Douglas Johnston

President Emeritus

Douglas M. Johnston is President Emeritus and founder of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy.

A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Dr. Johnston holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University and has served in senior positions in both the public and private sectors.  Among his government assignments, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy; Director of Policy Planning and Management in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and planning officer with the President’s Office of Emergency Preparedness.  He has taught courses in international security at Harvard and was the founding director of the university’s Executive Program in National and International Security.  Dr. Johnston is a Captain in the Naval Reserve and, at the age of 27, was the youngest officer in the navy to qualify for command of a nuclear submarine.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Johnston served as Executive Vice President and COO of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.  In addition to his managerial duties, he chaired the Center’s Preventive Diplomacy Program and its Maritime Studies program.  His publications include Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft (1994); Foreign Policy into the 21st Century:  the U.S. Leadership Challenge (1996); Faith-based Diplomacy:  Trumping Realpolitik (2003); Religion, Terror, and Error: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement; and Religion and Foreign Affairs: Essential Readings (2012).

In 2011, Religion, Terror, and Error won the “Book of the Year Award” by Foreword Reviews, the rating agency for universities and independent publishers. In October 2014, Dr. Johnston was honored by Georgetown University on the 20th Anniversary of the publication of his earlier work Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft. In February 2015, he received the inaugural Distinguished Scholar Award for Religion and International Affairs from the International Studies Association.

Dr. Johnston’s hands-on experience in the political/military arena coupled with his work in preventive diplomacy, has guided ICRD’s efforts to bridge religion and politics in support of peacemaking in Sudan, Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. He holds an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters and in 2008 was identified in a leading Christian journal as “The Father of Faith-based Diplomacy.”

“Life is a miracle and should be treated as such.”
~ Douglas Johnston

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