Past Faculty

PGLF’s faculty is composed of top professors from Oxford, Georgetown, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Bologna, and Columbia along with a distinguished group of national politicians and business leaders.


Sam Potolicchio (President) – Georgetown University

PGLF Schools: Jordan, Macedonia, Russia

B.A. Government, Georgetown; B.A. Psychology, Georgetown; M.T.S. Theology and Culture, Harvard; PRSE, Harvard; MA, Government, Georgetown; PhD, Government, Georgetown

Dr. Sam Potolicchio was named one of “America’s Best Professors” by the Princeton Review, the Future Leader of American Higher Education by the Association of Colleges and Universities, and winner of the OZY Educator Award as one of the six outstanding American educators. He was also profiled in a cover story on his leadership curriculum by Newsweek Japan as the “Best Professor in America”. Potolicchio has served as the Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and the Distinguished University Professor, Department Chairman and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at RANEPA, Europe’s largest university. He lectures at Mannheim University (Germany) and the University of Bologna. Potolicchio earned degrees in Psychology, Government and Theological Studies from Georgetown University and Harvard University.

Branden Thornhill-Miller (Vice President) – Oxford University

PGLF Schools: Jordan, Macedonia, Russia

University of Oxford and Paris Descartes University (Sorbonne) B.A. Yale, Ethics, Politics & Economics; M.Div. Harvard, World Religions; Doctorate, University of Oxford, Psychology

Branden Thornhill-Miller is a researcher and a freelance consultant affiliated with the University of Oxford, where he was previously a College Lecturer in Psychology and Director of Studies for Psychology, Philosophy, and Physiology for a number of years. Thornhill-Miller’s speaking, consulting, and research interests include creativity, individual differences (e.g. personality, intelligence, culture, gender, psychometric tests, and test/survey development), the psychology of religion (especially fundamentalism, identity and conflict, mysticism, and meaning-making), behavioral economics (including cognitive biases and decision-making), behavioral change, well-being and “gross national happiness,” leadership, and other aspects of social, political and organizational psychology.

Thornhill-Miller believes that every leader needs to be a good psychologist (and have psychologists as advisers), and that psychology, properly pursued, should be re-envisioned as a subdiscipline of many other fields with the potential for improving the full range of human processes and interactions. He is also keenly interested in the application and effects of new technologies. Given our unprecedented technological powers and the range of possibilities becoming available to us, he has argued (e.g. in his course “Psychology for Global Leaders: Understanding Ourselves and Challenges of the Modern World”) that we now need to see human nature as the key to understanding human future in an evolving globalized world.

In addition to his research Thornhill-Miller works as a consultant, individual coach, and organizational advisor in his areas of interest. As vice president of Omni Art Design he has also functioned as a visual artist, creativity consultant, and advisor for large-scale community- and identity-building projects. In the past he has been employed as an innovator for business (e.g. building and programming computers to run new industrial production lines for a Fortune 500 company), as a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill, and as Visiting Professor of Literature at Beijing University. Early in his career he was one of twenty-three scholars from different disciplines and around the world invited by the Foundation for the Future to discuss the problems and possibilities facing humanity’s long-term survival.

Thornhill-Miller received his bachelor’s degree in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University, where he was vice president of the student government, coordinator of the Yale Club in Washington, D.C., and worked independently with Harold Bloom in literature, with Robert Dahl and Ian Shapiro in Political Science, and Jonathan Feinstein in economics. While doing his Masters of Divinity focusing on world religions at Harvard, he became Director of the Inter-religious Dialogue Program for the Boston Theological Institute (a consortium of nine schools, including Harvard, Boston University and Boston College). He was selected to be a Fulbright Scholar from the US, but went as a Harvard Knox Fellow to pursue doctoral studies in psychology at the University of Oxford.

Harry Verhoeven – Oxford, SFS Qatar

PGLF Schools: Jordan, Russia

BSc & MA, Political and Social Sciences, Gent University; MSc, Global Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science; DPhil, St Cross College and Department of Politics & International Relations, University of Oxford

Prof Harry Verhoeven teaches at the School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Georgetown University. He is also an Associate Member of the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Oxford. His research focuses on elite politics, conflict and the political economy of the environment in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region. He was founder of the the Oxford University China-Africa Network (OUCAN) in 2008-2009 and remains a Co-Convenor of OUCAN. From October 2016 onwards, he is a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University.

Harry Verhoeven completed a doctorate at the University of Oxford, where he was a postdoctoral fellow from 2012 to 2014 and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College from 2013 to 2014. He was a founder of the Oxford Central Africa Forum (OCAF). Outside academia, he has worked in Northern Uganda, Sudan, India and Democratic Republic of Congo. He has provided consultancy services to and collaborated with the World Bank, UNDP Sudan, Chatham House, Small Arms Survey and several governments. His work has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Volkswagen Foundation.

Judith Wilcox – CEO Gwathmey Inc.; Harvard University

PGLF Schools: Jordan, Macedonia

BA, University of Pennsylvania; V.M.D., University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., Ohio State University; Post-doctoral fellowship, Cardiology, Harvard Medical School

Judith Wilcox, who until recently was Judith Gwathmey, earned her BA in 1972 and her V.M.D. in 1977 from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in 1983, and then did a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Cardiology division from 1983-86. She taught at Harvard Medical School from 1986 through 1995, and has held appointments at a number of schools including Professor of Medicine and Physiology at Boston University. In 1996 she founded Gwathmey Preclinical Services (Gwathmey Inc.) , where she served as Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Executive Officer and later President.

Gwathmey Inc. worked closely with industry and academics to shepherd new drugs and treatments through the animal testing needed to win FDA approval. The company also conducted its own research and won tens of millions in funding from government and private organizations, and holds several patents. As scientist, Dr.Wilcox has won many awards including the Daniel D. Savage Award for Outstanding Research in Clinical Investigation of Heart Failure from the American Association of Black Cardiologists. She was the first non-MD inducted into the American College of Cardiology in 1990, and has served as charter member of many NIH study sections. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Wilcox earned a number of awards, including The Tibbets Award for Excellence in Technology Development from the Small Business Administration. She has won several Inner City Entrepreneurs Awards.

A video that Dr. Gwathmey developed to promote her institute at Harvard won the Will Solimene Award for Excellence from the American Medical Writers Association. But Dr. Wilcox’s passion is mentoring young people. She has mentored students from high school through graduate and professional degrees, and young professionals throughout their careers. She has mentored men and women of all backgrounds, but has specially focused on women and minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She has served as a mentor for young physician-scientists at Morehouse School of Medicine, the oldest historically black medical school in America. In 2003 she won the Distinguished Alumnus for Outstanding Achievements in Science and Mentoring from the Ohio State University. In 2001 she was awarded the prestigious Presidential Mentoring Award in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, from the Office of the President and the National Science Foundation. An early testimonial to her mentoring style can be found here.Dr. Wilcox has also been involved in civic activism. In 2008 she founded and chaired the Citizens for King William County, a voluntary association that sought to promote the historical character and environmental stability of King William County.

Against all odds and the “wisdom” of longtime county politicians, this organization helped to block a well-funded development plan that would have damaged the environment and the tranquility of this county, and to motivate citizens to replace well-entrenched incumbent politicians in a landslide election. Dr. Wilcox’s career – from a segregated school to Harvard Medical School and president of her own company, her mentoring of more than 100 young people, and her civic activism have led to some awards that she finds personally important. “Outstanding Woman of the Year” from the St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Aylett V.A., and “Woman of Conviction” from the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.

Clyde Wilcox – Georgetown University

PGLF Schools: Jordan, Macedonia

B.A., West Virginia University; Ph.D., The Ohio State University; M.A., The Ohio State University

Clyde Wilcox is professor of government at Georgetown University, where he has taught for more than 25 years. He has been an endowed lecturer at the University of Toronto and the University of Tokyo. He is the author or editor of more than 30 books on religion and politics, gender politics, money in politics, interest groups and lobbying, and science fiction and politics. He has also written hundreds of journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics. His writing has been translated into several languages, including Italian, German, Spanish, Arabic, Bosnian, and Hebrew.

For 25 years Wilcox has met with international visitor groups brought to the US by the U.S. State Department. He has met spoken to groups from almost every country in the world. He has also lectured in many countries to academic and citizen groups and on behalf of the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Organization of American States, including Japan, Spain, Mexico, Norway, South Korea, Italy, Costa Rica, Columbia, Germany, Beligium, Denmark Sweden, UK, Uganda, Kenya, Hungary, Poland, Canada, China, Aruba, UAE, Turkey, and Russia. He has done digital video conferences to many countries including Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Nigeria. He has participated as an invited guest in Salzburg Seminars on gender politics and on East-West values.

Wilcox has consulted with presidential candidates, as well as local candidates in the U.S., Brazil, and elsewhere. He has spearheaded an effort to replace a county board in rural Virginia, and been an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Election Commission, the state of New York, and interest groups. He has consulted for the Mini Page. For more than a dozen years Wilcox has trained American diplomats in answering difficult questions, and has trained and/or lectured to diplomats in Poland, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. He has done professional training for the U.S. Defense Department, the government of Aruba, and for citizen groups in Spain and Mexico.

Lise Morjé Howard – Georgetown University

PGLF Schools: Russia

A.B., Soviet Studies and Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University; M.A., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Lise Morjé Howard is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. She has served as a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and was the founding director of the Master of Arts Program in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and her A.B. in Soviet Studies magna cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University. She was previously an Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and she has held pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at Stanford University (Center for International Security and Cooperation), Harvard University (Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs), and the University of Maryland (Center for International Development and Conflict Management).

Dr. Howard’s research and teaching interests span the fields of international relations, comparative politics, and conflict resolution. Her work focuses on civil wars, peacekeeping, U.S. foreign policy, and area studies of sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East. She has published several articles and book chapters on these topics. Her book, UN Peacekeeping in Civil Wars, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2008, and it won the 2010 Book Award from the Academic Council on the UN System (ACUNS) for the best book on the UN system published in the previous three years. She is currently working on several projects about U.S. foreign policy in ethnic conflict, the use of force in UN peacekeeping operations, and norms of civil war termination. She recently helped to make a documentary film about UN peacekeeping for ARTE. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal “International Peacekeeping.”

Dr. Howard has received awards for her work on peacekeeping from the Soroptimist International, the Barnard College Alumnae Association, and the James D. Kline Fund. She has received support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Institute for the Study of World Politics, the National Security Education Program, and the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Dr. Howard is fluent in French and Russian, and speaks some Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Spanish, and German. Prior to beginning graduate school, she served as Acting Director of UN Affairs for the New York City Commission for the United Nations.

Marc Morjé Howard – Georgetown University

PGLF Schools: Russia

B.A., Ethics, Politics, and Economics, Yale University; M.A., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; J.D., Georgetown University

Marc Morjé Howard is Professor of Government and Law at Georgetown University, and he is the author of Unusually Cruel: Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism, which will be published by Oxford University Press in 2017. He is the founding Director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative, which brings together scholars, practitioners, and students to examine the problem of mass incarceration from multiple perspectives. He also teaches regularly in the Prison Scholars Program at the Jessup Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Maryland. His work addresses the deep challenges of contemporary democracy and the tragedy of criminal justice and prisons in America.

In addition to his work on prison reform, Howard is the author of two prize-winning books, along with numerous academic articles in such journals as the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, and the Journal of Democracy, as well as op-eds in the New York Times and Newsday. He has also written several pieces about the life lessons of sports in Tennis Magazine and Sports Illustrated, including one about being Ivan Lendl’s practice partner and another about playing tennis with the San Quentin prison tennis team.

Howard received his B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University, his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from Georgetown University.

Grigore Pop-Eleches – Princeton University

PGLF Schools: Russia

B.A. Social Studies, Harvard; PhD, Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Grigore Pop-Eleches is Professor of Politics and Public and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Pop-Eleches was born and raised in communist Romania, where he graduated from high school a few months after the fall of the Ceausescu dictatorship. Shortly afterwards he received a scholarship to attend Philips Academy Andover for a year and then attended Harvard College, from where he graduated in 1995 with a B.A. in Social Studies (summa cum laude). After working for two years in New York City as a business analyst for McKinsey and Company, he pursued a PhD in Political Science at University of California, Berkeley, which he received in 2003 shortly before moving to Princeton University.

His teaching and research interests lie at the intersection between political economy, democratization and comparative political behavior, with a particular interest in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Over the past decade he has worked and published on a number of different topics, including: the politics of IMF programs in Eastern Europe and Latin America; the role of historical legacies in post-communist regime change and political attitudes; the rise of unorthodox political parties in East Europe; the role of structural conditions, elections and foreign aid in post-Cold War political liberalization; and the drivers of ethnic and regional identity and conflict in post-Soviet countries (especially Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine).

His first book, entitled From Economic Crisis to Reform: IMF Programs in Latin America and Eastern Europe was published by Princeton University Press in February 2009 and won the 2010 Best Book Award from the European Politics & Society Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA), as well as an honorable mention for the 2010 Ed A. Hewett Book Prize from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). His second book, co-authored with Joshua Tucker (NYU), entitled Communism’s Shadow: Historical Legacies and Political Attitudes, is forthcoming at Princeton University Press. His work has also appeared in a variety of academic journals, including The Journal of Politics, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Democracy, and in mass media outlets, including The Washington Post and Al Jazeera English. His research has been supported grants from a variety of organizations, including the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), the Smith Richardson Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research.

Pop-Eleches has served as an Academic Expert for the Club of Madrid meeting held in Prague in November 2005 on the topic “Democracy in the Post-Communist World: Unfinished Business. What has been learned and how can it be applied?” and as a Country Expert for Romania for the 2014 and 2015 Sustainable Governance Indicators Report of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Abdul El-Sayed – Columbia University

PGLF Schools: Russia, Jordan

BS, Biology and Political Science, University of Michigan; MD, Colubmia University; DPhil, Population Health, Oxford University

Professor Abdulrahman M El-Sayed is a Population Health Scientist in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University, where he directs the Columbia University Systems Science Program and co-directs the Global Research Analytics in Population Health initiative. His research considers the intersections between society and health, health disparities, and the uses of simulation modeling in epidemiology.

Dr El-Sayed is also Fellow at Dēmos, a non-partisan public policy center. His commentary has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, Al-Jazeera, The Guardian, Project Syndicate, and Huffington Post. He is also a regular commentator on public health and medical issues at Al Jazeera America.

Dr El-Sayed earned a doctorate in Population Health from Oxford University, and an MD from Columbia University. He is a 2007 graduate of the University of Michigan with Highest Distinction in Biology and Political Science. He was named a Rhodes Scholar, a Soros Fellow for New Americans, a Global Policy Innovator by the Carnegie Council, Global Governance Futures Fellow, University of Michigan Student of the Year, and University of Michigan Commencement Speaker. His awards include the University of Michigan William Jennings Bryan Prize in Political Science, Phi Beta Kappa, and numerous research excellence awards.

Stefano Bianchini – University of Bologna

PGLF Schools: Jordan

BA, Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia; MA, Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia; PhD, Economics, University of Strasbourg jointly with Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies

Stefano Bianchini is Professor of East European Politics and History at the School of Political Science, University of Bologna and the co-director of the European Regional Master in Democracy and Human Rights in SEE (Universities of Sarajevo and Bologna).

He is currently Vice-Rector’s delegate for the relations with East European Countries and the Director of the Unit of the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Forlì Campus.

As an expert of Balkan issues, particularly on Yugoslavia and its successor states in politics, contemporary history and international relations, he published several books and articles in Italian, French, English and other languages.He was an advisor of the ICTY, in the Hague. Editor in Chief of the English Series on the Balkan and East-Central Europe (Longo Publ., Ravenna), he is the Executive Editor of «Southeastern Europe», Brill, Leiden. His last book is Eastern Europe and the Challenges of Modernity 1800-2000, Abington-New York: Routledge, 2015. Others publications: Partitions. Reshaping States and Minds, written with S. Chaturvedi, R. Ivekovic e R. Samaddar (Frank Cass, 2005 e 2015; Indian Reprint, 2007); Sarajevo, Le Radici dell’odio. (Edizioni Associate, three editions in Italy 1996-2003), and La Questione jugoslava, Giunti, Firenze (again three editions in Italy and translations in France and Romania). In Russian: Shodnyje čerty i protivorečivost’ kulturno-istoričeskogo razvitija IN: Alla A. Jaz’kova (ed.), Jugo-Vostočnaja Evropa v Epohu Kardinaljnyh Peremen, Ves’ Mir, Moskva, 2007, pp. 89-113. Professor Bianchini was a professional actor before he became an academic.

Colleen Harris – Former Press Secretary to their Royal Highnesses: Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry

PGLF Schools: Macedonia

BA, English, Sussex University; Postgraduate Advanced Certificate in Executive Coaching, Bristol Business School

Colleen Harris is an expert in personal brand development and communication with a distinguished career in the British Civil Service that included senior positions in the Royal Household, the office of Deputy Prime Minister, and Cabinet office. Harris served as Press Secretary for his Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales and helped to manage the emergence of Prince William and Prince Harry into the international media spotlight. Prior to becoming the Press Secretary for the Prince of Wales, Harris enjoyed a long career in the British Civil Service. She was the first Black press officer in the office of the Prime Minister under Margaret Thatcher and the first Black member of the Royal Household.

Harris founded and has led Colleen Harris Associates for the past seven years, consulting on media relations, communications, personal branding, and diversity. She also serves as a public relations advisor to the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis. Harris has worked across the world as a consultant with numerous companies, non-profit organizations, and UN Agencies such as the World Health Organization. In addition to her extensive and diverse professional experience, Harris also holds many trusteeships and board positions at various organizations in the arts, education, and health.

Prior to entering the Civil Service, Harris studied English at Sussex University and she also holds a Postgraduate Advanced Certificate in Executive Coaching from Bristol Business School. Harris’s many years of experience in a wide variety of organizations that have equipped her to understand the management of individual reputations, as well as how to use brand-development techniques to help clients identify and take full advantage of their strengths and skills – equipping them to define their own public profiles, and achieve personal and business success. Harris’s board-level and executive experience has given her insight into how to inspire and lead teams, as well as insight into the qualities that CEOs and boards look for in high-level executives.

Justin Gest – Harvard, LSE

PGLF Schools: Russia

BA, Government, Harvard; PhD, Government, London School of Economics

Justin Gest is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. His teaching and research interests include comparative politics, minority political behavior, and immigration policy.

In the field of minority political behavior, his earlier research focused on Muslim political behavior in Western democracies. This work was collected in Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2010). He recently published a follow-up study that applies his conclusions to white working class people. This work is entitled The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2016).

In the field of comparative immigration politics, his research compares immigration regimes across dozens of countries worldwide. This work is being collected in a forthcoming monograph entitled Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in a World of Demographic Change (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2017). He is pursuing related work on immigration policy as part of the International Migration Policy and Law Analysis (IMPALA) Database.

His research has been published or is forthcoming in journals including Citizenship StudiesEthnic and Racial StudiesGlobal GovernanceGlobal Policy, the International Migration ReviewMigration Studies, and the Review of Middle Eastern Studies. He has also published commentary, analysis or contributed reporting to a number of newspapers including The Boston GlobeThe Guardian, the Houston ChronicleThe Hill, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, the St. Louis Post-DispatchThe Times, and The Washington Post.

From 2010 to 2014, Professor Gest was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in Harvard University’s Department of Government. In 2014, he received the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, Harvard’s highest award for teaching. In 2013, he received the 2013 Star Family Prize for Student Advising, Harvard’s highest award for student advising. From 2007 to 2010, while a doctoral student, he co-founded and served as the co-director of the Migration Studies Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

He is a product of Los Angeles Unified School District’s University High School in West Los Angeles, where he grew up. He later earned his bachelor’s degree in Government at Harvard University and his PhD in Government from the LSE.

Hans Noel – Georgetown University

PGLF Schools: Russia

BSJ, Journalism, Northwestern; PhD, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles

Hans Noel is a professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. He is the author of “Political Parties and Political Ideologies in America” (Cambridge University Press) and a co-author of “The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform” (University of Chicago Press).

His research has received several awards, including the Heinz I. Eulau Award for best article in Perspectives on Politics. In 2006, he was awarded the Political Organizations and Parties “Emerging Scholar Award” one of the highest distinctions in the field. He has received fellowships with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations Scholars in Health Policy Research Program at the University of Michigan and the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University.

Prof. Noel’s research has appeared in the top academic publications in the field including the Journal of Politics, Party Politics, American Politics Research, Perspectives on Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and the British Journal of of Political Science. He blogs at Mischiefs of Faction and for The Washington Post. Prof. Noel has given lectures on the American political system around the world.Before going into academia, Prof. Noel worked as an editor at The Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, a daily newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the co-director and co-producer of an award-winning feature film, The Rest of Your Life, released in 2001.

Garrett M. Graff – POLITICO Magazine and Georgetown University

PGLF Schools: Russia

Garrett M. Graff was an editor of POLITICO Magazine and the former Editor of The Washingtonian magazine. He is widely recognized both as one of the nation’s leading experts on technology and politics as well as a rising star in the media industry. Of his first book, “The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House” (FSG, 2007), which examined the role of technology in the 2008 presidential race, The New York Times’ literary critic Michiko Kakutani wrote, “The astonishingly young Mr. Graff (who was born in 1981) proves in these pages that he is a cogent writer, willing to tackle large-scale issues and problems.”

Graff joined POLITICO Magazine as a senior staff writer in July 2014 and became editor in January 2015. As editor Graff leads the magazine portion of one of the most popular political journalism outlets in America. Prior to joining POLITICO Magazine, Graff spent nine years at The Washingtonian including five years as editor-in-chief. After four years with The Washingtonian covering politics and Washington life, Graff became in September 2009 only the third editor in the magazine’s 44-year history. The Washingtonian, which calls itself “the magazine Washington lives by,” has a monthly print readership of about 300,000 and a million monthly readers online. He’s been named by PR Week as one of four “new media” journalists to watch and one of ten “rising stars” by the magazine industry trade magazine, Folio. When Graff was appointed editor, wrote he was “an up and coming whippersnapper if we have ever seen one.” During his time as editor, the magazine won many of the industry’s most prestigious recognitions—including the Gerald R. Ford Prize for National Defense Reporting, a James Beard nomination for its food coverage, and the Livingston Award for National Reporting, and the City/Regional Magazine Association’s awards for Online Excellence and General Excellence.

His second book, “The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror,” was published in Spring 2011 by Little, Brown. It traced the history of the FBI’s counterterrorism program since the death of J. Edgar Hoover in 1972, its rise as a global police force, and profiles Robert Mueller, the current and longest-serving FBI Director since Hoover himself. The book, which hit #5 on the Washington Post’s list of political bestsellers, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, which called it an “action-filled, richly detailed portrait of the Federal Bureau of Investigation” and said, “There’s solid storytelling at work here—and quite a story to tell, too.” Kirkus later named “The Threat Matrix” one of the best nonfiction books of 2011. The CIA, in its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence,said, the book is “a well-told story and a reading pleasure.” Graff also teaches internet and social media at Georgetown University in the school’s master’s in journalism and communications program. Previously, he was the founding editor of’s Fishbowl D.C. (, a popular blog that covers the media and journalism in Washington, and co-founder of EchoDitto, Inc., a multi-million-dollar Washington, D.C.-based internet strategy consulting firm.

A Vermont native and graduate of Harvard, he served as deputy national press secretary on Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and, beginning in 1997, was then-Governor Dean’s first webmaster. As the first blogger admitted to cover a White House press briefing in 2005, he is a frequent speaker on blogging and the intersection of politics and technology, and his reporter’s notebook from that first day in the White House hangs in the Newseum in Washington, DC. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the media representative on the Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Session for State Court Leaders in the 21st Century, where he authored a white paper, “Courts are Conversations: An Argument for Increased Engagement by Court Leaders.” He also currently sits on the corporate advisory board of So Others Might Eat(SOME) in Washington, DC, and on the board of the congressionally-chartered National Conference on Citizenship.

He is also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow in the British-American Project. His writing and commentary has appeared in publications like the Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired, New York, 5280, the Politico, and the Huffington Post, and he has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, CNN, CNN Headline News, CNN International, CNBC, MSNBC, CBC, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, and various NPR programs, as well as local and regional television and radio channels, and been quoted in publications ranging from US Weekly to the Miami Herald. He contributed to the National Magazine Award-winning “9/11 Encyclopedia” issue of New York magazine. He annually gives more than a score of speeches on the internet, new media, politics, counterterrorism, and the FBI at places like the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the National Press Club, Harvard Business School, the Defense Department, U.S. Southern Command, the International Spy Museum, and the Google headquarters, as well as universities from Duke and Princeton to the University of Florida and Rice University, as well as to companies, trade groups, and to many international audiences—including Germany’s Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the BBC’s NewsXChange, Spain’s International Seminar of Political Communication, Austria’s University of Vienna, and Israel’s IDC Herzliya.