Georgetown's Chuck Hagel Nominated for Defense Secretary

SFS Professor Would Succeed Leon Panetta in Obama Administration

Chuck Hagel in IraqSen. Chuck Hagel, a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of National Governance at SFS, has been nominated to serve as the 24th United States Secretary of Defense.

Hagel, also presently chairman of the Atlantic Council, represented Nebraska in the U.S. Senate from 1997 until 2009. At Georgetown, he has taught on 21st-century geopolitical relationships.

“Georgetown’s loss would be America’s gain,” said SFS Dean Carol Lancaster. “Students and faculty at the School of Foreign Service have benefited tremendously from Sen. Hagel’s experience and insight. Georgetown continues its long history of hosting exceptional scholars and practitioners.”

While serving in the Senate, Sen. Hagel sat on the chamber’s Committee on Foreign Relations and its subcommittees on Near East Asian and South and Central Asian Affairs, African Affairs, East Asian and Pacific Affairs and International Development. He was chairman of the Senate Global Climate Change Observer Group as well as the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Graduate student Michael Podberezin, who is pursuing the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) degree, took Hagel’s fall 2012 class 21st Century Geopolitical Realities. He said the class put him “behind the scenes of decision making” and made him “think about issues several steps ahead. The fact that Sen. Hagel was in the room when many of the decisions were made really creates a unique learning opportunity,” Podberezin said.

Sen. Hagel is the author of America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions, Straight Answers (HarperLux, 2008); former Defense Secretary Gen. Colin Powell commended the work, saying that Hagel “writes with insight, expertise, authority, and with the credentials that come from his dedicated service in war and peace.”

Read a Georgetown Journal interview with Sen. Hagel, "Foreign Policy Lessons from the Private Sector: Five Minutes with Senator Chuck Hagel."

For more information, contact Beau Boughamer.

The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS), founded in 1919, is a premier school of international affairs. At Georgetown University’s Washington, D.C. and Qatar campuses, SFS provides a rigorous education combining theory and practice and instills the values of service. For more information about SFS, visit

SFS embodies the values and spirit of Georgetown University. A Catholic and Jesuit, student-centered research university, Georgetown educates women and men to be reflective lifelong learners, to be responsible and active participants in civic life and to live generously in service to others. For more information about Georgetown University, visit