malley's moves

Suspended Iran envoy Rob Malley joins Yale faculty amid federal investigation

Malley’s appointment as a senior fellow at Yale’s Jackson School was announced the same day that Princeton announced he is slated to teach at its School of Public and International Affairs


Robert Malley, Biden administration special envoy for Iran, waits to testify about the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations on Capitol Hill May 25, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley, who is on leave from the State Department while under federal investigation, will join Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs this semester as a senior fellow, in addition to a widely publicized faculty appointment at Princeton. 

Malley has been on leave from the State Department since at least June amid an investigation into his alleged mishandling of federal documents. The FBI is investigating the matter, CBS News reported in June. 

The announcements from Yale’s Jackson School and Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs did not mention Malley’s suspension from the State Department, or the document probe. 

“While I am on leave from the State Department, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the next generation of public servants at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University,” Malley said in a Princeton press release announcing Malley’s appointment as a John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professor and Visiting Lecturer. A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs did not respond to a request for comment. 

Similarly, Yale’s website says only that Malley is “on leave from the U.S. State Department where he had been serving as Special Envoy for Iran since January 28, 2021.” A Jackson School spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. 

It is not clear whether Malley’s faculty appointments at Yale and Princeton — where the fall semester lasts until December — signal that he will remain on leave from the State Department for that length of time. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on Monday, and a Department of Justice spokesperson declined to comment on the investigation. 

Malley was one of the key architects of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Under President Joe Biden, Malley has led U.S. negotiating efforts to reenter the deal, which former President Donald Trump left in 2018. Secretary of State Tony Blinken has defended Malley during his suspension, while congressional Republicans have expressed frustration about a lack of information shared with them about the case.  
Malley also serves on the advisory board of Brown University’s Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a law degree from Harvard.

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.