Skip to content

The Richard W. Lyman Award has been postponed this year. We will share more information about the 2021 Lyman Award next year.

2019 Richard W. Lyman Award Winner

Michael McFaul, ’86, MA ’86

Director and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in Political Science; and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution

Amidst a full schedule of teaching, writing, and serving the Obama administration, Mike McFaul also finds time to be an ambassador of goodwill for the Stanford Alumni Association. A favorite during Reunion Homecoming, he contributes to the SAA mission of lifelong learning through faculty speaker events, Stanford+Connects, Sierra Camp, STARS, Leading Matters, and countless other alumni programs.

Mike graduated from Stanford in 1986 with a B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and an M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies. He completed his D. Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in 1991 as a Rhodes Scholar, and joined the Stanford faculty in 1995.

When the Obama administration reached out, Mike answered the call, serving as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House, and most recently as the U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. He has written and edited several books on international relations and foreign policy and his op-ed writings have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. As an NBC News analyst, he provides expertise on foreign affairs and national security coverage.

In 2007, when he joined that unlikely presidential campaign, Mike had no idea that he would find himself at the beating heart of one of today’s most contentious and consequential international relationships. His latest book, the NY Times Bestseller, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia, is an inside account of U.S.-Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the new rise of Vladimir Putin.

Mike is a symbol of everything that SAA looks for in a faculty representative. Alumni pack the aisles and give standing ovations every time he speaks. He gets rave reviews and clearly cares about every audience; whether he is talking to a group of 300 or a single person who has stayed behind to ask a follow up question. His willingness to make time in his very busy schedule reminds us how lucky we are to enjoy his dedication to Stanford University and the Stanford Alumni Association.

About the Richard W. Lyman Award

The Richard W. Lyman Award was established in 1983 in President Emeritus Richard W. Lyman's honor. The Award recognizes one outstanding faculty member for extraordinary service to the alumni community and Stanford Alumni Association programs. Recipients generously donate time to alumni, go beyond the expectations of University appointments and embody the mission of Stanford Alumni Association.

Past Winners

Tina Seelig, PhD ’85
Professor of the practice in management science and engineering and faculty director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program

Abbas Milani
Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies, a co-director of the Iran Democracy Project and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution

James A. Fox
Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, Associate Professor of Anthropological Sciences and, by courtesy, of Spanish and Portuguese

Jeffrey R. Koseff
The Perry L. McCarty Director of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, The Michael Forman University Fellow in Undergraduate Education and The William Alden Campbell and Martha Campbell Professor of Civic and Environmental Engineering

Margot Gerritsen
Associate professor of energy resources engineering, and director of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford

Larry Diamond
Senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He is also the Peter E. Haas Faculty co-director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford.

Hank Greely
Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law

See all »