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 PhD from Yale University in politics (1993) and his BA degree from the University of Virginia in government and foreign affairs (1986).

William J. Antholis News Feed

Have major recent developments in China and the United States raised the possibility that the U.S.-China relationship, which has become increasingly strained over the last 10 years, might now move in new and more positive directions? The first panel discusses the November 2020 elections in the United States, providing an analysis of the election campaigns, the electoral process, the outcomes of the elections, and the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration. It will then examine the Fifth Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee in October, which discussed the foreign and domestic economic policies underlying China’s new five-year plan that will begin in 2021. The second panel analyzes the implications of these events for Chinese policy toward the U.S. and American policy toward China, assessing the prospects for both change and continuity.
William Antholis Miller Center Presents
On Friday, two days after a mob supporting President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, William Antholis, director and CEO of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, went on C-SPAN to discuss the 25th Amendment. In the aftermath of Wednesday’s insurrection, both Republican and Democrat lawmakers have called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the amendment, which outlines provisions for a vice president to declare a president unfit for office and become the acting president. Antholis discussed the text of the amendment and its history, characterizing it as an attempted fix to a lingering question from the days of America’s founding: What happens if a president becomes incapable of carrying out his or her duties?
William Antholis UVA Today
William Antholis talked about the role of the 25th Amendment and history of contentious presidential elections.
William Antholis C-SPAN Washington Journal
Now that the Electoral College has cast its votes, President-elect Biden faces a new secession crisis. Unlike the one faced by Abraham Lincoln during his transition in 1860 and 1861, this one will not lead to civil war. But Joe Biden still must address it—first by uniting the supermajority of Americans who are committed to a united state of reality.
Two panels explore how the people who run Washington, D.C., make it happen—and how they transition from one administration to the next.
William Antholis Miller Center Presents
"Capturing and preserving the thoughts and recollections of the most senior officials who worked with and for an historic figure such as Secretary Clinton allows scholars, students, and the general public to better understand the events of her time and their context," said William Antholis, the center's executive director.
William Antholis CBS19