Subscribe to our mailing list  |  Search:  
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Jefferson Science Fellowship
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs
Fellows Directory


Robert Axelrod
University of Michigan

Robert Axelrod 

Dr. Robert Axelrod is the Walgreen Professor for the Study of Human Understanding at the University of Michigan. He has appointments in the Department of Political Science and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to coming to Michigan he taught at the University of California, Berkeley (1968-74). He holds a BA in mathematics from the University of Chicago (1964), and a PhD in political science from Yale (1969). Dr. Axelrod is best known for his interdisciplinary work on the evolution of cooperation which has been cited more than 30,000 times. His current research interests include international security, including cyber conflict. Among his honors and awards are membership in the National Academy of Sciences, a five year MacArthur Prize Fellowship, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences for an outstanding contribution to science, and the National Academy of Sciences Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War. Dr. Axelrod served as President of the American Political Science Association (2006-07).

Dr. Axelrod’s recent publications on cyber issues include “The Timing of Cyber Conflict” (with Rumen Iliev) published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences (2014). This work has been cited in numerous technical publications and blogs from over 30 countries. Dr. Axelrod has consulted and lectured on promoting cooperation and harnessing complexity for the United Nations, the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Defense, and various organizations serving health care professionals, business leaders, and K-12 educators. He has also consulted with CyberCom on cyber analogies, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration on risk in networked information systems.

State Department Profile

Office of the Senior Advisor to the Secretary

Dr. Robert Axelrod is working for Amb. David Thorne, the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State, S/SRA. S/SRA coordinates the Secretary’s Shared Prosperity Agenda (SPA) to elevate the role of economics in our foreign policy and ensure that the Department is using all the tools at its disposal to advance the U.S. commercial and economic interests around the world. Dr. Axelrod works with SRA and other stakeholders to “brand” the SPA and the U.S.approach to economic diplomacy, and craft the SPA message so that it will resonate with broad audiences. He also brngs relevant new ideas from academia and industry to the attention of the State Department.