Keren Yarhi-Milo is the Dean of the School of International and Public Affiars. She is the former  Director of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. Her research and teaching focus on international relations and foreign policy, with a particular specialization in international security, including foreign policy decision-making, interstate communication and crisis bargaining, intelligence, and US foreign policy in the Middle East.

Yarhi-Milo’s first book (Princeton University Press, 2014) titled, “Knowing The Adversary: Leaders, Intelligence Organizations, and Assessments of Intentions in International Relations,” received the 2016 Furnnis Award for best book in the field of international security. Also, it is Co-Winner of the 2016 DPLST Book Prize, Diplomatic Studies Section of the International Studies Association. This book explores how and why civilian leaders and intelligence organizations select and interpret an adversary’s signals of intentions differently. Her new book, titled, “Who Fights for Reputation? The Psychology of Leaders in International Conflict,” came out with Princeton University Press (2018) and received the 2019 Best Book Award on Foreign Policy from the American Political Science Association. It also won the Biennial Best Foreign Policy Book Award from the International Studies Association, which will be presented at the 2021 ISA Annual Convention. The ISA committee stated that Professor Yarhi-Milo’s book “considers a long-debated question in international relations — whether reputation matters,” and “impressively showcases how to integrate different theories and methods from multiple disciplines in understanding leaders’ decision making in Foreign Policy Analysis.”

Yarhi-Milo’s articles have been published or are forthcoming in International Studies Quarterly, International Organization, International Security, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Foreign Affairs, and Security Studies.

Before joining the faculty at Columbia University, she was an Associate Professor (with tenure) of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Politics Department and the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. She was previously a post-doc fellow at the Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a pre-doc fellow at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. Yarhi-Milo has worked at the Mission of Israel to the United Nations, as well as served in the Israeli Defense Forces, Intelligence Branch. Her dissertation received the Kenneth Waltz Award for the best dissertation in the field of International Security and Arms Control in 2010. She also has received awards for the study of Political Science from the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Arthur Ross Foundation, and the Abram Morris Foundation.

Yarhi-Milo holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science from Columbia University. Read more at

CV: Keren Yarhi-Milo CV (2021)






Keren Yarhi-Milo, Who Fights for Reputation? The Psychology of Leaders in International Conflict (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018).
Keren Yarhi-Milo, Knowing The Adversary: Leaders, Intelligence, and Assessments of the Adversary’s Intentions (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014).

Principal Articles

Todd Hall and Keren Yarhi-Milo, “The Personal Touch: Leaders’ Impressions, Costly Signaling, and Assessments of Sincerity in International Affairs,” International Studies Quarterly 56, no. 3 (2012): 560-573.
Roseanne McManus and Keren Yarhi-Milo, “The Logic of ‘Offstage’ Signaling: Domestic Politics, Regime Type, and Major Powers-Protégé Relations,” International Organization 71, no. 4 (2017): 701-733.
Austin Carson and Keren Yarhi-Milo, “Clandestine Communication: Signals and Inferences in Covert Military Competition,” Security Studies 26, no. 1 (2017): 124-156.
Zack Cooper, Alex Lanoszka, and Keren Yarhi-Milo, “To Arm or to Ally? The Patron’s Dilemma and the Strategic Logic of Arms Transfers and Alliances,” International Security 41, no. 2 (2016): 90-139.
Marcus Holmes and Keren Yarhi-Milo, “The Emotional Logic of Peace Summits: Beliefs Regarding Empathy and the Effect on Diplomacy,” International Studies Quarterly 60, no. 3 (2016).
Alex Weisiger and Keren Yarhi-Milo, “Revisiting Reputation: When do Past Actions Matter in International Politics,” International Organization 69, no. 2 (2015): 473-495.
Keren Yarhi-Milo, “In the Eye of the Beholder: How Leaders and Intelligence Communities Assess the Intentions of Adversaries,” International Security 38, no. 1 (2013): 7-51.
Keren Yarhi-Milo, “Tying Hands behind Closed Doors: The Logic and Practice of Secret Reassurance,” Security Studies 22, no. 3 (2013): 405-435.

Other Articles, Testimoney and Reports

Keren Yarhi-Milo and Thomas J. Christensen, “The Human Factor: How Robert Jervis Reshaped Our Understanding of International Politics,” Foreign Affairs online, 7 January 2022.