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About Frederick Kempe

Fred Kempe is the president and chief executive officer of the Atlantic Council. Under his leadership since 2007, the Council has achieved historic, industry-leading growth in size and influence, expanding its work through regional centers spanning the globe and through centers focused on topics ranging from international security and energy to global trade and next generation mentorship. Before joining the Council, Kempe was a prize-winning editor and reporter at the Wall Street Journal for more than twenty-five years. In New York, he served as assistant managing editor, International, and columnist. Prior to that, he was the longest-serving editor and associate publisher ever of the Wall Street Journal Europe, running the global Wall Street Journal’s editorial operations in Europe and the Middle East.

In 2002, The European Voice, a leading publication following EU affairs, selected Kempe as one of the fifty most influential Europeans, and as one of the four leading journalists in Europe. At the Wall Street Journal, he served as a roving correspondent based out of London; as a Vienna Bureau chief covering Eastern Europe and East-West Affairs; as chief diplomatic correspondent in Washington, DC; and as the paper’s first Berlin Bureau chief following the unification of Germany and collapse of the Soviet Union.

As a reporter, he covered events including the rise of Solidarity in Poland and the growing Eastern European resistance to Soviet rule; the coming to power of Mikhail Gorbachev in Russia and his summit meetings with President Ronald Reagan; the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon in the 1980s; and the American invasion of Panama. He also covered the unification of Germany and the collapse of Soviet Communism.

He is the author of four books. The most recent, Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth, was a New York Times Best Seller and a National Best Seller. Published in 2011, it has subsequently been translated into thirteen different languages.

Kempe is a graduate of the University of Utah and has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he was a member of the International Fellows program in the School of International Affairs. He won the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism’s top alumni achievement award and the University of Utah’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

For his commitment to strengthening the transatlantic alliance, Kempe has been decorated by the Presidents of Poland and Germany and by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Content

Sun, Nov 10, 2019

Hopes and gains from Berlin Wall’s fall at risk

If US and European leaders don’t recover the common purpose they shared at that time – and there is yet little sign they will – this weekend’s Berlin Wall anniversary is more a moment for concern than celebration.

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

China Europe & Eurasia

Tue, Nov 5, 2019

Tougher test than Cold War

As the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall approaches, does the US have a consistent strategy and a unified alliance needed to address today's challenges?

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

China Europe & Eurasia

Sun, Oct 27, 2019

Geopolitical earthquake shakes US position

Though the tremors have long been evident, it’s growing clearer with each day that we’re experiencing a seismic shift that is threatening the political and economic world the United States did so much to create.

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

Europe & Eurasia Russia

Sun, Oct 20, 2019

The dangers of neglecting allies

President Trump’s maximum pressure and Iran’s escalating responses have increased the risks of conflict. They have also brought a new chance of resolution that may become the most significant test yet of President Trump’s ability to transform his disruptive foreign policy into positive outcomes.

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

Europe & Eurasia European Union

Sat, Sep 28, 2019

China at 70: Xi’s bold bet

With every day, China’s leadership is more openly demonstrating its desire and capability to shape the global future in the face of a distracted America.

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

China

Sat, Sep 21, 2019

Trump’s Iran test: Nerves and vision

President Trump’s maximum pressure and Iran’s escalating responses have increased the risks of conflict. They have also brought a new chance of resolution that may become the most significant test yet of President Trump’s ability to transform his disruptive foreign policy into positive outcomes.

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

Defense Policy Economic Sanctions

Sat, Sep 14, 2019

Abu Dhabi dispatch: The great Sino-US decoupling

Delegates at this year’s World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi UAE continued to worry about the US-Chinese trade war. At the same time, however, they were shifting more focus to the more momentous and generational event of a US-Chinese economic decoupling.

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

China Energy Markets & Governance

Sat, Jul 27, 2019

Trump’s Iran moment

President Trump’s maximum pressure and Iran’s escalating responses have increased the risks of conflict. They have also brought a new chance of resolution that may become the most significant test yet of President Trump’s ability to transform his disruptive foreign policy into positive outcomes.

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

Iran

Sat, Jul 13, 2019

Fighting the wrong war

If ever there was a “wrong war at the wrong time,” the transatlantic trade conflict that’s boiling this summer defines it. 

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

Economy & Business European Union

Sat, Jul 6, 2019

Special edition: saving democracy

Dangers are accelerating to the democratic ideals that the American Revolution inspired.

Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe

China Politics & Diplomacy