Stanford Alumni Association presents 2019 Lyman Award to Michael McFaul

Michael McFaul, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, is the 2019 winner of the Richard W. Lyman Award.

At an award dinner this evening, the Stanford Alumni Association will present the 2019 Richard W. Lyman Award to Michael McFaul, director and senior fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) for “extraordinary service” to alumni.

Michael McFaul is the 2019 recipient of the Richard W. Lyman Award. (Courtesy Political Science)

McFaul is also the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in Political Science in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Each year, the Stanford Alumni Association (SAA) presents the Lyman Award to an outstanding faculty member for extraordinary service to Stanford alumni. The SAA established the award in 1983 to honor Richard W. Lyman, Stanford’s seventh president.

“Mike McFaul is an alumni director’s dream come true as the ultimate ‘quadruple threat’ – a Stanford alumnus, Stanford faculty member, Stanford parent and Stanford volunteer,” said Howard Wolf, vice president for alumni affairs and SAA president.

“Mike’s ability to capture the minds, hearts and souls of our alumni by leveraging his rare combination of academic scholarship with deep governmental experience is truly superior. We here at SAA – and in particular our alumni who are trying to make sense of today’s geopolitics – are truly lucky that Mike is a member of our alumni education team,” said Wolf.

McFaul graduated from Stanford in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Slavic Languages, and a master’s degree in Soviet and East European Studies. As a Rhodes Scholar, he earned a doctorate in international relations at Oxford University in 1991. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995.

McFaul served for five years in the Obama Administration, first as special assistant to the president and senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014). His latest book, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia, is an inside account of U.S.-Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the rise of Vladimir Putin.

This spring, McFaul will teach “Foreign Policy Decision Making in Comparative Perspective,” a seminar designed for graduate students in the two-year professional degree program offered by FSI, the Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy. The seminar also accepts fourth-year undergraduate students.

In their announcement to the alumni community, the SAA said McFaul has contributed to its mission of lifelong learning through faculty speaker events, Stanford+Connects, Sierra Camp and Leading Matters, STARS Volunteer Leadership Assembly, Reunion Homecoming and many other programs.

“Alumni pack the aisles and give standing ovations every time McFaul speaks,” the SAA said. “He gets rave reviews and clearly cares about every audience; whether he is talking to a group of 300 or a single person who has stayed behind to ask a follow-up question. His willingness to make time in his very busy schedule reminds us how lucky we are to enjoy his dedication to Stanford University and the Stanford Alumni Association.”