Alexander Bick

Alexander Bick

Associate Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs
International Development

BOB 520G

Background and Education

Alexander Bick is the Associate Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at SAIS.

A historian by training, Dr. Bick specializes in international security and political economy. From 2014 to 2016 he served as Director for Syria at the National Security Council, where he helped develop the Obama administration's strategy to defeat the Islamic State and coordinated the broader policy process for Syria. From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Bick was a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State. In that role he advised Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry on crises in Libya, Mali, and Syria and led a strategy review to address the growing terrorist threat in the Maghreb-Sahel region. Previously, he was a Presidential Management Fellow in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, a researcher in the British Parliament, and worked for The Carter Center, where he assisted various diplomatic and humanitarian initiatives and served as Director of election observation missions to Liberia (2011) and Libya (2012). 

Dr. Bick holds a PhD in history from Princeton University, an MSc in economic history and a Diploma in economics from the London School of Economics, and a BA in political science from the University of Chicago. He is currently revising his doctoral dissertation, which examines strategic decision-making within the board of directors of the Dutch West India Company in the mid-seventeenth century.


2017-01-26 00:00:00 
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Fall 2017 
The course exam...
The course examines the causes, evolution, and policy options to respond to the war in Syria – a conflict that has confounded policy-makers and produced the world's worst current humanitarian disaster. The course provides students with an in-depth understanding of the complex dynamics driving the war and the dilemmas that have shaped the international response, as well as tools for addressing these dilemmas in other conflict and post-conflict environments in the Middle East and beyond. Topics include the debate over military intervention, competing strategies to defeat the Islamic State, the limits of U.S.-Russian peace initiatives, the politicization of humanitarian assistance, and the regional and European refugee crises. Whereas government agencies and non-governmental organizations have tended to view the crisis in Syria through their own distinct lenses, students will be encouraged to develop a holistic perspective, assess policy trade-offs, and formulate recommendations that bridge the divides between diplomats, the military, and development and humanitarian professionals.