Mitchell B. Lerner


Prof. Mitchell Lerner received his B.A. from Brandeis University and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin. His research and teaching focus is on modern American diplomatic and political history, with an emphasis on US-Korean relations. He came to Ohio State in 2000, and is now the director of OSU's Institute for Korea Studies and Associate Director of the East Asia Studies Center..

Dr. Lerner's first book, The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy, won the John Lyman Book Award and was named by the American Library Association as one of fifty "historically significant works" that would not have been published after the passage of Executive Order 13233. It was also nominated for the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes. He is also the editor of three volumes of essays that focus on the intersection of domestic politics, national ideology, and international relations. He has also published more than 20 essays in anthologies and journals, including ones in The Journal of East Asian Affairs, Diplomatic History, Diplomacy & Statecraft, The Seoul Journal of Korean Studies, The Journal of Military History, and The Journal of Cold War Studies, amongst others. In 2018, he was selected to deliver the National Security Agency's Center for Cryptologic History annual Henry Schorrek Memorial Lectures. His op-eds have appeared in the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Korea Times, and on prominent websites like The Diplomat, The National Interest, 38North, and The Hill. He is also associate editor of the Journal of American-East Asian Relations, and in 2018 was appointed to the Association for Asian Studies Distinguished Speakers Bureau. 

Professor Lerner was elected to the governing council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2008, and is on the advisory board of the North Korea International Documentation Project, directed by the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center for Scholars. He has also served as a Fellow at the University of Virgnia's Miller Center for Public Affairs, and in 2005-06, he held the Mary Ball Washington Distinguished Fulbright Chair at University College-Dublin. He has received fellowships and grants from the Korea Foundation, the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library, the Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, among others. He has served as editor of Passport: The Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations Review and on the Teaching Committee and the Nominating Committee for the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. In 2005, he won the OSU Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and in 2018, received the Ohio Academy of History's Distinguished Teacher Award.

Areas of Expertise
  • US History since 1877
  • Diplomatic History
  • East Asian History
  • Human Conflict, Peace, and Diplomacy

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