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Professor of International Affairs, Penn State

Dennis Jett is a founding faculty member and professor of international affairs in the School of International Affairs at Pennsylvania State University. A former career diplomat, he served 28 years in the State Department in a wide range of positions including as Ambassador to Peru and Mozambique, Senior Director for African Affairs on the National Security Council, Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires in Malawi and Liberia, and in Argentina and Israel. From 2000 to 2008, he was Dean of the International Center and on the faculty of the Political Science Department at the University of Florida. He has a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Witwatersrand and is the author of four books published by Palgrave-Macmillan--“Why Peacekeeping Fails,” “Why American Foreign Policy Fails,” “American Ambassadors – The Past, Present and Future of America’s Diplomats” and "The Iran Nuclear Deal." He has been interviewed on PBS, CNN, NPR, BBC and other national and international news programs. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy, he was written over 160 opinion pieces for major newspapers.


  • –present
    Professor of International Relations, Pennsylvania State University
  • 2000–2008
    Dean of the International Center, University of Florida


  • 1998 
    University of Witwatersrand, PhD
  • 1969 
    University of New Mexico, BA, MA


  • 2015
    American Ambassadors - The Past, Present and Future of America's Diplomats,
  • 2008
    Why American Foreign Policy Fails,
  • 2000
    Why Peacekeeping Fails,

Grants and Contracts

  • 2016
    Fulbright Senior Scholar
    Funding Source:
    State Dept

Professional Memberships

  • American Academy of Diplomacy
  • Council on Foreign Relations


Order of the Sun of Peru, AFSA's Christian Herter Award, State Department's Distinguished Honor Award