President Messitte with Students

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About Ripon | President Messitte

Office of the President

Dr. Zach Messitte is the 13th president of Ripon College.  Prior to assuming the presidency at Ripon in July 2012, he served as the dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma where he has also held the William J. Crowe Chair in Geopolitics.

A teacher first, Dr. Messitte was in the classroom every semester at Oklahoma, leading courses on American foreign policy, introduction to international studies and senior seminars on foreign policy, media and film. He plans to begin teaching at Ripon during the 2013-14 academic year.

The author of numerous articles, he is the co-editor of a new book, Understanding the Global Community, and hosted World Views, an award-winning program on National Public Radio from 2009-2012.

From 2002 to 2007 he was the Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy and a member of the political science faculty at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the state’s honors liberal arts college.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil while his parents were working in the Peace Corps, Dr. Messitte grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He received a bachelor’s degree in American history and Italian language from Bowdoin College, a master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in politics from New York University.

Prior to entering academia, he worked for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the United Nations and the Cable News Network (CNN). He and his wife, Julia, have two sons: Sam and Jules.

Recent Articles & Scholarly Work

Recent Articles:

“Ben Bradlee, Spiro Agnew and the ‘Gray-Haired Grandmother Defense,’” The Baltimore Sun, October 29, 2014.

“It’s time to lower the drinking age,”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 14, 2014

“Going after the CIA’s new family jewels,”Chicago Sun-Times, March 19, 2014

“History lessons, with popcorn, for America’s undergraduates,” Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2014

“College’s Rising Returns,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 6, 2014

Disgraced Spiro Agnew Would Have a Radio Show Today,” (with Charles J. Holden) Chicago Sun-Times, October 10, 2013

True Student Athletes Are in Division III,” (with Tom Kunkel) The Wisconsin State Journal, September 21, 2013

“Time to Rethink Redskins Name,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 9, 2013

“College Is Not for Suckers” (with Ruth Vedvik), Chicago Sun-Times, December 26, 2012

Shopping for the Best College Deal” (with Ruth Vedvik), St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 20, 2012

“Making College Worth the Time, Money,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 27, 2012

“When Well Educated Politicians Cry ‘Snob’” (with Charles J. Holden), The Baltimore Sun, March 8, 2012.


Recent Scholarly Work:

Zach Messitte and Suzette Grillot (eds.), Understanding the Global Community, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press) 2013.

Zach Messitte and Suzette Grillot (eds.), Getting to Know Arezzo, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press) forthcoming.


Recent Interviews:

2013 Predictions: Global Events, Interview on National Public Radio’s World Views on KGOU radio in Oklahoma, December 28, 2012

KFIZ Radio Interview, July 9, 2012

As host of National Public Radio’s World Views on KGOU Radio in Oklahoma, March 2009-July 2012