Flynt L. Leverett

Professor of International Affairs and Asian Studies
(814) 867-2238
247 Katz Building

Ph.D., Princeton University
M.A., Princeton University
B.A., B.M., Texas Christian University
Curriculum Vitae

An expert on the Middle East, energy and the economic dimensions of international security, and Chinese foreign policy, Flynt Leverett is part of the founding faculty at the Penn State School of International Affairs, and an affiliate faculty at Penn State Law and Asian Studies Program. He is also a visiting scholar at Peking University's Institute of International and Strategic Studies and a senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute of Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. 

From 1992 to 2003, Prof. Leverett had a distinguished career in the U.S. Government. He served nine years as senior Middle East analyst at the CIA. On the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, he earned a Superior Honor Award for his contributions to forming an international coalition against al-Qa’ida after the 9/11 attacks and to diplomatic efforts with Libya that led to the normalization of U.S.-Libyan relations after years of estrangement. In 2002, he went to the White House to serve as the National Security Council's senior director for Middle East affairs; he left government service in 2003 because of disagreements over Middle East policy and the conduct of the war on terror.

Prof. Leverett has written extensively on the international relations, politics, and political economy of the Middle East and on U.S. Middle East policy. His latest book, Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran (2013), is now in paperback, with a new Afterword.  Written with his wife and frequent co-author, Hillary Mann Leverett, Going to Tehran was excerpted in Harper's and highlighted by Foreign Policy as a “Book to Read in 2013.” It was also the launch point for a Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs symposium on “The U.S.-Iranian Relationship and the Future of International Order.” Going to Tehran has been lauded by leading public intellectuals like Andrew Bacevich, Noam Chomsky, and Glenn Greenwald.  Outside the United States, Going to Tehran was recommended by the Indian Council on Global Relations and will soon appear in Chinese. Prof. Leverett's first book, Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire (2005), was a Foreign Affairs bestseller and remains on Foreign Affairs' “What to Read on Syrian Politics” list. He also writes about global energy affairs and the implications of China's rise.    

Prof. Leverett has been a visiting professor at MIT and Yale and given presentations at top universities around the world, including Beijing (Peking University), Cambridge, Chicago, Georgetown, Harvard Law School, Johns Hopkins SAIS, Maryland, MIT, NYU, Tehran, Toronto, and Yale. He has been interviewed on major news and public affairs programs, including Al Jazeera (Arabic and English), BBC's Doha Debates and HARDtalk, the University of California's Conversations with History, CCTV, Charlie Rose, C-Span's Book TV and Washington Journal, NHK's Close Up Gendai, PBS Newshour, RT's CrossTalk, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He was featured in the BBC/PBS documentary, Israel and the Arabs: The Elusive Peace (2005) and in PBS Frontline's Showdown With Iran (2007). His articles and op-eds appear regularly in high-profile outlets, including The New York TimesPolitico, and The National Interest. He is also a regular contributor to The World Financial Review.

Prof. Leverett has testified before congressional committees and addressed foreign ministries and strategic research institutes in Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. He has been a peer reviewer for the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook and a consultant to the World Economic Forum's “Gulf Cooperation Council and the World 2025” scenarios project. He has spoken at the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs, the East-West Institute, the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) and other prestigious venues. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms With the Islamic Republic of Iran (Metropolitan, 2013) [with Hillary Mann Leverett]; paperback ed., Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran [with new Afterword] (Picador, 2013)  
Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire (Brookings, 2005) [Arabic ed., Arab Scientific Publishers, 2005]
The Road Ahead: Middle East Policy in the Bush Administration's Second Term (Brookings, 2005) [ed. and contributor]
Moving (Slightly) Closer to Iran: China's Shifting Calculus for Managing Its “Persian Gulf Dilemma”, Asia-Pacific Policy Papers (Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 2009) [with John Garver and Hillary Mann Leverett]
Academic articles/chapters
The Iranian Nuclear Issue, the End of the American Century, and the Future of International Order,” Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs, 2, no. 2 (Nov. 2013) 
The Balance of Power, Public Goods, and the Lost Art of Grand Strategy: American Policy toward the Persian Gulf and Rising Asia in the 21st Century,” Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs, 1, no. 2 (Nov. 2012) [with Hillary Mann Leverett].  
Consuming Energy:  Rising Powers, the International Energy Agency, and the Global Energy Architecture” in Rising States, Rising Institutions:  Challenges for Global Governance, A. Alexandroff and A. Cooper, eds. (Brookings for CIGI, 2010) 
Resource Mercantilism and the Militarization of Resource Management: Rising Asia and the Future of American Primacy in the Persian Gulf,” in Energy and Global Politics: The Militarization of Resource Management, D. Moran and J. Russell, eds. (Routledge, 2008)
Other articles/op-eds
The Sino Russian Hydrocarbon Axis Grows Up” National Inerest, May 21, 2014 [with Hillary Mann Leverett] 
America's Iran Policy and the Undermining of International Order,” World Financial Review, July-Aug. 2013 [with Hillary Mann Leverett] 
Rouhani Won the Iranian Election. Get Over It.,” Al Jazeera, June 16, 2013 [with Hillary Mann Leverett and Seyed Mohammad Marandi]     
Another Iranian Revolution? Not Likely,” New York Times, Jan. 5, 2010 [with Hillary Mann Leverett]
Will Iran Be President Obama's Iraq?,” Politico, June 24, 2009 [with Hillary Mann Leverett and Seyed Mohammad Marandi]
Ahmadinejad Won. Get Over It.,” Politico, June 16, 2009 [with Hillary Mann Leverett]
Have We Already Lost Iran?,” New York Times, May 23, 2009 [with Hillary Mann Leverett]
Media Interviews
 “Syria: Has the Qusayr round ended—and what are its implications?” Min ad-Dâkhil (From the Inside), Al Mayadeen, July 7, 2013 [starts at 2:40, after Arabic-language intro] 
Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Conversations with History (UCTV), May 24, 2013
Going to Tehran,” Conversations from Penn State (WPSU), May 2, 2013
Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett on Iran,” Charlie Rose, March 29, 2010
The Iraq Oil Equation,” On Point (NPR), Sept. 20, 2007