International Forum for Democratic Studies Research Council Member

Ted Piccone

Brookings Institution

Ted Piccone is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy and the Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. Previously, he also served as the Foreign Policy program’s acting vice president and director from 2013 to 2014 and deputy director from 2008 to 2013. His research currently focuses on global democracy and human rights policies; U.S.-Latin America relations, including Cuba; emerging powers; and multilateral affairs.

A foreign policy and legal expert on issues of democracy, human rights, international organizations and U.S.-Latin American affairs, Mr. Piccone has over 25 years of experience in government, law and research. Mr. Piccone served eight years as a senior foreign policy advisor in the Clinton Administration as the associate director of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff (1998-2001), director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council (1996-98), and policy advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (1993-1996). From 2001-2008, Mr. Piccone was the executive director and co-founder of the Democracy Coalition Project (DCP), a research and advocacy organization working to promote international cooperation for democracy and human rights globally. Mr. Piccone also served as counsel for the United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador (1992-93) and as press secretary to U.S. Rep. Bob Edgar.

Mr. Piccone received a law degree from Columbia University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual. He earned a B.A. in History magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

His latest book, Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order (Brookings Institution Press, 2015), examines the global contest for democracy and human rights and the role of five rising democracies—India, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia—as both examples and supporters of liberal ideas and practices. He has published a number of shorter pieces on this theme, including “Will Rising Democracies Adopt Pro-Human Rights Foreign Policies?” (South African Institute for International Affairs, 2014); “The Path to Progress? How Democratic Development Drives Five Rising Leaders” (Gorus Turkey, 2013, with Ashley Miller); Global Swing States and the Human Rights and Democracy Order (German Marshall Fund, November 2012); and Rising Democracies and the Arab Awakening: Implications for Global Democracy and Human Rights (Brookings Institution, January 2012, with Emily Alinikoff).  In 2012, he authored Catalysts for Change: How the UN’s Independent Experts Promote Human Rights (Brookings Institution Press, 2012), the first assessment of how the UN’s special rapporteurs address human rights at the national level.  Other recent publications include: “The Politics and Geopolitics of Global Democracy and Human Rights Order,” in Saul Takahashi, ed., Human Rights, Human Security and State Security (ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2014); Cuba’s Economic Change in Comparative Perspective (Richard Feinberg and Ted Piccone, eds., November 2014); The Cuba-Venezuela Alliance: The Beginning of the End?” (Brookings Institution, June 2014); “The Future of the United Nations Special Procedures,” in Scott Sheeran and Sir Nigel Rodley, eds., Routledge Handbook of International Human Rights Law (Routledge, 2013); and Shifting the Balance: Obama and the Americas (Abraham Lowenthal, Ted Piccone and Laurence Whitehead, eds., 2011).  He also co-edited a book with Richard Youngs on Strategies for Democratic Change: Assessing the Global Response (2006) and with Robert Herman, Defending Democracy; A Global Survey of Foreign Policy Trends 1992-2002.

Forum Events

“Foreign Policies of Emerging Market Democracies: What Role for Democracy and Human Rights?” Brookings Institution (Apr. 14-15, 2011)

Forum Publications

“Do New Democracies Support Democracy? The Multilateral Dimension,” Journal of Democracy (Oct. 2011)