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Michael Ignatieff

Senior Fellow


Michael Ignatieff

Michael Ignatieff is a university professor, writer and former Canadian politician. Most recently, he served as president and rector at the Central European University (CEU) from 2016-2021. Prior to CEU, he was Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

He holds a doctorate in history from Harvard University and has held academic posts at the University of British Columbia, Cambridge University, the University of Toronto, the London School of Economics and Harvard University, where he was director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy between 2000 and 2005.

His major publications are The Needs of Strangers (1984), Scar Tissue (1992), Isaiah Berlin (1998), The Rights Revolution (2000), Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001), The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004), and Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013).

Between 2006 and 2011, he served as an MP in the Parliament of Canada and then as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and leader of the Official Opposition.


  • President & Rector, Central European University (2016-2021)
  • Senior Fellow, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University