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


Jeff Rathke on Virtual UN Diplomacy

AICGS President Jeff Rathke comments to the AP’s Ted Anthony on this week’s UN General Assembly and the limitation of virtual diplomacy, saying, “There’s subtlety that’s lost, and you also …

Jeff Rathke on Suspension of 29 Police Officers with Neo-Nazi Propaganda

AICGS President Jeff Rathke joins PRX’s The World to discuss the recent suspension of twenty-nine police officers in North Rhine-Westphalia, charged with sharing neo-Nazi propaganda. He notes that while German …

Jeff Rathke on How U.S. Election Could Affect European Politics in The Washington Times

AICGS President Jeff Rathke tells The Washington Times that, “You’ll have the outsiders feeling like they’re back on the move again because Donald Trump pulled off another victory in the …

Episode 31: How Ike Led: A Conversation with Susan Eisenhower

Germany was a part of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s life from his earliest days—his family descended from German immigrants and lived in a tight-knit, pious community in Kansas.  As Supreme …

Judy Asks: What Is Europe’s Best Way Forward for Belarus?

Jeff Rathke responds: “Belarus is a dramatic reminder of the yearning for freedom and the importance of decades-old Euro-Atlantic principles in the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris. …

Episode 30: German Politics Heats Up

German political dynamics have made an early and perhaps unexpected change this summer, coming out of the “Sommerloch,” with two new announcements from the Social Democratic Party. First, the SPD …

Jeff Rathke on Trump’s Decision to Move Troops from Germany in CNN Politics

AICGS President Jeff Rathke discusses the Trump administration’s recent decision to pull nearly 12,000 troops from Germany, nothing that removing troops removes them from, “the best place from which they …

Jeff Rathke on European Defense Agenda with Smaller U.S. Footprint in DefenseNews

AICGS President Jeff Rathke discusses German defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s call for the European Union to prepare for the possibility of a U.S. disengagement from European security–regardless of election outcome: …

Episode 29: German-American Relations in 2020

On this episode of The Zeitgeist, Peter Beyer, Member of the Bundestag and Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation in the German Federal Foreign Office, talks with Jeff Rathke about the broad …

Jeff Rathke discusses Neo-Nazis in German Army Ranks with CBSN

AICGS President Jeff Rathke spoke with CBS News about the recent report by The New York Times on growing evidence of neo-Nazis infiltrating special forces in the Germany’s military. Mr. Rathke …

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