Garrett was with the Council from 2003 to 2006. He was founding executive director of the Institute for Sino-American International Dialogue at the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 2007 and was director of the Initiative for US-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate at the Asia Society's Center for US-China Relations from 2008 to 2009 when he rejoined the Atlantic Council. Garrett was also a consultant for twenty-two years to the US Department of Defense and other US government agencies carrying on a strategic dialogue with China. He was also a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a founding board member of the US Committee for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific, and an adjunct professor of political science at The George Washington University.
He has made nearly sixty trips to China since 1981 for consultations with Chinese officials and analysts as well as numerous similar visits to Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea in East Asia. He has also traveled with the NIC to most of the G-20 countries for global trends consultations.
Garrett has written extensively on a wide range of issues, including longterm global trends, the implications of technology for US foreign policy; US-China relations and cooperation on climate change, energy, and other strategic issues; US strategy toward China; Chinese foreign policy and views of the strategic environment; globalization and its strategic impact; US defense policy and Asian security; and arms control and nuclear strategy. He has been published in numerous journals and media outlets, including Arms Control Today, Asian Survey, The Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly, Chinadialogue, China-US Focus, CNN.com, The Far Eastern Economic Review, The Globalist, Global Times, International Security, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Asia Contemporary Southeast Asia, The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, Le Monde Diplomatique, the New York Times, The Washington Quarterly, and YaleGlobal, and has contributed to many edited volumes on Asian and strategic affairs. He is the coauthor of War and Peace: The Views from Moscow and Peking (1984).
Garrett received his BA from Stanford University and his PhD from Brandeis University.