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Eliot A. Cohen named ninth dean of Johns Hopkins SAIS

Distinguished scholar, accomplished author, and senior official in the George W. Bush administration, Eliot A. Cohen, begins his tenure as dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Cohen will serve as the school’s ninth dean, succeeding Vali R. Nasr, who stepped down after serving in the role for seven years.
“I’ve been affiliated with Johns Hopkins SAIS for nearly 30 years; I am honored and humbled to continue serving the school as its dean,” Cohen said. “I look forward to continuing my work with the students, staff, faculty, and alumni to lead this school from strength to strength in the international relations community.”
Cohen, has been a respected member of the school’s faculty since his appointment as the Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies in 1990. He is a two-time recipient of the school’s Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2004 founded the school’s Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies.
“We are delighted to have such an accomplished scholar and professor lead the school as SAIS celebrates its 75th anniversary this year,” Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar, wrote in a message to the university community.
Over the years, Cohen has taken leave to work in several high-profile roles at both the Pentagon and Department of State, including his position as Counselor of the Department of State where he advised then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on strategic issues involving Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Russia. Cohen also represented the Department of State in interagency coordination with senior National Security Council staff, the Department of Defense, and intelligence community officials on several issues of strategic importance, including the Syrian/North Korean reactor crisis of 2007. He directed and edited The Gulf War Air Power Survey, the official study of air power in the 1991 Iraq War, which concluded that the war’s combination of stealth, precision weaponry, and advanced communications technologies would change the nature of combat. In 2012, Cohen served as a senior foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney during his presidential bid.
Reflecting upon the importance of the study of international relations, Cohen said, “As governments and key decision-makers consider how to address a new set of global challenges, it’s never been more important to study international relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS, which understands that truth is elusive but real; that history cannot be rewritten to suit today’s preferences; that tradeoffs are inescapable facts of economic life; and that leaders are those who inspire, not those who inflame.”
Cohen is the author of seven books on civil-military relations and military history. His most recent book, “The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force” (2017) explores the relationship between military power and diplomacy. Additional works have appeared in numerous scholarly and popular journals. In addition to his role as contributing editor at The Atlantic, he provides regular commentary to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal and enjoys a strong following on social media with nearly 55,000 followers on Twitter.
Cohen is a 1977 graduate of Harvard College and earned his PhD in political science from the university in 1982. He has previously served as a member of the Defense Policy Advisory Board, the National Security Advisory Panel of the National Intelligence Council, the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Committee on Studies of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has served in academic roles as assistant professor of government at Harvard University, an assistant dean of Harvard College, and as member of the U.S. Naval War College’s Strategy and Policy Department. In 1982, Cohen was commissioned as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserves.
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About Johns Hopkins SAIS
A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school's interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today.
For more information, visit or @SAISHopkins

Monday, July 8, 2019
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