Director, Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University
2018 Speaker

Dallas, Texas

Jeffrey A. Engel is founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. A Senior Fellow of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies and a graduate of Cornell University, he additionally studied at St. Catherine's College and Oxford University and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before serving as a John M. Olin Postdoctoral Fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University.   

Having taught American history, international relations and grand strategy at the University of Wisconsin, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania and Haverford College, he served until 2012 at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service as the Howard and Verlin Kruse ’52 Professor and director of programming for the Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs. He received a Silver Star Award for teaching and mentorship, a Distinguished Teaching Award from A&M’s Association of Former Students and a Texas A&M University System Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award.

Engel has written or edited 10 books on American foreign policy, including Cold War at 30,000 Feet: The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy (Harvard University Press, 2007), which received the Paul Birdsall Prize from the American Historical Association; Local Consequences of the Global Cold War (Stanford University Press and the Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2008); The China Diary of George H.W. Bush: The Making of a Global President (Princeton University Press, 2008); The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989 (Oxford University Press, 2009); with Joseph R. Cerami, Rethinking Leadership and “Whole of Government” National Security Reform (Strategic Studies Institute, 2010); Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War (Oxford University Press, 2012); with Andrew Preston and Mark Lawrence, America in the World: A History in Documents (Princeton University Press, 2014); The Four Freedoms: FDR’s Legacy of Liberty for the United States and the World (Oxford University Press, 2015) and with Thomas Knock, When Life Strikes the President: Scandal, Death, and Illness in the White House (Oxford University Press, 2017). A frequent media contributor on international and political affairs, his scholarly and popular articles have appeared in such journals as Diplomatic History, Diplomacy & Statecraft, Project Syndicate, Perspectives on History, Enterprise & Society, The American Interest, The Los Angeles Times, The International Journal, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, USAToday and Air & Space Magazine. In 2012 he received the Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize from the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations.

In 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published his When the World Seemed New: George H.W. Bush and the End of the Cold War. He is currently writing Seeking Monsters to Destroy: How America Goes to War, from Jefferson to Obama (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).