John Kerry is a distinguished fellow for global affairs at Yale's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. He is leading the Kerry Initiative, focusing on U.S. foreign policy in the 21st Century, including failed and failing states, the challenge of authoritarian populism, rising sectarianism and violent extremism, climate change and other environmental threats, capacity building and anti-corruption, global economic opportunity and development.

On February 1, 2013, Kerry was sworn in as the 68th secretary of state of the United States. He became the first sitting U.S. secretary of state to meet with Iran’s foreign minister since the Iranian revolution. This meeting was the highest-level U.S. diplomatic contact with Iran in more than six years. Kerry was also a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord, signing the historic agreement to reduce carbon emissions in 2016.

Prior to being nominated and sworn in as secretary of state, Kerry served for more than twenty-five years as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts. He eventually served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as chairman.

Shortly before he graduated from Yale University, Kerry volunteered for service in the United States Navy. He completed two tours of duty in Vietnam, after which he began a lifelong fight for his fellow veterans as a co-founder of the Vietnam Veterans of America.