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Tom Nichols
Tom Nichols

Peacefield Tom Nichols


Tom Nichols puts America, Russia, and more in a global context, and thinks about challenges to the survival of liberal democracy.

My career spans both academia and public affairs. I began as an expert on Russia, a subject I taught at various universities and on which I consulted for both the U.S. government and private industry. I then taught international-security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College for 25 years. I remain an instructor at the Harvard Extension School, as well as an adjunct professor at the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies. I’ve held academic fellowships at various institutions, including the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

I’ve worked in both state and federal government, including as personal staff for defense and security affairs for the late Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania.

I’ve written several books, including The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters, a best seller that was translated into 14 languages. More recently, I wrote Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault From Within on Modern Democracy, in which I raise the alarm about the decline of civic culture in the United States and other developed democracies.

I am also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy champion. (No, really. I was listed in the Jeopardy Hall of Fame in the 1990s as one of the top 100 players of the game at the time.) I’m a native of western Massachusetts, but now I live in Rhode Island with my wife and a remarkable cat named Carla.

DeSean McClinton-Holland
Ricardo Tomas / Alamy