James Rubin

James Phillip Rubin (born March 28, 1960) is an American former diplomat and journalist who served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs in the Clinton Administration from 1997–2000. He wrote a regular column on foreign affairs for The Sunday Times of London, and is currently Chair, International Policy and Strategy at Ballard Partners, based in Washington DC. He is also a Contributing Editor at Politico, writing on U.S. foreign policy and world affairs.

James Rubin
James Rubin.jpg
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
In office
August 7, 1997 – April 2, 2000
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byThomas E. Donilon
Succeeded byRichard Boucher
Personal details
James Phillip Rubin

(1960-03-28) March 28, 1960 (age 61)
Larchmont, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Christiane Amanpour (1998–2018, separated)
RelativesElizabeth Rubin (sister)
EducationColumbia University (BA, MIA)
Boston University

Having served in the State Department during the administration of President Bill Clinton, Rubin became a Sky News presenter with his own show called World News Tonight. The show was short-lived and after it was cancelled he became a commentator for the channel. In 2013, he moved from New York City to live permanently in London, England, with his wife, CNN Chief International Correspondent and anchor Christiane Amanpour, and their teenage son.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Rubin was born on March 28, 1960, into a Jewish family in New York City,[2][3] and raised in the village of Larchmont, in Westchester County, New York.[4] He is the son of Harvey Rubin, a publisher and President of Pindar Press, and his wife, Judith (née Lowe), who trained students specializing in psychiatry.[5][6]


Rubin was educated at Mamaroneck high school, from which he graduated in 1977,[7] followed by Columbia College at Columbia University, from which he graduated with a BA in political science in 1982, and a Master of International Affairs (MIA) in 1984 from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. At Columbia, Rubin was a student of Zalmay Khalilzad, later U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations under President George W. Bush. Rubin also attended Boston University in Massachusetts.


Early in his career, Rubin was the Assistant Director of Research at the Arms Control Association.[8]

Clinton administrationEdit

Rubin served under President Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Chief Spokesman for the State Department from 1997 to May 2000. In the Clinton administration, he was considered Secretary Madeleine Albright's right-hand man.

2000–2006: academia and mediaEdit

After leaving government, Rubin and his family relocated to London. He took on a portfolio career, becoming: a Visiting Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics; a partner at communications consultancy Brunswick; and between 2002 and 2003, the host of PBS's Wide Angle series, a weekly international affairs program.

Returning to the United States, Rubin served as chief foreign policy spokesman for General Wesley Clark's presidential campaign from the launch of Clark's campaign in 2003 until Clark withdrew during the Democratic Party's 2004 Presidential Primaries, and then worked for Democratic nominee John Kerry during his 2004 Presidential Campaign, serving as a senior advisor for national security affairs. He quickly made a name for himself.

Returning to London, from October 2005 to July 2006 Rubin became lead news anchor on World News Tonight on Sky News.

Support for Hillary Clinton 2008 candidacyEdit

After returning to the United States in 2007 in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, Rubin was a member of Hillary Clinton's campaign team for the 2008 Democratic nomination. He caused some controversy when he described Lord Trimble, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner and former First Minister of Northern Ireland, as a "crankpot" for stating that Hillary Clinton's claim to have been "helpful" in the Northern Ireland peace process was "a wee bit silly".[9] Rubin also stated that Trimble's opinion was not important as he was "a Protestant", and so "traditionally conservative".[10]

During the 2008 campaign, Rubin was a guest on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer in a foreign policy discussion with Susan Rice, who later became Barack Obama's nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations.[11]

2009 to presentEdit

Rubin joined Bloomberg News in December 2010 and oversees editorial issues of Bloomberg News in Central and South America, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.[12] He also led Bloomberg View, a Bloomberg op-ed project,[13] with David Shipley.[12] After only 10 months he quit the position,[14] appointed adjunct professor at Columbia University. Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Rubin commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2011 as well as a counselor to the state's Empire State Development Corporation.

Rubin resigned all of his US-based positions on May 29, 2013,[15] announcing that the family would return to London to work on several projects. Rubin was appointed scholar in residence at Oxford University's Rothermere American Institute. He also wrote a weekly foreign affairs column for the Sunday Times and co-chaired a high-level panel on Extending American Power for the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

Rubin is currently chair of International Policy and Strategy at Ballard Partners, based in Washington DC. He is also a contributing editor at Politico, writing on U.S. foreign policy and world affairs.

Personal lifeEdit

Rubin is the son of publisher Harvey Rubin and his wife Judith.[16] His sister Elizabeth Rubin is a journalist, Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and staff writer for The New York Times Magazine.

In 1998 Rubin, who at the time was spokesman for the US State Department, married Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent for CNN. Having moved to London, England, they returned to New York City in 2010, where they rented an apartment in Manhattan's Upper West Side.[17] In 2013, he, his wife and son, Darius John Rubin (born 2000), moved back to London to live permanently.[1] It was announced in July 2018 that Rubin and Amanpour were getting a divorce.[18]


  1. ^ a b Celia Walden (Oct 20, 2013). "Christiane Amanpour: 'In my job, it's just like being a man – but better'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  2. ^ "James Rubin • Biography & Images". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Yahoo". Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  4. ^ Macon Morehouse (March 30, 1998). "Foreign Affair". People magazine. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  5. ^ "WEDDINGS; Jamie Rubin, Christiane Amanpour". The New York Times. August 9, 1998. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  6. ^ New York Times: "JUDITH RUBIN Obituary" September 3, 2014
  7. ^ "Phillips Exeter Alumni/ae (1977 - James Phillip Rubin)". Phillips Exeter Academy. September 9, 2016. Archived from the original on October 7, 2016. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  8. ^ "Arms Control Association - The authoritative source on arms control since 1971". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  9. ^ William Crawley (27 March 2008). "Will & Testament: Clinton aide slurs David Trimble as a 'crankpot'". BBC News. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  10. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20080331194523/http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article3555980.ece. Archived from the original on 2008-03-31. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "CNN.com Video". CNN.
  12. ^ a b "David Shipley and James P. Rubin to Join Bloomberg News". 2010-12-15.
  13. ^ Barbaro, Michael (2011-02-28). "Bloomberg Testing the World of Opinion". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Peters, Jeremy W.; Barbaro, Michael (27 September 2011). "James Rubin Abruptly Departs Bloomberg". NY Times. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  15. ^ "AMANPOUR'S HUSBAND RESIGNS AS PORT AUTHORITY HEAD". AP. Retrieved 2 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "WEDDINGS; Jamie Rubin, Christiane Amanpour". The New York Times. 1998-08-09.
  17. ^ Mike Allen (May 31, 2013). "Rubin, Amanpour to London". Politico. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  18. ^ https://people.com/tv/christiane-amanpour-jamie-rubin-divorce/

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by
Thomas E. Donilon
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
Succeeded by
Richard Boucher