Acclaimed writer and historian Jay Winik has joined the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as its first historian-in-residence. A New York Times best-selling author, Winik will spend the year at CFR looking at lessons from history for today’s pressing foreign policy challenges.
The new historian-in-residence fellowship was established with the generous support of David M. Rubenstein, CFR vice chairman and cofounder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, and will offer distinguished historians the opportunity to spend time at the Council.
“Jay is one of the nation’s finest historians,” said CFR President Richard N. Haass. “He will help provide important and highly relevant historical context to our work on U.S. foreign policy.”
Winik’s last three books—April 1865: The Month That Saved America, The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788–1800, and his latest, 1944: FDR and the Year that Changed History—have all been New York Times best sellers. April 1865: The Month That Saved America, a look at the last days of the Civil War, was turned into an award-winning television special on the History Channel. It was chosen by the Wall Street Journal in 2012 as the first book President Obama should read for his second term.
Winik has been a television commentator for both Obama inaugurations and was a historical advisor to the National Geographic network. He is currently a member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Countering Violent Extremism. He is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians and serves or served on the governing council of the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as on the boards of American Heritage magazine and the journal World Affairs. Winik holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale College, a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a doctorate from Yale University.