Michael John Williams

Program Director, Clinical Professor


Before coming to NYU, Dr. Williams was Reader (Associate Professor) of International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Dr. Williams is a Stephen M. Kellen term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on the Armed Forces and Society, and an alumnus of the International Summer Policy Institute at American University. He has held a Robert Bosch Fellowship in Germany, a Visiting Fellowship at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford & Nuffield College and a DAAD Fellowship at the Bundeswehr Center for Military History and Social Science in Potsdam, Germany. He was an investigator in the Sustainable Peacebuilding Network, a collaborative research project involving 20 scholars from six countries, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and directed by Prof. Roland Paris (Ottawa).

He is a Senior Associate Scholar at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington D.C. and editor-in-chief of the journal International Politics Reviews and former co-editor of Millennium: Journal of International Studies. From 2006-2008 Dr. Williams directed the Transatlantic Security Programme at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in London, he was previously the programme officer for the Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War at the University of Oxford. He has been a consultant to policy makers in the United States and Europe on various international security issues.

Educated at the universities of Delaware, Hamburg, Bath, Berlin, and Moscow, he earned his doctorate at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


London School of Economics & Political Science
Ph.D., International Relations

University of London
Pg.Cert., Higher Education

Humboldt Universit├Ąt zu Berlin
M.A., Contemporary European History

University of Delaware
B.A., International Reations

Areas of Research

  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Civil-Military Relations
  • War, Technology, and Society
  • International Security

External Affiliations

  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Inter-University Seminar on the Armed Forces and Society
  • International Politics Review
  • Center for European Policy Analysis


Courses Taught

  • Topics: Democracies at War (INTRL-GA 1731)
  • U.S. Foreign Policy - History, Ideas & Cases (INTRL-GA 1748)
  • Armed Forces & Society (INTRL-GA 1767)
  • Contemporary Security Issues (INTRL-GA 1769)
  • MA Thesis Seminar (INTRL-GA 4000)

Reference Letters

Requesting a Reference Letter & Requirements

Professor Williams is happy to write reference letters in support of applications for internships, jobs, doctoral study, law school, or other additional education. However, he will only provide you with a reference if you meet the following criteria:

  • Take a course with Professor Williams earning a grade of A- or better.*
  • Wrote your thesis with Professor Williams as your first or second reader.
  • You must provide Professor Wiliams with a two-page CV.
  • You must provide Professor Williams with a one-page statement on why you are applying for the internship/job/further study.

* If you completed Professor Williams' course with a B+ you may also ask for a reference, though said reference will need to reflect the level of accomplishment in the course.

Doctoral Program Reference Letters

If you are applying to doctoral programs, Prof. Williams will only write six reference letters at one time. If you are applying to more than six doctoral programs, you are over-applying and need to more thoroughly consider the type of program you are applying to, the methodology used in said department, and the strengths in the department. More than six applications (+1 or +2 with a strong rational) is a waste of your time.

If you want to apply to a doctoral program, please see Professor Williams first so he can advise you on docotral study and also link you to other appropriate mentors at NYU to help you with your application.