All FSI News News July 27, 2021

Scott Sagan to Co-Lead Center for International Security and Cooperation

Sagan, an expert on nuclear strategy and the ethics of war, will direct the center along with FSI Senior Fellow Rodney Ewing.
Encina Hall, Stanford
Encina Hall, Stanford Tara Wright

The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University is pleased to announce that Senior Fellow Scott Sagan has been appointed as co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). The appointment follows the U.S. congressional confirmation of the former co-director, Colin Kahl, as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Harold Trinkunas had served as interim co-director.

As co-director, Sagan, who is the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science and the Mimi and Peter Haas University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, will be responsible for maintaining CISAC’s leading position as a hub for researchers tackling the world’s most pressing security and international cooperation issues. Sagan previously served as CISAC co-director from 1998 to 2012.

“I am thrilled that Scott has agreed to serve another term as CISAC co-director. He brings a unique and innovative approach to his research and teaching of international security issues that has enriched our academic community,” said FSI Director Michael McFaul. “I am certain his expertise and leadership as co-director will keep CISAC at the cutting edge of generating solutions for the sake of achieving a more peaceful planet.”

Since CISAC’s founding in 1983, the center has always been led by two co-directors—one from the natural sciences or engineering and one from the social sciences—in the belief that it takes scholars from different disciplines with different experiences, ideas, strengths, and interests to solve the most pressing security problems.

FSI Senior Fellow Rodney Ewing, the Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security and a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, serves as the CISAC co-director.

"I am very pleased that Scott will join the leadership team as a new co-director,” said Ewing.  “Scott already has made many important contributions to CISAC over the past years, and I am honored to work with him as CISAC moves forward."

Beyond the center's commitment to conduct innovative research and share its findings with policy makers and the public, CISAC also offers an undergraduate honors program, undergraduate and graduate courses, and pre- and postdoctoral fellowships to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders in international security. Regular seminars, events, and discussions are open to the public to encourage collaboration and dialogue on nuclear weapons, emerging technologies, the laws of armed conflict, biosecurity and other ideas that have the power to change our world.

“It is imperative that we train a new generation of international security specialists to help manage the complex problems that they are inheriting.”
Scott Sagan
Co-Director, Center for International Security and Cooperation

“CISAC faculty and researchers have an international reputation for producing new knowledge to help create a safer world,” said Sagan. “Managing the growing tensions with Russia, China, and North Korea, dealing with foreign and domestic terrorist threats, and controlling the spread of nuclear energy so it does not lead to the spread of nuclear weapons are just some of the daunting challenges which Stanford must help address,” he said.

Sagan is also a distinguished educator, having won four teaching awards: Stanford’s 1998-99 Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching; Stanford's 1996 Hoagland Prize for Undergraduate Teaching; the International Studies Association’s 2008 Innovative Teaching Award; and the Monterey Institute for International Studies’ Nonproliferation Education Award in 2009.

Before joining the Stanford faculty, Sagan was a lecturer in the Department of Government at Harvard University and served as special assistant to the director of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon. Sagan is also the author of many books and articles on nuclear weapons and international security.

In 2017, he received the International Studies Association’s Susan Strange Award which recognizes the scholar whose “singular intellect, assertiveness, and insight most challenge conventional wisdom and intellectual and organizational complacency" in the international studies community. Sagan was also the recipient of the National Academy of Sciences William and Katherine Estes Award in 2015, for his work addressing the risks of nuclear weapons and the causes of nuclear proliferation.

“I am thrilled to be able to help lead CISAC during this era of rapid technological innovation and global change,” said Sagan. “It is imperative that we train a new generation of international security specialists to help manage the complex problems that they are inheriting.”

Scott D. Sagan

Co-Director, Center for International Security and Cooperation

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