Robert A. Pastor is Professor of International Relations and Founder and Director of the Center for North American Studies and the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University in Washington, D.C. He has combined a career in government, non-governmental organizations, and academe.
Dr. Pastor was Director of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs on the National Security Council (1977-81), Consultant to the State and Defense Departments, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be Ambassador to Panama. He was Co-Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on North America, and he was a Member and Executive Director of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by Jimmy Carter and James A. Baker, III.
Dr. Pastor was a Fulbright Professor at El Colegio de Mexico, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in Government and an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. From 1986 until September 2002, Dr. Pastor was Professor at Emory University and Fellow and Founding Director of programs at The Carter Center on Latin America, Democracy, and China Elections. As Interim Co-Director of The Elders, a group of twelve statespersons, led by Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter, from 2007-08, he helped establish the group. Dr. Pastor also is the Senior Advisor to The Carter Center on conflict resolution in the Middle East.
From 2002-07, Dr. Pastor was Vice President of International Affairs at American University where he transformed and expanded the study abroad program, helped establish the American University of Nigeria, and initiated new programs on language immersion and “Abroad at AU.” He served as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Nigeria (2002-08, 2012-present) and of the American University of Afghanistan (2010-12).
Dr. Pastor’s most recent book, The North American Idea, was praised by Zbigniew Brzezinski as “brilliant … profoundly challenging and politically insightful.” He is the author or editor of sixteen other books, including A Century’s Journey: How the Great Powers Shape the World. His books have won four national awards. He has written articles and been cited often in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Miami Herald. He has been interviewed for Sixty Minutes, ABC News, the Lehrer News Hour and Cable Television.