William J. Antholis

Fast Facts

  • Former managing director at The Brookings Institution
  • Director of international economic affairs for the National Security Council in the Clinton Administration
  • Expertise on climate change, India, China, international economics, development, U.S. foreign policy

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Asia
  • Domestic Affairs
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Science and Technology
  • Economic Issues
  • Trade
  • Elections
  • Politics
  • The Presidency

William J. Antholis serves as Director and CEO of the Miller Center, a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history.

Immediately prior, he served as managing director at The Brookings Institution from 2004 to 2014. In that capacity, he worked directly with Brookings' president and vice presidents to help manage the full range of policy studies, develop new initiatives, coordinate research across programs, strengthen the policy impact of Brookings’ research, and ensure the quality and independence of that research. On behalf of Brookings’ president, he also worked directly with Brookings’ board of trustees and a range of university, philanthropic, and other institutional partners. He was a resident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, where his work focused on the politics and institutions of international diplomacy.

Antholis is the author of the book Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go Global. It explores how country-sized provinces and states in the world’s two biggest nations are increasingly becoming global players. Along with Brookings’ President Strobe Talbott, he is the author of Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming. He has published articles, book chapters, and opinion pieces on U.S. politics, U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, the G8, climate change, and trade.

From 1995 to 1999, Antholis served in government. At the White House, he was director of international economic affairs on the staff of the National Security Council and National Economic Council, where he served as the chief staff person for the G8 Summits in 1997 and 1998. He also was deputy director of the White House climate change policy team. At the State Department, he served on the policy planning staff and in the economic affairs bureau. Prior to joining Brookings, he served for five years as director of studies and senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund, a U.S. grant-making and public policy institution devoted to strengthening transatlantic cooperation. In that capacity, Antholis was project director of the Trade and Poverty Forum, a six-country dialogue of leading citizens and legislators focused on using the global economy to address persistent global poverty and inequality. He was also an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations and a visiting fellow at the Center of International Studies at Princeton University.

In 1991, Antholis co-founded the Civic Education Project, a nonprofit organization that supported western-trained social science instructors at universities in 23 Central and Eastern European countries. He served on its board of trustees until 2007, when it was absorbed by the Central Eastern European University.

Antholis earned his Ph.D. from Yale University in politics (1993) and his B.A. from the University of Virginia in government and foreign affairs (1986).

William J. Antholis News Feed

It began with a tweet, as so many things seem to do these days. Like many, William Antholis, the director of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, was troubled by allegations of domestic violence against President Trump’s staff secretary, Rob Porter. Porter’s two ex-wives told FBI agents of the abuse during a routine background check on the high-level White House aide. Porter, who has denied the allegations, resigned last week when they became public.
William Antholis UVA Today
William Antholis served on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton and wrote an article for Politico outlining the ways in which White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly may have put classified material at risk. “In essence,” Antholis wrote, “Kelly either (a) allowed a key aide in the chain of information access to [Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized Information] without a clearance, (b) waived the process entirely or (c) created a system that worked around him.” Each of those options has ancillary problems for the administration.
William Antholis The Washington Post
William Antholis is interviewed on the Don Lemon show about the White House security clearance process
William Antholis CNN
Porter may have had access to America’s top secrets. Chief of Staff John Kelly has some explaining to do, writes Miller Center CEO William Antholis.
For White House and the National Security Council staff veterans, the revelation that Porter did not have a full security clearance raises a number of real questions that must be answered. Those questions speak directly to the safety of America’s most sensitive intelligence officers and most dangerous operations.
William J. Antholis POLITICO Magazine
On January 18, 2018, Miller Center presidential scholars and veteran White House practitioners came together to animate the work of our First Year Project through discussions on national security, domestic policy, management of the federal government, White House communications, and legislative affairs.
Natalie Russell