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Headshot of Mai'a Cross

Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs; Director of the Center for International Affairs and World Cultures; Dean’s Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Diplomacy

Mai’a K. Davis Cross is the Dean’s Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Diplomacy and Director of the Center for International Affairs & World Cultures at Northeastern University. She is also a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  Professor Cross’s work investigates the long-term driving forces behind breakthroughs in international cooperation at both the elite and societal levels.  She has specific expertise in space diplomacy, public diplomacy, European Union and transatlantic relations, security cooperation, and soft power (CV).  She holds a PhD in Politics from Princeton University, and a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University.

She is the author or co-editor of six books, including most recently International Cooperation Against All Odds: The Ultrasocial World (Oxford University Press, 2024).  This book draws upon new insights about human nature from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, anthropology, among others, to examine the underlying causes and processes that have led to unanticipated instances of international cooperation across time.

Her previous books include, European-Russian Power Relations in Turbulent Times (University of Michigan Press, 2021) and The Politics of Crisis in Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2017). She is the winner of the Best Book Prize from the University Association of Contemporary European Studies for Security Integration in Europe (University of Michigan Press, 2011).  In addition to these major works, Professor Cross has also written over 50 articles and book chapters.

View CV
  • Nobel Peace Institute Fellow, 2016
  • Best Book Prize for Security Integration in Europe from the University Association for Contemporary European Studies, 2012
  • American Political Science Association Pi Sigma Alpha Teaching Recognition, 2012
  • USC Learning Environment Award for teaching using technology, 2012
  • Winner of the USC Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring Award, 2011. (given to one junior faculty member university-wide each year)
  • Fulbright Fellow, 2009



  • For a complete list, please see CV.
  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Journal of European Integration – Editor, 2018-2023
  • Palgrave Studies in International Relations – Series Editor, 2016-2021
  • Council on Foreign Relations – Term Member, 2014-2019
  • European Security – Editorial Board, 2019-present
  • The Hague Journal of Diplomacy – International Advisory Board, 2014-present
  • Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael – Senior Visiting Fellow, 2012-present
  • Palgrave Studies in International Relations – Series Editor, 2016-2021
  • Place Branding and Public Diplomacy – Editorial Board, 2012-present
  • Journal of European Integration – Editor, 2018-2023
  • Education

    PhD, 2005, Politics
    Princeton University

    BA, Government
    Harvard University

  • Contact

  • Address

    420 Renaissance Park
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115

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