Leon Aron was born in Moscow and came to the United States in the late 1970s. He 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, Dr. Aron has been serving on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the operations of several international broadcasting outlets, including the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. From 1990 to 2004, he was a panelist on “Looking from America” (Gliadya iz Ameriki), a weekly Voice of America radio and television show, which was broadcast in Russia. Dr. Aron has also taught at Georgetown University and was the recipient of the US Institute of Peace’s Peace Fellowship.

A regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, and popular news websites, Dr. Aron has published essays and articles in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, The Weekly Standard, and CNN.com, among others. 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.

Dr. Aron is the editor of the 2015 AEI collection of essays, “Putin’s Russia: How it rose, how it is maintained, and how it might end,” in which Russian economists and political sociologists analyze the political, economic, and social crises facing Russia and their effect on the Putin regime. His books include “Roads to the Temple: Memory, Truth, Ideas and Ideals in the Making of the Russian Revolution, 1987–1991” (Yale University Press, 2012), a book about the intellectual and moral revolution that precipitated the end of the Soviet Union; “Russia’s Revolution: Essays 1989–2006” (AEI Press, 2007); and the first in-depth biography of Boris Yeltsin, “Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life” (St. Martin’s Press, 2000).

In addition to his writings, Dr. Aron is a frequent guest on television and radio. His interviews include “PBS NewsHour,” “Charlie Rose,” CNN, C-Span, CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”

Dr. Aron has a B.A. from Moscow State Pedagogical Institute, an M.A in media sociology, and a Ph.D. in political sociology from Columbia University.


  • 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