Stephen Sestanovich is the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Affairs and an Affiliate at the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.  His research interests include Soviet and East European studies, strategic planning and international studies, and foreign policy.

Sestanovich has served as Ambassador-at-Large and Special Advisor to the Secretary of State on the New Independent States (NIS).  He also served as the principal spokesman for the administration and the Department of State before Congress and the public on policy toward the NIS.  Sestanovich has held positions at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the National Security Council, and the Department of State, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sestanovich received a B.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University.  He also completed a program of graduate study at Columbia University.

Principal Articles

Stephen Sestanovich, “The Dinner Guest,” The American Interest 5, no. 4 (March-April 2010).
Stephen Sestanovich, “What Has Moscow Done? Rebuilding U.S.-Russian Relations,” Foreign Affairs 87, no. 6 (November-December 2008)

Other Articles, Testimony and Reports

Stephen Sestanovich, “It’s Time to Debunk Putin’s Existential Fallacy,” Foreign Policy online, 24 November 2022.
Stephen Sestanovich, “Ukraine Should Wait on Cease-Fire Talks With Russia. Here’s Why,” Council on Foreign Relations, 24 May 2022.
Stephen Sestanovich, “Putin’s Long Game in Ukraine: The Kremlin Perspective,” Council on Foreign Relations, 6 May 2022
Stephen Sestanovich, “The Russia-Ukraine Crisis: A Scorecard on Biden’s Response,” Council on Foreign Relations, 23 December 2021.
Stephen Sestanovich, “Is Russia Using Energy as a Weapon Again?” Council on Foreign Relations, 28 October 2021.
Stephen Sestanovich, “What Biden Should Have Said,” Washington Post, 6 August 2009.
Stephen Sestanovich, “Cold War Leftovers,” New York Times, 20 May 2009.
Stephen Sestanovich, “Ask Not What Europe Can Do for You,” Foreign Policy, 1 April 2009.
Stephen Sestanovich, Statement and testimony in U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Hearing: Prospects for Engagement with Russia, 111th Cong., 1st sess., 2009.
Stephen Sestanovich, “Russia and the Global Economic Crisis,” Council on Foreign Relations, 25 November 2008.