David is one of the world’s leading commentators on Russian affairs. He is a former Moscow correspondent and the author of three books on Russia and the former Soviet Union as well as the director of an award winning documentary film about the fall of the Soviet Union. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.
David was born in Chicago in 1947 and graduated from the University of Chicago where he was the editor of the school newspaper, the Maroon. While a college journalist, he wrote an article about slum conditions on the West Side of Chicago that was published in the Maroon Magazine and then, in a revised version, in The New Republic, and received national attention. From 1968 to 1971, David attended Balliol College, Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and earned a B.Litt degree in political philosophy for a thesis on the political thought of Hannah Arendt. From 1972 to 1976, he worked as a police reporter for the Chicago Tribune and, in 1976, he was named Moscow correspondent of the Financial Times. He worked in Moscow for six years, from 1976 to 1982 at the height of Soviet power. During this time, he sought out Soviet citizens with the intention of preserving their accounts of the Soviet totalitarian system for posterity.
After completing his term in Moscow, David became a special correspondent on Soviet affairs for The Wall Street Journal, contributing to the paper’s editorial page. In 1990, he joined the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. In 1996, he joined the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS and and in 1998, he joined the Hudson Institute. From 2003 to 2008, he was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. In 2008, he was also a visiting professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since 2004, David has taught a course on contemporary Russian politics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced Academic Programs in Washington. In 2004 and 2005, he taught an undergraduate course in Russian politics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
David’s books about Russia are It Was a Long Time Ago and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past (Yale, 2011), Darkness at Dawn: the Rise of the Russian Criminal State (Yale, 2003), and Age of Delirium: the Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union (Knopf, 1996, paperback, Yale, 2001). His books have been translated into Russian, Estonian, Latvian, Czech, Portuguese and Vietnamese. Age of Delirium was made into a documentary film which won the 2013 Van Gogh Grand Jury Award for best film at the Amsterdam Film Festival. Since its release in 2011, the film has had more than 43 screenings in nine countries. [More information about the film is available at the film web site www.ageofdelirium.com.]
David has testified frequently on Russian affairs before Congressional committees. He has written extensively for the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, blogs on Russian affairs for National Review Online, and contributes regularly to the E-Notes published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. His articles and op-ed pieces have also appeared in Forbes.com, CNN.com, Bloomberg, National Review, The National Interest, The Weekly Standard and other publications. He is frequently interviewed in both Russian and English by Radio Liberty, the BBC Russian Service and the Voice of America and has appeared on CNN, BBC World, the Charlie Rose Show, C-Span, Al Jazeera and other networks.
In May, 2013, David became an adviser to Radio Liberty and in September, he moved to Moscow.