Robert Strong, interim provost and William Lyne Wilson Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant to serve as the Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History at University College Dublin during the 2013–14 academic year.
As the Washington Professor, Strong will teach at UCD, present lectures at other Irish and United Kingdom universities and conduct his own research.
The Mary Ball Washington Chair was established as a full-time professorship in the School of History and Archives at University College Dublin in 1979 through the efforts of John D.J. Moore, former U.S. ambassador to Ireland, and with the support of a gift from the Alfred I. Du Pont Foundation. Holders of the chair are visiting Americans who have expertise in American foreign policy or American history.
Since 1986, the chair has been filled by a U.S. academic under the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program. Over the years, such eminent scholars of American history and foreign policy as former U.S. Sen. George McGovern, Stephen Ambrose and Merrill Peterson have held the chair.
The author of books on Henry Kissinger and Jimmy Carter, Strong has focused his research on foreign policy decisions made by recent American presidents. He has worked for the past 30 years with scholars at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs, conducting oral history interviews with elected and appointed officials who have served in the cabinet and in the White House. He hopes to complete a book next year based on interviews concerning the George Herbert Walker Bush administration.
Strong joined the Washington and Lee faculty in 1989 as head of the Politics Department and served in that capacity for 15 years. He was named the first associate provost at the University in 2008 and then became interim provost in 2011.
A graduate of Kenyon College, he earned his Ph.D. in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. He taught at Tulane University prior to joining W&L.
The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program comprises approximately 40 distinguished lecturing, distinguished research and distinguished lecturing/research awards. They are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program.