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Marian University

Pierre M. Atlas, Ph.D.


  • Director, The Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies 
  • Associate Professor of Political Science, Marian University
  • Associate Fellow, Sagamore Institute 
  • Monthly opinion columnist, Indianapolis Star 
  • Ph.D. Rutgers University (2000)
  • M.A. University of Arizona (1993)
  • B.A. University of Toronto (1984)
Specializations and Teaching Areas 
  • Civil wars and ethnic conflicts
  • International relations and U.S. foreign policy
  • Comparative politics
  • American politics
  • Middle East politics
  • Global studies
Dr. Pierre M. Atlas


Pierre M. Atlas is an associate professor of political science and director of The Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies (LFCGS) at Marian University. He is also an associate fellow at Sagamore Institute, serves on the board of directors of Global Indiana, and writes a monthly opinion column for The Indianapolis Star (second Thursday of the month). Atlas earned his Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University in 2000 in comparative politics, specializing in the Middle East. He also holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in political science from the University of Arizona and the University of Toronto, respectively. He teaches classes in American politics, Middle East politics, United States foreign policy, comparative civil wars, international political economy, and global studies, and he leads the annual Lugar Fellow Global Studies spring break trip to Washington, DC. Pierre gives frequent public lectures in the Indianapolis area on U.S. foreign policy and Middle East politics.

Atlas was born in Texas and grew up in California. While living in Tucson, Arizona in his years between college and graduate school, Pierre held various jobs, including writer for a public relations agency; car rental agent; gun department manager at a sporting goods store; long-distance courier; and briefly, copper miner at 2,615’ below ground. He also served in the US Army in the 1980s, where he studied Arabic. As an academic, Atlas has presented conference papers, written articles and book reviews, and co-authored a book chapter on Israeli politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has authored entries for the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa and the Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He has also conducted research on civil wars in comparative perspective and is co-author of a journal article on civil war in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Chad, and Lebanon. More recently, he has presented papers on teaching global studies at academic conferences at Oxford University and in Albuquerque, NM. In April, 2011, Atlas gave an invited lecture on the Arab Spring and U.S. foreign policy at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and he will present a paper on that subject at a Middle East policy conference in Washington, DC in 2012. Atlas has traveled to several countries in Europe as well as Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Cuba, and China.