Kiron K. Skinner is the W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Her areas of expertise are international relations, international security, US foreign policy, and political strategy. Skinner participates in numerous Hoover Institution projects, including the Global Policy and Strategy Initiative on international aecurity, the Middle East and the Islamic World Working Group, and the Military History in Contemporary Conflict Working Group. Skinner currently serves as the Taube Professor of International Relations and Politics at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy; visiting fellow and senior advisor to the president at the Heritage Foundation; president and CEO of Foundation for America and the World; and a Fox News contributor.  

Skinner previously served as the Taube Professor of International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), as well as the founding director of the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program; the Center for International Relations and Politics; and the Institute for Strategic Analysis. At CMU, Skinner was a distinguished fellow at CyLab, a cyber-oriented research center associated with the College of Engineering, and held courtesy faculty positions at Heinz College 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.

Skinner is an award-winning and best-selling author. Her coauthored books Reagan, In His Own Hand (2001) and Reagan, A Life in Letters (2003) were New York Times best sellers. The former was excerpted in the New York Times Magazine (December 31, 2000), was noted as one of the five best books on vital American presidential elections in the Wall Street Journal (March 5, 2021), and won the Hoover Institution’s Uncommon Book Award in 2002. The latter was selected as one of the best books of 2003 by the Los Angeles Times, was featured as a Time magazine cover story (September 29, 2003), and was the subject of an editorial written by the New York Times editorial board (September 29, 2003). Skinner also coauthored, with with Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, and Condoleezza Rice, The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin (2007), which was excerpted on the New York Times opinion page (September 15, 2007). A frequent contributor of opinion essays, Skinner has written for CNN, Forbes, Foreign Policy, the National Interest, National Review Online, the New York Times, RealClear Defense, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Skinner is the editor of a Palgrave Macmillan series on American political ideology. 

From September 2018 to August 2019, Skinner served as director of the Office of Policy Planning and as senior policy adviser to the US secretary of state. In those roles, she reengaged the Department of State in red-team exercises on regional conflicts, spearheaded ties between the State and Defense Departments in critical areas, began a nationally discussed and debated discussion on the need for an Article X on China, and fostered transatlantic partnerships through numerous strategic dialogues, including the first Policy Planners Summit for NATO. She played a central role in creating the Commission on Unalienable Rights and rechartering the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and she served as the secretariat for both entities. Following her time at the State Department, the White House appointed her to the US Defense Department’s Defense Business Board. At various times in the presidential administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump, Skinner served on the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, the Defense Policy Board, the National Security Education Board (US Senate confirmed), and the board of the Naval Postgraduate School. In 2016, she was awarded the Superior Public Service award by the chief of naval operations.

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