate on the ITU and Internet Governance 

Speakers Andrea Glorioso

European Union Information and Communications Technologies Attaché to the United States 

, Jeferson Nacif

Head, International Affairs, Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications 

, Eric Osiakwan

Former Executive Secretary, African Internet Service Providers Association; Executive Secretary, Ghana Internet Service Providers Association 


Presider Aparna Sridhar

Counsel, Google, Inc.


Introductory Speaker James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, David Rockefeller Studies Program, Council on Foreign Relations

November 20, 2014 8:45–10:00 a.m.

This meeting is on the record.

Read ListenWatch

Meeting ⁄ 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

Meeting ⁄ Washington

DC Fellows' Book Launch Series--By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World

Speakers Elizabeth C. Economy

C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

, Michael A. Levi

David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign Relations


Presider James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

February 4, 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.

Read ListenWatch

Meeting ⁄ New York

CFR Fellows' Book Launch Series: No Exit from Pakistan--America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad

Speaker Daniel S. MarkeySenior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations; Author, No Exit from Pakistan: America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad
Presider James M. LindsaySenior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
October 21, 2013 5:30–6:00 p.m. - Cocktail Reception
6:00–6:45 p.m. - Meeting
6:45–7:15 p.m. - Cocktail Reception and Book Signing

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Meeting ⁄ Washington

No Exit from Pakistan: America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad

Speaker Daniel S. MarkeySenior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations; Author, No Exit from Pakistan
Presider James M. LindsaySenior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
October 15, 2013 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

Meeting

A Conversation with Kerri-Ann Jones

Speaker Kerri-Ann JonesAssistant Secretary, Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Presider James M. LindsaySenior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
March 20, 2013 4:00–5:00 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

Read ListenWatch

Meeting

Campaign 2012 and Foreign Policy

Speaker James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations


Moderator Irina A. Faskianos

Vice President, National Program & Outreach, Council on Foreign Relations

October 10, 2012 12:00–1:00 p.m. - (ET)

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Meeting

The Middle Class in an Age of Global Finance

Speaker Michael CaseyDow Jones Newswires
Presider James M. LindsayCouncil on Foreign Relations
May 15, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Meeting

America’s Dysfunctional Politics

Speakers Thomas E. MannBrookings Institution, Norman J. OrnsteinAmerican Enterprise Institute
Presider James M. LindsayCouncil on Foreign Relations
May 3, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Meeting

Session One: Prospects for Democracy

Speakers Elliott Abrams

Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

, Michael Willis

Director of Middle East Centre and H.M. King Mohammed VI Fellow in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford


Presider James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

March 29, 2012 - March 30, 2012 10:00–10:30 a.m.

This meeting is on the record.

Read ListenWatch

Meeting

Post-Qaddafi Instability in Libya

Speakers Robert DaninEni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Daniel P. SerwerProfessorial Lecturer and Senior Fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Presider James M. LindsaySenior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
August 22, 2011 3:00–4:00 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

Read Listen

Meeting ⁄ New York

Understanding Anti-Americanism

Speakers Peter J. KatzensteinWalter S. Carpenter Jr. Professor of International Studies, Cornell University, Robert O. KeohaneProfessor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Julia E. SweigNelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director for Latin America Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Presider James M. LindsayVice President and Director of Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
May 15, 2006

This meeting is on the record.

Read ListenWatch

Major Flashpoints in Southern Asia

Speakers Samina Ahmed

Project Director for South Asia, International Crisis Group

, Daniel S. Markey

Adjunct Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations

, C. Raja Mohan

Director, Carnegie India, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

, Wang Xu

Executive Deputy Director, Center for South Asian Studies, Peking University


Presider Karl F. Inderfurth

Former Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies


Introductory Speaker James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

This meeting is not for attribution.

Conference on Diversity in International Affairs

Speaker Susan Rice

National Security Advisor, Executive Office of the President


Presider James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

This meeting is not for attribution.

Press/Panels

Panel

Foreign Policy and Campaign 2016

As the 2016 presidential primaries approach, Charlie Cook, Sam Feist, and Jim Lindsay discuss the role that foreign policy will play in the upcoming contests for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.

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Video Interview

Jim Zirin-Will Obama’s Failed Foreign Policies Hurt the Democrats?

Jim Lindsay focuses on the relationship between foreign policy and domestic political considerations at the Council on Foreign Relations. He considers the domestic political fall-out from Obama’s Iran deal and the failed policies in Syria, surveys the candidates, and tells Jim Zirin that it is too early to predict whether these factors will affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Watch

Radio Interview

Between The Lines - ABC Radio

The UN Security Council has unanimously endorsed the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers. The resolution, co-sponsored by all 15 members, authorises the lifting of sanctions in return for Iran curbing sensitive nuclear activities.

So does this deal represent a historic detente between the United States and the Islamic Republic? Or is it a dangerous appeasement of a rising terrorist power?

Jim Lindsay discusses this issue with host Tom Switzer

Listen

Lecture

The Lowy Institute - In conversation with Jim Lindsay

Jim Lindsay, Senior Vice President and Director of Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, spoke with Anthony Bubalo on the future of US leadership in the world. The conversation addressed US leadership challenges in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and preview the 2016 presidential election.

Listen