On the evening of September 4, 2013 FORR hosted its Annual Founders' Evening with special guest Dr. Kiron Skinner, Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and Director of the Center for International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University . Also in attendance were Governor Pete Wilson, Mayor Richard Riordan, Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Councilman Mitch Englander, and FORR founders and supporters. Dr. Skinner’s talk was titled, "Why Ronald Reagan's Presidency and Leadership Is Still Important," and addressed the lasting effects and lessons from President Reagan's foreign and domestic policy achievements during his presidency. Dr. Skinner reminded us of President Reagan's character, strong sense of American Exceptionalism and the importance of both in projecting American power and purpose domestically and internationally. Dr. Skinner also reminded FORR that President Reagan's legacy of achievement demonstrates that American can still achieve big goals and adjust to major challenges, so long as we select inspired leaders in the Reagan tradition noble goals and big ideas. She also reminded the group that these qualities are timeless, applicable for all eras and important in all present and future public servants. It was an evening to remember.
Dr. Kiron K. Skinner
Dr. Skinner is the W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow and a member of the Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy, both at the Hoover Institution. At Carnegie Mellon University, she is the founding director of the Center for International Relations and Politics; director of the Institute for Strategic Analysis; university adviser on national security policy; and associate professor of political science. Her areas of expertise are international relations, US foreign policy, and political strategy.
Skinner’s coauthored books Reagan, in His Own Hand and Reagan, a Life in Letters were New York Times best sellers. Reagan, in His Own Hand won Hoover Institution’s Uncommon Book Award;Reagan, a Life in Letters was named one of the best books of 2003 by the Los Angeles Times. The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin, coauthored with Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, and Condoleezza Rice, was excerpted on the opinion page of the New York Times.
Skinner’s government service includes membership in the US Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board as an adviser on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (2001–7); the Chief of Naval Operations’ Executive Panel (2004–present); the National Academies Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security (2009–11); and the National Security Education Board (2004–11). In 2010, Skinner was appointed to the advisory board of the George W. Bush Oral History Project. She was a foreign policy surrogate for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004 and a senior foreign policy adviser to Speaker Newt Gingrich during his presidential campaign in 2011–12. In 2012, Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett appointed Skinner to his Advisory Commission on African American Affairs.
Skinner serves on the board of the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, DC, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
Skinner holds MA and PhD degrees in political science from Harvard University and undergraduate degrees from Spelman College and Sacramento City College. She received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Molloy College, Long Island.