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Donald N. Jensen

Resident Fellow

Donald N. Jensen joins the Center for Transatlantic Relations from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.  From 2002-2008 he was Director of Research and Analysis at RFE/RL, where he oversaw that international news organization's analytical publications, including the daily RFE/RL Newsline.  He also managed the organization's extensive program of conferences and briefings. Jensen writes extensively on Russian domestic politics, foreign policy, security and energy issues, especially the politics of Russian business.

Jensen is a frequent commentator on radio and television in the US, Russia, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East, including CNN International and the Lehrer News Hour.  He is a regular analyst on Russian affairs for the BBC, Al Jazeera television (Arabic and English), and Iranian television.  Jensen was a consultant and commentator for the PBS program "Return of the Czar," which won the Overseas Press Club's Edward R. Murrow Award in 2001 for distinguished reporting on international affairs.

In addition to his duties at RFE/RL, Jensen has been adjunct professor of comparative politics at George Washington University, and has lectured or taught at Oxford, Columbia, Harvard, Cornell Stanford, and other major universities. 

Between 1996 and 2002 he served as Associate Director of Broadcasting for RFE/RL.  In that capacity he played a key role in RFE/RL's move from Munich to Prague and was instrumental in bolstering RFE/RL's broadcasting to Russia, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. 

A Foreign Service officer from 1985-1996, Dr. Jensen joined RFE/RL after a two-year assignment in Moscow as deputy chief of the U.S. Embassy's Political/Internal Section. While there, he analyzed political trends and developments in Russia, and served as a monitor for the 1993 Russian legislative elections.  Dr. Jensen worked on arms control issues for the START and SDI negotiations in 1987-1989 and in 1988 was a member of the first 10-man US team to inspect Soviet missile bases under the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) Treaty.  He also served as a political officer in the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.

From 1980-1984 Jensen was a research fellow at the School of Education, Stanford University, where he was deputy director of the Law and Education Program, a federally-funded grant program for research and training on education and public policy issues. While at Stanford, Jensen co-edited one book and wrote numerous articles on law and public policy. He also lectured on constitutional law.

Dr. Jensen received his B.A. from Columbia University and Master's and Ph.D. in government from Harvard.  He has also been a Mid-Career Fellow at the Harriman Institute.

Jensen is fluent in Russian and Italian (and has been interviewed in those languages).   In his spare time, Jensen is a noted baseball author and historian.

Contact Information:
Phone:  202.663.5880

CTR Fellow Donald Jensen comments for VOA's Crossfire on


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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 

TTIP Stakeholder Forum
with key stakeholders, negotiators and legislators.

9.15 am - 5.00 pm 
Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave., NW,
Washington, DC, 20036

Friday, April 25, 2014

Nationalism versus European Integration in Central and Eastern Europe - Results, Risks and Chances
with Paul Lendvai

10.00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. 
Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC 20036

Monday, April 28, 2014

European Commission Presidential Debate
Live web-screening of debate and a panel discussion with Amb. Andras Simonyi, Desmond Dinan and Antoine Ripoll

12.30 p.m. - 3.30 p.m. 
Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave., NW,
Washington, DC, 20036

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Transatlantic challenges of preventing further destabilization in Ukraine
with Peter Burian, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Slovakia


3:00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m.
Room 812, Rome Building 1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036


Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Transatlantic Pivot to Asia
Book release with keynote addresses by 
Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, 
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Derek Chollet

8:00 am - 2:00 pm
2nd Floor Conference Room
1616 Rhode Island Avenue, NW,
Washington DC, 20036

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Democratic Transition in Tunisia: Moving Forward
with Mustapha Ben Jaafar, President of the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia

10:00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.
Kenney Auditorium
1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036