2022 Michael McFaul Headshot

Michael A. McFaul, PhD

  • Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies, Department of Political Science
  • Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Encina Hall
616 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305-6055

Biography

Michael McFaul is Director at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in the Department of Political Science, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995.

Dr. McFaul also is as an International Affairs Analyst for NBC News and a columnist for The Washington Post. He served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014).

He has authored several books, most recently the New York Times bestseller From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia. Earlier books include Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can; Transitions To Democracy: A Comparative Perspective (eds. with Kathryn Stoner); Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (with James Goldgeier); and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin.

His current research interests include American foreign policy, great power relations, and the relationship between democracy and development. Dr. McFaul was born and raised in Montana. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed his D. Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in 1991. He is currently writing a book on great power relations in the 21st century.

 

 

publications

Working Papers
December 2003

U.S. Foreign Policy and Chechnya

Author(s)
U.S. Foreign Policy and Chechnya
Working Papers
December 2003

Breakthrough or Breakdown? The Future of Democracy in Ukraine

Author(s)
Breakthrough or Breakdown? The Future of Democracy in Ukraine
Working Papers
May 1993

Can the Russian Military-Industrial Complex Be Privatized?: Evaluating the Experiment in Employee Ownership at the Saratov Aviation Plant

Author(s)
Can the Russian Military-Industrial Complex Be Privatized?: Evaluating the Experiment in Employee Ownership at the Saratov Aviation Plant

Current research

In The News

Ukrainian forces test drive a repaired Russian tank in the Kharkiv region on September 26 2022.
Commentary

The War in Ukraine Will Continue to Evolve. Here's How.

Steven Pifer and Francis Fukuyama join Michael McFaul on the World Class podcast to discuss Ukraine’s progress in the war, Crimea’s strategic importance, and the ongoing need for Western support in the conflict.
The War in Ukraine Will Continue to Evolve. Here's How.
The flag of Taiwan flies over a military monunment in Kinmen, Taiwan.
Commentary

Understanding the Stakes in Taiwan

Larry Diamond and Oriana Skylar Mastro join Michael McFaul on the World Class podcast to discuss China’s ambitions against Taiwan, and how the U.S. and its allies can deter Beijing.
Understanding the Stakes in Taiwan
map of ukraine
Commentary

What is Going On Inside Vladimir Putin's Head? 12 Experts Weigh In

Russian president Vladimir Putin is keeping the world guessing as western intelligence says the invasion he ordered of Ukraine has not been as successful or as swift as he had hoped.
What is Going On Inside Vladimir Putin's Head? 12 Experts Weigh In
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