University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Political Science


Faculty - Melissa Willard-Foster

Melissa Willard-Foster

Melissa Willard-Foster, Assistant Professor

  • B.S. Georgetown University (1998)
  • M.A. University of Chicago (2003)
  • Ph.D. University of California Los Angles (2011)
  • Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School (2012)
  • Curriculum Vita (PDF)
Area of expertise

International Relations, Conflict and Cooperation

Contact Information
Office: Old Mill Room 509
Phone: (802) 656-8634

Office Hours: Tuesday - 4:05-5:05; Thursday - 11:25-12:25 & 4:05-5:05 or by appointment.

Professor Willard-Foster's teaching and research interests center broadly on the causes of international conflict and cooperation. She is especially interested in how domestic political pressures can lead states into wars that they might otherwise avoid. Her current book project, based on her dissertation, seeks to explain why major powers overthrow foreign governments, particularly those in militarily weak states. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and UCLA. Before coming to UVM, she was a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs. Professor Willard-Foster teaches classes on international relations, international security, and war, strategy and politics.