Michael Schmitt

Francis Lieber Distinguished Scholar


Professor Michael N. Schmitt is the Francis Lieber Distinguished Scholar at West Point’s Lieber Institute. He is also Professor of Public International Law at the University of Reading (UK), Distinguished Scholar and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Texas, and professor emeritus at the United States Naval War College. He was previously Chairman of the Naval War College’s Stockton Center for International Law and Dean of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany. Professor Schmitt served 20 years in the United States Air Force as a judge advocate specializing in operational and international law. In 1996 he graduated first in class from the Naval War College's College of Naval Warfare.

From 2007 through 2008, Professor Schmitt occupied the Charles H. Stockton Visiting Chair of International Law at the Naval War College. He has been invited to serve as the Sir Ninian Stephen Visiting Scholar at Melbourne University, Visiting Distinguished Fellow at Emory Law School's International Humanitarian Law Clinic, Visiting Scholar at Australian National University and Visiting Scholar Yale Law School. Additionally, he has delivered the United Nation's Association (UK) Annual Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture, James Crawford Lecture at Adelaide Law School, Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture at Melbourne University, Hilaire McCoubrey Lecture at Hull University and Waldemar Solf Lecture at the US Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. The General Editor of the Lieber Studies series (OUP), Professor Schmitt serves on many boards of institutions, learned and professional societies, and publications dealing with international humanitarian law. A fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, in 2017 he was awarded the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana by the President of Estonia for his contributions to cyber defence and in 2018 named the Naval War College’s Research Scholar of the Year.

Professor Schmitt has participated in multiple international expert working groups, including those on the Manual on the International Law of Air and Missile Warfare (Harvard Program on Conflict Research), Direct Participation by Civilians in Hostilities (ICRC), Characterization of Conflict (Chatham House), and, as Project Director, the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations. The author of over 160 publications, his works on law and military affairs have been published around the world. Professor Schmitt’s academic degrees include a D.Litt (Durham University), JD (University of Texas), LL.M (Yale University), MA (Naval War College), and MA (Texas State University).