Alex Bick

Alexander Bick

Associate Professor of Practice in Public Policy

Education & Training
PhD, History, Princeton
MSc, Economic History, LSE
BA, Political Science, University of Chicago

Alexander Bick is associate professor of practice in public policy in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. He brings more than twenty years of experience in national security policy and research, including senior roles in the U.S. government, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions.     

Bick served as director for strategic planning at the National Security Council during the first year of the Biden administration. In that role, he led the “Tiger Team” charged with planning the U.S. response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and helped to craft the 2022 National Security Strategy, the overarching strategic framework for U.S. national security and foreign policy. Later, he served as a senior advisor and member of the Secretary’s Policy Planning staff at the U.S. Department of State. There he earned a Superior Honor Award for his work conceiving and co-directing an initiative to improve the Department’s ability to anticipate and plan for major global crises.

Earlier in his career, Bick served at the State Department and the White House in the Obama administration, where he focused on the Middle East and North Africa and played a key role developing the U.S. strategy to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Before entering government, he worked for former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on elections and peace initiatives in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Venezuela, and Libya, and as a researcher on development policy in the UK Parliament. 

A historian by training, Bick previously taught at Barnard College and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he helped to establish the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs. He has held research fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the University of Leiden, where he was a Fulbright Fellow. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Minutes of Empire, which explores the relationship between conquest, company, and state in the Dutch Republic on the eve of the Treaty of Westphalia. Bick graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago with a BA in political science. He received a diploma in economics and an MSc in economic history from the London School of Economics and a PhD in history from Princeton.