Henry Nau is professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. He holds a BS degree in economics, politics and science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and MA and PhD degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His latest book, Conservative Internationalism: Armed Diplomacy Under Jefferson, Polk, Truman, and Reagan, was published in August 2013. Other books include The Myth of America's Decline (1990), At Home Abroad (2002), and Perspectives on International Relations (sixth edition, 2018). Previously, Nau taught as assistant professor at Williams College (1971–73) and as visiting professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, Stanford and Columbia universities.
From January 1981 to July 1983, Nau served on President Ronald Reagan's National Security Council as senior staff member responsible for international economic affairs. Among other duties he was the White House sherpa for the annual G7 economic summits at Ottawa (1981), Versailles (1982) and Williamsburg (1983) and a special summit with developing countries at Cancun, Mexico (1982). Nau also served (1975–77) as special assistant to the undersecretary for economic affairs in the Department of State.
In 1977 Nau received the State Department's Superior Honor award. And in 2016 the Japanese government awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, acknowledging his efforts as director from 1989 to 2016 of the U.S.-Japan-South Korea Legislative Exchange Program. Nau served two years as a lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.