Nancy Bernkopf Tucker: Scholar and Public Servant

This essay is part of the H-Diplo International Security Studies Forum 35 (2022) on the Scholarship of Nancy Bernkopf Tucker.

Nancy Tucker is widely and appropriately recognized for her brilliant scholarship and teaching abilities, but too few know about her important contributions to the United States while serving at the State Department (1986-1987) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (2006-2007). Three factors account for this lack of recognition: Nancy’s self-effacing modesty, the propensity of academics to view even temporary assignments to government positions as digressions from serious scholarly activity, and the failure of government agencies to acknowledge individual contributions to what are inherently collective undertakings. This essay is intended both to illuminate Nancy’s contributions to the national security enterprise and to encourage other accomplished scholars to explore what they can gain from and contribute to the work of government agencies.