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Expertise: International development, global conflict, human rights, United Nations

John Norris is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at American Progress. He has served in a number of senior roles in government, international institutions, and nonprofits. In 2014, John was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Global Development Council, a body charged with advising the administration on effective development practices.

John previously served as the Executive Director of the Enough Project at American Progress and was the chief of political affairs for the U.N. Mission in Nepal. Previously, John served as the Washington chief of staff for the International Crisis Group and as the director of communications for U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. He also worked as a speechwriter and field disaster expert at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

John is the author of several books, including Mary McGrory: The First Queen of Journalism, a biography of the late journalist, and the Disaster Gypsies, a memoir of his work in the field of emergency relief. John has published commentary in scores of outlets including, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He has a graduate degree in public administration.

By John Norris
President Obama and his development legacyDevexJuly 12, 2016
President Bush and his development legacyDevexJuly 5, 2016
A Better Approach to Fragile StatesCenter for American ProgressJune 22, 2016
The U.N.’s World Humanitarian Summit Is a Total MessForeign PolicyMay 19, 2016
A Critical Year for HumanitarianismCenter for American ProgressFebruary 9, 2016
The woman who challenged Nixon: The Watergate story that transcends Woodward and BernsteinSalonOctober 4, 2015
Crisis in ContextCenter for American ProgressSeptember 18, 2015
President Obama’s Africa Record: The Hard Road to a Genuine PartnershipCenter for American ProgressJuly 21, 2015
The Record of the Millennium Development Goals in States Affected by Conflict, Fragility, and CrisisCenter for American ProgressJune 8, 2015
Fragile ProgressCenter for American ProgressJune 8, 2015
The River That Swallows All DamsForeign PolicyMay 8, 2015
Congress, What Is It Good For?Foreign PolicySeptember 15, 2014
USAID: A history of US foreign aidDevexJuly 23, 2014
Applying Universal Goals to the United StatesCenter for American ProgressMay 12, 2014
Queen MaryPolitico MagazineMay 1, 2014
In the Wake of Mass MurderForeign PolicyApril 7, 2014
In Defense of the HandoutForeign PolicyMarch 24, 2014
Too Young: Helping Child Brides in the Developing WorldCenter for American ProgressMarch 19, 2014
The Case for Regional CompactsCenter for American ProgressMarch 17, 2014
The First Time Putin Tried to Invade a Foreign CountryCenter for American ProgressMarch 13, 2014
Something Rotten in the State of DenmarkForeign PolicyJanuary 14, 2014
America Is Not the GrinchForeign PolicyDecember 24, 2013
The Crucible: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Future of USAIDWorld Politics ReviewNovember 19, 2013
What Lies Beneath: Nazi art, Bosnian graves and Syria’s dark secrets.Foreign PolicyNovember 7, 2013
How to Balance Safety and Security for America’s DiplomatsThe AtlanticNovember 4, 2013
The Clean Plate ClubForeign PolicyOctober 30, 2013
‘Smart power’, where development and defence meetThe GuardianOctober 18, 2013
The Walking DumbForeign PolicyOctober 2, 2013
The Syrian DisconnectForeign PolicySeptember 19, 2013
Make Them Eat CakeForeign PolicySeptember 3, 2013
The Supervillain SyndromeForeign PolicyAugust 26, 2013
Foggy Bottom ReviewForeign PolicyAugust 20, 2013
The Role of the U.S. Government in Promoting Private-Sector Development SolutionsCenter for American ProgressAugust 14, 2013
APB for the APBForeign PolicyJuly 17, 2013
Leading from NowhereForeign PolicyJuly 10, 2013
Atrocities Prevention BoardCenter for American ProgressJune 13, 2013
The World in 2030Foreign PolicyMay 30, 2013
Ship StormForeign PolicyMay 21, 2013
The Ghost of IraqForeign PolicyMay 1, 2013
American Assistance Is Spread Too WidelyThe New York TimesApril 8, 2013
Left HookForeign PolicyApril 3, 2013
Turdblossom to the Rescue?Foreign PolicyMarch 19, 2013
Let Them Eat SubsidiesForeign PolicyMarch 1, 2013
Ending Extreme Poverty in Our Time?Foreign PolicyFebruary 14, 2013
Is America Training Too Many Foreign Armies?Foreign PolicyJanuary 29, 2013
Pop Goes the NomineeForeign PolicyJanuary 16, 2013
Beyond GDPForeign PolicyDecember 26, 2012
The Turning Point in Spending for Combating HIV/AIDSCenter for American ProgressNovember 29, 2012
Four More Years … in ExileForeign PolicyNovember 26, 2012
Please God, Not Another Blue-Ribbon PanelForeign PolicyOctober 24, 2012
Open Mouth, Insert FootForeign PolicyOctober 4, 2012
Is America Ready for a Male Secretary of State?Foreign PolicySeptember 24, 2012
The Golden GunForeign PolicyAugust 13, 2012
Money Pit on the PotomacForeign PolicyJuly 31, 2012
Hired Gun FightForeign PolicyJuly 18, 2012
How to Get Your Country off the Sh*t ListForeign PolicyJuly 5, 2012
Does Obama Have a Strategy for Africa?Foreign PolicyJune 20, 2012
Interactive Map: Ranking Our Foreign Aid RecipientsCenter for American ProgressMay 8, 2012
Engagement Amid AusterityCenter for American ProgressMay 7, 2012
Ostriches and Automatic WeaponsForeign PolicyApril 27, 2012
Interactive Map: Foreign AidCenter for American ProgressMarch 19, 2012
It All Starts with TrainingCenter for American ProgressDecember 14, 2011
Foreign Aid Cuts Can Be ReasonableU.S. News and World ReportOctober 11, 2011
The Price of FailureForeign PolicyOctober 5, 2011
How to Help SomaliaCenter for American ProgressOctober 3, 2011
Twenty Years of Collapse and CountingCenter for American ProgressSeptember 14, 2011
International War Crimes and JusticeCenter for American ProgressJune 29, 2011
Afghan Aid Under the MicroscopeCenter for American ProgressJune 9, 2011
4 Ways to Save $2 Billion While Improving U.S. Foreign AidCNNMay 26, 2011
Five Steps to Make Our Aid More Effective and Save More Than $2 BillionCenter for American ProgressMay 5, 2011
Withdrawing from the United Nations: A Misguided AssaultCenter for American ProgressMay 2, 2011
Five Myths About Foreign AidThe Washington PostApril 28, 2011
The Y ArticleForeign PolicyApril 13, 2011
The U.S. Global Development CouncilCenter for American ProgressApril 8, 2011
Can America Rise to the Occasion in the Middle East?Center for American ProgressMarch 28, 2011
Reading the Tea Leaves in LibyaCenter for American ProgressMarch 18, 2011
Learning from the Post-Soviet EraCenter for American ProgressMarch 15, 2011
Rushing Carefully in LibyaCenter for American ProgressMarch 8, 2011
Qaddafi’s Last Stand?Center for American ProgressFebruary 22, 2011
Where Do We Go from Here?Center for American ProgressFebruary 17, 2011
Interactive Map: Foreign Aid Analysis Made EasyCenter for American ProgressFebruary 7, 2011
The Road to Better Aid: An Emerging Bipartisan Consensus?American Enterprise InstituteJanuary 13, 2011
The Ambassadors-as-CEOs ModelForeign PolicyDecember 17, 2010
U.S. Foreign Aid Reform Meets the Tea PartyCenter for American ProgressNovember 22, 2010
Can Progressives and Tea Partiers Find Love Across the Aisle?Foreign PolicyNovember 3, 2010
Reinventing Diplomacy and Development?InterActionOctober 26, 2010
Getting Development Right in HaitiCenter for American ProgressOctober 25, 2010
No Easy Fix for U.S. Foreign AidForeign PolicySeptember 24, 2010
Ask the Expert: Building a Better Security BudgetCenter for American ProgressJuly 1, 2010
Less Is MoreCenter for American ProgressJune 8, 2010
Sudan Is Still Up to No GoodCenter for American ProgressMarch 11, 2010
Testing Obama’s Sudan PolicyCenter for American ProgressOctober 20, 2009
Sudan Score CardCenter for American ProgressOctober 19, 2009
Lawyers, Guns, and MoneyCenter for American ProgressOctober 14, 2009
Two Years to Self Destruct in SudanCenter for American ProgressSeptember 3, 2009
Not Enough?Center for American ProgressAugust 13, 2009
Give Reality a ChanceCenter for American ProgressJune 26, 2009
Congo’s Electronic Blood DiamondsCenter for American ProgressMay 8, 2009
Getting It Right: What the United States Can Do To Prevent Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity in the Twenty-First CenturyCenter for American ProgressMarch 2, 2009
Letter to President-Elect Barack ObamaCenter for American ProgressNovember 6, 2008