Saadia M. Pekkanen is the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle. In addition to this  appointment in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, she is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Adjunct Professor at the School of Law where she also teaches courses. She earned Master’s degrees from Columbia University and Yale Law School, and a doctorate from Harvard University in political science.

Her research reflects her training in international relations and international law, spanning the law and policy of outer space affairs, the geopolitics of critical infrastructure investment, and the foreign affairs of Japan in Asia and the world. She has published a half dozen book on these themes, bringing together economic, political, and legal strands to better analyze the changing fortunes of the contemporary world order.

She is strongly interested in connecting academic research to the broader policy world and the general public. Every class she teaches and every academic program she innovates aims to build a platform that educates and trains students to advance their own work, and to communicate its meaning and relevance to audiences beyond the ivory tower. This ethos guides her scholarship, teaching, and her own policy-relevant activities. She serves as Co-Chair of the U.S.-Japan Space Forum, and directs both the Space Security Initiative and the Emerging Frontiers project at the University of Washington.



Yale Law School, Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), 2004.

Harvard University, Department of Government, Ph.D. in Political Science, 1996.

University of Michigan Summer Training Program, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), Diploma in Quantitative Methods of Social Research, 1995.

Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (IUC), Diploma in Japanese, Tokyo, Japan, 1993.

Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, Masters in International Affairs, 1988.

Richmond University, B.A. (Honors), Economics and Computer Science (double major), London, England, 1986.


University of Washington, Seattle

Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, 2004-Present (2009, full professor).

Adjunct Professor, School of Law, 2009-Present.

Adjunct Professor, Department of Political Science, 2009-Present.



Email: smp1@uw.edu

Phone: (206) 543-6148

Fax: (206) 685-0668