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Daniel Fried

Distinguished Fellow, Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center

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Recent Activity

  • August 13, 2019
    The Russo-German Nord Stream gas pipeline projects—Nord Stream I, completed in 2011, and Nord Stream II scheduled to be completed around the end of 2019—are bad projects because they increase European dependence on Russian gas in general, and especially because
  • August 07, 2019
    US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman announced in an August 6 letter to US President Donald J. Trump that he intends to resign from his post effective October 3, 2019. Huntsman, who has served as the US ambassador in Moscow
  • August 05, 2019
    Late on August 2, under pressure from the US Congress and nearly seven months later than the law allows, the Trump Administration imposed additional sanctions on Russia for its attempted assassination-by-nerve-gas of a former Russian intelligence officer on British soil
  • August 02, 2019
    During his congressional testimony on July 24, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller confirmed the troubling extent of Russia’s campaign to interfere with the 2016 US Presidential election. And he memorably noted that Russia’s malign efforts to interfere in US elections
  • July 17, 2019
    After years of disinterest and occasional disagreements, the United States has re-engaged with its allies in Central Europe at a time when their help is critical in confronting a revisionist Russia and a resurgent China, Ambassador Philip T. Reeker, the
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Full Bio

In the course of his forty-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Fried played a key role in designing and implementing American policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. As special assistant and NSC senior director for Presidents Clinton and Bush, ambassador to Poland, and assistant secretary of state for Europe (2005-09), Ambassador Fried crafted the policy of NATO enlargement to Central European nations and, in parallel, NATO-Russia relations, thus advancing the goal of Europe whole, free, and at peace. During those years, the West’s community of democracy and security grew in Europe. Ambassador Fried helped lead the West’s response to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine starting in 2014: as State Department coordinator for sanctions policy, he crafted US sanctions against Russia, the largest US sanctions program to date, and negotiated the imposition of similar sanctions by Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia.   

Ambassador Fried became one of the US government’s foremost experts on Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. While a student, he lived in Moscow, majored in Soviet studies and history at Cornell University (BA magna cum laude 1975), and received an MA from Columbia’s Russian Institute and School of International Affairs in 1977. He joined the US Foreign Service later that year, serving overseas in Leningrad (human rights, Baltic affairs, and consular officer), and Belgrade (political officer), and in the Office of Soviet Affairs in the State Department. 

As Polish desk officer in the late 1980s, Fried was one of the first in Washington to recognize the impending collapse of Communism in Poland, and helped develop the immediate response of the George H.W. Bush Administration to these developments. As political counselor at the US Embassy in Warsaw (1990-93), Fried witnessed Poland’s difficult but ultimately successful free market, democratic transformation, working with successive Polish governments.

Ambassador Fried also served as the State Department’s first special envoy for the closure of the Guantanamo (GTMO) Detainee Facility. He established procedures for the transfer of individual detainees and negotiated the transfers of seventy detainees to twenty countries, with improved security outcomes.   

Dan Fried has been married to Olga Karpiw since 1979; they have two children (Hannah and Sophie), and are the besotted grandparents of Ava Helen Fried Hanley.