Leon Aron is a resident scholar and the director of Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies Russian domestic and foreign policy, US-Russia relations, and the economic, social, and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet evolution.

Since 2015, Aron has been serving on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the operations of several international broadcasting outlets, including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. From 1990 to 2004, Aron had been a permanent discussant on Voice of America’s radio and television show “Looking from America” (Gliadya iz Ameriki), which was broadcast to Russia every week. Aron has also taught at Georgetown University and was the recipient of the US Institute of Peace’s Peace Fellowship.

Aron has contributed numerous essays and articles to newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy and The Weekly Standard. From 1999 to 2014 he wrote AEI’s Russian Outlook, a quarterly essay on the economic, political, social, and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet transition.

His books include the first full-scale scholarly biography of Boris Yeltsin, “Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life” (St. Martin’s Press, 2000), “Russia’s Revolution: Essays 1989–2006” (AEI Press, 2007), and “Roads to the Temple: Memory, Truth, Ideas and Ideals in the Making of the Russian Revolution, 1987–1991” (Yale University Press, 2012), which explores Russia’s latest upheaval as an intellectual and moral revolution that precipitated the collapse of the Soviet regime. Aron is also the editor of “Putin’s Russia: How it rose, how it is maintained, and how it might end” (AEI, 2015), a collection of essays in which Russian economists and political sociologists analyze the political, economic, and social crises facing Russia, and their effect on the Putin regime. A frequent guest on television and radio, Aron’s interviews include “The PBS NewsHour,” “Charlie Rose,” CNN, C-Span, CBS News’ 60 Minutes, and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered”

Aron was born in Moscow and came to the United States in the late 1970s. Having earned a B.A. from Moscow State Pedagogical Institute, Aron earned an M.A in media sociology and a Ph.D. in political sociology from Columbia University.

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  • Weekly Contributor, “Looking from America” (Gliadya iz Amerik) , Voice of America, 1990–2004
  • Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University, 1994–96
  • Senior Policy Analyst, Heritage Foundation, 1987–92
  • Senior Project Director, Newspaper Advertising Bureau, 1984–87
  • Assistant Project Director, D’Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, 1983–84
  • Consultant on Soviet Affairs, Frost & Sullivan and International Reporting Information Systems


Ph.D., political sociology, Columbia University

M.A., media sociology, Columbia University

B.A., Moscow State Pedagogical Institute