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


Will Merkel’s Retreat Spark German Foreign Policy Renewal?

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has ruled Germany since 2005 and for 49 of the past 69 years—its election of a new party leader December 7 will have far-reaching impact …

Episode 03: Burdensharing within NATO: Do more, spend more?

No relationship is without its difficulties and disagreements, not even between societies as close as the U.S. and Europe.  For almost as long as NATO has existed, Washington has wanted …

NATO Then, Now, and In The Future

For nearly 70 years, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has provided a system of collective defense for North American and European Nations. Known as NATO, the alliance has grown from …

Episode 02: The Wall: Legacy of Divided Berlin

When the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, it was a surprise to many. For an entire generation, the Berlin Wall was the most iconic physical manifestation of the …

A New Approach to Europe?

Jeff Rathke Speaks at Helsinki Commission Briefing November 1, 2018 European countries and institutions like NATO and the European Union are our partners of first resort. And it is clear …

Merkel’s Retreat

Angela Merkel’s name appeared nowhere on the ballot October 28 as voters went to the polls in the western German state of Hesse. But this election sealed the fate of …

Refugees bring the downfall of Germany’s Angela Merkel

AICGS President Jeff Rathke spoke with NewstalkZB, a nationwide New Zealand talk radio network, about the role that the refugee crisis played in Merkel’s and the CDU’s declining popularity and …

Episode 01: Talking Transatlantic Trade: Will the truce hold?

Trade is a top issue in the transatlantic relationship. Since he took office, President Trump has been focused on the U.S. trade deficit and economic competition with Europe, with China, …

Trump’s ‘rogue killers’ comment is latest echo of suspect foreign talking points

“The surprising thing for most American observers is the president’s readiness to accept what appear to be very flimsy excuses for behavior that the United States generally has found reprehensible …

Jeff Rathke on Maybrit Illner Special: Methode Trump – Gefahr für Europas Demokratie?

AICGS President Jeff Rathke appeared on the Maybrit Illner Special “Methode Trump – Gefahr für Europas Demokratie?” on October 11, 2018.

Why were UN diplomats laughing at Trump?

On President Trump’s comments to the UN General Assembly on Germany’s reliance on Russian energy, AICGS president Jeff Rathke tells CBS News in this article from September 25, “If you want …

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