Thomas Simons

Simons Jr.

U.S. Foreign Service Officer (1963-1998); U.S. Ambassador to Poland (1990-1993) and Pakistan (1996-1998)

Visiting Scholar

Thomas W. Simons, Jr., is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. He holds a B.A. from Yale and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard, and during a 35-year U.S. Foreign Service career, he specialized in East-West relations, including service in Warsaw, Moscow, and Bucharest, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (1986-1989). During the 1990s he was U.S. Ambassador to Poland, Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union, and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan. Simons is the author of dozens of articles on the European East, Eurasia, and the Subcontinent, and of four books, including his most recent, Eurasia’s New Frontiers: Young States, Old Societies, Open Futures (Cornell, 2008). He has taught at Brown, Stanford, Cornell, and in Harvard’s Government Department (“Post-Communist Islam” (2007-2009), “Islam in Central and South Asia: Comparative Hegemonies and Liberations” (2010), and “Post-Communist Central Asia and the Caucasus: History, Political Economy, Religion” (2014)). In 2014 he also taught a course on “Problems in Modern East European and Soviet History” at Vienna’s Institute for Human Sciences. Islam in Eurasia. A Policy Volume, which he edited, was published by the Davis Center in 2015.

Contemporary post-Soviet affairs; Modern and contemporary Islam; South and Southwest Asia
Current Project
Recollections of the American Half-Century
Foreign Language


, History
, Harvard University
Selected Publications

Islam in Eurasia. A Policy Volume, ed. (Harvard, Davis Center, 2015).

Eurasia’s New Frontiers: Young States, Old Societies, Open Futures (Cornell UP, 2008).

Islam in a Globalizing World (Stanford UP, 2003).

Eastern Europe in the Postwar World, 2nd rev. ed., New York: St. Martin's Press (1993).

The End of the Cold War? New York: St. Martin's Press (1990).