Skinner, Charles

3935 Posvar Hall  


  • A.B., Davidson College, 1969
  • A.M., Harvard University, 1970
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1979
  • Studied at the Phillips University, Marburg, Germany, 1967-68
  • Studied at the Free University, Berlin, Germany, 1974-76


Charles Skinner spent the last seventeen years (1989-2006) of his nearly three decades in government service working on central foreign policy issues both at the State Department and at key foreign missions (our embassies to Germany and the United Kingdom and our mission to NATO):  German unification, NATO’s interventions in the Balkans and post-Cold War reorientation , and the full range of issues on the Anglo-American agenda, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S.-EU relations, Cyprus, etc.  He was the Berlin Desk Officer when the Wall came down, and he worked on the Two-plus-Four negotiations.  He was our first exchange diplomat with the German Foreign Office, where he worked on CSCE issues during the German Presidency.  He also helped negotiate the multilateral update of Allies’ Supplementary Agreement to the NATO Status of Forces Agreement for Germany.  At NATO he was the deputy political advisor for operations during NATO’s missions to Bosnia and Kosovo, and he represented the United States on committees working out arrangements for support to first the Western European Union and then the European Union.

Teaching and Research Areas

International history; operational foreign affairs management; U.S. and European diplomatic practice; U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War; NATO and transatlantic relations; U.S.-EU relations; U.S.-UK relations; U.S.-German relations; modern German history and politics; modern European intellectual history.

Select Publications and Funded Research

  • Article: “The Texts of Hauptmann’s ‘Ratten,’” Modern Philology 77 (1979):  163-171.
  • Article: “Two Joyce Letters Concerning Ulysses and a Reply,” James Joyce Quarterly 15 (1978):  376-379.
  • Grant: Air Lift Scholar, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Free University, Berlin, Germany, 1974-76 (dissertation research).

Consultancies, Public Service, and Awards/Honors

  • Public Service: Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State, 1979-2006:  U.S. Embassy, Kingston, Jamaica (1980-82)
  • U.S. Embassy, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (1982-84); U.S. Consulate General, Hamburg, Germany (1984-87)
  • East German desk officer, State Department, Washington (1987-89), and Berlin desk officer, State Department, Washington (1989-91)
  • German Foreign Office, Bonn (1991-92); U.S. Embassy, Bonn (1992-95); U.S. Mission to NATO, Brussels (1995-99)
  • NATO Director, State Department, Washington (1999-2002)
  • U.S. Embassy London (2002-6)
  • U.S. Army, 1970-72
  • Award:  Superior Honor Awards 1990, 2000, 2002, 2005
  • Meritorious Service Increases 1983, 1993, 2000, 2003
  • Meritorious Honor Award 1988, all U.S. Department of State
  • Army Commendation Medal, 1972
  • Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Harvard University, 1969-70
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Davidson College, 1969.


  • PIA 2363 “International History”
  • PIA 2305 “Foreign Policy and Diplomacy”
  • PIA 2387 “NATO and Alliance Management”

Other Faculty and Academic Administration Positions

  • Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Duquesne University, 2008
  • Teaching Fellow in History, Harvard University, 1973-74 and 1976-79
  • Resident Tutor, Mather House, Harvard College, 1977-79
  • Assistant Senior Tutor (Dean of Students), Mather House, Harvard College, 1978-79


Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260