A. Trevor Thrall, Ph.D.

George mason, cato institute, & e38 academy

About Trevor

A. Trevor Thrall is an associate professor in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. His research revolves around the intersection of international security, political communication, and public opinion. At Mason he directed the graduate program in Biodefense from 2010-2015 and helped launch the Master’s program in International Security.

He is also a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, working with the Defense and Foreign Policy group, where he worked full-time during 2016 and 2017 while on leave from Mason.

He is also a co-founder of E38 Academy, which delivers online professional development for people in the national security and risk intelligence communities.

Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thrall is a proud alumnus of the University of Michigan and received his Ph.D. in political science from M.I.T. where he was a member of the Security Studies Program.

In unrelated news Thrall is also the co-founder of Michigan’s coolest brewery, the Wolverine State Brewing Company, located in Ann Arbor.

Selected books

American Foreign Policy and the Politics of Fear

This volume explores the mechanisms political leaders use to shape public perceptions of foreign threats. 

U.S. Grand Strategy in the 21st Century: The Case for Restraint

This volume collects the latest thinking about the limits of primacy and the benefits of a more restrained foreign policy for America.

Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America’s Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse

Just in time for 2020, an assessment of where U.S. foreign policy has gone wrong, how Trump made it worse, and where we should go from here.


But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

– john quincy adams, 1821

Upcoming events

october 21, 2019

Fuel to the Fire Book Forum • Cato Institute, Washington, D.C.

Join us at the Cato Institute as the three authors discuss their book and the Trump administration’s foreign policy.

November 7, 2019

Regime Change: How to Replace the Beltway Blob with the Foreign Policy Americans Really Want • Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Trevor will join a panel at TAC’s 6th annual Foreign Policy Conference where we discuss how to defeat the vested interests whose broad tentacles are working directly in conflict with real American goals and values.