Skip Navigation

Zach Messitte, Ph.D.

Hester Hall, room 165

Zach P. Messitte is the Dean of College of International Studies, the first person to hold this position at the University of Oklahoma. He also concurrently serves as the Vice Provost for International Programs and holds a tenured faculty position as the William J. Crowe Chair in Geopolitics. At OU he has taught American Foreign Policy, American Foreign Policy and Film, an inter-active course on The Iraq War and a capstone class on how Washington works internationally. Every fall he teaches a section of Understanding the Global Community, the gateway course for International and Area Studies.
Dr. Messitte frequently serves as a moderator for campus events, including OU’s 2010 foreign policy conference, A New Kind of Leadership: America and the Rise of the Rest, where he interviewed David Sanger, the Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times. In recognition of his contributions to OU’s School of Drama he was awarded the Honorary White Buffalo Mask Award in 2010.  He and his wife were also family namesake hosts for OU’s Camp Crimson in 2010, the annual orientation session for incoming first year students.

Before joining OU, Dr. Messitte was the director of the Center for the Study of Democracy and a faculty member of the Political Science department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the state’s public honors college. While at St. Mary’s he taught International, American, Maryland, and Introduction to Politics. He also twice taught a special yearlong course on the Italian language and led a student trip to Alba, Italy. Twice honored by the St. Mary's College Student Government Association with its highest awards for outstanding service to the college, improving student life, and excellence in teaching, he also served as the faculty adviser to the school newspaper, The Point News.
Dr. Messitte received his B.A. in American History and Italian language from Bowdoin College and his M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in American Foreign Policy and International Economics. He received his Ph.D. in Politics from New York University. He has received grants from The National Security Education Program, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Association of University Professors, and the Italian-American Foundation. His work has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Slate, Italy Daily, The Maryland Daily Record, The Johns Hopkins SAIS Review, The Johns Hopkins Bologna Center's Journal of International Affairs, Maryland Historical Magazine, The Oklahoman, World Literature Today, The Tulsa World, and The Washington Times. He is also the host of National Public Radio’s World Views, an international affairs interview program that was awarded first place in the interview/talk radio category by The Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists in 2010. Dr, Messitte is the co-editor of the forthcoming Understanding the Global Community (University of Oklahoma Press) with Dr. Suzette Grillot, the Associate Dean of the College of International Studies. The book is aimed at students of international and area studies with contributing essays by OU faculty members, including Dr. Messitte’s, “American Foreign Policy in the Age of Obama.”


Before entering academia, Zach Messitte served as a public information officer for the United Nations in New York and Vienna, Austria. He also worked as a researcher-producer at the Cable News Network's Washington bureau for national correspondent Judy Woodruff, and as the press spokesman for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington, DC. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Messitte grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland and is a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. He and his wife, Julia, have two sons.