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Faculty Leaders

Steven Pifer

Steven Pifer, ’76, is an affiliate of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (where he was a William Perry research fellow from 2018–2020) and a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. He spent the first five months of 2021 as a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. Ambassador Pifer’s research focuses on nuclear arms control, Ukraine, Russia and European security. He has offered commentary on these issues on National Public Radio, PBS NewsHour, CNN, Fox News and BBC, and his articles have run in the New York Times, Washington Post, National Interest, Moscow Times and Kyiv Post, among others. A retired Foreign Service officer, Ambassador Pifer’s more than 25 years with the State Department focused on U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union and Europe, as well as arms control and security issues. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine (2001–2004), ambassador to Ukraine (1998–2000), and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council (1996–1997). In addition to Ukraine, he served at the U.S. embassies in Warsaw, Moscow and London as well as with the U.S. delegation to the negotiation on intermediate-range nuclear forces in Geneva.  From 2000 to 2001, he was a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Institute for International Studies, and he was a resident scholar at the Brookings Institution from 2008 to 2017.

  • Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin
  • Non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution (resident scholar 2008–2017)
  • William J. Perry Research Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford, 2018–2020
  • U.S. Foreign Service officer, 1978–2004, including ambassador to Ukraine, 1998–2000

  • Author, The Eagle and the Trident: U.S.-Ukraine Relations in Turbulent Times (2017)
  • Co-author, The Opportunity: Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Arms (2012)

  • American Academy of Diplomacy, member
  • Council on Foreign Relations, member
  • Eurasia Foundation, member, advisory council
  • Global Zero, member
  • Nuclear Security Working Group, member
  • Scoville Peace Fellowship, member, board of directors

Academic History
  • BA, Economics, 1976, Stanford University

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