Dec. 6, 2017
Kiron Skinner, a member of the Saint Vincent College board of directors who is associate professor of international relations and political science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), was named to the U.S. Department of Defense Policy Board by Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis.
Kiron joins four other new members named to the board chaired by J.D. Crouch, a former assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, who is currently the chief executive officer and president of the United Services Organization. They are Wanda Austin of Making Space Inc., Eric Cantor of Moelis and Company, David McCormick of Bridgewater Associates and James Talent of American Enterprise Institute. These members join the following returning members: Madeleine Albright, Rudy deLeon, Michele Flournoy, Jamie Gorelick, Jane Harman, Henry Kissinger, Frank Miller, William Perry and Admiral (retired) Gary Roughhead. The Defense Policy Board provides the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary for Policy with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy.
Skinner, a renowned expert in international relations, U.S. foreign policy and political strategy, is a scholar, an academic administrator and a tireless public servant.
At CMU, in addition to her faculty role, she is founding director of the Center for International Relations and Politics; founding director of the Institute for Strategic Analysis; director of the university’s newest academic unit, the Institute for Politics and Strategy, in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences; director of the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program. Skinner is also a Distinguished Fellow at CyLab, a cyber-oriented research center associated with the College of Engineering, and holds courtesy faculty positions at CMU’s Heinz College, the university’s school of public policy and the Institute for Software Research, an academic department in the School of Computer Science. She has also taught political science courses at Hamilton College, Harvard University and the University of California, Los Angeles. At Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Skinner is the W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow and a member of the Arctic Security Initiative, the working group on the Role of Military History in International Conflict, and the Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy. Skinner also is a Senior Fellow at Artis Research and Risk Modeling, a science-based research center focused on resolving international crises.
Skinner is an award-winning and best-selling author. Her co-authored books “Reagan, In His Own Hand” (2001) and “Reagan, A Life in Letters” (2003) were New York Times best sellers. “Reagan, In His Own Hand” won the Hoover Institution’s Uncommon Book Award and was serialized in The New York Times Magazine on Dec. 31, 2000. “Reagan, A Life in Letters” was selected as one of the best books of 2003 by the Los Angeles Times, was Time magazine’s cover story on Sept. 29, 2003, and was the subject of a Sept. 29, 2003, editorial written by the New York Times editorial board. “The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan” and “Boris Yeltsin” (2007), a book Skinner co-authored with Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Condoleezza Rice, was excerpted on the opinion page of the New York Times on Sept. 15, 2007. A frequent contributor of opinion essays, Skinner has written for CNN.com, Forbes.com, Foreign Policy.com, National Review Online, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. She also regularly provides scholarly commentary on national and international television and radio programs.
Other academic activities in which Skinner is engaged include serving as an associate editor of Telos, a leading humanities journal, and as the general series editor on Ideology and American Politics for Palgrave Macmillan. Skinner is a co-chair of the National Security working group for the Social Science Research Council’s Anxieties of Democracy program.
Skinner’s government service includes membership on the Eisenhower Commission’s Legacy Committee of historians (2002-03); the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board as an adviser on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (2001-07); the Chief of Naval Operations’ Executive Panel (2004-15); the National Academies’ Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security (2009-11); and the National Security Education Board (2004-11). In 2010, Skinner was appointed to the advisory board of the George W. Bush Oral History Project. She served as a foreign policy surrogate for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in 2004; a senior foreign policy adviser to Speaker Newt Gingrich during his presidential campaign in 2011-12; and a senior foreign policy surrogate to Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in the fall of 2012. In 2015-16, she was a member of the foreign policy team for Senator Rand Paul during his presidential bid. Skinner served on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s Advisory Commission on African-American Affairs from 2012 to 2015.
Skinner serves on a number of boards, including the American Australian Council in Washington, D.C.; the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D.C.; Grove City College; Propel Schools in the Pittsburgh area; Saint Vincent College; and the U.S. Global Coalition’s Pennsylvania Advisory Committee. Skinner is a life director of the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., as well as a life member of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
Photo: Kiron Skinner
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