CMU prof lands spot on Trump transition team for National Security Council
November 23, 2016 12:02 AM
By Bill Schackner / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Carnegie Mellon University associate professor and expert in international relations, U.S. foreign policy and political strategy has been named to President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition team for the National Security Council.
Kiron Skinner is founding director of the Institute for Politics and Strategy in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She joined the university in 1999 and is a distinguished fellow of CMU’s CyLab.
Reached Tuesday evening, she declined to comment on her appointment.
The institute is a focus for research as well as undergraduate and graduate education and endeavors in political science, international relations, national security policy and grand strategy across the university, CMU officials said in announcing her appointment to the Trump team.
Beyond campus, she is a special adviser to Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a life director of the Atlantic Council.
She also is a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, which, according to its website, seeks to “promote economic opportunity and prosperity, while securing and safeguarding peace for America and all mankind.”
Inspired by President Herbert Hoover, a Republican, the institution has long received support from the Sarah Scaife Foundation. Last year, the foundation, according to its tax filings, donated $300,000 to the institution for research programs and fellowship support, and $50,000 for an unspecified “book project.”
In her role with the Hoover Institution, Ms. Skinner in 2010 interviewed Richard Mellon Scaife, the late Tribune-Review publisher who directed the foundation to support conservative causes. The interview was quoted earlier this year in legal filings in a lawsuit filed by Mr. Scaife’s daughter and son against three trustees accused of failing to preserve a trust fund.
From 2001-2007, Ms. Skinner was a U.S. Defense Department Defense Policy Board adviser on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She was a foreign policy surrogate for the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign and a senior foreign policy adviser to Newt Gingrich for his presidential bid in 2011-12, according to biographical information on CMU’s website.
Two New York Times bestsellers, “Reagan, In His Own Hand” and “Reagan, A Life In Letters,” were co-written by Ms. Skinner .
Ms. Skinner holds master’s and doctoral degrees in political science and international relations from Harvard University. She has undergraduate degrees from Spelman College and Sacramento City College.
Bill Schackner: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1977 and on Twitter: @BschacknerPG. Staff writer Rich Lord contributed.
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