Ted Piccone

Ted Piccone is a nonresident senior fellow in the Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. During his 11 years in residence at Brookings, he was a senior fellow and the Charles W. Robinson Chair, appointed the inaugural fellow of the Brookings-Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative in Berlin, and served as the acting vice president and director and deputy director of the Foreign Policy program. His research has covered global democracy, rule of law and human rights policies; U.S.-Latin American relations, including China’s rising profile; emerging powers; and multilateral affairs. Piccone is the author of “Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order” (Brookings Institution Press, 2016), which examined the trajectories of India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and Turkey.

Piccone served eight years as a senior foreign policy advisor in the Clinton administration, including on the National Security Council staff, at the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning and the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. From 2001 to 2008, Piccone was the executive director and co-founder of the Democracy Coalition Project, a research and advocacy organization working to promote international cooperation for democracy and human rights globally. He was also the Washington office director for the Club of Madrid, an association of over 100 former heads of state and government engaged in efforts to strengthen democracy around the world, and continues as an advisor. Piccone’s other positions have included chief engagement officer at the World Justice Project, counsel for the United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador, and press secretary to U.S. Representative Bob Edgar.

Piccone has authored or edited multiple volumes and articles on foreign policy, Latin America, and human rights and has appeared in a wide range of broadcast and online media and professional journals. His book, “Catalysts for Change: How the UN’s Independent Experts Promote Human Rights” (Brookings Institution Press, 2012), analyzes the effectiveness of this system at the national level and recommends ways to strengthen it. He has taught human rights law as an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law. Piccone received a law degree from Columbia University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, and a bachelor’s in history magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index, board of advisors
Club of Madrid, advisor
Club of Madrid Foundation Inc., board member
International Forum for Democratic Studies Research Council, member
United Nations Association National Capital Area, advisory council

  • Areas of Expertise

    • U.S. foreign policy
    • Latin America
    • Democracy and human rights
    • Multilateral affairs
  • Past Positions

    • Chief Engagement Officer and Senior Advisor, World Justice Project
    • Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Latin America Initiative, Project on International Order and Strategy, The Brookings Institution (2008-2019)
    • Acting Vice President and Director, Foreign Policy Program, The Brookings Institution
    • Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Foreign Policy Program, The Brookings Institution
    • Executive Director, Democracy Coalition Project (2001-2008)
    • Senior Advisor and Washington Office Director, Club of Madrid (2003-2008)
    • Associate Director, Policy Planning, State Department (1998-2001)
    • Director, Inter-American Affairs, National Security Council (1996-1998)
    • Policy Advisor, Office of the Secretary of Defense (1993-1996)
    • Counsel, U.N. Truth Commission for El Salvador (1992)
    • Associate, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis (1991-1993)
  • Education

    • J.D., Columbia University
    • B.A., University of Pennsylvania
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