S. Frederick Starr




S. Frederick Starr is the founding chairman of the Central Asia -Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program, a joint transatlantic research and policy center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Institute (AFPC) in Washington and the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm. Dr. Starr is Distinguished Fellow for Eurasia at AFPC. 

Starr is author of the widely acclaimed Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. In this book on the history of the region between the 8th and 11th centuries, he argues that Central Asia was the center of the world. Lost Enlightenment has been translated into 20 languages, and received widespread praise by regional leaders, including Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Starr is currently working on a follow-up volume, a dual biography of eleventh-century Central Asian luminaries Al-Biruni and Ibn Sina.  

Starr has focused on the challenge of reopening continental-wide transport passing through Central Asia and Afghanistan. This issue was the subject of a series of articles between 2000 and 2008 and of a book, The New Silk Roads, published in 2007.  He is a frequent commentator on the affairs of the region, and the author of numerous articles in journals including Foreign Affairs and op-eds in various leading American and international newspapers

Starr was the founding Chairman of the Kennan Institute in Washington, and served as Vice President of Tulane University and President of Oberlin College (1983-94).  He was closely involved in planning the University of Central Asia and the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy and is a trustee of the Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan.  He earned his PhD in History at Princeton, MA at King’s College, Cambridge, and his BA at Yale, and holds five honorary degrees. Starr is also a founding member of the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble of New Orleans and founded the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the single largest non-governmental sponsor of post-Katrina recovery in that city. He has written four books on New Orleans, including New Orleans UnmasquedSouthern Comfortand Inventing New Orleans: The Writings of Lafcadio Hearn.


Selected Publications

CoverS. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, Strong and Unique: Three Decades of U.S.-Kazakhstan Partnerhsip, CACI/SRSP, 2021. 

S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, Long Game on the Silk Road: US and EU Strategy for Central Asia and the Caucasus, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, eds., Uzbekistan's New Face, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, eds., Putin' Grand Strategy: The Eurasian Union and Its Discontents, CACI/SRSP, September 2014.

lost-enlightenmentS. Frederick Starr, Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane, Princeton University Press, 2013.

S. Frederick Starr, ed., The Ferghana Valley: The Heart of Central Asia, M.E. Sharpe, 2011.

S. Frederick Starr, ed.,  The New Silk Roads, CACI/SRSP, 2007. 


Publications in Silkroad Database