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

I recently offered a senior fellowship to Marc Short, the former legislative director in the Trump White House, so that he can help Miller Center scholars better understand the Trump presidency. Especially here in Charlottesville after the events of August 2017, people might question the appointment. Given the concern, I wanted to provide our community a broader explanation.
The University of Virginia’s decision to hire a departing member of President Trump’s administration prompted an outcry last week from some faculty and students angry about the president’s response to a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville last year that turned deadly. An online petition calling on U-Va. to revoke the teaching appointment of Marc Short, who until earlier this month served as Trump’s legislative affairs director, quickly gained more than 1,000 signatures. Here, William Antholis, the director and chief executive of the Miller Center, reflects on the debate and explains the decision to offer Short a fellowship.
William Antholis The Washington Post
The event began with faculty and community member-led Lawn room discussions. The discussions were followed by keynote speeches from Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Miller Center CEO and Director Bill Antholis at the Miller Center building.
William Antholis The Cavalier Daily
Miller Center Director William Antholis is interviewed on this podcast about the Trump presidency
William Antholis The Science of the Deal
William Antholis, a national security council official under former president Bill Clinton who now directs the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, said if Kushner’s role in negotiating Middle East peace is merely to be a “goodwill ambassador,” then his “secret” level clearance will be good enough. “But if it’s actually to carry forward narrow technical details about the negotiations, then he will be limited in his effectiveness,” Antholis said. “In the best cases, negotiations are informed by the most sophisticated intelligence capabilities we have. If you’re a negotiator, you want to know the motives, the must-haves and the can’t-do’s that your counterparts have.”
William Antholis Washington Post
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