Michael A. Butler received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Virginia in 1980, and entered the Foreign Service of the Department of State later that year. He retired from the Foreign Service after a thirty-year career at the rank of Minister-Counselor. His postings included Portugal, Romania, Argentina, Norway, Spain, El Salvador and Finland, as well as the Department of State in Washington. From 1993-1995, he was seconded from the Department of State to the US Military Academy, West Point, where he served as Visiting Professor of Social Sciences and State Department Representative. He taught history at the University of Virginia and International Relations, American Foreign Policy and Comparative Politics at West Point.
Michael Butler’s scholarly interests include the international history of the interwar period as well as the relationship between history and diplomatic practice. He is particularly interested in the use of history in analysis of current foreign-policy challenges. He is the author of Cautious Visionary: Cordell Hull and Trade Reform, 1933-1937 (Kent State University Press, 1998), and is currently working on a study of foreign-policy aspects of the Hoover-Roosevelt transition of 1932-1933.