Michael A. McFaul, PhDStanford Professor of Political Science; Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; CISAC Affiliated Faculty Member (on leave)
Michael McFaul in the New York Times on recent democratic transitionsCDDRL, FSI Stanford in the news: New York Times on February 19, 2011
Michael McFaul, senior advisor on Russia to President Obama and former director of FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), comments in the New York Times on uprisings and democratic transitions in recent years. "There are many different factors involved in the cases we have looked at: economic crises, aging authoritarians, negotiated transitions between elites," he says. Adds McFaul, who spent the last several weeks churning out case studies for the president and National Security Council based on work he and Kathryn Stoner-Weiss did at Stanford with the support of the Smith Richardson Foundation, "There is not one story line or a single model. There are many paths to democratic transitions and most of them are messy."
Moving critical policy forwardCISAC, FSI Stanford in the news
The end of 2010 was a particularly busy time in Washington D.C., and CISAC scholars played a key role helping move critical policy forward. Michael McFaul, President Obama's senior advisor on Russia, was heavily involved with negotiating the New START treaty, which was ratified in December. William J. Perry, the former secretary of defense, was also a key advisor to the president on the issue. Obama also signed a bill in December repealing the Don't Ask Don't Tell law that has, since 1993, prohibited the U.S. military from undertaking efforts to determine the sexual preferences of service members. Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, helped lead the White House effort to implement the president's goal of repealing the policy in his role as Special Assistant to President Obama for Justice and Regulatory Policy. Cuéllar also coordinated the president's Food Safety Working Group and negotiated provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which Obama signed in January. The law requires, for the first time, the creation of a National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy to harness American scientific and technical expertise in protecting the American food supply. The new law's inspection and documentation requirements will also help facilitate monitoring to identify security-related vulnerabilities.
- » Whitehouse.gov blog: "President signs repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell"
- » Whitehouse.gov blog: "Food Safety Modernization Act"
- » Whitehouse.gov blog: "New START Treaty and Protocol"
New START Treaty wins Senate approvalCISAC, FSI Stanford, CDDRL News
President Obama and members of his national security team — including Stanford's Michael McFaul, senior advisor on Russia and former Deputy Director of FSI and Director of FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law — gather in the Oval Office to celebrate Senate approval of the new START Treaty. Signed in April by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the treaty was ultimately approved 71/26 in the Senate. The treaty will reduce deployed warheads and missile launchers, and restore mutual verification procedures, and is regarded as one more step toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.
Obama and Medvedev discuss priorities on final journey of 10-day Asia tripCDDRL, FSI Stanford in the news: New York Times on November 14, 2010
Michael McFaul, former CDDRL director and deputy director of FSI now serving as President Obama's senior advisor on Russia, accompanied President Obama during his meeting in Japan with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the final session of the American president's 10-day trip through Asia. President Obama stated that ratification of the New Start Treaty now before the Senate was a top priority, and also underscored his commitment to lifting cold-war era trade restrictions, an important step that would pave the way for Russia to join the World Trade Organization.
CISAC, CDDRL, FSI Stanford News
In September, honors students from FSI's two undergraduate honors programs - the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) and the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) - traveled to Washington, D.C., with their faculty advisors for senior-level policy briefings with U.S. government officials and major international organizations, NGOs, and think tanks. A highlight was a meeting at the National Security Council with two leading Stanford foreign policy experts serving in the current administration: Michael McFaul, President Obama's senior advisor on Russia; and Jeremy Weinstein, Director for Democracy on the National Security Council Staff. Read more »