Mary Thompson-Jones, Ed.D.

Professor National Security Affairs
Mary Thompson-Jones


Career diplomat, professor, and published author on U.S. foreign policy and the practice of diplomacy. Her book, “To the Secretary: Leaked Embassy Cables and America’s Foreign Policy Disconnect” (Norton 2016), was praised by Joseph Nye as “a fascinating account of how diplomacy really works from the bottom up.” Her diplomatic experience spans a 23-year career as a foreign service officer in leadership roles in the Czech Republic, Canada, Guatemala, Spain, and Washington, D.C. She retired with the rank of Minister-Counselor and is the recipient of several Superior and Meritorious Honor awards. Before coming to the USNWC, she directed a master’s program at Northeastern University.

Areas of Expertise

  • Arctic
  • Diplomacy
  • Europe
  • Foreign Policy
  • National Security
  • NATO

Professional Highlights


Professor and Chair of Women in National Security and Diplomacy

Teaches Theater Security Decision Making and National Security Decision Making; research interests include diplomacy, public diplomacy, Europe, NATO, and the Arctic Circle. Was named to the Chair of Women in National Security and Diplomacy in November.

Author, To the Secretary: Leaked Embassy Cables and America's Foreign Policy Disconnect

(Norton, 2016). Book analyzes contents of the Wikileaks cables from U.S. embassies; was reviewed favorably in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, NPR, and Lawfare. Spoke at Stanford, USC, Tufts, and World Affairs Councils in Boston, Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, Wichita, and Portsmouth.

Faculty Director, Global Studies and International Relations, Northeastern University

Directed the master's program that grew from 90 to more than 500 students delivering classes in online and classroom format. Taught foundation courses and electives, hired and evaluated faculty, revised curriculum, served 18 months as interim director of the Doctorate in Law and Policy program.

Dean, International Graduate Programs, Endicott College

Oversaw all overseas graduate programs and advised the vice president on international program viability; co-chaired the International Committee; served on the advanced graduate committee, taught International Relations, U.S. Foreign Policy, and the History of U.S. Higher Education.

U.S. Department of State Diplomat in Residence for New England

Senior Diplomat representing the State Department to academia, think tanks, and civic groups across New England. Advised hundreds of college students on internships and careers in the Foreign Service and served as frequent guest lecturer, panelist, and conference speaker on the practice of diplomacy.

Chief of Mission (Charge d'Affaires) U.S. Embassy Prague

Promoted to the rank of Minister-Counselor for leading the U.S. Embassy through the Czech Presidency of the European Union; hosted two visits from President Obama; hosted Vice President Biden, several senior cabinet members, and Congressional delegations.

Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Prague

Led a staff of 260 American and local hires; supervised agency heads from departments of Defense, FBI, CIA, FCS, FAS, and Office of Naval Research. Crafted strategic communication to gain Czech support for U.S. foreign policy goals in Iraq, Afghanistan, and NATO; raised visibility on trade issues.

Branch Chief, Educational Information and Resources, U.S. Department of State

Led the State Dept.'s Education USA network of 450 advisers in 170 countries, managed a budget of $10 million and a Washington and overseas staff of 16. Drafted the concept paper and traveled with Education Secretary Spellings and 12 university presidents on a recruiting trip to East Asia.

Counselor for Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy Guatemala

Directed a 12-member team devising media strategies to advance U.S. policy initiatives on trade (CAFTA), human rights, and democracy. Organized a 19-country conference on the future of binational centers convening a thousand English teachers, librarians, and State Dept. officials.

Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate, Montreal

Responsible for all public affairs program in five Eastern Canadian provinces and economic reporting for Quebec. Wrote on border security post-9/11, softwood lumber, the Arctic, and the hydroelectric industry. Coordinated White House press support for the Quebec City Summit of the Americas.


Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, Higher Education Management

M.A., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Law and Diplomacy

B.S., California State University, Political Science and Journalism

C.V. or Resume

Research Contributions and Publications

Awards and Decorations

Superior Honor Award, outstanding leadership
U.S. Embassy Prague

Meritorious Honor Award, superior public diplomacy work
U.S. Embassy Guatemala

Meritorious Honor Award, Summit of the Americas press advance work
U.S. Consulate Montreal

Sustained Superior Performance Award, planning and coordination
WHA Bureau

Superior Group Honor Award, Nazi Gold Report
State Department

Meritorious Honor Award, Press Attache
U.S. Embassy Prague

The Edmund Gullion Prize
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

The Robert B. Steward Prize
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

External Memberships and Associations

Council on Learned Societies
Title IX Consultant

Boston Committee on Foreign Affairs

Public Diplomacy Advisory Council

Public Diplomacy Alumni Association

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.