James Rubin

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James Rubin
James Rubin.jpg
Rubin in 2003
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
In office
August 7, 1997 – April 2, 2000
President William Jefferson Clinton
Preceded by Thomas E. Donilon
Succeeded by Richard Boucher
Personal details
Born James Phillip Rubin
(1960-01-07) January 7, 1960 (age 56)
Larchmont, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Christiane Amanpour (1998–)
Children Darius John Rubin (b. 2000)
Education Phillips Exeter Academy,
New Hampshire
Alma mater Columbia College, Columbia University (BA, 1982)
School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University (MIA, 1984)
Boston University, Massachusetts
This article is about the political commentator. For the art historian, see James H. Rubin.

James Phillip "Jamie" Rubin (born 1960) is an American former diplomat and journalist, and served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs in the Clinton Administration from 1997—2000. He writes a regular column on foreign affairs for The Sunday Times of London, and is contributing editor to The New Republic, writing regularly on foreign affairs.[1] He was Visiting Scholar 2013–14 at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford.

Having served in the State Department during the administration of President Bill Clinton, Rubin became a Sky News television news journalist and commentator. In 2013, he moved from New York City to live permanently in London, England, with his wife, CNN Chief International Correspondent and anchor Christiane Amanpour, and their teenage son.[2]

Early life[edit]

Rubin was born on January 7, 1960 into a Jewish family in New York City,[3][4] and raised in the village of Larchmont, in Westchester County, New York.[5] He is the son of Harvey Rubin, a publisher and President of Pindar Press, and his wife, Judith, who trained students specializing in psychiatry.[6]


Rubin was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, a boarding university-preparatory independent school in the town of Exeter, New Hampshire, from which he graduated in 1977,[7] followed by Columbia College at Columbia University, from which he graduated with a BA in political science in 1982, and a Master of International Affairs (MIA) in 1984 from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. At Columbia, Rubin was a student of Zalmay Khalilzad, later U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations under President George W. Bush. Rubin also attended Boston University in Massachusetts.


Early in his career, Rubin was the Assistant Director of Research at the Arms Control Association.[8]

Clinton administration[edit]

Rubin served under President Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Chief Spokesman for the State Department from 1997 to May 2000. In the Clinton administration, he was considered Secretary Madeleine Albright's right-hand man.

2000–2006: academia and media[edit]

After leaving government, Rubin and his family relocated to London. He took on a portfolio career, becoming: a Visiting Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics; a partner at communications consultancy Brunswick; and between 2002 and 2003, the host of PBS's Wide Angle series, a weekly international affairs program.

Returning to the United States, Rubin served as chief foreign policy spokesman for General Wesley Clark's presidential campaign, and then worked for Democratic nominee John Kerry, serving as a senior advisor for national security affairs.

Returning to London, from October 2005 to July 2006 Rubin became lead news anchor on World News Tonight on Sky News.

Support for Hillary Clinton 2008 candidacy[edit]

After returning to the United States in 2007 in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, Rubin was a member of Hillary Clinton's campaign team for the 2008 Democratic nomination. He caused some controversy when he described Lord Trimble, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner and former First Minister of Northern Ireland, as a "crankpot" for stating that Hillary Clinton's claim to have been "helpful" in the Northern Ireland peace process was "a wee bit silly".[9] Rubin also stated that Trimble's opinion was not important as he was "a Protestant", and so "traditionally conservative".[10]

During the 2008 campaign, Rubin was a guest on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer in a foreign policy discussion with Susan Rice, who later became Barack Obama's nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations.[11]

2009 to present[edit]

Rubin joined Bloomberg News in December 2010 and oversees editorial issues of Bloomberg News in Central and South America, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.[12] He also led Bloomberg View, a Bloomberg op-ed project,[13] with David Shipley.[12] After only 10 months he quit the position,[14] appointed adjunct professor at Columbia University. Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Rubin commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2011 as well as a counselor to the state's Empire State Development Corporation.

Rubin resigned all of his US-based positions on May 29, 2013,[15] announcing that the family would return to London to work on several projects. Rubin is presently writing a book about America’s use of military force abroad, and was appointed scholar in residence at Oxford University's Rothermere American Institute.[15]

Personal life[edit]

James Rubin is the son of publisher Harvey Rubin and his wife Judith.[16] James' sister Elizabeth Rubin is a journalist, Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and staff writer for The New York Times Magazine.

In 1998 Rubin, who at the time was spokesman for the US State Department, married Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent for CNN. Having moved to London, England, they returned to New York City in 2010, where they rented an apartment in Manhattan's Upper West Side.[1] In 2013, he, his wife and son, Darius John Rubin (born 2000), moved back to London to live permanently.[2] Their son attends a new school in England, that he is "enjoying very much",[2] and he was a member of the school debating team at Tonbridge School, a boarding independent school in the market town of Tonbridge, in Kent, England.[17]


  1. ^ a b Mike Allen (May 31, 2013). "Rubin, Amanpour to London". Politico. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Celia Walden (Oct 20, 2013). "Christiane Amanpour: 'In my job, it's just like being a man – but better'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ "James Rubin • Biography & Images". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Yahoo". Yahoo. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Macon Morehouse (March 30, 1998). "Foreign Affair". People magazine. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ "WEDDINGS; Jamie Rubin, Christiane Amanpour". The New York Times. August 9, 1998. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Phillips Exeter Alumni/ae (1977 - James Phillip Rubin)". Phillips Exeter Academy. September 9, 2016. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Arms Control Association - The authoritative source on arms control since 1971.". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Will & Testament: Clinton aide slurs David Trimble as a 'crankpot'". BBC News. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  10. ^ http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article3555980.ece.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "CNN.com Video". CNN. 
  12. ^ a b "David Shipley and James P. Rubin to Join Bloomberg News". 2010-12-15. 
  13. ^ Barbaro, Michael (2011-02-28). "Bloomberg Testing the World of Opinion". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Peters, Jeremy W.; Barbaro, Michael (27 September 2011). "James Rubin Abruptly Departs Bloomberg". NY Times. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "AMANPOUR'S HUSBAND RESIGNS AS PORT AUTHORITY HEAD". AP. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "WEDDINGS; Jamie Rubin, Christiane Amanpour". The New York Times. 1998-08-09. 
  17. ^ "School House win senior debating final". Tonbridge School, Kent. February 3, 2016. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Thomas E. Donilon
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
August 7, 1997 – April 2, 2000
Succeeded by
Richard Boucher