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

Commentary
August 2017

Trump’s weakness against Putin is on display — again

Author(s)
Trump’s weakness against Putin is on display — again
Commentary
July 2017

Why deciding to ‘move forward’ with Putin is a big mistake

Author(s)
Why deciding to ‘move forward’ with Putin is a big mistake
Commentary
January 2017

Allies First, Mr. President

Author(s)
Allies First, Mr. President

Current research

In The News

A delegation from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly visits the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
News

NATO Parliamentary Delegation Joins FSI Scholars for Discussion on Ukraine and Russia

FSI Director Michael McFaul, Kathryn Stoner, Francis Fukuyama, Scott Sagan, Anna Grzymala-Busse, and Marshall Burke answered questions from the parliamentarians on the conflict and its implications for the future of Ukraine, Russia, and the global community.
NATO Parliamentary Delegation Joins FSI Scholars for Discussion on Ukraine and Russia
President Ronald Reagan shakes hands with Mikhail Gorbachev.
News

Reflections on Mikhail Gorbachev's Life from FSI Scholars

Rose Gottemoeller, Steven Pifer, Francis Fukuyama, and Michael McFaul discuss the complex life and legacy of the last leader of the Soviet Union.
Reflections on Mikhail Gorbachev's Life from FSI Scholars
FSI Director Michael McFaul introduces President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a live video address on May 27, 2022.
News

FSI Director Michael McFaul Honored by the Government of Ukraine with State Award

FSI Director Michael McFaul Honored by the Government of Ukraine with State Award
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