Historian Beverly Gage to head Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy

History professor Beverly Gage has been appointed the next director of Yale’s Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy (GS), announced President Peter Salovey on Feb. 22. Gage will assume her new post on July 1.

The president noted that he also will recommend Gage’s appointment as the Brady-Johnson Professor of Grand Strategy when the Yale Corporation meets later this spring. The chair was established in 2016 through the generosity of Nicholas F. Brady ’52 and Charles B. Johnson ’54, whose gift also helped expand the program in 2006.

“I am grateful to Professor Gage for her willingness to assume the directorship of this important program,” noted Salovey. “I know that she will provide energetic and dynamic leadership for Grand Strategy, and that she will develop excellent relationships with GS students, faculty, and alumni.”

The Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy seeks to promote effective leadership in a complex and fast-changing world. It encourages understanding of historical and contemporary global challenges, and develops students’ capacity for strategic thinking and common-sense problem solving.

“I am excited to be assuming the directorship of GS at this critical moment in our political history,” said Gage. “GS asks big questions about where we've been and where we're going, and about how to use history and the humanities to make sense of the contemporary world. As a specialist in U.S. political history, I am particularly eager to bring issues of domestic politics and social change into conversation with core GS interests in statecraft and global affairs.”

A 1994 graduate of Yale College, Gage is a historian of 20th-century American politics and society. She teaches courses on politics and government, liberalism and conservatism, communism and anticommunism, and the craft of historical writing. She has been affiliated with the Grand Strategy program for several years, working closely with students and faculty to develop historically informed perspectives on contemporary problems. She is the author of “The Day Wall Street Exploded,” a history of terrorism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries focused on the 1920 Wall Street bombing. She is currently writing a biography of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Her essays on politics and history appear regularly in The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other outlets. She has held leadership positions in the Department of History and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Senate, and recently served on the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming. In 2009, Gage received the Sarai Ribicoff Award for teaching excellence in Yale College.

Gage succeeds professor and head of Branford College Elizabeth Bradley, who is leaving Yale at the end of the academic year to become president of Vassar College.

“Professor Gage is an outstanding educator and scholar,” said Bradley. “We have had a wonderful time working together, and I am confident she will lead the GS program with great creativity and impact.”

In announcing Gage’s appointment, Salovey also thanked Bradley for her service, describing her as “an invaluable colleague and exemplary member of the Yale community.”  He noted, “Under Professor Bradley’s leadership, Grand Strategy has continued to flourish as a unique, innovative, and interdisciplinary program for undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students across the university.”

The Brady-Johnson Program has its roots in the Grand Strategy seminar founded in 2000 by faculty members John Lewis Gaddis, Paul Kennedy, and Charles Hill. Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History, went on to become the program’s inaugural director in 2006.

“Beverly Gage is a great choice for the GS directorship,” remarked Gaddis.  “Like Betsy Bradley, her predecessor, Bev will bring vigor, flair, and imagination to an already proven program.  I couldn’t be more pleased.”