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
Preceded by Thomas E. Donilon
Succeeded by Richard Boucher
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. He writes a regular column on foreign affairs for the Sunday Times of London. 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, he became a Sky News television news journalist and commentator. He is married to the CNN correspondent and anchor Christiane Amanpour.

Early life[edit]

Rubin was born into a Jewish family in New York City.[1][2] He graduated from Columbia 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, Massachusetts.


Early in his career, he was the Assistant Director of Research at the Arms Control Association.[3]

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, he 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 Irish peace process was, "A wee bit silly".[4] He also stated that Trimble's opinion was not important as he was 'a Protestant', and so 'traditionally conservative'.[5]

During the 2008 campaign, he was a guest on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer in a foreign policy discussion with Susan Rice, who later became Obama's nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations.[6]

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.[7] He also led Bloomberg View, a Bloomberg op-ed project,[8] with David Shipley.[7] After only 10 months he quit the position,[9] 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,[10] 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.[10]

Personal life[edit]

He is the son of publisher Harvey Rubin and his wife Judith.[11]

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. Their son, Darius John Rubin, was born in 2000.


  1. ^ "James Rubin • Biography & Images". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Yahoo". Yahoo. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Arms Control Association - The authoritative source on arms control since 1971.". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Will & Testament: Clinton aide slurs David Trimble as a "crankpot"". BBC News. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  5. ^ http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article3555980.ece.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "CNN.com Video". CNN. 
  7. ^ a b "David Shipley and James P. Rubin to Join Bloomberg News". 2010-12-15. 
  8. ^ Barbaro, Michael (2011-02-28). "Bloomberg Testing the World of Opinion". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Peters, Jeremy W.; Barbaro, Michael (27 September 2011). "James Rubin Abruptly Departs Bloomberg". NY Times. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "AMANPOUR'S HUSBAND RESIGNS AS PORT AUTHORITY HEAD". AP. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "WEDDINGS; Jamie Rubin, Christiane Amanpour". The New York Times. 1998-08-09. 

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