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Joseph A. Ledford

Joseph A. Ledford is an America in the Wold Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Graduate Student Affiliate of the Institute of International Studies at Berkeley.

Joseph specializes in the history of U.S. foreign relations and the American presidency. He is also concerned with the strategic thinking that informs national security and the use of military force, maintaining a broad interest in matters of intelligence, strategy, and war. 

Joseph is presently completing a study of the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the Iran-Contra affair. In his dissertation, Restoring the Presidency: A Reagan Revolution and the Iran-Contra Affair, Joseph examines the intersection of domestic politics and foreign policy that produced the Iran-Contra affair and shows how the resulting crisis of the presidency transformed American governance. Of all the pivotal events during the Reagan era, his dissertation reveals that Iran-Contra was the most consequential for both U.S. foreign policy and the post-Cold War American presidency.

Additionally, Joseph is currently serving as a teaching assistant for the class “The Modern American Political Campaign” taught by Karl Rove.

Joseph’s writing has appeared in the Journal of Military History, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, and on H-War. His research has received support from institutions such as the Everett M. Dirksen Congressional Center, and the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Services at Texas A&M University.