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Donald M. Bishop

The Donald Bren Chair of Strategic Communications

Contact Information

Phone: (703) 432-4557
Email: donald.bishop@usmcu.edu
Areas of Interest: Public Diplomacy, Political-military affairs, East Asia


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.


Selected Publications

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
The Hill, 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: