SIPA Professor receives highest academic honor

On the admissions blog, we talk a lot about the admissions process and student experiences. Something we don’t often mention is what our world-renowned faculty members and practitioners are up to. So today, I wanted to bring your attention to an honor that was recently bestowed upon one of SIPA’s own. This week, Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger announced via email that’s SIPA’s very own Michael Doyle joined the ranks of top-ranked faculty, like Joseph E. Stiglitz, as a University Professor, which is Columbia’s highest academic honor. Congratulations Michael Doyle!

Michael Doyle

Here’s President Bollinger’s announcement in full:

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I am very pleased to announce that I have appointed Michael W. Doyle, Harold Brown Professor of United States Foreign and Security Policy and Professor of International Affairs, Law and Political Science, as our newest University Professor. This is the top faculty rank at the University and Columbia’s highest academic honor. Michael’s ability to integrate distinct academic disciplines in novel yet meaningful ways has allowed him to elevate multiple scholarly fields while also serving the United Nations and society at large as a high-level adviser on issues of great urgency.

Michael joined the Columbia faculty in 2003 after teaching at Johns Hopkins and Princeton, where for several years he was the director of the Center of International Studies. His early scholarship focused on theories of war and peace, incorporating the philosophies of Thucydides, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Immanuel Kant to recast timeless debates about conducting foreign policy. Michael’s capacious interests led him to study: the rise and fall of empires and peace-building, conflict resolution in the post-Cold War era, the institutional role of the United Nations, and the Iraq war. His body of scholarship has been recognized by election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and by two career awards bestowed by the American Political Science Association. Recently, I asked Michael to lead the Global Policy Initiative at Columbia, an important role for the University community and one for which he is ideally suited.

In 2001, Michael embarked on two years of service as assistant secretary-general and special adviser for policy planning under United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In that post, he supported initiatives safeguarding human rights and combatting extreme poverty, including the Millennium Development Goals and the Global Compact. He later served on and chaired the UN Democracy Fund from 2006 to 2013.

A University Professor inspires us to think beyond the confines of traditional fields of study and our daily lives. The individual should be someone who challenges and expands our shared understanding with scholarship and service that advances social progress. Among a Columbia faculty that I believe is the finest in the world, only a few are recognized with this distinction. Michael Doyle is certainly a deserving addition to their number.


Lee C. Bollinger