A historian by training, Francis J. Gavin's teaching and research interests focus on U.S. foreign policy, global governance, national security affairs, nuclear strategy and arms control, presidential policymaking, and the history of international monetary relations. Gavin is the inaugural Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program. Prior to joining the faculty of MIT, Gavin was the Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the first Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs at Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He was the Director of the Next Generation Project Texas program at the Strauss Center and was also the Director of "The Next Generation Project - U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions," a multi-year national initiative sponsored by The American Assembly at Columbia University. He has been an Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs, an International Security Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a Research Fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, where he started "The Presidency and Economic Policy Program."
Gavin received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Diplomatic History from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Studies in Modern European History from Oxford, and a B.A. in Political Science (with honors) from the University of Chicago. His publications include numerous scholarly articles, book reviews and editorials. His book, Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958-1971, was published in 2004 by the University of North Carolina Press under their New Cold War History series. His latest book, Nuclear Statecraft, was published in 2012 by Cornell University Press in the series Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, edited by Robert J. Art, Robert Jervis, and Stephen M. Walt.
Gavin has won several prestigious awards and honors, including the 2002-2003 Smith Richardson Junior Faculty fellowship in International Security and Foreign Policy and the 2003-2004 Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellowship at the University of Texas. In the spring of 2009, he was a senior research fellow at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, participating in the Institute's project to explore the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation, "The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: Post Experiences and Future Challenges."
Gavin is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, the International Studies Association, the Council for European Studies, and is an advisor to McKinsey & Company. He serves on the Academic Advisory Board for America Abroad Media in Washington, DC and the Advisory Board for the Center for International Business Education and Research at the University of Texas.