Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law Stanford University


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Michael A. McFaul, PhD   Download vCard
Stanford Professor of Political Science; Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; CISAC Affiliated Faculty Member

Stanford University
Encina Hall
Stanford, CA 94305-6055

Research Interests
Democracy promotion, comparative democratization, and the relationship between political and economic reform in the postcommunist world.

+PDF+ Michael McFaul's Curriculum Vitae (88.6KB, modified December 2008)

Michael McFaul is the former director of CDDRL and deputy director of FSI at Stanford University. He also is the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he co-directs the Iran Democracy Project, as well as Professor of Political Science, and CISAC Affiliated Faculty Member at Stanford University. 

Dr. McFaul is also a non-resident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Eurasia Foundation, the Firebird Fund, Freedom House, the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy, and the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX).

He is the author and editor of several monographs including, with Anders Aslund, Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough (2006) with Nikolai Petrov and Andrei Ryabov, Between Dictatorship and Democracy: Russian Postcommunist Political Reform (2004); with Kathryn Stoner Weiss, After the Collapse of Communism: Comparative Lessons of Transitions (2004); with Timothy Colton, Popular Choice and Managed Democracy: The Russian Elections of 1999 and 2000 (2003); Russia's Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin (2001); and with Tova Perlmutter, Privatization, Conversion and Enterprise Reform in Russia (1995). 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.

Professor McFaul comments frequently in the national media on American foreign policy and international politics. He has appeared on all major television and radio networks, while his opeds have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Moscow Times, The New Republic, The New York Times, The San Jose Mercury News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Weekly Standard.

Dr. McFaul was born and raised in Montana. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Slavic and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986. He was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford where he completed his Ph.D. in International Relations in 1991.

Dr. McFaul is currently on leave serving as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council, where he is considered to be one of the top five national security players in government (The Washington Independent).

Stanford Departments
Political Science; Hoover Institution

Other affiliations
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


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Events & Presentations

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Research Programs & Projects

News around the web

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul's YouTube Presentation
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul's introduction video.
January 16, 2012 in Youtube

McFaul nominated for Russian ambassadorship
President Obama recently nominated Michael McFaul B.A., M.A. ’86, political science professor and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) to the United States ambassadorship to Russia.
September 26, 2011 in The Stanford Daily

Stanford's Michael McFaul nominated as new ambassador to Russia
Michael McFaul, a Stanford political science professor, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Hoover Institution Bing Senior Fellow, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as the next ambassador to Russia.
September 16, 2011 in Stanford University News

In US-Russia Dialogue On Human Rights, A Tougher Tone
Michael McFaul, senior director of Russian and Eurasian affairs on the US president's National Security Council, described the talks in an interview with RFE/RL.
June 15, 2011 in RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

Russia in WTO Good for US, US National Security Council Official Says
Michael A. McFaul, a Senior Director of Russian Affairs at the US National Security Council, delivered the keynote address. The conference was geared towards inform policymakers and the public of the prospects for Russia's inclusion in the WTO later ...
April 16, 2011 in Forbes (blog)

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