SAIS Leadership

Vali R. Nasr, Ph.D.

Dean; Professor of International Relations
Background and Education
A Middle East scholar, foreign policy adviser and commentator on international relations whose most recent book,The Dispensable Nation, deals with the implications of Obama administration’s foreign policy on American strategic interests. His earlier books, Forces of Fortune and The Shia Revival, examined the postwar sectarian violence in Iraq and the uprisings known as the Arab Spring and contributed to U.S. policy formulated in response to those events; prior to being named SAIS dean, was a professor of international politics at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; from 2009 to 2011, was special adviser to the president's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; served on the faculties of the Naval Postgraduate School, Stanford University, the University of California, San Diego and the University of San Diego; was a Carnegie Scholar and a senior fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, an adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution; currently a member of the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and a director of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the National Democratic Institute; is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations; Ph.D., political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat (2013); Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World (2009); Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty, co-author (2006); The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future (2006); Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power (2001); Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism (1996); The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: Jama'at-i Islami of Pakistan (1994); numerous articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs and other publications

Myron K. Kunka, M.P.A

Senior Associate Dean of Operations and Finance

Background and Education

In current role, oversees the day-to-day operations of SAIS, including the extensive modernization of the school’s facility and business infrastructure, information technology, security, human resources, finance, communications and public affairs, enrollment, career services, library and student life; served more than 32 years in a range of senior financial management and business positions for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); a member of the Senior Executive Service, most recently was associate director of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency; throughout DOD career, led numerous business transformation efforts and teams that focused on integration, customer responsiveness, continuous business improvement and employment of best business practices; recipient of U.S. Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Awards at both Meritorious and Distinguished Executive levels and multiple Secretary of Defense Medals for Meritorious Civilian Service; M.P.A., finance and international affairs, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

John M. Harrington Jr., Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professorial Lecturer in International Economics
Background and Education

SAIS associate dean since 2002; developed two interactive DVD-based courses, pre-calculus mathematics and basic calculus for economists; has taught at SAIS as a professorial lecturer for more than 30 years, including throughout a 20-year government career at the U.S. Department of State, where he directed economics education for foreign affairs professionals at the Foreign Service Institute; later directed the Office of Regional Economic Policy in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs; continued to address economic policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean through association with Caribbean/Latin American Action, the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and the Greater American Business Coalition; Ph.D., economics, Georgetown University

Melissa K. Trotta, Ed.D.

Associate Dean for Executive Education and Strategic Initiatives
Background and Education

With more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration, most recently served as associate dean for Executive Degree Programs at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business from April 2010 to August 2012, directing admissions and program management for the Executive M.B.A. Program, the Georgetown-ESADE Global Executive M.B.A. Program and the Executive Master's in Leadership Program; previously was the McDonough School's associate dean for Program Initiatives and Engagement and the inaugural assistant dean of Georgetown's M.B.A. Evening Program, growing the enrollment from 60 to 300 students and gaining significant prominence in the Washington, D.C., area and beyond; other professional experience includes roles as director of Admissions at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, associate director of Academic Affairs at Harvard Business School and assistant dean of Admission at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Mass.; M.A., higher education administration, Boston College; Ed.D., Higher Education Management, University of Pennsylvania

Michael G. Plummer, Ph.D.

Director, SAIS Europe; Eni Professor of International Economics
Background and Education

Held appointment as head of the Development Division in the Trade and Agriculture Directorate at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris from 2010 to 2012; was tenured associate professor at Brandeis University; is president of the American Committee on Asian Economic Studies (ACAES); serves as editor in chief of the Journal of Asian Economics; is a nonresident senior fellow at the East-West Center; was Asian Development Bank distinguished lecturer and team leader at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretariat for several projects; led studies on the ASEAN economic community and development of the ASEAN regional bond market; advised on ASEAN free-trade initiative; lecturer and adviser to the Asian Development Bank; team leader and adviser to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretariat (2001-2003); member of the editorial Boards of World Development and the Asian Economic Journal; international advisory board member of the ASEAN Economic Bulletin; Ph.D., economics, Michigan State University.


Oxford Handbook of International Commercial Policy, co-editor (2012); Realizing the ASEAN Economic Community: A Comprehensive Assessment, co-editor (2009); The Global Economic Crisis and Its Implications for Asian Economic Cooperation (2009); ASEAN Economic Integration: Trade, Finance, and Foreign Direct Investment (2009); "Best Practices in Regional Trading Agreements: An Application to Asia" in The World Economy (2007); The World Trade Organization: Legal, Economic, and Political Analysis (Vols. I-III), co-editor (2005); Economic Integration and Development: Has Regionalism Delivered for Developing Countries? co-author (2002); numerous articles and reviews in academic journals.

Cornelius C. Kubler, Ph.D.

American Co-Director, Hopkins-Nanjing Center
Background and Education

Stanfield Professor of Asian Studies at Williams College, received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in linguistics from Cornell University. He earned a second M.A. in Chinese literature from National Taiwan University. From 1980-1991 he was employed at the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State, where he served as Language Training Supervisor in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, and Mongolian; as Principal of the advanced Chinese field school in Taiwan; and as Chair of the Department of Asian and African Languages. Since coming to Williams in 1991, he has chaired the former Department of Chinese and Asian Studies Program as well as, for a total of 12 years, the Department of Asian Studies, which he was instrumental in founding. He has also served as visiting professor at Eisenhower College, Portland State University, Middlebury College, National Taiwan Normal University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages. Kubler, who is author or coauthor of 20 books and over 50 articles on Chinese language pedagogy and linguistics, frequently serves as reviewer or consultant for Chinese and Asian Studies programs in the U.S. and overseas. He has served as Chair of the Test Development Committee for the SAT Subject Test™ in Chinese and as member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages of the Modern Language Association.

Effective August 1, 2014, he is serving as American Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China