Charles King 2020 hires credit Mary Fecteau.

Charles King

Guest Speaker

Charles King is a Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University.

Areas of Expertise


Charles King (D.Phil., Politics, Oxford University; M.Phil., Russian and East European Studies, Oxford University; B.A., History and Philosophy, University of Arkansas) is Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University. He previously served as chair of the Department of Government and chair of the faculty of Georgetown's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, the country's premier school of global affairs.

King's writing has ranged from the politics of Eastern Europe and Eurasia to urban history, the history of ideas, race and ethnicity, and biography. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century (Doubleday, 2019), which received the Parkman Prize in American history and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, given for works that make important contributions to understanding racism and human diversity. Gods of the Upper Air was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times History Book Prize, the Plutarch Award in biography, and the British Academy Prize for Global Cultural Understanding. King's other books include Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul (W. W. Norton, 2014), which was a New York Times Editors' Choice and inspiration for a Netflix series of the same name; and Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams (W. W. Norton, 2011), which received a National Jewish Book Award. His books been translated into more than a dozen languages.

King has been a British Marshall Scholar, a Fulbright scholar, a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a Public Scholar of the National Endowment for the Humanities. His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the International Research and Exchanges Board, and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Michigan and Bosphorus University in Istanbul. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a frequent commentator on global affairs, King has published essays in the New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles Times, and other major newspapers; in magazines such as Foreign AffairsForeign Policy, and The New Republic; and in web-based media such as SlateThe Daily Beast, and His broadcast appearances have included National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and "Fresh Air," MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" and "Morning Joe," and CNN, the BBC, and other venues.

He is a three-time recipient of professor-of-the-year honors from Georgetown students and has received both the School of Foreign Service Dean's Medal and the McGuire Medal, the highest awards for service to the school and its students. A first-generation college student, King grew up on a cattle farm in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas.