Professor of International Affairs and Affiliate Law Faculty
Ph.D., Princeton University
M.A., Princeton University
B.A., B.M., Texas Christian University
Professor Flynt Leverett is an expert on the Middle East and Persian Gulf, international energy affairs, and international security. A founding faculty member at Penn State's School of International Affairs, he is also a Visiting Scholar at Peking University, a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, and a member of the faculty editorial board for the Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs.With his wife and frequent co-author, Hillary Mann Leverett, he publishes www.GoingToTehran.com, which has become a prominent online forum for interest-based, realist analysis regarding Iran and the broader Middle East.
From 1992 to 2003, Professor Leverett had a distinguished career in the U.S. Government. He served for nine years as a senior analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, focusing on the Middle East. As a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, he earned a Superior Honor Award for his contributions to forming an international coalition to fight terrorism following the September 11 attacks. In 2002, he went to the White House to serve as the National Security Council's senior director for Middle East affairs; he left the George W. Bush Administration and government service in 2003 because of disagreements over Middle East policy and the conduct of the war on terror.
Professor Leverett has written extensively on the politics, international relations, and political economy of the Middle East and Persian Gulf. His new book, Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, was published in January 2013 by Henry Holt's Metropolitan Books imprint. Even before publication, Going to Tehran was excerpted in Harper's, highlighted as a “New and Noteworthy” book byPolitico, and featured in Foreign Policy’s “What to Read in 2013” list. His first book, Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial By Fire (Brookings Institution Press, 2005), was a Foreign Affairs bestseller, was profiled in The Economist, and remains featured on Foreign Affairs' "What to Read on Syrian Politics" reading list.
Professor Leverett has also authored analyses of the impact of energy market trends on international security, “resource mercantilism” in rising Asia, and Chinese engagement in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. He has been interviewed on major news outlets around the world, including Bloomberg/PBS's Charlie Rose, BBC's Doha Debates and HARDtalk, C-Span's Washington Journal, Al Jazeera (Arabic and English), NHK's Close Up Gendai, NPR, and PBS's Frontline and NewsHour, as well as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has published opinion pieces in many high-profile venues, including Foreign Policy, The New York Times, Politico, and Reuters.
Professor Leverett has testified before the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has spoken at foreign ministries and strategic research institutes in Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. He has been a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University, and has given academic presentations at leading 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 is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
"America's Iran Policy and the Undermining of International Order," World Financial Review, July-Aug. 2013 (with Hillary Mann Leverett)
Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2013) [with Hillary Mann Leverett]
“The Mad Mullah Myth: The Dangers of Misunderstanding Iran’s Strategy,” Harper’s, November 2012 (with Hillary Mann Leverett)
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 1:2 (November 2012) [with Hillary Mann Leverett]
“The Dispensable Nation: The People of the Middle East Don't Want the Leadership That President Obama Offered Them on Thursday,” Foreign Policy, May 20, 2011 (with Hillary Mann Leverett)
“United States, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Middle East's New ‘Cold War',” The International Spectator[journal of the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome], 45:1 (March 2010) (with Hillary Mann Leverett).
“Another Iranian Revolution? Not Likely,” The New York Times, January 5, 2010 (with Hillary Mann Leverett)
“Consuming Energy: Rising Powers, the International Energy Agency, and the Global Energy Architecture” inRising States, Rising Institutions: Challenges for Global Governance, A. Alexandroff and A. Cooper, eds. (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press for the Center for International Governance Innovation, 2010)
“Moving (Slightly) Closer to Iran: China's Shifting Calculus for Managing Its ‘Persian Gulf Dilemma',” The Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, John Hopkins University The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, 2009 (with John Garver and Hillary Mann Leverett)
“Road Map to Nowhere: Obama's Refusal to Dub Israeli Settlements Illegal Is Undermining Any Hope of Middle East Peace,” Foreign Policy, July 1, 2009 (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)
“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., Oxford: Routledge, 2008
Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2005. [Arabic-language edition: Beirut, Arab Scientific Publishers, 2005]
“Energy, Economics, 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 lecture series, April 3, 2012.
“Could U.S. Accept Iran Having Some Nuclear Technology?,” PBS Newshour, February 17, 2012
“Flynt Leverett Discusses the Prospect of Sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran on Al Jazeera,” November 4, 2011
“As Protests Grow, Will Syrians See Reforms or More Bloodshed?,” PBS Newshour, April 8, 2011
Special Guest on Charlie Rose: “Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett on Iran,” March 29, 2010
“Tensions Rise Anew Around Iran's Nuclear, Political Goals,” PBS Newshour, February 11, 2010