Wilson Center Experts

Nancy Bernkopf Tucker

Senior Scholar
History and Public Policy Program

Professor of History at Georgetown University and at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
Wilson Center Project(s):
"The International Repercussions of America's Decline"
Sep 01, 2010
May 31, 2013

Nancy Bernkopf Tucker is an American diplomatic historian who specializes in American-East Asian relations, particularly United States relations with China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2007 she received a National Intelligence Medal of Achievement for distinguished meritorious service as the first Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analytic Integrity and Standards and Analytic Ombudsman in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In 1986-87, she served in the Office of Chinese Affairs in the Department of State and at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Previously she taught at Colgate University and New York University. She has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, the Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio Study Center), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the United States Institute of Peace, Harvard University, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as well as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow and recipient of generous research support from the Smith Richardson Foundation. She has been a member of the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation and the boards of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the National Committee on US-China Relations and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her Ph.D. is from Columbia University. Her most recent book, published in 2009, is entitled Strait Talk: US-Taiwan Relations and the Crisis with China which examines the political and security issues in the triangular relationship and her edited volume on contemporary problems in US-Taiwan-China relations and Taiwan affairs Dangerous Strait came out in 2005. She is the author of Uncertain Friendships: Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States, 1945-1992-- winner of a 1996 Bernath Book Prize of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Patterns in the Dust: Chinese-American Relations and the Recognition Controversy, 1949-1950, co-edited, Lyndon Johnson Confronts the World and edited and annotated China Confidential: American Diplomats and Sino-American Relations. Her essays have appeared in more than a dozen edited books and various journals including Foreign Affairs, Journal of American History, American Historical Review, Survival, Political Science Quarterly, Diplomatic History and the Washington Quarterly.


Ph.D.:  Columbia, 1980, American East Asian relations.
Master of Philosophy:  Columbia University, 1976, American East Asian relations.
Master of Arts:  Columbia University, 1973, Chinese history.
Certificate of the East Asian Institute:  Columbia, 1973.         
Bachelor of Arts:  Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 1970.

Major Publications

  • The China Threat: Memories, Myths and Realities in the 1950s  (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012)
  • Strait Talk: US-Taiwan Relations and the China Crisis (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2009)
  • Paperback edition 2011. Chinese language edition Taipei, Taiwan, forthcoming in 2012.
  • Edited/contributed. Dangerous Strait (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005).
  • Paperback edition released March 2007. compiled, edited/annotated, and introduced. China Confidential (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001).
  • Chinese language edition Taipei, Taiwan, 2002.
  • Uncertain Friendships: Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States: 1945-1992   (New York: Macmillan/Twayne, 1994).
  • Chinese language edition, Taipei, Taiwan, 1995.
  • Awarded Myrna Bernath Prize of the Society for Historians of American    Foreign Relations, 1996.
  • co-editor and contributor. Lyndon Johnson Confronts the World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
  • Patterns in the Dust: Chinese-American Relations and the Recognition Controversy,1949-1950 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983).
  • Chinese language edition, Center for Chinese American Relations, Fudan University, Shanghai, PRC, 2000. 
Previous Terms at the Wilson Center:
November 1, 2008 - August 31, 2010

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