Melvyn P. Leffler is the Edward Stettinius Professor of History Emeritus at The University of Virginia. He is one of the leading diplomatic historians of the world and has authored several books on diplomatic history, Cold War studies and history of US Foreign relations.
Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Leffler taught at Vanderbilt University as assistant professor in 1972 to 1977 and associate professor of history in 1977 to 2002. At the University of Virginia, he was chairman of the department of history and dean of the college and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences from 1997 to 2001. He is also a scholar of the UVA Miller Center. In 1994, he was president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He was Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History at the University of Oxford from 2002 to 2003.
Leffler is a winner of numerous awards. He received the University of Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson Award for excellence in scholarship (2014) and the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations’ Laura and Norman Graebner Award for lifetime achievement and service (2012). His award winning publications include A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration and the Cold War (1993), which won the 1993 Bancroft, Hoover and Ferrell Prizes; For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War (2007), which won the George Louis Beer Prize from the American Historical Association. His other publications include Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism: U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security, 1920-2015 (2017) and his recent book Confronting Saddam Hussein: George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq (2023). He is the co-editor of Origins of the Cold War: An International History (1994) with David S. Painter, To Lead the World: After the Bush Doctrine (2008) with Jeffrey Legro and The Cambridge History of the Cold War 3 Volume Series (2010) with Odd Arne Westad.
Leffler has served on advisory committees to the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly concerning the declassification of documents. Within the Council for Global Cooperation, he is an Advisory Chair to the vertices of The Cold War Project and International History and Foreign Policy. Leffler received a BS from Cornell University in 1966 and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1972.