Michael Anthony McFaul (born October 1, 1963) is an American academic and diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. McFaul is currently the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor in International Studies in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University, where he is the Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also a Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is also a contributing columnist at The Washington Post.[Prior to his nomination to the ambassadorial position, McFaul worked for the U.S. National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and senior director of Russian and Eurasian affairs. In that capacity, he was the architect of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Russian reset policy.