Dr. Kiron K. Skinner

Member, Board of Academic Advisors

Dr. Kiron K. Skinner is from Chicago, Illinois, and serves as a Member of the Board of Academic Advisors at AFPI. She is also the Taube Professor for International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Politics and Strategy. Previously, she founded and directed these entities at Carnegie Mellon University: the Center for International Relations and Politics, the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program, the Institute for Politics and Strategy, and the Institute for Strategic Analysis. Skinner is the W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Skinner was the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State from September 2018 to August 2019. As Director, she reengaged the Department in red-team exercises on regional conflicts and fostered transatlantic partnerships through numerous strategic dialogues, including the first-ever Policy Planners Summit for NATO, held in April 2019. At various points in the past twenty years, Professor Skinner has served on the US Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board and Defense Business Board, the Chief of Naval Operations’ Executive Panel, the National Academies’ Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security, and the National Security Education Board. In U.S. presidential politics, Skinner served as a foreign policy surrogate for the Bush-Cheney 2004 reelection campaign, a senior foreign policy adviser to Speaker Newt Gingrich during his presidential campaign in 2011–12, a foreign policy adviser to Senator Rand Paul during his presidential bid in 2015-16, and a foreign policy surrogate for the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign in 2016. She was also a senior member of the Trump transition team in 2016. Professor Skinner has published extensively in American politics and international relations. Two of her co-edited books on President Ronald Reagan were New York Times best sellers, and one received the Hoover Institution’s Uncommon Book Award. Professor Skinner holds MA and PhD degrees in political science from Harvard University and undergraduate degrees from Spelman College and Sacramento City College. She has an honorary doctor of laws degree from Molloy College, Long Island. 

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