Bruce W. Jentleson

Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
Chapter Member: North Carolina SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Bruce

Jentleson has expertise on many aspects of U.S. foreign policy, particularly the Middle East (Israel, Arab-Israeli, Iran, Syria, Libya, the Arab Spring). He also speaks and writes frequently on “big picture” overall U.S. global strategy. Beginning in September of 2015, he will serve a one-year term as the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress Kluge Center. He has served in a number of government positions, including as a Senior Advisor at the State Department (2009-2011), senior foreign policy advisor to Al Gore’s presidential campaign (1999-2000), State Department Policy Planning Staff (1993-94), a foreign policy advisor to Vice Presidential candidate Gore (1992), and a foreign policy aide for Senator Gore (1987-88). Jentleson has served on a number of D.C.-based working groups, including currently as a member of the Responsibility to Protect Working Group, co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and Rich Williamson.


Toward a New U.S. Strategy in the Middle East

In the News

"Steady And Prudent And Able': The Diplomatic Legacy Of George H.W. Bush," Bruce W. Jentleson, Interview with Sacha Pfeiffer, WBUR, December 5, 2018.
"Millennials are So Over US Domination of World Affairs," Bruce W. Jentleson, The Conversation, July 26, 2018.
on WUNC: The State of Things, Bruce W. Jentleson, April 24, 2018.
"Should the US Pull Its Troops out of Syria?," Bruce W. Jentleson, Interview with Tommy Tucker, WWL First News, April 2, 2018.
"Can President Trump Get a Middle East Peace Deal?," Bruce W. Jentleson, Interview with Tommy Tucker, WWL First News, September 22, 2017.
Bruce W. Jentleson quoted on Trump's response to Charlottesville by Michael Hernandez, "Trump Risks Everything by Supporting Hate Rally" Anadolu Agency, August 19, 2017.
Guest to discuss on the role of foreign policy in the election on Duke Chronicle Towerview, Bruce W. Jentleson, November 2, 2016.
"Western Democracies' Witch's Brew," Bruce W. Jentleson, The Hill, April 6, 2016.
"Reports of American Fears Have Been Greatly Exaggerated," Bruce W. Jentleson, Foreign Policy, December 22, 2015.
Bruce W. Jentleson quoted on the Iran nuclear deal by Melissa Sim, "Obama Wins Enough Congress Support for Iran Nuclear Deal" Straights Times, September 4, 2015.
"Corker-Menendez Bill Hinders, Not Helps, a Good Iran Deal," Bruce W. Jentleson, The Hill, April 13, 2015.
Bruce W. Jentleson quoted on progress towards peace in the Middle East by Howard LaFranchi, "U.S. No Longer the Power Broker It Was on Path to Palestinian Statehood" Christian Science Monitor, January 8, 2015.
"Let the 'Grand Strategy' Debate Begin," Bruce W. Jentleson, The Hill, November 21, 2014.
Bruce W. Jentleson quoted on public opinion around U.S. intervention in global conflict by Susan Page, "Poll: Amid Foreign Crises, More Americans Support U.S. Action" USA Today, August 28, 2014.
Bruce W. Jentleson's research on public opinion about whether and when U.S. interventions are necessary discussed by Joshua Keating, "The Intervention of Least Resistance," Slate, August 30, 2013.
"In Middle East, President Obama Misplays Hand," Bruce W. Jentleson, Politico, August 19, 2013.
"Newsweek's Iran War Game," Bruce W. Jentleson, commentary on Newsweek's replication of a meeting of the Principals Committee (with Bruce Jentleson acting as National Security Advisor) simulating possible reactions to an Israeli attack in Iran before the U.S. 2012 elections, The Daily Beast, October 8, 2012.
"Who was the Least Successful Foreign Policy President?," Bruce W. Jentleson (with various historians and commentators selected by CNN's blog "Global Public Square"),, September 21, 2012.
"Who was the Best Foreign Policy President?," Bruce W. Jentleson (with various historians and commentators selected by the CNN blog "Global Public Square"),, September 20, 2012.
"A Man with a Plan," Bruce W. Jentleson (with Charles A. Kupchan), Foreign Policy, September 6, 2012.
"A Dangerous Mind," Bruce W. Jentleson (with Charles A. Kupchan), Foreign Policy, August 30, 2012.
Bruce W. Jentleson quoted on Syria’s international relations, "U.N. Official Rebukes Syria Over Violence" New York Times, February 13, 2012.
"What Military Force Will Require," Bruce W. Jentleson, Room for Debate, New York Times, March 2, 2011.


"American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century " (W.W. Norton and Company, 5th edition, forthcoming).
A leading university textbook, used widely in the U.S. and internationally
"The Peacemakers: Leadership Lessons from Twentieth-Century Statesmanship" (W.W. Norton, 2018).

Shows how twentieth-century leaders of a variety of types—national, international, institutional, sociopolitical, nongovernmental—rewrote the zero-sum scripts they were handed and successfully made breakthroughs on issues long thought intractable. Draws out lessons across the twenty-first century global agenda, making clear how difficult peacemaking is, while powerfully demonstrating that it has been possible—and urgently stressing how necessary it is today. 

"Accepting Limits: How to Adapt to a Copernican World" Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, no. 23 (2012).
Part of a symposium on keys to a progressive foreign policy.
"Beware the Duck Test" Washington Quarterly 34, no. 3 (2011): 137-149.
Lessons of U.S. policy in the Third World for the contemporary Middle East.
"The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas " (with Steve Weber) (Harvard University Press, 2010).
“Big picture” look at the 21st century international system and U.S. strategy.
"Who ‘Won’ Libya? The Force-Diplomacy Debate and Its Implications for Theory and Policy" (with Christopher A. Whytock). International Security 30, no. 3 (2006): 47-86.
Analysis of 2003 agreement with Libya ending their weapons of mass destruction programs.