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Johns Hopkins SAIS Unveils Official Portrait of Former SAIS Deans

Johns Hopkins SAIS Unveils Official Portrait of Former SAIS Deans

In April and May 2022, Johns Hopkins SAIS honored and celebrated the legacies of former SAIS Deans Dr. Eliot A. Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor, and Dr. Vali R. Nasr, Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies and International Affairs, by revealing their official decanal portraits to the SAIS community.


Cohen and Nasr have made tremendous contributions to SAIS over the years, from spearheading the hires of several new faculty, to preparing the school’s transition to 555 Pennsylvania Avenue in Fall 2023.

Following the portrait unveilings, SAIS community members and guests enjoyed a celebratory reception in recognition of their service to the school.

The decanal portraits are available for viewing at the Johns Hopkins SAIS Nitze Building (1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW) in Herter Auditorium.

Dr. Vali R. Nasr, Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies
Portrait of Dr. Vali R. Nasr
Dr. Eliot A. Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor
Portrait of Dr. Eliot A. Cohen

About the Former SAIS Deans


Dr. Eliot A. Cohen served as the ninth Dean of SAIS from 2019 to 2021. He is the Robert E. Osgood Professor at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he has taught since 1990. He is also the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He received his BA and PhD degrees from Harvard and taught there and at the U.S. Naval War College before going to SAIS.

His books include, most recently, The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force (Basic Books, 2017), as well as Conquered into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battle Along the Great Warpath that Made the American Way of War (FreePress, 2011) and Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (Anchor, 2002), among others. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve, was a director in the Defense Department’s policy planning staff, led the U.S. Air Force’s multivolume study of the first Gulf War, and has served in various official advisory positions.

From 2007 to 2009 he was counselor of the Department of State, serving as Secretary Condoleezza Rice’s senior adviser, focusing chiefly on issues of war and peace, including Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, and his commentary has also appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and on major television networks.


Dr. Vali R. Nasr served as the eighth Dean of SAIS between 2012 and 2019, and is currently the Majid Khadduri Professor of International Affairs and Middle East Studies, and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. He also served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke between 2009 and 2011.

Nasr is the author of The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat; Forces of Fortune: The Rise of a New Middle Class and How it Will Change Our World; The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future; Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty; Islamic Leviathan, Islam and the Making of State Power; Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism; and Vanguard of Islamic Revolution: Jama'at-i Islami of Pakistan; and numerous articles in scholarly journals.

He has advised senior American policymakers, world leaders, and businesses, including the President, Secretary of State, senior members of the Congress, and presidential campaigns. He has written for New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among others.

© Johns Hopkins University SAIS