Chairman and Practice Head, Eurasia
Area of Expertise: Russia, Iran
Cliff Kupchan is Eurasia Group's Chairman, Practice Head for Eurasia and Iran Director. He provides top-level analysis and thought leadership on global macro issues. He also covers Russia's domestic and foreign policy, as well as its energy sector. In addition, he focuses on Iranian nuclear and foreign policy, Iranian domestic politics, and international sanctions on Iran.
Since joining Eurasia Group in 2005, Cliff has written and spoken extensively on Russia's foreign and domestic policy. His analysis is informed by a network of elite Russian contacts. His views on Iran's nuclear program, domestic Iranian politics, and international sanctions are regularly cited as definitive by major media outlets. As a longtime analyst of two major energy producers, Cliff's expertise affords him deep insight into the relationship between geopolitics and energy markets.
Previously, Cliff held a senior position at the State Department, where he served as deputy coordinator of US assistance to Eurasia during the Clinton administration. Cliff played a central role in US efforts to promote positive change in Eurasia; in particular, he led efforts to improve public policy training in Russia and tighten border security in Central Asia. Before that, Cliff worked for many years for the House International Relations Committee, where he served as the senior foreign policy adviser for Eurasia, North Africa, and foreign assistance. In an earlier stint, he served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Africa.
More recently, Cliff served as a vice president and senior fellow at The Center for the National Interest. In addition to managing the Center's operations, Cliff focused on Eurasia, the Middle East, and macro US foreign policy. From 2000 to 2002, he lived in Moscow and worked as the vice president of the Eurasia Foundation, leading programmatic and fundraising efforts for one of the leading foundations in Russia. Under Cliff's leadership, the Foundation was very active in promoting market reform and civil society. He managed a large staff of Russian nationals.
Cliff holds an AB from Brown University and an MA from Stanford University. He is fluent in Russian.