Professor Nancy Bernkopf Tucker
Students and faculty in the Georgetown Department of History are profoundly saddened by the loss of our esteemed colleague, teacher, and friend, Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, who passed away at her home on December 1, 2012.
A renowned scholar of United States-East Asian relations, Nancy was the one of the world’s preeminent experts on the history, diplomacy, and politics of U.S.-China relations and on the cross-Strait relationship between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. She was a prolific author whose work was distinguished both by the most rigorous standards of multi-archival scholarship and by its nuanced analytical engagement with various dimensions of diplomatic relations—economic and cultural as well as ideological, political, and military.
Nancy was the author or editor of seven books, including Uncertain Friendships: Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States, 1945-1992, which received the 1996 Myrna F. Bernath Book Prize, awarded biannually by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Her most recent book, The China Threat: Memories, Myths and Realities in the 1950s (Columbia University Press) appeared in May 2012. Her many articles were published in the leading historical journals of the United States, including The American Historical Review, Political Science Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, Diplomatic History, as well as in influential public forums such as The Washington Quarterly and The Christian Science Monitor.
A dedicated teacher, Nancy inspired undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students for nearly four decades. Her courses ranged from surveys of American diplomatic history to specialized graduate courses in U.S.-China relations. She trained several cohorts of Ph.D. students who have gone on to make their own singular contributions to the field of U.S.-East Asian relations.
Nancy also made her mark as a scholar whose voice was heard by policy-makers as well as the general public. Throughout her career, she was interviewed regularly by National Public Radio, the Jim Lehrer Newshour, ABC News Nightline, The Today Show, CNN World News, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, The International Herald Tribune—and the list goes on.
In 1986-87, Nancy served in the Office of Chinese Affairs in the Department of State and at the United States Embassy in Beijing. More recently, she received a National Intelligence Medal of Achievement in 2007 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 May 2012, the Georgetown Graduate School of Arts and Sciences recognized Nancy’s myriad achievements with its Career Research Achievement Award. On November 28, 2012, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars announced it has established an annual lecture series on U.S.-East Asian relations in Nancy Tucker’s honor. The inaugural Nancy Bernkopf Tucker Lecture in American-East Asian Relations will be offered in 2013.
Our deepest sympathies are extended to her husband, Dr. Warren Cohen, her family, and her friends.
At the family’s request, no service will be held at this time.
- There are no upcoming events scheduled at this time.