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Francis J Gavin

Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor

Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs

  • +1 (202)-663-5897
  • Campus Location: Washington DC
  • Office Location: BOB 520D


Francis J. Gavin is the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS. In 2013, Gavin was appointed the first Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies and Professor of Political Science at MIT. Before joining MIT, he was the Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs and the Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas. From 2005 until 2010, he directed The American Assembly’s multiyear, national initiative, The Next Generation Project: U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions. Gavin’s writings include Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958-1971 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) and Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2012). 

He received a PhD and MA in History from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Studies in Modern European History from Oxford University, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Gavin is an Associate of the Managing the Atom Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, Senior Fellow of the Clements Program in History, Strategy, and Statecraft, a Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center, a Senior Advisor to the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a life-member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Gavin, F., J. (2012). Nuclear statecraft: History and strategy in America's Atomic Age. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Gavin, F., J. (2007). Gold, dollars, and power: The politics of international monetary relations, 1958-1971. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.



  • Europe
  • Iran


  • American Foreign Policy
  • Climate Change
  • Cold War
  • History & Statecraft
  • International Monetary Policy
  • NATO
  • Nuclear Proliferation
  • Public Policy
  • U.S. Grand Strategy

In the News

Nuclear weapons and the future of American grand strategy

Francis J. Gavin wrote for SAIS Review of International Affairs, 4/17

Pandemic and the plight of American public policy.

Francis J. Gavin wrote in War on the Rocks, 4/2

Does might make right? Individuals, ethics, and exceptionalism.

Francis J. Gavin wrote in War on the Rocks, 2/11

How is Hopkins involved in nuclear arms research?

Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs Director Francis J. Gavin quoted in Johns Hopkins News-Letter, 11/21

Thinking historically: A guide for strategy and statecraft.

Francis J. Gavin wrote and Dean Eliot A. Cohen cited in War on the Rocks, 11/19

LaFeber-Silbey Lecture to look back on 1970s U.S. power.

Francis J. Gavin quoted in Cornell Chronicle, 9/30

Patterns and purpose.

Francis J. Gavin wrote in Texas National Security Review, 8/9

Remembering Janne.

Francis J. Gavin wrote in War on the Rocks, 7/2

The pleasure and (mostly) pain of peer review.

Francis J. Gavin wrote in War on the Rocks, 5/9