Philip J. “P.J.” Crowley, former United States assistant Secretary of State for public affairs, has been named as the 2011-2012 recipient of the General Omar N. Bradley Joint Chair in Strategic Leadership. While in residence, Crowley will conduct classes at Dickinson College, the U.S. Army War College and Penn State University Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs. Crowley will teach a course on media and national security policy course when his residency begins in August.
President Barack Obama nominated Crowley to be Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs in the U.S. Department of State in 2009. Previously, he served as Special Assistant to the President for national security affairs and Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration. Across a 30-year government career, Crowley was a 26-year veteran of the United States Air Force and served in Turkey, Germany, and at the United States Air Force Academy. During the Kosovo conflict, he worked under Javier Solana, Secretary General of NATO, helping to develop a strategic communication capability to keep American and European publics informed about military operations, but also counteract deliberate efforts by the Serbian government to use state-controlled media coverage to undercut public support for the NATO campaign. He retired from the Air Force in 1999 as a colonel.
Prior to joining the Department of State, Crowley was a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress, with a particular policy focus on homeland security and combating terrorism in ways that are consistent with the rule of law and can sustain long-term public support.
His research and teaching interests will focus on national security policy, public diplomacy and the impact of the global media environment on conflict, policy and politics. “I will use current developments such as Guantanamo, WikiLeaks and the unfolding Middle East transformation to discuss how the U.S. deploys military, civilian and economic power in a manner consistent with its values and interests,” Crowley said.
Crowley recently made headlines for his comments on the treatment of Private Bradley Manning, who was detained in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., for allegedly providing classified documents to WikiLeaks. Speaking to an MIT seminar class in March, Crowley referred to Manning’s maximum custody, solitary confinement as “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” In public comments following his resignation, Crowley called the disclosure of classified information “a serious crime under U.S. law,” but took full responsibility for his remarks, and noted that his comments “were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership. The exercise of power in today’s challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values.” In April, Manning was transferred to new a detention facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he is able to interact with other detainees under conditions that more closely resemble normal pre-trial confinement.
The General Omar N. Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership is a joint initiative among the United States Army War College, Dickinson College and Penn State University Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs. Its objective is to advance the study of strategic leadership and enhance civilian-military dialogue by offering distinguished individuals the opportunity to contribute to the educational and research activities of the partner institutions. Previous chair-holders include former director of national intelligence and retired United States Navy four-star Admiral Dennis Blair and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist Rick Atkinson.
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