Timothy Naftali headshot

Timothy Naftali

Faculty Scholar, Institute of Global Politics at Columbia SIPA

Personal Details

Dr. Timothy Naftali, formerly a clinical professor of public service at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, clinical professor of history in NYU’s College of Arts and Science, and director of NYU’s undergraduate public policy program, joined Columbia in July 2023 as a Senior Research Scholar at SIPA. Naftali, whose book Khrushchev’s Cold War with Aleksandr Fursenko, won the Royal United Services Institute’s Duke of Westminster’s medal for military literature in 2007, is a pioneer in the study of modern international and espionage history and is a well-recognized presidential historian. After serving as the first director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs’ presidential recordings program. Naftali became the founding director of the federal Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in 2007, where he curated a nationally recognized nonpartisan permanent exhibit on Watergate and oversaw the release of 1.3 million pages of records. Naftali is the author, co-author or editor of 8 books, including a biography of George Herbert Walker Bush and histories of US counterterrorism policy and of presidential impeachment. Naftali was an historical consultant to both the Nazi War Crimes and Imperial Japanese Government Records Interagency Working Group and to the 9/11 Commission. He is currently a member of the State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, which provides oversight for the Foreign Relations of the United States series. Naftali, who is a CNN presidential historian, has appeared in several documentaries, most recently Prime Video’s “The Devil’s Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes” and CNN’s “2010s,” and has also consulted on CNN’s “Tricky Dick” and Netflix’s “Designated Survivor.”


In The Media

Timothy Naftali said: “He's got one to counteract the stereotype of the old man that Trump uses to critique him and to energize his own people.”

Mar 08 2024
Daily Mail
Democratic Resilience

Timothy Naftali talks about the origins of impeachment and how it was historically used as a tool “to remove people before the next election because keeping them in power is a danger to the state.”


Jan 12 2024
The Globe and Mail
Democratic Resilience

Timothy Naftali joined a group of constitutional experts, that published an open letter concerning the impeachment proceedings against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

Jan 10 2024
Just Security
Geopolitical Stability

Senior research scholar Timothy Naftali comments on former President Trump’s legal defense in light of the 2024 election.

Jan 01 2024
The Guardian

Timothy Naftali explains why the Hitler analogy should not be used to talk about Trump. 

Dec 22 2023
The Washington Post