Colin H. Kahl to serve as CISAC co-director

Colin H. Kahl will serve as co-director of the social sciences for Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).

Kahl, a top international security expert and veteran White House advisor, is the Steven C. Házy Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) for International Studies. He begins his new position on September 1, following Amy Zegart, the previous co-director for the social sciences. Rodney Ewing is the CISAC co-director for science and engineering.

Prior to Stanford, Kahl was an associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. From 2014 to 2017, he was deputy assistant to the U.S. president and national security advisor to the vice president. In that position, he served as a senior advisor to President Obama and Vice President Biden on all matters related to U.S. foreign policy and national security affairs, and represented the Office of the Vice President as a standing member of the National Security Council Deputies’ Committee.

Kahl’s research is focused on American grand strategy and a range of contemporary international security challenges, particularly digital and nuclear security, which are core CISAC research areas.  He also leads the Middle East Initiative at FSI. The Initiative seeks to improve understanding of how developments in the Middle East impact people in the region and security around the globe.

In the Winter Quarter, Kahl will teach a course, “Decision Making and U.S. Foreign Policy,” in the Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy program; he will also co-teach CISAC’s introductory class, “International Security in a Changing World.”

“For more than three decades, CISAC has been one of the nation’s premier centers for interdisciplinary research on international affairs,” Kahl said. “The Center has a long tradition of bringing together social scientists and hard scientists to conduct cutting edge, policy-relevant research on some of the most pressing security challenges we face,” Kahl said. “I look forward to working with Rod Ewing and my other CISAC colleagues to continue and expand upon this tradition of excellence.”

“Colin Kahl, who has both academic and extensive policy experience through his work in government and think tanks, will be a terrific co-director and asset to CISAC,” said Ewing.

“We are thrilled that Colin will be leading CISAC with Rod Ewing. Colin’s extensive experience in both theory and policy will enhance CISAC’s work in all areas,” said FSI Director and Senior Fellow Michael McFaul.

Kahl received his B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan (1993) and his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University (2000).



Colin H. Kahl, Center for International Security and Cooperation:
Katy Gabel, Center for International Security and Cooperation: (650) 725-6488,