Russia expert Michael McFaul appointed to senior national security posts

Stanford political science Professor Michael A. McFaul, who has been deputy director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, director of its Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, has been tapped by President Obama to serve as special assistant to the president for National Security Affairs and senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs at the National Security Council.

McFaul served as senior advisor on Russia and Eurasia to Barack Obama during the presidential campaign and continued to advise on foreign policy issues during the transition.  He now joins the National Security Council headed by retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones.

“President-elect Obama was fortunate to have the benefit of Mike’s counsel on a range of vital issues during the campaign – including dealing with a resurgent Russia,” said FSI Director Coit D. Blacker, the Olivier Nomellini Professor in International Studies. “Now, from the White House, the president can call on Mike’s expertise and experience in the region to build more constructive relationships with Russia, Eurasia, and our allies across a broad strategic front.”

McFaul is a globally acknowledged expert on U.S. foreign policy, U.S.-Russian relations, political and economic reform in the postcommunist world, and democracy promotion. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including the edited volume with Anders Aslund, Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine’s Democratic Breakthrough; with Nikolai Petrov and Andrei Ryabov, Between Dictatorship and Democracy: Russian Postcommunist Political Reform; and with Kathryn Stoner-Weiss, After the Collapse of Communism: Comparative Lessons of Transitions.

McFaul is a non-resident senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  He serves on the editorial boards of Current History, Journal of Democracy, Demokratizatsiya, Perspectives on European Politics and Society, Post Soviet Affairs, and the Washington Quarterly.  He has served as a consultant for numerous companies and government agencies.

McFaul is a frequent commentator on international politics and American foreign policy in the national and international media.  He has appeared on all major television and radio networks, while his op eds have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the New Republic, the International Herald Tribune, and the Moscow Times, among others.

McFaul has been called on frequently to testify before the U.S. Congress on the state of and prospects for U.S.-Russian relations.

McFaul received a BA in international relations and Slavic languages and an MA in Slavic and East European studies from Stanford University in 1986.  He was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford where he completed his PhD in International Relations in 1991.