Lincoln Mitchell is a political analyst, pundit and writer based in New York City and San Francisco. Mitchell works on democracy and governance related issues in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He also works with businesses and NGOs globally, particularly in the former Soviet Union. Mitchell writes and speaks about US politics as well. He is a frequent contributor to CNN Opinion and was the national political correspondent for The New York Observer from 2014-2016. Mitchell was on the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International Affairs from 2006-2013. He retains an affiliation with Columbia’s Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and teaches in Columbia’s political science department. In addition, he worked for years as a political consultant advising and managing domestic political campaigns.

Mitchell is an accomplished scholar and writer whose current research includes democratic rollback in the US, the political history of San Francisco, US-Georgia relations, political development in the former Soviet Union, the role of democracy promotion in American foreign policy and baseball.  He has written seven books: Uncertain Democracy: US Foreign Policy and Georgia’s Rose Revolution, (Penn Press 2008), The Color Revolutions, (Penn Press 2012), The Democracy Promotion Paradox (Brookings 2016), Will Big League Baseball Survive? Globalization, the End of Television, Youth Sports and the Future of Major League Baseball (Temple University Press 2016), Baseball Goes West: How the Dodgers and Giants Shaped the Major Leagues (Kent State University Press 2018), San Francisco Year Zero: Political Upheaval, Punk Rock and a Third Place Baseball Team (Rutgers University Press, 2019) and The Giants and Their City: Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976-1992 (Kent State University Press, 2021). Mitchell has written articles on these topics got CNN, Reuters, The Washington PostThe New York Times. The Forward, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty The National Interest, Orbis, The Moscow Times, the Washington Quarterly, The American Interest, The National Interest, Survival, the Central Asian Survey, World Affairs Journal, The New York Daily News and Current History as well as for numerous other publications. He has been quoted extensively in most major American, Georgian and Russian newspapers and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs and podcasts including Fox and Friends, All Things Considered, Lou Dobbs, Al Jazeera, CGTN, the Jim Lehrer Newshour, ABC Nightline, the Diane Rehm Show, Up and In: The Baseball Prospectus Podcast, the Cespedes Family Barbecast, Sports Byline and The BBC as well as in Russian and Georgian television.  Mitchell also frequently blogs about American politics on several different online platforms.

Mitchell’s current and recent clients include Freedom House, Democracy International, ARD/Tetratech, the Albright Stonebridge Group, the UNDP and DFID, the United Nations Democracy Fund, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, as well as several private businesses, political interests and investors working in the former Soviet Union.

Mitchell earned his BA from UC Santa Cruz and his Ph.D from Columbia University.


Lincoln Mitchell, Uncertain Democracy: U.S. Foreign Policy and Georgia’s Rose Revolution (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).

Principal Articles

Alexander Cooley and Lincoln Mitchell, “Engagement without Recognition: A New Strategy toward Abkhazia and Eurasia’s Unrecognized States,” Washington Quarterly 33, no. 4 (October 2010).
Lincoln Mitchell, “Georgia’s Story: Competing Narratives Since the War,” Survival 51, no. 4 (August 2009).
Lincoln Mitchell, “Compromising Democracy: State Building in Saakashvili’s Georgia,” Central Asian Survey 28, no. 2 (Summer 2009).
Alexander Cooley and Lincoln Mitchell, “No Way to Treat Our Friends: Recasting Recent U.S.-Georgia Relations,” Washington Quarterly 32, no. 1 (January 2009).
Lincoln Mitchell, “Beyond Bombs and Ballots: Dispelling Myths about Democracy Assistance,” The National Interest 88 (March-April 2007).

Other Articles, Testimony and Reports

Lincoln Mitchell, “Andrew Cuomo’s future may rest on more than the merits of the case against him,” CNN Opinion, 16 March 2021.
Lincoln Mitchell, “Impeaching Trump is only the start,” CNN Opinion, 11 January 2021.
Lincoln Mitchell, “The Extraordinary Rise of Pete Buttigieg,” CNN Opinion, 16 December 2020.
Alexander Cooley and Lincoln Mitchell, “A Counterproductive Disdain,” New York Times, 31 August 2011.