Benn Steil

Director of International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, PhD in Economics, Editor, & Author
Benn Steil
  • Leading expert in monetary policy, financial markets, and economic and diplomatic history
  • The founding editor of the International Finance journal, Steil’s latest book is the critically-acclaimed book, The Marshall Plan: Dawn of The Cold War
  • Spanning topics like U.S.-Russia relations and the post-war global order, Steil negotiates rough waters with ease

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Benn Steil is senior fellow and director of international economics, as well as the official historian in residence, at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.  He is also the founding editor of International Finance, a scholarly economics journal; lead writer of the Council’s Geo-Graphics economics blog; and creator of five web-based interactives tracking Global Monetary Policy, Global Imbalances, Sovereign Risk, Central Bank Currency Swaps, and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.  Prior to his joining the Council in 1999, he was director of the International Economics Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London.  He came to the Institute in 1992 from a Lloyd’s of London Tercentenary Research Fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford, where he received his MPhil and DPhil (PhD) in economics.  He also holds a BSc in economics summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Steil has written and spoken widely on international finance, monetary policy, financial markets, and economic and diplomatic history. He has testified before the U.S. House, Senate, and CFTC, and is a regular op-ed writer and commentator on CNBC.  His most recent book, The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War, won the New-York Historical Society’s 2019 Barbara and David Zalaznick Book Prize for best work in American history, won the American Academy of Diplomacy’s 2018 Douglas Dillon Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize in literary nonfiction.  Paul Kennedy in the Wall Street Journal called the book “brilliant,” the New York Times called it “trenchant and timely,” the Financial Times called it “elegant in style and impressive in insights,” and the Christian Science Monitor called it a “gripping, complex, and critically important story that is told with clarity and precision.” His previous book, The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order, won the 2013 Spear’s Book Award in Financial History, took third prize in CFR’s 2014 Arthur Ross Book Award competition, was shortlisted for the 2014 Lionel Gelber Prize (“the world’s most important prize for non-fiction,” according to The Economist), and was the top book-of-the-year choice in Bloomberg’s 2013 poll of global policymakers and CEOs.  The Financial Times called the book “a triumph of economic and diplomatic history,” the Wall Street Journal called it “a superb history,” the New York Times called it “the gold standard on its subject,” and Bloomberg’s Tom Keene called it “the publishing event of the season.” An earlier book, Money, Markets, and Sovereignty, won the 2010 Hayek Book Prize.

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How To Understand The Global Economy. Dr. Benn Steil sits at the intersection of history and economics, as both a historian with a special focus on 20th century history and an economist working to understand the impact of geopolitical events and trends on the global economy. Here, Dr. Steil looks at major geopolitical events and analyses the repercussions they’ll likely have on our economy domestically and globally. Dr. Steil also customizes his speech to each audience at hand, hitting on the challenges and opportunities they are facing and drawing on current and historic geopolitical and economist events to provide context and look to how events will likely unfold.

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The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War

The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War