Antonia Chayes

Antonia Handler Chayes

Cabot 511
160 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
Research/Areas of Interest:

International treaties; International security and arms control especially civil military relations; Conflict management and peacebuilding; International organizations; Nuclear strategy; Nuclear weapons


  • LL.B., George Washington University
  • B.A., Radcliffe College, Harvard University


Antonia Chayes is professor of practice in international politics and law at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. She taught at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School.

Chayes was vice chair of Conflict Management Group (CMG), an international nonprofit dispute resolution organization where she mediated corporate disputes for JAMS/Endispute. As a board member of United Technologies Corporation for 21 years, she chaired its Public Issues Review Committee and served on its Executive Committee until retiring in 2002.

During the Carter Administration she was assistant and later, under secretary of the U.S. Air Force, where she was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. She has served on several federal commissions, including the vice president’s White House Aviation Safety and Security Commission, and the Commission on Roles and Missions of the United States Armed Forces. She has also practiced law in a Boston law firm. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. She was honored with the Radcliffe Alumnae Award in recognition of her career of distinguished service.

Chayes is the author of a number of books and articles. Her new book, "Borderless Wars: Civil-Military Disorder and Legal Uncertainty" (Cambridge University Press) received a 2016 PROSE award in the law category of the American Society of Publishers. Before that, "The New Sovereignty" (Harvard U. Press 1995 with Abram Chayes) has been often used and cited academically. Her articles include "Chapter VII 1/2 :Is Jus Post Bellum Possible?" (24 Eur. Jnl. Int. Law (2013) and "How American Treaty Behavior Threatens National Security," (33 International Security, 45 2008), with chapters published in the Harvard National Security Journal.

She received her B.A. from Harvard (Radcliffe), attended Yale Law School and received the J.D. from George Washington University. She is the mother of five; grandmother of nine, with one great granddaughter and widow of the late Abram Chayes, professor of law at Harvard.

Areas of expertise

Humanitarian Affairs
International Law & Organizations
International Security
Negotiations & Conflict Resolution

Professional Activities

  • Adjunct Lecturer, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1981-2003)
  • Chair, Project on Compliance and International Conflict Management at the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School
  • Senior Advisor and Vice Chair of Conflict Management Group
  • Founding member of ENDISPUTE
  • Member, Board of Directors, United Technologies Corporation (1981-2002)
  • Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Installations and Under Secretary of the U.S. Air Force (1977-1981)
  • Served on several federal commissions, including the Vice President’s White House Aviation Safety and Security Commission, and the Commission on Roles and Missions of the United States Armed Forces
  • She occasionally serves as mediator of corporate disputes for JAMS/ENDISPUTE, where she served for eight years
  • Chayes has also practiced law in a Boston law firm

Other Affiliations

  • International Security Studies Program

Courses Taught