Georgetown University

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MottoUtraque Unum
Subgroups• Center for Peace and Security Studies
• Georgetown University Law Center
Other nameHoyas

Georgetown University is a private university based in Washington DC. It of particular relevance on this project as some of the most prominent "terrorism experts" have studied and/or taught there. Until July 1987 it housed the highly influential CSIS.[1] In her study of the terrorism research field, Edna Reid describes how terrorism research at Georgetown University and its Center for Strategic and International Studies developed over the years in collaboration with other right-wing research centres and think-tanks:

During the 1970s, governments, international organizations, and research centers such as the RAND Corporation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Georgetown University, and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University... sponsored numerous terrorism conferences, research projects, specialized anthologies, study groups, and official inquiries into terrorism. The efforts helped to nurture terrorism research and create numerous forums which allowed cross-fertilization of ideas, sharing of resources, and creation of an invisible college of terrorism researchers. [2]

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Full article: Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) emerged from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (see below) at the height of the cold war. It was founded in 1962 by Arleigh Burke, who had just served three terms as US Chief of Naval Operations and David Abshire, a West Point graduate who had studied his PhD at Georgetown. The Center became a hub of Cold War propaganda and later developed into an important center of research into "terrorism". During the 1980s the semi-permanent terrorism experts at CSIS were Michael Ledeen, Walter Laqueur, Robert H. Kupperman and Ray Cline, but Yonah Alexander, Claire Sterling, Paul Henze, Arnaud de Borchgrave, and Robert Moss were also occasional participants in CSIS's activities bearing on terrorism.[3]

The link between Georgetown and CSIS was severed after the university launched a committee to evaluate the centre in 1986. That year The Washington Post reported concerns that CSIS had focused too much on its media presence whilst producing poor scholarship.[4] Whilst the Center itself moved elsewhere, some of the CSIS men remained with the university. Anthony H. Cordesman still a strategic analyst at CSIS, remained an associate professor at Georgetown until very recently, and CSIS founder David Abshire remained an adjunct professor at Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service for many years. He was awarded an honorary degree by Georgetown in 2006.[5]

CSIS became the think tank where most out-of-office intelligence officers congregated. During the Carter presidency, Stansfield Turner was appointed to head the CIA, and one of his primary activities was to get rid of the ultra-right-wing personnel, e.g., Cuban exiles, right-wing ideologues, or those involved in illegal covert activities. The more educated of the fired bunch ended at CSIS where the brooded and plotted to regain their previous posts or influence. During this time CSIS fellows were the source for many articles meant to fan the Cold War fears or indicate that the current intelligence efforts were not "defending America". Cercle member Robert Moss and de Borchgrave published The Spike, a book which was basically the CSIS's Cold Warriors' fantasies. After the Carter's defeat and Reagan's accession to office, most of the CSIS Cold Warriors returned to the intelligence agencies, or principal roles within the government.

The Edmund Walsh School

Although the CSIS link was severed over twenty years ago, Georgetown continues to be a centre of "terrorism expertise", pro-government propaganda and rightwing ideology. The bundle of ‘experts’ at Georgetown are mostly connected to its Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, which was the birthplace of CSIS. The School was founded in 1919 by the college dean, a Catholic priest and fanatical anti-communist called Edmund Walsh, who whilst at Georgetown had worked at the US War Department on a programme “designed to mobilise higher education’s resources for the war effort”.[6] Walsh is described by his biographer as a “proponent of American exceptionalism” who “viewed the [American] nation as a beacon of liberty and equality for the world.”[7] During the 1930s Walsh publicly opposed Roosevelt’s New Deal measures and during the cold war he endorsed a nuclear first strike on the basis that the Soviet were inherently immoral.[8] Expressing an ideological zeal common amongst neo-conservatives today, Walsh advocated what he called “the argument of strength justly and righteously employed.[9]

Center for Peace and Security Studies

Today a particular focal point for terrorism experts within the School of Foreign Service is the Center for Peace and Security Studies. Established in 2000 by Michael E. Brown, the Center’s declared mission is to ‘create a hub where the academic and policy communities meet’[10] The Center’s founder left to join George Washington University in 2005 and since then the Center has been headed by terrorism expert Daniel Byman. Byman is currently an expert at the Brookings Institution and previously spent five years at the RAND Corporation. One of Byman’s colleagues at the Center Bruce Hoffman is perhaps the most significant addition to Georgetown’s staff in recent years. Hoffman, whose employment at Georgetown was announced on 12 July 2006[11], is also a former RAND analyst. He helped set up the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrews University and is one of America’s most high profile terrorism experts. The Center for Peace and Security Studies also houses Paul Pillar, a former CIA analyst, prolific media pundit and Brookings Institution analyst.

Terrorism Research Center

An independent institution with strong affiliations to Georgetown is the Terrorism Research Center, a company funding largely by US government contacts with close associations with a number of corporate security companies. The Terrorism Research Center was founded in 1996 by Matthew Devost and Neal Pollard, both of whom are still adjunct facility members at Georgetown. The Center’s staff are made up almost entirely of Georgetown graduates. DFI International, which worked on a major government contract with the Terrorism Research Center was founded by Barry Blechman who studied his PhD at Georgetown and also taught there for a time.

Other Adjunct terrorism professors at Georgetown

More former staff, students and other connections

The rightwing ideologue Jeane Kirkpatrick taught at Georgetown for many years, and security consultant and lobbyist Neil Livingstone once served as an adjunct professor in Georgetown University's National Security Studies Program. Judith C. Areen, the current Dean of Georgetown University’s Law Center is a Non-Executive Director at the corporate security company Kroll Inc which has been involved in counter-terrorism. Several other prominent ‘terrorism experts’ are known to have studied at Georgetown. These include Mia Bloom, author of Dying to kill: the allure of suicide terror, Michael Noone a collaborator of Walter Laqueur, and the amateurish cyber-terrorism 'expert' Evan Kohlmann.


Alumni on Wikispooks

Jack Abramoff28 February 1958Lobbyist
Convicted lobbyist and founder of the International Freedom Foundation
David Addington22 January 1957War criminalThe "most powerful man you’ve never heard of" (2006) who was an energetic supporter of torture under George W. Bush.
John R. Allen15 December 1953Soldier
Deep state operative
A Retired US Marine Corps 4 star General
Roger Altman2 April 1946Banker
Robert Baer1 July 1952USSpook
Elizabeth Frawley Bagley13 July 1952Diplomat
Stephen Bannon27 November 1953Businessperson
José Manuel Barroso23 March 1956
Hunter Biden4 February 1970Lawyer
Patrick J. Buchanan2 November 1938Author
Robert CardilloSpook
Paul Clement24 June 1966Lawyer
Bill Clinton19 August 1946Spook
Deep politician
Charles Cook20 November 1953USPolitical analyst
Ivo Daalder2 March 1960Diplomat
Mitchell Daniels7 April 1949Politician
Deep state functionary
John Dean14 October 1938Lawyer
Edward Djerejian6 March 1939Diplomat
Mary Erdoes13 August 1967USBanker
Jay Freres193419 June 2015Diplomat
9-11/Premature death
USDSO who pressured Michael Springman to give visas in Jaddah. Supposed victim of a lightning strike.
Frank Gaffney5 April 1953Author
Described as "one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes"
Robert Gates25 September 1943Spook
Deep state actor
Jeffrey GedminAcademic
Rose Gottemoeller24 March 1953
Alexander Haig2 December 192420 February 2010Soldier
Civil servant
Philip Hart10 December 191226 December 1976Lawyer
Mazie Hirono3 November 1947Politician
James L. Jones19 December 1943Diplomat
James R. Jones5 May 1939Diplomat
Frank Keating2 February 1944Lawyer
John Kelly11 May 1950
Patrick Kennedy22 June 1949Diplomat
Robert M. Kimmitt19 December 1947Politician
James Kimsey15 September 19391 March 2016Businessperson
William Kintner21 April 19151 February 1997Diplomat
Ron Klain8 August 1961Put in charge of the US response to Ebola by Barack Obama
John Koeltl1945JudgeThe US judge who dismissed the DNC civil suit against Julian Assange “with prejudice”. In retirement he has attempted to defend the rights of those imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay.
Laura Kuenssberg1976UKTV journalist
Todd LeventhalPropagandist
Deep state operative
A writer at
Jack Lew29 August 1955
Robert Lighthizer11 October 1947Lawyer
Steve A. Linick
Hugo Llorens7 September 1954Diplomat
Joe Lockhart13 July 1959US
Robert Maheu30 October 19174 August 2008Spook
Deep state actor
Howard Hughes's right-hand man for many years. A deep state operative suspected of contracting Thane Eugene Cesar to assassinate RFK.
Paul Manafort1 April 1949USLawyer
Deep state operative
Eric Margolis1942Journalist
Terry McAuliffe9 February 1957Businessperson
Denis McDonough2 December 1969
Don McGahn16 June 1968
... further results


  1. RIGHT WEB, Group Watch Profile: Center for Strategic and International Studies, (accessed 19 June 2008)
  2. Edna F. Reid, Hsinchun Chen, ‘Mapping the contemporary terrorism research domain’, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 65 (2007) 42–56
  3. see Center for Strategic and International Studies, extract from The "Terrorism" Industry
  4. Alison Muscatine, ‘Georgetown's Media Profs; A University Thinks Hard About Its Think Tank’, The Washington Post, 11 May 1986
  5. Center for the Study of the Presidency, DAVID M. ABSHIRE, Ph.D. President and CEO (accessed 26 June 2008)
  6. Patrick McNamara, A Catholic Cold War: Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., and the Politics of anti-communism (Fordham University Press, 2005) p.5
  7. Patrick McNamara, A Catholic Cold War: Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., and the Politics of anti-communism (Fordham University Press, 2005) p.xv
  8. Patrick McNamara, A Catholic Cold War: Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., and the Politics of anti-communism (Fordham University Press, 2005) p.xvi
  9. quoted in Patrick McNamara, A Catholic Cold War: Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., and the Politics of anti-communism (Fordham University Press, 2005) p.141
  10. CPASS, About the Center for Peace and Security Studies, (accessed 19 June 2008)
  11. Georgetown University New, ‘Terrorism Expert Bruce Hoffman Joins Faculty’, 12 July 2006
  12. Global Terrorism Analysis