Michael McFaul Profile Photo

Michael McFaul

WSB Exclusive Speaker

U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014); Stanford Professor and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow; Washington Post Columnist; NBC News Analyst

A recognized expert on Russia, U.S.-Russia relations, great power competition, and American foreign policy around the world, Michael McFaul helps audiences understand the war in Ukraine, the new Cold War with Russia and lessons from the Cold War for managing great power competition with China and Russia today. 

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Michael McFaul'S SPEAKING FEE $25K - $40K

Michael McFaul Profile Photo

Michael McFaul'S SPEAKING FEE $25K - $40K

Michael McFaul served as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation from January 2012 to February 2014. Prior to becoming ambassador, he served for three years as the special assistant to President Obama and senior director for Russia and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council. His interest, knowledge and experience with Russia dates back many decades, giving him a historical and forward-thinking prospective on recent events which he addressed in a New York Times opinion piece: “The decision by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to annex Crimea ended the post-Cold War era in Europe.

Since the late Gorbachev-Reagan years, the era was defined by zigzags of cooperation and disputes between Russia and the West, but always with an underlying sense that Russia was gradually joining the international order. No more. Our new era is one defined by ideological clashes, nationalistic resurgence and territorial occupation—an era in some ways similar to the tragic periods of confrontation in 20th-century Europe. And yet there are important differences, and understanding the distinction will be critical to a successful American foreign policy in the coming decades.” He discusses with audiences the escalating crisis between the United States and Russia, as well as speaking more generally about America’s place in the world. Today, McFaul is a professor of political science and Hoover fellow at Stanford University.

He is also the director of the Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) for International Studies. He also works as a news analysts for NBC and writes a monthly column for the Washington Post. He is the author and editor of several monographs, including most recently the New York Times best-seller, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia.

Featured Videos

Michael McFaul Profile Photo
Michael McFaul
Michael McFaul on the Russia – Ukraine Conflict: Analysis and Outlook
Michael McFaul Profile Photo
Michael McFaul
The Putin Files: Michael McFaul
Michael McFaul Profile Photo
Michael McFaul
Why do Trump and Putin get along so well? | Michael McFaul | TEDxStanford
Michael McFaul Profile Photo
Michael McFaul
Ambassador Michael McFaul: A Brief History of Russia – Clip 1
Michael McFaul Profile Photo
Michael McFaul
Ambassador Michael McFaul: A Brief History of Russia – Clip 2
Michael McFaul Profile Photo
Michael McFaul
Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul

Michael McFaul’s Speech Topics

  • The Causes and Consequences of the Russia-Ukraine War

    In this talk, McFaul first explains the drivers of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. He then assess the results of the war so far, speculates about how it might end, and explains why we should care. To answer these questions, McFaul combines analytic and historical insights from his thirty years of academic research and government experience on Russia, Ukraine, and the United States with unique insights from his personal interactions with Russian President Putin, Ukrainian President Zelensky, and U.S. President Biden. 

  • Great Power Competition in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Cold War for Dealing with China and Russia Today

    In this talk, McFaul first compares the power, ideology, and visions of global order of the United States, China, and Russia. He next compares what is similar and different between great power competition today and the Cold War. He ends with a set of prescriptions for how the United States can manage and win this current era of great power conflict, in part by avoiding some mistakes from the Cold War, but also in part by learning from some successes from the Cold War.  

What other organizations say about Michael McFaul

He was one of our most agreeable speakers and so organized in his message. His insight into Russia was enlightening. His information on 200 years of history and his comments regarding the fact that this was not a partisan debate truly hit home with all of us!

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