Scholars and Experts
In addition to the individuals below, every year the Miller Center funds a class of world-class fellows who are completing their dissertations on American politics, foreign policy and world politics, or the impact of global affairs on the United States. Learn more about the Miller Center Fellows.
Governor Gerald L. Baliles, Director and CEO of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, served as the 65th Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. His tenure as Governor capped a career in public service that included serving as Virginia's Attorney General (1982–85) and a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1976–82). After leaving public office, he entered private law practice as a partner in the firm of Hunton & Williams, LLP, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Baliles holds a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and a JD from the University of Virginia Law School. He became the Miller Center's fifth director in April 2006.
Governor Baliles's specialties: Education; Transportation; Airline Industry; Trade; Government and Politics
Brian Balogh is the Compton Professor at the Miller Center and the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. He founded the Miller Center National Fellowship and currently chairs that program.
Professor Balogh is the author of A Government out of Sight: The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Chain Reaction: Expert Debate and Public Participation in American Commercial Nuclear Power, 1945–1975 (Cambridge University Press, 1991). His previous books and articles explore U.S. political history, environmental history and the history of technology. Balogh is the co-host of Backstory with the American History Guys, a nationally syndicated radio show that appears on Public Broadcasting Stations across the country.
Professor Balogh's specialties: 20th Century U.S. History; Political History; American Government and Politics; Environmental History; History of Science and Technology; Nuclear Politics; Policy History; Political Culture; Presidential Leadership; Public Administration; and Special Interest Groups
Douglas A. Blackmon is the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, and co-executive producer of the acclaimed PBS documentary based of the same name. His is also a contributing editor at The Washington Post and chair and host of Forum, a public affairs program produced by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and aired on more than 100 PBS affiliates across the U.S.
Cristina Lopez-Gottardi Chao is the Research Director for Public Programs. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Middlebury College, and in 2005 completed her Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Miami's School of International Studies. Her dissertation, "The Growth of Opposition in Cuba: Problems and Prospects for Democratization" was awarded the Alberto J. Varona Prize for Best Dissertation in Cuban Studies. Prior to her appointment at the Miller Center, Ms. Lopez-Gottardi Chao held positions at Emory University's Institute for Comparative and International Studies and the North South Center of the University of Miami. She teaches a course on Cuban politics and her research focuses on enablers of democratization and opposition politics, with particular interest in Latin American transitions.
Jeff Chidester is Director of Public Programs and Miller Center Corporate Secretary. He received his BA in Political Science from Grove City College (Pa.) and his MA in International History from the London School of Economics. He is the co-author of The Reagan Years (2005), with Stephen F. Knott, and At Reagan's Side (forthcoming 2008), and has published articles on the American presidency and U.S. foreign policy.
Chidester's specialties: American Presidency; U.S. Foreign Policy; and Ronald Reagan
David Coleman is Associate Professor and chair of the Presidential Recordings Program. Coleman specializes in foreign relations since 1945, nuclear history, and 20th-century U.S. political history. His work for the Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Program focuses on the tapes of presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He is coordinator of the Kennedy project within the Program. He is also director of WhiteHouseTapes.org, a research site dedicated to the presidential recordings. He writes and teaches on U.S.-European relations during the Cold War, nuclear deterrence, and the politics of the 1960s, among other topics. His current work includes work on several manuscripts: an international history of the Berlin crisis; a study of American policy toward Vietnam from 1962 to 1964 (with Fredrik Logevall and Marc Selverstone) that uses newly declassified White House recordings; and a history of nuclear deterrence (with Joseph M. Siracusa).
Professor Coleman's specialties: 20th-Century U.S. Political History; Political History; American Government and Politics; Defense Strategy/Nuclear Strategy; International Relations; Nuclear Politics; Policy History; Presidential Recordings; U.S. Foreign Policy; U.S. History, Political; U.S. History, Science and Technology; White House Tapes
Patrick J. Garrity is a research associate with the Presidential Recordings Program, where he focuses on the national security policy of the Nixon Administration. His research interests include the history of American foreign policy, U.S. nuclear strategy, and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. He is co-author of A Sacred Union of Citizens: George Washington's Farewell Address and the American Character; and co-editor of Nuclear Weapons in the Changing World: Perspectives from Europe, Asia, and North America.
Dr. Garrity's specialties: National Security Policy of the Nixon Administration; History of American Foreign Policy; U.S. Nuclear Strategy; Threat of WMDs
Risa Goluboff, Faculty Associate in the Governing America in a Global Era Program, is Professor of Law and Professor of History. Her scholarship focuses on the history of civil rights, labor, and constitutional law in the 20th century. Goluboff’s first book, The Lost Promise of Civil Rights (Harvard University Press, 2007), won the 2010 Order of the Coif Biennial Book Award and the 2008 James Willard Hurst Prize. Goluboff received a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Constitutional Studies and a 2012 Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship to support her current work on the demise of vagrancy laws as part of the social transformations of the 1960s. Goluboff is also co-editor (with Myriam Gilles) of Civil Rights Stories (Foundation Press, 2008), and author of numerous articles, essays, and book chapters. Goluboff teaches constitutional law, civil rights litigation, and legal and constitutional history. In 2011, she received the University of Virginia’s All-University Teaching Award.
Will serves as Professor in the Corcoran Department of History and Director of Research & Scholarship at the Miller Center. His fields of study include modern Europe, world politics and the Cold War. His most recent book, The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe (The Free Press/Simon and Schuster, 2008), was the winner of the 2009 George Louis Beer Prize from the American Historical Association, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and the Mark Lynton History Prize. The Human Rights Revolution: An International History, co-edited with Akira Iriye and Petra Goedde, will be published later this month by Oxford University Press. Will’s current project is The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s, which will be published by The Free Press in 2013.
Click to view his CV (PDF).
As a journalist and historian, Ken Hughes has written about the Kennedy and Nixon White House tapes for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post op-ed page, Boston Globe Magazine and the online publication Salon. A 1986 graduate of Cornell University, Hughes has reported for newspapers, newsletters, cable television and radio.
Hughes's specialties: Politics of Ending the Vietnam War (Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy)
Jeffery A. Jenkins is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia and Faculty Associate in the GAGE program at the Miller Center. Jenkins works at the intersection of mainstream American Politics and American political history, with research focusing on the origins and development of American political institutions, notably congressional and partisan institutions, as well as the use of historical data to test contemporary theories of legislative organization and behavior. He has published in an assortment of journals, including American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Studies in American Political Development, and has two forthcoming books in 2012: Living Legislation: Durability, Change, and the Politics of American Lawmaking (University of Chicago Press, co-edited with Eric Patashnik) and Fighting for the Speakership: The House and the Rise of Party Government (Princeton University Press, co-authored with Charles Stewart III).
David Leblang is a Faculty Associate in the GAGE program and J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance and Chair of the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. A specialist in political economy, Leblang has served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, The Directorate of Finance and Economics of the European Commission, and the Department of Defense. He is co-author of Democratic Politics and Financial Markets: Pricing Politics (2006) and more than twenty-five journal articles in publications including The American Journal of Politics, International Organization, Economics and Politics, and the Journal of International Money and Finance. He has received research support from the National Science Foundation. Leblang has written on the politics of economic growth, the determinants of exchange rate policy, the causes of currency crises and the link between elections and economic expectations. At present he is working on two large projects. The first examines the causes and consequences of international migration and the second explores the determinants of international housing policy.
Melvyn P. Leffler, Faculty Associate in the GAGE program at the Miller Center, is Edward R. Stettinius Professor of American History in the Department of History at the University of Virginia. He has written extensively on U.S. national security strategy and on U.S. foreign economic relations. He won the 1993 Bancroft Prize for his analysis of the early Cold War, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford University Press, 1992). His recent book, For the Soul of Mankind: the United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War (Hill and Wang, 2007), won the George Louis Beer Prize from the American Historical Association. He is also the co-editor, with Jeff Legro, of several books on contemporary U.S. foreign policy and recently co-edited, with Odd Arne Westad, the three volume Cambridge History of the Cold War. He is now researching a book on George W. Bush and American foreign relations.
Professor Leffler's specialties: Strategy and Diplomacy, the Cold War, and post-Cold War U.S. foreign relations
Jeffrey W. Legro is Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Randolph P. Compton Professor of World Politics in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. He is a Faculty Associate in the GAGE Program at the Miller Center. A specialist on international relations, Legro has served as a consultant to foundations, think tanks, publishers, and government agencies. Legro is co-editor, with fellow GAGE Faculty Associate Melvyn P. Leffler, of To Lead the World: American Strategy After the Bush Doctrine (Oxford University Press, 2008) and In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11 (Cornell University Press, 2011). He chaired the American Political Science Association (APSA) Task Force on U.S. Standing in the World and is past president of APSA’s International History and Politics section. Legro has written books and articles on such topics as American foreign policy, international cooperation and conflict, international norms and law, military doctrine and strategy, and the causes of foreign policy revolutions.
Professor Legro's specialties: U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security Strategy; Great Power Politics; International Order and Instability; Comparative Strategy (particularly the European Union and China)
Guian McKee joined the Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Program in August 2002. He received a Ph.D. in American history at the University of California, Berkeley in May 2002; prior to joining the Miller Center, McKee was a visiting scholar in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of The Problem of Jobs: Liberalism, Race, and Deindustrialization in Philadelphia, which will be published in Fall 2008 by the University of Chicago Press. He is also the author of Lyndon Johnson and the War on Poverty: How Policymakers Try to Deliver on Social Promises (tentative title), which will be published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. He has published articles in the Journal of Urban History, Journal of Policy History, Journal of Planning History, and the Boston Globe. In April 2007, he delivered the keynote address at the conference "In the Shadow of the Great Society: American Politics, Culture and Society Since 1964," hosted by the Rothermere American Institute and the American History Research Seminar, University of Oxford, U.K. At the Miller Center, McKee is the editor of Volumes 6 and 7 of PRP's The Presidential Recordings of Lyndon B. Johnson; he is also preparing a thematic volume of Johnson's recorded conversations about the War on Poverty, which will be published by the University of Virginia Press through its Rotunda electronic imprint. McKee teaches courses on American social policy history and urban history.
Professor McKee's specialties: Urban Policy; Urban Renewal; Economic Development; Urban History, Anti-Poverty Policy; Social Policy, Deindustrialization; The War on Poverty and Great Society; Johnson Administration Domestic Policy, Civil Rights Movement (especially in the Urban North), Liberalism, Philadelphia
Sidney M. Milkis is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Politics and Faculty Associate in the GAGE Program at the Miller Center.
His books include Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party Campaign, and the Transformation of American Democracy (Kansas University Press, 2009) and The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776–2007 (2007), 6th edition, co-authored with Michael Nelson (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2011), among others. His research focuses on the American presidency, political parties and elections, social movements and American political development.
Professor Milkis's specialties: American Government and Politics; American Political History; American Political Thought; Elections; Political Parties and Social Movements; Presidency; Progressivism; Regulatory Politics
Barbara A. Perry, senior fellow and associate professor in the Miller Center’s Presidential Oral History Program, is a well-known scholar of the U.S. Supreme Court and the American presidency. She is also an authority on the Kennedy presidency. Previously, she was the Carter Glass Professor of Government and founding director of the Center for Civic Renewal at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. In 1994-95 she was the judicial fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court, where she received the Tom C. Clark Award as the outstanding fellow that year. Her duties included researching and drafting speeches for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Perry was the senior fellow at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center in 2006-07 and now serves as a non-resident fellow there. She is a frequent media commentator on public affairs for international and national newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and Internet, including CNN, C-SPAN, MS-NBC, BBC, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, New York Times, Washington Post,and USA Today. Perry is a regular guest on Wisconsin Public Radio’s At Issue.
Professor Perry's specialties: American Government and Politics; Presidential Leadership and Presidential Power; the Kennedy Presidency and the Kennedy Family; the George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush Presidencies; First Ladies; the Supreme Court; Judicial Appointments; Constitutional Law; Civil Rights and Liberties
Riley is an associate professor and chair of the Miller Center's Presidential Oral History Program. He currently heads the Clinton Presidential History Project, a comprehensive effort to conduct and compile scholarly oral history interviews with the senior members of the Clinton White House, as well as other important political figures of the Clinton era. He has also participated in similar efforts to document the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. Riley has taught a wide range of courses in American politics. He is the author of the book The Presidency and the Politics of Racial Inequality: Nation-keeping from 1831–1965, a comparative study of how presidents dealt with abolitionism and the later movement for black civil rights. His other published works include articles on race and politics, presidential leadership, Southern politics, and political parties. He is currently working on a book about post-war politics in the United States, examining comparatively the immediate aftermaths of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War. He also is interested in U.S.-European relations, and was for several years a resident academic program director with the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, in Austria.
Professor Riley's specialties: American Government and Politics; Presidential Leadership and Presidential Power; the Clinton Presidency; Presidential-Congressional Relations; Executive Branch Politics; U.S. Political History; Wartime and Post-wartime Politics; Political Parties; Oral History; U.S. Public Diplomacy
Marc Selverstone is Chair of the Presidential Recordings Program. He joined the Miller Center in November 2000 after receiving his Ph.D. in U.S. Foreign Relations from Ohio University. Previously, he received a masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. His interests include U.S. foreign relations post-1945, the culture of the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. He is author of Constructing the Monolith: The United States, Great Britain, and International Communism, 1945–1950(Harvard University Press, 2009), which won the Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2010. He is presently at work on The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment to Vietnam, which is under contract with Harvard University Press.
At the Miller Center, Marc coordinates the work of the Presidential Recordings Program (PRP). Within PRP, his work focuses on the recordings of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, with a special emphasis on their foreign policy, particularly that involving Vietnam. He is part of the team of scholars transcribing and editing the secret White House tapes made by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. In addition, Marc directs the Presidential Recordings Program's "Digital Classroom Initiative," a teacher-dedicated portal which seeks to help secondary school teachers incorporate material from the Program into their learning activities. He is former executive editor of AmericanPresident.org. He is also a co-editor of the University of Virginia Multimedia Guide to the Virginia and U.S. History Standards of Learning, a project co-sponsored by the Miller Center and the Virginia Center for Digital History.
Professor Selverstone's specialties: U.S. foreign relations, Cold War; Vietnam; John F. Kennedy; Lyndon B. Johnson
Brantly Womack holds the Miller Center's C. K. Yen Chair and is Professor of Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia. He received his BA in politics and philosophy from the University of Dallas, and after a Fulbright in philosophy at the University of Munich earned his PhD in political science from University of Chicago. He is the author of China Among Unequals: Asymmetric International Relationships in Asia (World Scientific Press 2010), and of China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry (Cambridge 2006), as well as over a hundred articles and book chapters. He edited China’s Rise in Historical Perspective (Rowman and Littlefield 2010), the product of a lecture series at the Miller Center, and Contemporary Chinese Politics in Historical Perspective (Cambridge 1991). In 2011 Womack received the China Friendship Award for his work with Chinese universities. He holds honorary positions at Jilin University, East China Normal University, and Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) University.