Alumni (National Fellow)

Steve Porter

National Fellow
Ph.D. University of Chicago (2006)
Professional Sector:
Dream Mentor:
Akira Iriye
Harvard University
Fields of Interest:
American Political Development
Foreign Policy
Human Rights
Immigration Policy
International Relations
Legal History
Social History
The Cold War


Stephen Porter is an associate professor of history at University of Cincinnati. At UC, he has served as director of the International Human Rights Certificate, chair of the Tolley Scholarship in International Human Rights, and chair of the Taft Center’s Human Rights Research Group. A former fellow of the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, he has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. Porter’s research explores the intersection of humanitarianism and U.S. power over the long twentieth century as experienced both internationally and domestically. He is particularly interested in the ways that state and civil society actors have collaborated, harmoniously and otherwise, in innovative governing initiatives seeking to justify themselves significantly through an embrace of ethical rationales. He has considered these issues in his book, “Benevolent Empire: U.S. Power, Humanitarianism, and the World’s Dispossessed” (University of Pennsylvania Press, Oct. 2016), published essays, and professional presentations.

Thesis Description:

Defining Public Responsibility in a Global Age: Refugee Resettlement in the U.S., 1933 to 1980

Connect with our community

View Alumni



The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

Read more

David and Jane Walentas

A transformational gift for UVA — $100 million to benefit first-generation students

Read more


The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship.

Read more