Skip to content Skip to navigation

Michael A. McFaul

Photo of Michael McFaul

Michael A. McFaul

Professor of Political Science
Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution
Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute
Ph.D., Oxford University


Michael McFaul, '86, MA '86, is the Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in Political Science; and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, all at Stanford University. He was also the Distinguished Mingde Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Center at Peking University from June to August of 2015. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. Michael McFaul is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post.

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 also 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, including most recently the New York Times bestseller, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia. He is currently writing a book on great power relations in the 21st century.