Michael Goldfien, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor National Security Affairs
Michael Goldfien faculty photo


Dr. Goldfien's research focuses on leadership and the politics of diplomacy at the international and domestic levels. His work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Security Studies, and the Journal of Politics, among other outlets. He has been a fellow with the International Security Studies program at Yale, the Yale Nuclear Security Program, and the Hans J. Morgenthau Fellowship at the Notre Dame International Security Center. He holds a Ph.D. in political science with university distinction from Yale University, an M.A. in international policy from Stanford University, and a B.A. in international relations from Grinnell College.

Areas of Expertise

  • International Relations

Professional Highlights


Assistant Professor, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, RI

- Joined the National Security Affairs department.

Ph.D., Yale University

- Earned Ph.D. in political science with university distinction.
- Dissertation, "Essays on Leadership, Domestic Politics, and Diplomacy," was awarded the 2023 James G. March Prize for the best dissertation in political science.

Research Associate, The Cohen Group, Washington D.C.

- Provided global business consulting services.


Ph.D., Yale University, 2023, Political Science

M.A., Stanford University, 2015, International Policy Studies

B.A., Grinnell College, 2012, International Relations

C.V. or Resume

Research Contributions and Publications

"Just Patronage? Familiarity and the Diplomatic Value of Non-Career Ambassadors"
Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2023

"When Do Leader Backgrounds Matter? Evidence from the President's Daily Brief"
Co-authored with Michael Joseph and Dan Krcmaric
Conflict Management and Peace Science, 2023

"The Domestic Sources of Reputation"
Co-authored with Michael Joseph and Roseanne McManus
American Political Science Review, 2023

"Public Opinion and Nuclear Use"
Co-authored with Tyler Bowen and Matthew Graham
The Journal of Politics, 2023

"Perceptions of Leadership Importance"
Co-authored with Michael Joseph
Security Studies, 2023

Awards and Decorations

Frederic M. Jablin Doctoral Dissertation Award
International Leadership Association & the University of Richmond, 2023

James G. March Dissertation Prize
Yale University, 2023

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