Saadia Pekkanen

Professor, Founding Director, QUAL Program, and Founding Director, Space Law, Data and Policy Program
Saadia Pekkanen



Saadia M. Pekkanen is the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Endowed Professor at the University of Washington in 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. She earned Master’s degrees from Columbia University and Yale Law School, and a doctorate from Harvard University in government.

She works at the intersection of international relations and international law, specializing in the commercial, legal, and security policies shaping outer space affairs. Her regional expertise is in the foreign affairs of Japan and Asia, engaging broader themes of states, strategy and grand strategy, industrial policy, alliances, and governance in the world order. At the Jackson School, she is the founding director of the Qualitative Methods Program (QUAL). At the School of Law, she is the founding director of the Space Law, Data and Policy Program (SPACE LDP). She has published 8 books, as well as articles in venues such as American Journal of International Law Unbound, International Studies Quarterly, and International Security.

She is a member of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and a lifetime member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR).


  • 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 (IUC), Diploma in Japanese, Tokyo, Japan, 1993
  • Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Masters in International Affairs (M.I.A.), 1988
  • Richmond University, B.A. (Honors), London, England, 1986

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