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December 15, 2011

Skinner Joins Gingrich's Campaign

By Shilo Rea

Kiron Skinner, associate professor of social and decision sciences and director of CMU's Center for International Relations and Politics, has been tapped by Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to advise him on matters of national security and foreign policy. Skinner attended the GOP presidential debate on Nov. 22 in Washington, D.C., as part of Gingrich's campaign team.

Skinner, a renowned expert in international relations, U.S. foreign policy and political strategy, feels that every American voter needs to know what the presidential hopefuls will do on major national security issues, but notes that they have not detailed their plans to this point.

"Since the U.S. is currently in war time, presidential candidates need to tell voters how they will manage the continuing conflicts, insurgencies and terrorist activities and how they will ensure that the U.S. safely exits conflicts," she said.

Skinner serves on the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Executive Panel and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2001-2007, she was a member of the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Policy Board as an adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She is the co-author, along with political scientists Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Condoleezza Rice, of "The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin," which is now used in political science courses at leading research universities.

In a recent profile by, Bueno de Mesquita, a professor of politics at New York University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, praised Skinner.

"Whether working for a Democrat or a Republican, she's someone who ought to be in some president's senior advisory team, either as secretary of state, or as a national security adviser, or director of intelligence," he said. "I have no trouble seeing her in a second Obama administration or a Gingrich administration or a Mitt Romney administration. She would be good for the country."