Jonathan B. Isacoff

Dr. Jonathan Isacoff is Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at Gonzaga University.  Dr. Isacoff was the founding chair of the Environmental Studies Department at Gonzaga and served in that role from 2006 till 2015.  He received his B.A. and M.P.A. from Cornell University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.  He worked previously as a Confidential Assistant to Governor Mario M. Cuomo of New York and as a consultant for MeretzUSA, an Israeli-American NGO based in New York.

Dr. Isacoff’s book, Writing the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Pragmatism and Historical Inquiry (Lexington Books, 2006) examines interpretations of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as the broader issue of political science historical research.  Dr. Isacoff has published articles, book chapters, and book reviews on international security, historical interpretation, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Iraq War, and the political thought of John Dewey.  

Dr. Isacoff’s most recent articles have appeared in Perspectives on Politics, the flagship journal of the American Political Science Association (APSA), Journal of Political Science EducationPerspectives on Political ScienceMillennium: Journal of International StudiesInternational Relations, and Western Birds (forthcoming).

Dr. Isacoff teaching interests include war and peace, Middle Eastern politics, and environmental politics.  He has taught First Year Seminars and Service Learning courses.  Dr. Isacoff especially interested in interdisciplinary teaching and has co-taught with faculty in Religious Studies and Biology. He was awarded an Exemplary Faculty Award from Gonzaga in 2012.  He taught previously at Saint Joseph’s University, Haverford College, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he won the Graduate Student Association Council Award for Teaching Excellence in 1999.

Dr. Isacoff has traveled extensively in the Middle East.  He studied Arabic for 4 years and Hebrew for 2 years.  He studied at Middlebury College Language School and at the Palestine Abraham Center for Languages in Gaza.  In addition, he was a Brandeis University Schusterman Center Israel Studies Fellow during 2017.

Dr. Isacoff is an avid birder and outdoorsperson.  He is currently Secretary and Board Member of the Dishman Hills Conservancy.  He has served on the boards of the Spokane Audubon Society and the Washington Ornithological Society (WOS), and as Hiking Committee Chair for the Spokane Mountaineers.  He is also a regional reviewer for the Cornell University Lab or Ornithology’s eBird citizen science project.