SFS Mourns Passing of Professor Nancy Bernkopf Tucker

Nancy Berkopf-Tucker

The School of Foreign Service is saddened to report that Professor Nancy Bernkopf Tucker passed away Saturday, December 1, 2012. Our condolences are extended to her family, friends and colleagues.

"When Nancy Tucker was first hired, the then-dean, Peter Krogh, said she was 'shot from guns'—a statement of high praise. These words proved prophetic. Nancy was a highly acclaimed scholar, a wonderful teacher and a lovely colleague. We grieve for her passing and will miss her greatly," said SFS Dean Carol Lancaster.

"Nancy exemplified the very best qualities of a Georgetown and SFS faculty member," said SFS faculty chair David Edelstein. "She was a first-rate historian of Sino-American relations, a passionate teacher and a dedicated public servant."

Tucker was a professor of history at Georgetown College and SFS. She was an American diplomatic historian specializing in American-East Asian relations, particularly United States relations with China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Just last week, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, where she was a senior fellow, announced that it would establish a lecture series on U.S.-East Asian relations in her honor.

In the 1980s, Tucker 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. Her Ph.D. was from Columbia University.

"Nancy’s work as both a scholar and a government official made her one of the most respected historians of her generation," said Robert M. Hathaway, director of the Wilson Center's Asia Program.

Tucker's most recent book, published this past spring, was The China Threat: Memories, Myths, and Realities in the 1950s (Columbia University Press).

In 2007, Tucker 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.

Information about a memorial service is forthcoming.