About the Expert

Expert Bio

Edward Alden is Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Fore­­­ign Relations (CFR), specializing in U.S. economic competitiveness, trade, and immigration policy. He is the author of the book Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, which focuses on the federal government’s failure to respond effectively to competitive challenges on issues such as trade, currency, worker retraining, education, and infrastructure.

Alden recently served as the project director of a CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force, co-chaired by former Michigan Governor John Engler and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, which produced the report The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century. In 2011, he was the project codirector of the Independent Task Force that produced U.S. Trade and Investment Policy. In 2009, he was the project director of the Independent Task Force that produced U.S. Immigration Policy.

Alden’s previous book, The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11, was a finalist for the Lukas Book Prize, for narrative nonfiction in 2009. The jury called Alden’s book “a masterful job of comprehensive reporting, fair-minded analysis, and structurally sound argumentation.”

Alden was previously the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times, and prior to that was the newspaper’s Canada bureau chief, based in Toronto. He worked as a reporter at the Vancouver Sun and was the managing editor of the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade, widely recognized as a leading source of reporting on U.S. trade policies. Alden has won several national and international awards for his reporting. He has made numerous TV and radio appearances as an analyst on political and economic issues, including on the BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS NewsHour. His work has been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Fortune, the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Alden has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of California, Berkeley. He pursued doctoral studies before returning to a journalism career. Alden is the winner of numerous academic awards, including a Mellon fellowship in the humanities and a MacArthur Foundation graduate fellowship.

Affiliations

  • Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, advisory council member
  • Foreign Policy, monthly columnist
  • Journal on Migration and Human Security, editorial board
  • Washington Campus, faculty
  • Western Washington University, Ross distinguished visiting professor

Current Projects

 

Project

Top Stories on CFR

International Organizations

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in Qatar, and billions of fans worldwide are tuning in to the world’s most popular live event. And yet as in years past, the Qatar Cup is transpiring under the shadow of controversy.

Middle East and North Africa

The kafala system regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East, but growing outrage over human rights abuses, racism, and gender discrimination has fueled calls for reform.

COVID-19

Government leaders are optimistic that COVID-19 is becoming endemic, meaning more predictable and manageable. But many scientists say it’s too soon to behave like the pandemic is over.