Stephen Sestanovich

School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University


Stephen Sestanovich is the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Diplomacy at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. He is also the director of the International Fellows Program.

From 1997 to 2001 he held the position of ambassador-at-large and special advisor to the secretary of state on the New Independent States (NIS). In this role, he was responsible for the overall coordination of U.S. policy toward the states of the former Soviet Union, both within the State Department and with other agencies of the U.S. Government. He served as the principal public spokesman for the administration and the Department of State before Congress and the public on policy toward the NIS.

Before joining the State Department, Ambassador Sestanovich was the vice president for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he oversaw the Endowment's policy research center in Moscow and its program of post-Soviet studies in Washington.

From 1987 to 1994, he was director of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. From 1984 to 1987, he was senior director for policy development at the National Security Council. He served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State from 1981 to 1984, and was senior legislative assistant for foreign policy to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan from 1980 to 1981.

Featured Work

Israeli, Russian, and U.S. Flags

SEP 21, 2011 Podcast

Jackson-Vanik: Time for Reconsideration?

The Jackson-Vanik amendment has been imposed on Russia for 37 years. Is it time for repeal? This event is in cooperation with EastWest Institute.