S. Frederick Starr
Head of Advisory Council
Head of Advisory Council
S. Frederick Starr is Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program. He is Distinguished Fellow for Eurasia at the American Foreign Policy Council. His research, which has resulted in twenty books and 200 published articles, focuses on the rise of pluralistic and voluntary elements in modern societies, the interplay between foreign and domestic policy, and the relation of politics and culture.
Among Starr’s most important works are Red and Hot: The Fate of Jazz in the Soviet Union (1983); Southern Comfort: The Garden District of New Orleans, 1800-1900 (1989 and 1998); Legacy of History in Russia and the New States of Eurasia (1994, Editor); Strategic Assessment of Central Eurasia (co-author, 2001); Xinjiang: China ‘s Muslim Borderland (2004, Editor). He is a frequent commentator on the affairs of the region, and the author of numerous articles in journals including Foreign Affairs, The National Review, Far East Economic Review, and op-eds in various leading American and international newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, and others.Starr holds a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University, an MA from King’s College, Cambridge University, and a BA from Yale University. He is also the holder of honorary degrees from Middlebury College, Olivet College, Marietta College, and Loyola University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Tri-Lateral Commission.
At the side of his position at the Center, Dr. Starr is also Rector Pro Tem of the University of Central Asia, and a Trustee of the Eurasia Foundation. Prior to Founding the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Dr. Starr served as founding Director of the Kenna Institute for Advanced Russian Studies 1974-79; as Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Tulane University in 1979-1982; as Scholar-in-Residence of the Historical New Orleans Foundation in 1982-83. He was appointed President of Oberlin College in 1983, a position he held for eleven years. In 1994-96, he served as President of the Aspen Institute. Dr. Starr served as an advisor on Soviet Affairs to President Reagan in 1985-86 and to President George H.W. Bush in 1990-92. Since 1995, he has chaired as well as served on the Historical Review Panel to advise the Director of Central Intelligence on the declassification of documents. From 1996 to 2001, he served as Director of the Sidanko energy corporation.
Publications by S. Frederick Starr
Religion and the Secular State in Kazakhstan
Executive Summary At independence, Kazakhstan shared with the successor states to the Soviet Union the challenge of replacing Soviet atheism with new state approaches to religion. Like the rest of […]
How the U.S. Promotes Extremism in the Name of Religious Freedom
On July 26, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback as U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom. The position was created by the International Religious […]
Central Asia: All Together Now
After a quarter century of independence, the fragmentation of Central Asia is evident to all. A senior official there might justifiably complain about how each country “[is] pursuing its own […]
Time to Re-Engage
Whipsawed by years of foreign policy activism and then by general retreat, the United States is at risk of losing an opportunity to cement hard-won gains in Central Asia/Afghanistan. For some […]
Kazakhstan 2041: the Next Twenty-Five Years
Kazakhstan has come a long way in the twenty five years since it gained sovereignty. The leadership can point to impressive economic development, stability, strengthened sovereignty, and respect for “brand Kazakhstan” […]
The Revolt of 1916 in Russian Central Asia
Marking the centennial of the 1916 Revolt in Russian Central Asia, the Central Asia Caucasus Institute releases a new edition of Edward Dennis Sokol's pioneering book, originally published in 1954, now with a new foreword by S. Frederick Starr.
Tracking Trade-inspired Globalization Over More Than a Millennium
This absorbing but curiously misnamed book is more than the story of the “Silk Roads” and less than a “History of the World.” Peter Frankopan, an Oxford specialist on Byzantium, […]
The EU and Kazakhstan: Developing a Partnership in Trade and Transport
In 2015, the EU revised its Strategy for Central Asia, and finalized an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan. These welcome steps will not turn the EU into a […]
The EU, Central Asia, and the Development of Continental Transport and Trade
Since the collapse of the USSR, a number of initiatives have embarked, separately or together, on the momentous task of rebuilding trade and transportation arteries across Central Asia and the […]
A Western Strategy for the South Caucasus
The Caucasus is key to any Western efforts to shape future interactions between Europe and the Middle East, and to Western commercial and strategic interests in Eurasia. At a time […]