U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation

Ambassador Michael A. McFaul

About the Speaker

Michael A. McFaul served as Ambassador of the United States of America to the Russian Federation from January, 2012 to February, 2014. Prior to becoming Ambassador, he served for three years as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council.

McFaul is a professor of political science at Stanford University. He is also the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) for International Studies. Before joining the Obama administration, McFaul served as Deputy Director at the Freeman Spogli Institute and Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law (CDDRL). He was also a non-resident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

He is the author and editor of several monographs including, Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should and How We Can (2009); with Valerie Bunce and Katheryn Stoner-Weiss, eds., Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Postcommunist World (2009); with Anders Aslund, eds., 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 James Goldgeier, Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (2003); and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin (2001).

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 StanfordUniversity in 1986. He was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford where he completed his D. Phil. in International Relations in 1991.