Kimberly Marten- SIPA

Kimberly Marten

Professor of Political Science, Barnard College

Personal Details

Kimberly Marten is a professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University, specializing in international relations, international security, environmental politics, and Russia. She is a faculty member and executive committee member of Columbia’s Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies, and Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. Her recent publications have analyzed Russia’s Wagner Group “private” military company (she was honored to testify before Congress on that topic in 2020 and 2022), Russian activities in Latin America (she was honored to testify before Congress on that topic in 2022); Russian activities in Africa; Russia/NATO relations and the Russian reaction to NATO enlargement; and Russian intelligence agencies. She has written four books, including Engaging the Enemy: Organization Theory and Soviet Military Innovation (Princeton, 1993), which received the Marshall Shulman Prize, and Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States (Cornell, 2012). The Council on Foreign Relations commissioned her special report, Reducing Tensions between Russia and NATO (2017). In addition to her 30 academic journal articles and book chapters, she has written more than 50 policy analyses in publications including the Washington Quarterly, Foreign Affairs online, War on the Rocks, Lawfare, the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, the New York Daily News, and the New Republic, among others. She gives frequent invited presentations to the policy community in the U.S. and abroad. She is also a frequent media commentator, and appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She earned her A.B. at Harvard and Ph.D. at Stanford. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.


  • PhD, Stanford University
  • AB, Harvard University

Research And Publications

In The Media

“The Russian military intelligence agency has been trying to take control over the Wagner forces that have been located in Syria," Kimberly Marten tells Here and Now, "and they have made trips to Africa in an attempt to gain control there too.” 

Aug 30 2023
WBUR radio

Kimberly Marten said “all the indications that we have is that this was a Russian military operation to take out Prigozhin.”


Aug 28 2023

Kimberly Marten surveys Russia’s private militia scene in this audio program.


Aug 28 2023
The World

Kimberly Marten said the crash was not unexpected — “We know that Putin takes revenge on people who are disloyal,” she explained.


Aug 28 2023
Democracy Now!

Kimberly Marten says the Wagner Group's leader “was a convenient person for Putin to have gotten out of the way so that other people in the Kremlin can take over the business.”


Aug 28 2023