Jeffrey Rathke

Jeff Rathke

President of AICGS

Jeffrey Rathke is the President of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

Prior to joining AICGS, Jeff was a senior fellow and deputy director of the Europe Program at CSIS, where his work focused on transatlantic relations and U.S. security and defense policy. Jeff joined CSIS in 2015 from the State Department, after a 24-year career as a Foreign Service Officer, dedicated primarily to U.S. relations with Europe. He was director of the State Department Press Office from 2014 to 2015, briefing the State Department press corps and managing the Department’s engagement with U.S. print and electronic media. Jeff led the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, he was deputy chief of staff to the NATO Secretary General in Brussels. He also served in Berlin as minister-counselor for political affairs (2006–2009), his second tour of duty in Germany. His Washington assignments have included deputy director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs and duty officer in the White House Situation Room and State Department Operations Center.

Mr. Rathke was a Weinberg Fellow at Princeton University (2003–2004), winning the Master’s in Public Policy Prize. He also served at U.S. Embassies in Dublin, Moscow, and Riga, which he helped open after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Rathke has been awarded national honors by Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as several State Department awards. He holds an M.P.P. degree from Princeton University and B.A. and B.S. degrees from Cornell University. He speaks German, Russian, and Latvian.

Recent Content


A Transatlantic China Policy Can Succeed Where the U.S. and Europe Would Fail Separately

China dominates American foreign policy discourse, driven by a broad bipartisan consensus that the United States has for too long turned a blind eye to China’s growing influence and global …

Merkel’s failed succession plan sets Germany adrift in 2020 and beyond

A tremor shook German politics on Monday, with effects that will reach well beyond the country’s borders. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s presumptive heir, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, announced that she would step down from the …

Episode 17: Overcoming Social Divisions

In recent years, the United States and Germany have both experienced growing social divisions, more extreme ideology, and a trend toward existing in our own echo chambers—that is, seeking out …

Episode 16: Renewal or Reversal in the Transatlantic Trade Relationship

The trade relationship between the United States and the European Union has been called into question during the Trump administration, despite research showing that U.S. trade with the EU is, …

Embarking on a New Path of Partnership: Thirty Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

On Saturday, we mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  It was one of the most momentous political developments in a generation—the climax of the peaceful …

Episode 15: A European China Strategy

In this episode of The Zeitgeist, AICGS President Jeff Rathke talks with Reinhard Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the EP’s Delegation for Relations with the People’s …

On the Halle Synagogue Attacks

Everyone in the AICGS community grieves and condemns the right-radical, anti-Semitic terrorist incident that occurred on Yom Kippur, Wednesday, October 9, 2019, in the city of Halle. By now, the …

Episode 14: Adapting to a New Foreign Policy Approach

Following the Bonn International Security Forum, AICGS President Jeff Rathke sat down with the hosts of the popular German-language podcast Sicherheitshalber to discuss the evolving dynamics of foreign and security …

Jeff Rathke on Voice of America’s “Encounter”

AICGS President Jeff Rathke appeared on VOA’s “Encounter” program to discuss the way forward for Brexit with host Carol Castiel and Erik Brattberg, Director of the Europe Program at the Carnegie …

Jeff Rathke on NATO Spending Fight

AICGS President Jeff Rathke tells The Washington Post, “It is a natural fit for Germany to increase its contribution to NATO common funding as an expression of Germany’s international security …

Jeff Rathke in Foreign Policy on Nord Stream 2

In a recent article in Foreign Policy, AICGS President Jeff Rathke writes, “congressional action to halt Nord Stream 2 carries risks of weakening European solidarity against Russia and could help …

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