Michael F Oppenheimer

Clinical Professor

Center for Global Affairs

  • BA, Beloit College
  • MA, University of Virginia
Contact Info

Michael Oppenheimer leads the IR Futures concentration at CGA, teaching courses on International Relations (core course), The Future of International Relations, and U.S. Foreign policy. He also oversees an ongoing research and consulting project for the UN Security Council’s Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate, which involves students directly in advising the UN system on counter terrorism policies and practices. He writes and speaks publicly on U.S foreign policy and on the future of international relations. He has had a varied career, beginning with several years with the U.S. government, then in strategic consulting for government policy makers and private firms, and-since 2005-teaching and research at CGA. His particular specialty is how to think about uncertainty, complexity and change, and how perceptions of future change can be incorporated into the foreign policy process, in order to improve early warning and agility. He has applied his skills in research and consulting for the US intelligence community, the Department of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the UN, and many others. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is actively involved (and involves his students) in the foreign policy/IR community.

He is author of several op eds, articles and books on international politics and U.S. foreign policy, and on the process and value of strategic foresight. His latest book is Pivotal Countries, Alternate Futures, published by Oxford University Press in 2015. His recent op eds on such platforms as CNN, Foreign Affairs Asian blog, The Hill, and the Atlantic Council, cover U.S. policy towards the war in Ukraine, U.S. policy towards North Korea, and other contemporary issues. His chapter entitled Hard times Ahead for U.S. Soft Power, appears in Soft Power and the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy, to be published by Manchester University Press in June of 2023.