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William LeoGrande Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Department of Government

PhD, Syracuse University
MA, Syracuse University
BA, Syracuse University

Professor of Government and a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, Professor LeoGrande has been a frequent adviser to government and private sector agencies. He has written five books, including Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977 – 1992. Most recently, he is coauthor of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana. Previously, he served on the staffs of the Democratic Policy Committee of the United States Senate, and the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Central America of the United States House of Representatives. Professor LeoGrande has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, and a Pew Faculty Fellow in International Affairs. His articles have appeared in various international and national journals, magazines and newspapers.

Twitter Profile


Spring 2023

  • GOVT-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Fall 2023

  • GOVT-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

William M. LeoGrande on U.S.-Cuban Relations since December 17, 2014

  • "Unlikely Allies: U.S. and Cuban Armed Forces," in the Cuba Reset series of the World Policy Journal blog, February 11, 2016.
  • "A Long Road to Havana," Cairo Review, no. 20 (Winter 2015-2016): 108-120.
  • "Obama Needs to Stop Playing Small Ball With Cuba," Foreign Policy (online), February 1, 2016.
  • "Let's Make a Deal: Doing Business in Cuba," Huffington Post, December 20, 2015.
  • "A New Crisis of Cuban Migration," International New York Times, December 4, 2015.
  • "U.S.-Cuba Normalization Allows Mexico and Cuba to Repair Old Ties," World Politics Review, November 30, 2015. 
  • Peter Kornbluh and William M. LeoGrande, "Cuba Confidential," Mother Jones, September-October 2015.
  • "Manufacturing Crisis: Cuban Troops in Syria," Huffington Post, October 29, 2015.
  • "Sabotaging Obama's Cuba Policy," Huffington Post, September 19, 2015.
  • "Stop Punishing Cuba's People," Newsday, August 14, 2015.
  • "Getting to Maybe: Next Steps in Normalizing U.S.-Cuba Relations," World Politics Review, August, 11, 2015.
  • "Fund the US Embassy in Havana," The Hill, Congress Blog, July 20, 2015.
  • "Beyond Symbolism, Restoring Ties with Cuba Has Practical Benefits," Fox News Latino online, July 1, 2015.
  • "Our Right to Travel to Cuba," Huffington Post, June 7, 2015.
  • "Normalizing US-Cuba Relations: Escaping the Shackles of the Past," International Affairs 91: 3 (May 2015) 473-488.
  • "Diplomatic Travel Blocks U.S.-Cuban Ties," Huffington Post, April 14, 2015.
  • "The End of the Bogeyman: The Political Repercussions of the U.S.-Cuban Rapprochement," in AU/SSRC Symposium, Implications of Normalization: Scholarly Perspectives on U.S.-Cuban Relations, April 2015.
  • "Delisted in Havana: Taking Cuba Off the State Sponsors of Terrorism List," Foreign Affairs, April 9, 2015.
  • "Five Things Cuba Can Do to Speed the Normalization of Relations With the United States," Huffington Post, March 5, 2015.
  • "From Hard Power to Soft: The Shift in U.S. Policy toward Cuba," in Stefanie Ehmsen, Albert Scharenberg, Torge Löding (eds.), Charting a New Course in U.S. Cuban Relations (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, February 2015): 2-8.
  • "The Last Gasp of the Cuban Collapsniks," Foreign Policy online, February 25, 2015.
  • "Normalizing Relations With Cuba: The Unfinished Agenda," Newsweek online, January 30, 2015.
  • "Why Real Change in Cuba Won't Come Easy or Fast," Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2014.
  • "The Breakthrough With Cuba: How It Happened and What Happens Next," invited lead post in Huffington Post blog series, "90 Miles: Rethinking the Future of U.S.-Cuba Relations," January 1, 2015.
  • "A New Dawn in Cuba," Foreign Policy online, December 17, 2014.

Media Appearances

C-SPAN, "Latino Vote in 2016, Panel 3, Latino Public Affairs Forum", February 29, 2016.

PBS Newshour, "What does Obama's historic visit mean for Cuba and the U.S.?", February 18, 2016.

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Congress and foreign policy; U.S.–Latin American politics and relations; Cuban history, politics, and relations with the United States; El Salvador; Nicaragua

Additional Information

William M. LeoGrande has written widely in the field of Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy, with a particular emphasis on Central America and Cuba. LeoGrande most recently co-authored Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana. He is the author of Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977–1992.He also is an expert on Congress and foreign policy; Cuban history, politics, and relations with the United States; El Salvador; and Nicaragua. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. LeoGrande is coauthor of Confronting Revolution: Security through Diplomacy in Central America and coeditor of both A Contemporary Cuba Reader: Remaking the Revolution and Political Parties and Democracy in Central America. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Latin American Research Review, the New York Times, and Los Angeles Times; Miami Herald; Le Monde; and other journals and newspapers. His radio and television appearances include spots on PBS NewsHour,PBS Charlie Rose,ABC’s Nightline, Larry King Live, WAMU's Diane Rehm Show, and several network evening news broadcasts.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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