HomeAbout MCUFacultyAcademic Chairs and ScholarsDonald M. Bishop


Donald M. Bishop, CHAIR

Donald M. Bishop joined Marine Corps University as the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications in 2016.  The Chair is sponsored by the Marine Corps University Foundation.

Mr. Bishop was a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  

His first round of Foreign Service assignments were to Hong Kong; Taegu and Seoul, Korea; and Taipei, Taiwan. In Washington, he was a Congressional Fellow, and he directed the training of the Foreign Service's incoming Public Diplomacy officers.  Returning overseas, he directed U.S. Public Diplomacy programs in Bangladesh, Nigeria, and twice in China.

In 2006, Mr. Bishop was detailed to the Pentagon as the Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, and then to the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General Norton Schwartz. Traveling with these two members of the JCS, he visited five continents and joined service planning to develop strong relationships with the armed forces of other nations.

At the request of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Mr. Bishop led communication and Public Diplomacy at the American Embassy in Afghanistan as the "civilian surge" began. In Kabul he helped develop the Afghan government's relations with the media, and to cooperate with the U.S. and NATO commands.  Other portfolios included media relations, education and exchanges, English teaching, the preservation of cultural heritage sites, and the network of Lincoln Learning Centers throughout Afghanistan.

Before joining the MCU faculty, he was director of communications at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China; served a term as President of the Public Diplomacy Council; and participated in four U.S. Army brigade exercises at Fort Polk, Louisiana, as a role player.

Before entering the Foreign Service, Mr. Bishop was an Air Force officer. He served in Vietnam and Korea. From 1975 to 1979, he taught history on the faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was a member of the summer training cadre for the first Academy class that included women.

Articles, Essays, Op-eds, Speeches [Partial list]


Revisiting the Four Freedoms
The Foundation: Marine Corps University Press Magazine, Summer, 2019


David Rosenberg: Overseasmanship Pioneer
U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, November, 2018


The Instruments of U.S. Informational Power Need to Work Together
publicdiplomacy.org, October 5, 2018


Pulling the String: Letter to a Fallen Airman
American Aviation Historical Society Journal, vol. 63, issue 1


Operational Public Diplomacy: The Enduring and the New
American Diplomacy, Fall 2018


DIME not DiME: Time to Align the Instruments of U.S. Informational Power
The Strategy Bridge, June 20, 2018


The Three Spectacles of PyeongChang
TheHill, February 21, 2018


Don't Know Much About History
Vital Speeches of the Day, vol. 83, no. 7


For American Public Diplomacy, No Time to Waste [submitted title]
The Hill Online, November 16, 2016


Religious Liberty, not Religious Tolerance
American Diplomacy, June, 2015


Public Diplomacy:  Time to Debate Change, Continuity, and Doctrine
American Diplomacy, February, 2015


This is My Country: Constitution and Citizenship Day
Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 17, 2014


Take It From a Marine:  Lead with Lingo, Manage with Metaphors
Marine Corps Gazette, August, 2014


U.S. Public Diplomacy: Three Challenges
Ambassador’s Review, Spring, 2014
The speech was reprinted in the professional journal of the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center:  IOSphere, Winter 2103, pp. 7-10.


A Quote for My Marquee
Foreign Service Journal, March, 2014


Sources of State Department Senior Leadership
Diplopundit, November 2014, 2014


Time for Straight Talk
Review of State of Disrepair:  Fixing the Culture and Practices of the State Department by Kori N. Schake
Foreign Service Journal, October, 2012, p. 65.



Blogs [Partial list]


A USIA legend: Douglas Pike, Vietnam, and counterinsurgency
Public Diplomacy Council Blog 2019 (July 14)


Xi Jinping on Art and Culture
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, July 1, 2019


Disappointment and hope for development in Africa
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, June 25, 2019


"Countering" is Not Enough
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, May 29, 2019


A Case Study of Information Operations and Public Diplomacy: Sierra Leone, 2000
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, March 24, 2019


What Can Public Diplomacy Learn from a Fighter Pilot?
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, March 11, 2019


Lessons of Counterinsurgency: A Word from Barry Zorthian
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, December 26, 2018


Public Diplomacy: Old organization, New Trends, and Ways Forward
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, November 9, 2018


Public Diplomacy, Not Development
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, October 31, 2018


Now, not Later!  Capture the Lessons Learned
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, June 17, 2018


"Tell Me More"
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, May 22, 2018


Public Diplomacy in a Time of Partisanship
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, May 9, 2018


Can the Foreign Service Learn from the Marines?
Public Diplomacy Council Blog, April 28, 2018



Book Reviews

Time for Straight Talk

Review of State of Disrepair:  Fixing the Culture and Practices of the State Department by Kori N. Schake

Foreign Service Journal, October, 2012, p. 65.



The “Fun House Mirror” and “Moribund” Public Diplomacy

Review of Through a Screen Darkly by Martha Bayles
American Diplomacy, April 2014


Professional Newsletter

The “I” in U.S. power – “I” for “Informational” – can be applied by Public Affairs, Public Diplomacy, the five USG international broadcasting networks, and by the armed forces’ Information Operations.  I flag and gist key articles from specialized journals related to these fields and send them to several hundred civilian and military practitioners in these fields.  Since the first issue in 2015, I’ve sent out 500+ full “quotable” gists and 3500+ shorter “seen on the web” notes.  Here’s one: