skip to Main Content
Photo: Annette Hornischer

Former Counselor, US Department of State; White Burkett Miller Professor of History, University of Virginia

Axel Springer Fellow - Class of Fall 2009

Philip Zelikow is the White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia, where he is also serving as the dean of the University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Zelikow began his professional career as a trial and appellate lawyer in Texas. He later received his PhD from Tufts University’s Fletcher School. As a career diplomat he was posted overseas and in Washington, including service on the NSC staff for President George H.W. Bush.


After teaching at Harvard University during the 1990s, Zelikow went to Virginia, where he has directed a research center and teaches modern world and US history. His books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (with Condoleezza Rice), The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis (with Ernest May), and Essence of Decision (with Graham Allison). He has recently written additional material for a 2011 edition of the 9/11 Commission report and is currently completing American Foreign Policy: An Interpretive History (to be published by W.W. Norton).
In addition to service on government advisory boards and as an elected member of a local school board, Zelikow has taken two leaves from academia to return full-time to government service. In 2003-04 he directed the 9/11 Commission. In 2005-07 he was Counselor of the Department of State, a deputy to Secretary Rice. He also currently advises the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s program for global development and is a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Back To Top