Christian Caryl is an American journalist who is widely published in international politics and foreign affairs. Currently, he is a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute in London and a Contributing Editor at Foreign Policy magazine. He edits Foreign Policy’s Democracy Lab, an online project developed in conjunction with Legatum to provide coverage of countries that are trying to make the transition to democracy.
Caryl received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature, cum laude, from Yale College in 1984. Caryl has also studied foreign languages extensively: French language study at L’Institut Catholique, Paris, France; Russian language study, Pushkin Russian Language Institute, Moscow, Russia; Japanese language study, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont.
After his graduation from Yale College in 1984, Caryl traveled to Germany for a year of study at the University of Constance on a scholarship from the West German government. After finishing his studies, he moved to Berlin, where he began working as a freelance translator and copywriter. He got his start as a journalist in 1989, when he began assisting foreign correspondents covering the collapse of East Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall. He then went on to do his own writing for publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Spectator and Der Spiegel.
In 1991, Caryl traveled to the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, where he became the deputy director of a new state-sponsored institution of higher education, the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Research. Kazakhstan achieved its independence from the USSR shortly after his arrival. By the time of his departure at the end of 1992, he had experienced Kazakhstan’s first full year as a sovereign state.
From 2009 to 2010 he served as the Washington Chief Editor for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. In addition to his current posts, he is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books.
Caryl speaks English, Russian and German. During his journalistic career he has reported from some 50 countries.
Caryl’s first book, Strange Rebels, was published on April 30, 2013 by Basic Books. This non-fiction book looks closely at the year 1979 and the lasting impact it has had on foreign affairs and economics. Strange Rebels received a positive review from The Economist.
- 2010 Overseas Press Club award for “Best Online Commentary.”
- 2004 Member of reporting team that won National Magazine Awards prize to Newsweek for “The $87 Billion Money Pit,” a Nov. 3, 2003 cover story on the misuse of government funds in the Iraq War.
- 1999 Finalist in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting (with co-author David Kaplan) for “Dirty Diamonds,” an expose of Russian diamond smuggling in the August 3, 1998 issue of U.S. News & World Report.
- 'Misha' Speaks: An Interview with the Alleged Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' (New York Review of Books; April 28, 2013)
- Burmese Days (New York Review of Books; July 12, 2012)
- What About the Iraqis? (New York Review of Books; Jan. 11, 2007)
- "Democracy Lab". Foreign Policy. THE FP GROUP. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Yale Scholar Has Family In McIntosh". Ocala Star Banner. June 27, 1984. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Caryl, Christian. "Who Brought Down the Berlin Wall?". Foreign Policy. The FP Group. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Christian Caryl". Diplomaatia. International Centre for Defence Studies & SA Kultuurileht. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "MIT Fellows". MIT. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- Caryl, Christian. "The Hermit Kingdom". Foreign Policy. The FP Group. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Christian Caryl Named Head of RFE Washington Bureau". Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Best Online Commentary 2010". Overseas Press Club of America. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Foreign Policy: Burma's Nuclear Ambitions". UNZ. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Weinberger, Jillian. "1979: The Birth of the Modern Age". The Takeaway. Public Radio International. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "TYT interview Christian from Newsweek". UNZ. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Van Susteren, Greta. "Boston terror probe: Who is the mysterious 'Misha'?". On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren. Fox News. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- Burnett, Erin. "'Misha' denies radicalizing Boston bombing suspects". Out Front. CNN. Retrieved 1 May 2013.