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Alexander Bick

Research Scholar

Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs


Alexander Bick is a Research Scholar at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. A trained historian, he has nearly two decades of experience in international affairs and national security policy. During the Obama administration he served as Syria director at the National Security Council, where he played a lead role developing and coordinating the U.S. strategy to defeat the Islamic State. Previously, he served at the U.S. Department of State, first as a presidential management fellow in the new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations and then on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. 
Earlier in his career, Alex supported former U.S. president Jimmy Carter’s peace efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Venezuela, and later directed the Carter Center’s international election observation missions in Liberia and Libya. While studying in London, he was a researcher in the office of Julia Drown MP, a leading parliamentary advocate for international development and debt relief.

Alex's scholarly research focuses on politics and strategy in early modern Europe. His book manuscript, Minutes of Empire, tells the story of a single meeting of the board of directors of the Dutch West India Company, as a lens on the changing relationship between corporation, state, and war on the eve of Westphalia. The project draws on archival research supported by a Brill fellowship at the University of Leiden and a Fulbright, as well as a research fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library. With Bea Brommer, Henk den Heijer, and Jaap Jacobs, he edited the Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company. Alex has published in the Erasmus Journal of Philosophy and Economics and Omslag. His policy writing has appeared in publications by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for American Progress, CSIS, and the National Intelligence Council, as well as Foreign Policy, Just SecurityThe SAIS Review, and War on the Rocks.

Alex studied political science at the University of Chicago and economics and economic history at the London School of Economics, before earning a PhD in history from Princeton University.


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