Faculty Details

Photo of Kiron  Skinner

Kiron Skinner

Associate Professor International Relations and Political Science in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Special Appointment to Heinz College

Email: kskinner@andrew.cmu.edu


Kiron Skinner, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for International Relations and Politics, is widely known in academic circles for her expertise in the areas of international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and political strategy. She is an associate professor of international relations and politics at Carnegie Mellon University and is the W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where she serves on the Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy.

Her government service includes membership on the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board (2001-2007) as an adviser on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; the Chief of Naval Operations’ (CNO) Executive Panel (2004-present); the National Academies Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security (2009-2011); and the National Security Education Board (2004-2011). She has cochaired the CNO task forces on the Middle East and Africa. In 2010, Skinner was appointed to the advisory board of the George W. Bush Oral History Project. She also serves on the boards of the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D.C.; Propel Schools (a collection of charter schools) in the Pittsburgh area; and Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. She is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, where she is a former adjunct fellow of CFR’s Studies Department.

Skinner is the coauthor, along with political scientists Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, and Condoleezza Rice, of The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin. She authored Turning Points in Ending the Cold War, a landmark work in international history featuring a collection of essays by leading American and Russian statesmen and scholars. Additionally, Skinner has coauthored the New York Times best sellers Reagan, In His Own Hand and Reagan, A Life In Letters. She is a frequent contributor of opinion essays, and has written for CNN.com, National Review Online, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Skinner holds MA and PhD degrees in political science and international relations from Harvard University and undergraduate degrees from Spelman College and Sacramento City College. She is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Molloy College on Long Island. Her preferred leisure pastime is hiking in the mountains and foothills of California.


Ph.D., Harvard University