Gary Sick served on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan. He was the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis and is the author of two books on U.S.-Iran relations, in addition to several other edited books and articles dealing with U.S. Middle East policy. Sick is a captain (ret.) in the U.S. Navy, with service in the Persian Gulf, North Africa and the Mediterranean. He was the deputy director for International Affairs at the Ford Foundation from 1982 to 1987, where he was responsible for programs relating to U.S. foreign policy. Sick has a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, where he is Senior Research Scholar and former director of the Middle East Institute (2000-2003). He taught for thirty years in the School of International and Public Affairs, where he was on several occasions voted one of the top five teachers. He is a member (emeritus) of the board of Human Rights Watch in New York and founding chair of its advisory committee on the Middle East and North Africa. He is also chair of the Columbia University Seminar on the Middle East. Sick is the executive director of Gulf/2000, an international research project on political, economic and security developments in the Persian Gulf, being conducted at Columbia University since 1993 with an international membership of 2000 regional specialists.



Lawrence G. Potter and Gary Sick, Iraq, Iran, and the Legacies of War (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave, 2004).
Lawrence G. Potter and Gary Sick, The Persian Gulf at the Milennium: Essays in Politics, Economy, Security, and Religion (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave, 1997).
Gary Sick, October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan (New York: Random House, 1991).
Gary Sick, All Fall Down: America’s Tragic Encounter With Iran (New York: Random House, 1985).

Book Chapters

Gary Sick, “Taking Vows: the Domestication of Policy-making in Hostage Incidents,” in Walter Reich, ed., Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

Other Articles, Testimony and Reports

Gary Sick, “It’s All but Settled: The Reagan Campaign Delayed the Release of the Iranian Hostages,” The New Republic, 3 May 2023.
Gary Sick, “How ‘national narratives’ shaped US-Iran relations,” Responsible Statecraft, 25 May 2022.
Gary Sick, “Now is the time for a foreign policy overhaul,” Responsible Statecraft, 17 August 2021.