Stanford Africa expert to work for National Security Council

Jeremy M. Weinstein, an associate professor of political science, has been appointed Director for Democracy at the National Security Council (NSC). He will be responsible for democracy and governance-related issues and formulate broader U.S. government policies on global development.

"Jeremy brings a brilliant mind, inexhaustible energy, political savvy, and superb social science skills to his new position at the National Security Council," said Larry Diamond, director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). "In addition, his recent service on the Committee on the Evaluation of USAID Democracy Assistance Programs and his field research and experiments on governance in Africa should help him bring a creative approach to U.S. policies to advance democracy and improve governance around the world."

Weinstein's new position follows four other Stanford FSI appointments to the Obama administration. Political Science Professor Michael McFaul and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, a former senior research scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), also work at the NSC as special assistants to the President. McFaul heads Russian and Eurasian affairs and Sherwood-Randall is responsible for European affairs. Law Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar serves on the White House Domestic Policy Council in charge of directing criminal justice and immigration policy, and Paul Stockton, a former CISAC senior research scholar, is an assistant secretary of defense responsible for homeland defense and Americas' security affairs.

Weinstein, who is on leave from Stanford, is a faculty member at CDDRL and CISAC. His academic research focuses on civil wars, ethnic politics, the political economy of development, democracy and Africa.

Political Science Professor Scott D. Sagan, CISAC co-director, said although Weinstein is one of the nation's leading scholars on African politics his interests and expertise are much broader. "Jeremy has written compelling studies of the causes of civil war and the roots of conflict resolution and democratic reform," he said. "He will bring important insights from social science and history to help Washington policy-makers address complex policy problems throughout the developing world."

FSI Director Coit D. "Chip" Blacker, the Olivier Nomellini Professor in International Studies, who served under former President Bill Clinton, said the Obama administration is fortunate to have someone of Weinstein's caliber. "Jeremy's intellectual drive, his field experience with conflict-ridden countries, and his passion for democracy and better governance will help strengthen U.S. relations with states in transition and improve prospects for political and economic advance."

In 2008, during Obama's campaign, Weinstein served as an advisor on development and democracy. He continued working during the transition as a member of the National Security Policy Working Group and the Foreign Assistance Agency Review Team.

Weinstein, 34, is the author of Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence, which received the 2008 William Riker Prize for the best book on political economy. His most recent book is Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action, published in 2009. He has also published articles in a variety of journals including Foreign Affairs, the American Political Science Review (APSR), the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy and the Journal of Democracy. Two articles in APSR, titled, "Handling and Manhandling Civilians in Civil War" and "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision," received, respectively, the 2005 Sage Prize and 2007 Gregory Luebbert Award, and the 2008 Heinz Eulau Award and the 2008 Michael Wallerstein Award. In 2008, Weinstein also received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford.

Weinstein earned a bachelor's with high honors from Swarthmore College in 1997, and a master's and doctorate in political economy and government from Harvard University in 2001 and 2003, respectively. He is a native of Palo Alto, California.