Skip To Main Content
Skip To Main Content

Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law 2014 Deans’ Lecture

Lecture Title: 
Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad – We’ve Proved We Can Do It Badly. Can We Do It Well?

Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld

Senior Associate

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad – We’ve Proved We Can Do It Badly. Can We Do It Well?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 • 11:30 a.m.

Celebrezze Moot Courtroom


The United States and a host of other nations have worked to advance the rule of law abroad for more than 100 years. We see this elixir as crucial to increasing our own security as well as promoting human rights and enhancing economic development in the world’s poorest countries. But although it is crucial to so many foreign policy goals, our track record is poor. Should we be working to advance the rule of law abroad? How can we make it stick? And are there successes we can learn from?

As a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld focuses on issues of rule of law, security and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states and states in transition. In 2011, she was selected by Hillary Clinton to serve as founding member of the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, the 25-person advisory body to the secretary of state.

Kleinfeld has consulted on rule of law reform for the World Bank, the European Union, the OECD, the Open Society Institute and other institutions, and she has briefed multiple U.S. government agencies. She is the author of Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform (Carnegie, 2012), which was chosen by Foreign Affairs magazine as one of the best foreign policy books of 2012. Her writings have appeared in Relocating the Rule of Law (Hart, 2009), Promoting Democracy and the Rule of Law: American and European Strategies (Palgrave, 2009), The Future of Human Rights (on humanitarian intervention) (Philadelphia UP, 2008), Promoting the Rule of Law: The Problem of Knowledge (Carnegie Endowment, 2006), With All Our Might (Rowen and Littlefield, 2006) and other publications. She also co-authored Let There Be Light: Electrifying the Developing World with Markets and Distributed Generation (Truman Institute, 2012).

As the founder of the Truman National Security Project, Kleinfeld was named one of the “Top 40 under 40 Political Leaders in America” by Time magazine in 2010 for creating and leading a national movement of national security, political and military leaders to promote policies that strengthen security, stability and human dignity in America and around the world. The Truman Project trains hundreds of elected officials, Congressional staff and policy leaders each year, while its award-winning advocacy campaigns have changed policies at the state and national levels. Kleinfeld appears regularly on radio and television from CNN to Fox News, and she has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other magazines and journals.


Kleinfeld received her Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in international relations from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and her Bachelor of Arts in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University. She was raised in a log house on a dirt road in her beloved Fairbanks, Alaska.


Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace