Paul J. Saunders is Executive Director of the Center for the National Interest (CFTNI) and a member of the Center’s Board of Directors. He is the Center’s Chief Operating Officer and directs its U.S.-Russian Relations Program in addition to leading projects on other issues, including energy and climate change and U.S.- Japan relations. He is also Associate Publisher of the foreign policy magazine The National Interest, published bi-monthly by CFTNI.
Mr. Saunders served in the Bush Administration from 2003 to 2005 as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs. In that capacity, he worked on a broad range of transnational issues, in particular with respect to Russia, Ukraine, and the former Soviet Union, as well as Iraq, China and India. Earlier, Mr. Saunders served as Director of the Center from 1997 to 2003, and was Assistant Director of the Center from its founding in 1994 until 1997. In 2000, he was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Speaker’s Advisory Group on Russia, established by the Republican Policy Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has written extensively for major newspapers and journals, and is a frequent commentator in national media, including CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. Mr. Saunders is the editor of A New Direction in U.S.-Russia Relations? America’s Challenges & Opportunities in Dealing with Russia; Costs of a New Cold War: The U.S.-Russia Confrontation over Ukraine and Enduring Rivalry: American and Russian Perspectives on the Former Soviet Space and the author of works including Extended Deterrence in a Changing Asia; Russian Energy and European Security; and Russia and the Greater Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities (with Geoffrey Kemp).
Saunders holds a B.A. in Political Science and Russian and East European Studies, an M.A. in Political Science, and an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Michigan.