Alexander Cooley is the Tow Professor for Distinguished Scholars and Practitioners in Political Science and the Chair of the Political Science Department at Barnard College, Columbia University in New York. Professor Cooley’s research examines how external actors have influenced the political development and sovereignty of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus. His latest book, "Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest for Central Asia," (Oxford U. Press 2012) focuses on the dynamics of US-Russia-China relations in Central Asia from 2001-2011 including the regional politics of counter-terrorism and human rights.
In addition to his academic work, Professor Cooley serves on the Board of Advisors of the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Foundations, the International Advisory Board of Central Asia Survey and has testified before the U.S. Congress about Central Asian issues. He has contributed policy-related articles and opinion pieces to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy and The Washington Quarterly and is a regular commentator for international media outlets on Eurasia-related topics. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Open Society Institute, Carnegie Corporation, Smith Richardson Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, among others. Cooley holds both an M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.