Marine Corp War College
William Morgan, Ph.D.

Dr. Morgan is Professor of Strategic Studies and Course Director for Diplomacy & Statecraft at the Marine Corps War College®. He joined MCWAR® in 2010 after retiring from the Department of State, where he spent 31 years in the Foreign Service.

Aside from domestic postings, Dr. Morgan spent twenty years abroad in six foreign assignments. In 1979, he was assigned to the American Consulate, Johannesburg, South Africa, as assistant director of the American Cultural Center. At the American Consulate in Maracaibo in 1981, he handled media and public diplomacy operations in western Venezuela. From 1984-89, he worked at the American Consulate Fukuoka supervising press, cultural, and public diplomacy operations in western Japan. After two years heading the old U.S. Information Agency's (USIA) Japan-Korea Desk, he spent four years as Press Attache/Spokesman in the American Embassy Tokyo. In 1995 he was assigned to Budapest, Hungary, as Counselor for Public Diplomacy. He won the Leonard Marks Award for Public Affairs, USIA's second highest award, for planning and directing the mission's successful 18-month media campaign to persuade the Hungarian people to vote for NATO membership in the November 1997 national referendum.

During 1999-2001, he was deputy director and then acting director of the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program, which annually brings roughly 5,000 young foreign officials and other professionals to the U.S. for month-long study trips. From 2001-03, he was the first State Department Chair at MCWAR. He served in the State Department’s Office of Human Resources, administering oral exams to six hundred candidates for the Foreign Service.

He then returned to Tokyo as Minister for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, overseeing country-wide media, cultural, and educational operations. Back home in 2007, he was a visiting scholar in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he taught US-Japan relations, National Security and Public Diplomacy. His final assignment in the State Department was Director of Intelligence Analysis for East Asia and the Pacific in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

Morgan received a Ph.D. in history from the Claremont Graduate University in 1979, specializing in diplomatic history and East Asian studies. From 1969-1972, he served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and in the Marine Reserves until 1979, leaving the Reserves as a major. He served at Camp Pendleton, MCAS Futenma, and MCAS Iwakuni, as well as aboard the U.S.S. Preble and U.S.S. Reeves.

Selected Publications

  • Pacific Gibraltar:  U.S.-Japan Rivalry Over the Annexation of Hawai`i, 1885-1898 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011).

  • “The Cuban Missile Crisis at 60:  Where We Stand,” Marine Corps History, Summer 2023.

  • “A Case Can Be Made:  The Value of Historical Case Studies for Contemporary Policy Analysis,” Marine Corps History, Summer 2018.

  • "Pacific Dominance:  The United States Versus Japan," in James Lacey, editor, Great Strategic Rivalries (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2016).

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