Joseph Samuel Nye

Harvard Kennedy School
Political scientist; Educator; Academic administrator
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Political Science


Joseph S. Nye Jr. is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of the Kennedy School of Government (1995-2004) at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1964. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (1994-95), Chair of the National Intelligence Council (1993-94), and Deputy Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology (1977-79). He is the co-founder, with Robert Keohane, of the international relations theory known as neoliberalism, developed in their 1977 book Power and Interdependence. More recently, he pioneered the theory of soft power. His notion of "smart power" became popular with the use of this phrase by members of the Clinton Administration, and more recently the Obama Administration. His most recent books include The Power to Lead, The Future of Power, and Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era. He is a fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Diplomacy. In a recent survey of international relations scholars, he was ranked as the most influential scholar on American foreign policy, and in 2011, Foreign Policy named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers. In October 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Nye to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Nye also serves as a Commissioner for the Global Commission on Internet Governance. He is the chairman of the North American branch of the Trilateral Commission, a director of the Council on Foreign Relations, Chair of the Pacific Forum, and a trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He received the A.B. degree (1958) summa cum laude in public affairs from Princeton University, the B.A. (1960) from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and the Ph.D. (1964) in political science from Harvard University. Nye has received honorary degrees from Carleton University (Canada), St. Gallen University (Switzerland), Keio University (Japan), King's College London (UK), and Macquarie University (Australia). Nye was elected a Fellow (Class III:3) of the American Academy in 1984. In February 2011 he presented a Stated Meeting at the Academy on "The Future of Power."

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