Jeffrey Gedmin
Jeffrey Gedmin is a Senior Fellow, Georgetown University, and Senior Fellow, Institute for Strategic Dialogue (London). He was President and CEO of the Legatum Institute in London from 2011 to 2014.
Prior to that, Jeffrey Gedmin served from 2007 to 2011 as President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, where he oversaw the company's strategy and broadcast operations in 22 countries. Before RFE/RL he served for five years as Director of the Aspen Institute Berlin. Before that, he was Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C and Executive Director of the New Atlantic Initiative.

Jeffrey Gedmin's articles on foreign policy, media and public diplomacy have appeared in a range of newspapers and magazines. He has produced two major television documentaries for PBS. Gedmin has taught at Gonzaga College High School and Georgetown University, where he holds a Ph.D. in German and sits on the board of the Foreign Service School, Masters program. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the Tbilisi State University, Georgia.

Entries by Jeffrey Gedmin

Hope, and the Aid Debate

(0) Comments | Posted 15 December 2014 | (19:23)

It's tiresome and tedious, the never ending debate about what works in development aid.

The one camp insists governments do more. The United Nations argues that any country aspiring "to global leadership through permanent membership on the UN Security Council" meet the 0.7 target for development assistance. The 0.7...

Read Post

How Many Slaves Around the World?

(0) Comments | Posted 23 November 2014 | (15:59)

Several years ago, a female journalist I knew was kidnapped on the way to work in Baghdad. After two harrowing weeks, 28-year-old Bahar (not her real name) was released by her hostage takers. She left for Europe and steadfastly refused to return home. It was not just her kidnappers whom...

Read Post

History, Freedom, and Fate: Remembering the Velvet Revolution Twenty Five Years Later

(0) Comments | Posted 16 November 2014 | (21:57)

"The only lost cause is one we give up on before we enter the struggle," said Vaclav Havel.

The Czech playwright and dissident knew something of struggle. He was threatened, harassed, surveilled, detained and interrogated repeatedly over decades by Communist authorities during the Cold War. His advocacy on behalf...

Read Post

ISIS, Its Victims, Our Obligation to Intervene

(1) Comments | Posted 3 November 2014 | (19:57)

We can't intervene everywhere. We have challenges at home. Our resources are limited; so, too, our ability to affect outcomes. Good intentions do not suffice. Sometimes trying to do the right thing can make things worse. So when an atrocity unfolds, how do we decide when to intervene?


Read Post

Bill Murray, St. Vincent, and the Case for Good Corn

(1) Comments | Posted 29 October 2014 | (03:19)

I once heard Bill Murray say in an interview there's good corn and there's bad corn. The actor's widely acclaimed 1993 movie Groundhog Day was corny, to be sure.

In Groundhog Day, misanthropic TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) travels to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania with producer Rita Hanson (Andie MacDowell)...

Read Post

Why the World Is About to Become a Far More Dangerous Place

(0) Comments | Posted 4 August 2014 | (19:41)

The German news magazine Der Spiegel thinks it's laughable, the idea that young Germans would fight for Latvia. Hungarian leader Viktor Orban cites Russia and China as models of successful countries. The President of the United States denies there's any larger problem between Moscow...

Read Post

In Putin's Plan, Are the Baltic States Next?

(0) Comments | Posted 3 June 2014 | (20:02)

It's my second time in Tallinn in just four months. The weather in the Estonian capital in summer seems nearly as cold and rainy as late February. Tourists are out in ample numbers this time, wrapped in raincoats and scarves for strolls through the medieval old town. There's a sense...

Read Post

Method to the Russian Madness - What Vladimir Putin Is All About

(0) Comments | Posted 22 May 2014 | (10:12)

There's a surreal quality to the conversations you have traveling through Central and Eastern Europe these days. A young Czech journalist eagerly tells me over breakfast in Prague of conversations his grandmother had with him when he was a young boy. "Never trust Russian rulers," she said, "always have a...

Read Post

Understanding Putin (Defining Deviancy Down)

(0) Comments | Posted 21 January 2014 | (10:50)

The winter Olympics begin in February and Vladimir Putin wants to reassure gay visitors. You'll be welcome in Sochi, says the Russian President, but "please leave the children in peace."

On Christmas Day the Kremlin had delivered a small present to the U.S. government. American journalist...

Read Post

We Live So Fast, There's No Time To Think

(0) Comments | Posted 13 January 2014 | (02:35)

"We live so fast ... there's no time to think." Who among us hasn't held the thought, at least for a fleeting moment?

We've been here before. The quote above comes from the American literary critic Irving Babbitt, who uttered those words in 1908. Babbitt's dizzying period of...

Read Post

Slip Sliding Away: What US Decline Means for the World

(0) Comments | Posted 30 October 2013 | (23:17)

Last year I was in Vilnius for a talk with university students. The most common question they asked? Whether Lithuania -- in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis; in light of ongoing U.S. economic woes and the EU's single currency troubles -- should look to Vladimir Putin's Russia as...

Read Post

US Government Shutdown - The Roots of Discontent

(0) Comments | Posted 6 October 2013 | (20:37)

On the U.S. government shutdown, it can be hard to pick your way through the millions of words of blather and blame. For anyone who's still paying attention, there are deep roots to the problem.

First, we should all know by now that the shutdown is principally over an...

Read Post

Aung San Suu Kyi, Václav Havel, and the Art of Dissent

(0) Comments | Posted 23 September 2013 | (08:51)

At Prague's Forum 2000 there are often surprises and touching gestures. What else would you expect from a conference started by a man who rode a scooter down the hallways of Prague castle when he became President and drew a heart as part of his signature?

Last year...

Read Post

Does History Matter?

(1) Comments | Posted 5 September 2013 | (13:45)

Politicians love to invoke history. It's fodder for Syria, tax policy, welfare reform and what to do about the environment.

The late historian Tony Judt once argued that we suffer from a dangerous illusion, namely "'that we live in a time without precedent . . . and that the...

Read Post

Do Dolphins Have Names? Do Elephants Have a Soul?

(0) Comments | Posted 28 July 2013 | (20:46)

The only thing that should really surprise us about the recent report that dolphins use names for each other is that we're surprised at all.

Ever since Descartes, it seems drilled into us that what separates us humans from the animal world is, well, nearly everything that matters. Yet over...

Read Post

In Wales with the POW - The Case for (And Against) Beauty and Harmony

(0) Comments | Posted 7 July 2013 | (21:39)

I met Prince Charles recently in Wales. Joined by my colleague, journalist-historian Hywel Williams, the two of us were invited to meet the Prince of Wales at Coed Darcy, where a small group of guests had been invited to see how Neath Port Talbot council, BP, the Welsh...

Read Post

Nelson Mandela: Great for What He Did - And What He Didn't Do

(0) Comments | Posted 25 June 2013 | (21:57)

At this writing, Nelson Mandela is still in critical condition. Accolades for him have started coming in. Many of us are reflective.

Mandela has been a leader of remarkable courage, of stamina and resilience. These qualities started to show early in school, as Mandela suffered penalties and expulsions, the result...

Read Post

Why Leaders Fail

(0) Comments | Posted 20 June 2013 | (15:38)

Nobel Prize winner in economics Daniel Kahneman is not a fan of the average business management and leadership book. In his international bestseller of a couple years ago, "Thinking, Fast and Slow," Kahneman writes:

"Stories of how businesses rise and fall strike a chord with readers by offering what the...

Read Post

We Love Numbers - Are They Our Downfall?

(1) Comments | Posted 8 June 2013 | (09:59)

We humans adore measuring things. The love affair started as early as the 4th and 5th millennia BC when the ancient peoples of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley were developing their systems of measurement for mass, time and length -- right down to 1/16th of an inch. In the...

Read Post

How Bismarck - Like Liberal Arts - Can Teach Us How To Think

(0) Comments | Posted 19 May 2013 | (18:41)

Think of Bismarck and you probably think of authority and discipline, hierarchy and order. The name conjures up images of the generously moustached, rather severe looking German leader wearing a "Pickelhaube." Literally meaning "pickle shaped bonnet," this was the helmut donned by the German military in the 19th and early...

Read Post