Joel H. Rosenthal

President, Carnegie Council

Joel H. Rosenthal is president of Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. As a nonprofit leader, scholar, and teacher he works to empower ethical action, with a particular focus on U.S. foreign policy, issues of war and peace, human rights, and pluralism. At Carnegie Council, Rosenthal leads a team that identifies critical ethical issues, convenes experts, and produces agenda-setting resources to educate and activate communities globally.

He is also editor-in-chief of the Ethics & International Affairs journal published by Cambridge University Press and serves on the advisory board for the Bard College Globalization and International Affairs program. Rosenthal’s first book Righteous Realists is an examination of the political realists who shaped post-WWII America in the nuclear age, including Hans Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr, and George Kennan.

He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association for his lifetime achievement in international studies and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Social Science from the University of Edinburgh. Rosenthal received his Ph.D. from Yale University and B.A. from Harvard University.

Subscribe to Rosenthal's President's Desk Newsletter and follow him on LinkedIn to receive future content translating ethics, analyzing democracy, and examining our increasingly interconnected world.

Upcoming Events

OCT 19, 2022 Event

How to Be an Ethical Individual in an Interconnected World

This Global Ethics Day, October 19, 2022, we invite you to join us for a special virtual event featuring Carnegie Council President Joel Rosenthal in conversation with ...

Featured Work

DEC 9, 2021 Podcast

Ethics, Governance, and Emerging Technologies: A Conversation with the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative (C2G) and Artificial Intelligence & Equality Initiative (AIEI)

Emerging technologies with global impact are creating new ungoverned spaces at a rapid pace. In this critical moment, frameworks and approaches to govern these technologies, ...

OCT 21, 2021 Podcast

Global Ethics Day Special Event: On the Frontlines of Democracy

Whether it's rigging elections in Hong Kong, arresting activists in Venezuela, restricting voting access in the U.S., silencing the opposition in Belarus, or censorship ...

OCT 19, 2021 Article

Let's Use Today to Empower Ethics and Build a Better Future

"It's clear that humanity faces a number of global-scale challenges," writes Joel Rosenthal in his Global Ethics Day message. "Although this moment may feel overwhelming, ...

Reflection pool at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. CREDIT: <a href="https://flic.kr/p/ei68SS">Steve Gardner</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(CC)</a>

SEP 10, 2021 Article

After 20 Years of Grey Wars, a Moment to Consider a Different Course

"As we approach the 20-year commemoration of 9/11, a chapter in the history of U.S. foreign policy is closing," writes Carnegie Council President Joel H. ...

"Tribute in Light" commemorative art installation, September 11, 2020. CREDIT: <a href="https://flickr.com/photos/wasabi_bob/50342448667/">Wasabi Bob</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(CC)</a>.

SEP 9, 2021 Podcast

Twenty Years Since 9/11: Grey Wars, American Values, & the Future of National Security

In the 20 years since the 9/11 attacks, national security decisions have tested the values of American democracy. This panel, hosted by Carnegie Council President Joel Rosenthal, ...

A United States Marine escorts a Department of State employee to evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 15, 2021. CREDIT: <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Afghanistan_withdrawal_Image_3_of_7.jpg">Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/Public Domain</a>

AUG 23, 2021 Article

The Ethics of Exit from Afghanistan

Carnegie Council President Joel H. Rosenthal discusses the post-9/11 evolution from counterterrorism to counterinsurgency and analyzes the ethics surrounding the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. ...

L to R: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. CREDIT: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plen%C3%A1rio_do_Senado_(24998818073).jpg">Beto Barata/Agência Senado</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">(CC)</a>, <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/eu2017ee/36707749773">Annika Haas </a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">(CC)</a> and <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Prime_Minister,_Shri_Narendra_Modi_addressing_at_the_webinar_for_effective_implementation_of_Union_Budget_in_Defence_Sector_(cropped)(2).jpg">Prime Minister's Office, Government of India </a> <a href="https://data.gov.in/sites/default/files/Gazette_Notification_OGDL.pdf">(GODL-India)</a>.

JUN 9, 2021 Podcast

Illiberal Democracy on the Rise: Examining Brazil, Hungary, & India

The post-World War II liberal order faces unprecedented upheaval as countries and their leaders retreat from globalism, embrace nationalism, and attack democratic norms. Whether it’...

JUN 2, 2021 Article

Narrowing Hearts and Minds: Diagnosing the Global Rise of Illiberal Democracy

From Hungary to India to Brazil to the United States, there is no doubt that illiberalism is on the rise, writes Joel Rosenthal, president of ...

United States Capitol. CREDIT: <a href="https://flickr.com/photos/alchemist_x/49207005032/">John Brighenti</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(CC)</a>

APR 16, 2021 Podcast

Are Americans Facing an Undemocratic Future? with Jason Stanley

U.S. democracy is at a dangerous inflection point. As America emerges from the January 6th assault on the Capitol, society faces a critical question: ...

APR 6, 2021 Article

Are Americans Facing an Undemocratic Future?

Faith in democracy is waning, and the events of the past year have done little to inspire confidence. Today, the presumption of democracy as an ...