Biden's Scandal-Plagued Iran Envoy Lands Ivy League Gigs Amid FBI Investigation

Princeton and Yale tap Robert Malley to teach classes after he allegedly mishandled classified info

Robert Malley (Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty Images)
August 16, 2023

Amid an FBI investigation into his alleged mishandling of classified information, embattled U.S. Iran envoy Robert Malley has been offered plum academic gigs at two Ivy League colleges.

Princeton and Yale universities both announced Tuesday that Malley will join their staff while he is on extended leave from the State Department after his security clearance was yanked under mysterious circumstances. Neither school mentioned in their announcements that Malley is currently the focus of an FBI investigation.

At Princeton, Malley will work alongside former Iranian official Seyed Mousavian, a nuclear policy specialist at the school who came under fire last year for bragging about the Islamic Republic’s efforts to assassinate former Trump administration official, Brian Hook, Malley’s predecessor at the State Department.

Malley’s entry into the Ivy League is already raising eyebrows within Congress and Washington, D.C.’s foreign policy community, particularly since the sidelined diplomat is still entangled in an unresolved FBI probe. Neither school responded to a Washington Free Beacon request for comment on whether Malley's alleged security lapses gave them pause.

Malley will lend both schools his expertise after spending the past two years in the Biden administration working to secure a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal, efforts that included waiving sanctions on Tehran to give it access to potentially billions in frozen funds.

In its announcement, Yale touted Malley as one of the "leading practitioners" in the field of foreign affairs. While at Yale, Malley will teach courses and mentor students as a senior fellow.

Princeton said that Malley will "teach a graduate course this fall on foreign policy decision-making, and one to two undergraduate courses in the spring focused on some combination of diplomacy, negotiation, and foreign policy."

Malley is just the latest Princeton scholar to come under fire for friendly ties to Iran’s hardline regime.

Former Iranian official Mousavian has been employed by the school for years, and has survived several pressure campaigns to see him fired over his continued support for the hardline regime’s pro-terrorism policies. Princeton is also facing a lawsuit from former graduate student Xiyue Wang, who alleges the school engaged in gross misconduct when it pushed him to study in Iran, where he ended up being unjustly arrested and detained for three years.

Amaney Jamal, the dean of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs, where Malley will be hosted, also has drawn scrutiny in recent months over her role as an adviser to student Elizabeth Tsurkov, an Israeli researcher who was abducted earlier this year by an Iraqi militia group linked to Iran.

"I think Malley will fit in really well at Princeton—it's a top notch program with other Iran experts like Seyed Mousavian, who oversaw assassinations of Iranian dissidents while the Islamic Republic's Ambassador to Germany and who gloated on Iranian state TV about death threats to Malley's predecessor, former Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook," said Gabriel Noronha, a senior Iran adviser at the State Department in the Trump administration.

Malley, Noronha added, "will have a strong ally in Dean Amaney Jamal, who refused to respond to multiple inquiries or take any corrective action when Mousavian broke Princeton's code of conduct by laughing about these death threats."

Republican lawmakers—who have already launched multiple investigations into the Biden administration’s efforts to stonewall probes into Malley’s conduct—expressed shock that a prominent school would hire a diplomat enmeshed in controversy.

"Apparently, the reward for selling out our nation to Iran and losing your security clearance is a cushy gig in the Ivy League," Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Free Beacon on Wednesday.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a Princeton alumni, called the decision "pitiful" in a Tuesday tweet.