President Barack Obama will name longtime Stanford Russia watcher Michael McFaul as the next ambassador to that nation, the Associated Press and the New York Times are reporting.
McFaul, a campaign adviser to Obama and member of the administration since 2009, has been on the Stanford faculty since the mid-1990s and received a Stanford bachelor's degree in International Relations and Slavic Languages in 1986.
He also earned a master's degree from Stanford in Russia and East European Studies and, as a Rhodes scholar, a PhD in International Relations from Oxford University.
He reportedly will replace current U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle, a career foreign service officer.
Fluent in Russian, McFaul has taught Stanford courses in Russian Politics, American Efforts at Promoting Democracy Abroad, Regime Change, Institutional Change in New Democracies, Revolutions, the Political Economy of Post-Communism, U.S.-Russian Relations, Soviet Foreign Policy, Command Economies and others.
He has written extensively about Russia in the post-communist era.
McFaul was born and raised in Montana.