Stansfield Turner

Senior Fellow

Stansfield Turner (1923-2018) was a CISSM Senior Fellow and previously served as the President of the Naval War College and Commander-in-Chief of NATO’s Southern Flank. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Turner as the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), and as such he headed both the Intelligence Community and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 

After leaving the agency and retiring from the Navy, Turner became a lecturer, writer, TV commentator, and educator. Turner taught at Yale University, and at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as the first John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of National Security. For many years he taught at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy (MSPP), during which time he introduced the Naval War College’s signature course, “Strategy & Policy,” as well as “Terrorism & Democracy.” In 1995 he was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship at the Norwegian Nobel Peace Institute in Oslo.

Admiral Turner authored five books: Secrecy and Democracy: The CIA in Transition discusses the problems of conducting secret intelligence activities in our open, democratic society; Terrorism and Democracy analyzes how past U.S. presidents have dealt with terrorism, and addresses how a democracy can respond without undermining its democratic principles; Caging the Nuclear Genie: An American Challenge for Global Security develops a plan for controlling nuclear weapons; Caging the Genies: A Workable Solution for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons discusses how to deal with weapons of mass destruction; and Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence examines the relationships between U.S. presidents and their CIA directors. In addition, a compilation of material from Admiral Turner’s writings and speeches, Stansfield Turner: In His Own Words, was prepared as a quotebook.

Turner attended Amherst College and then the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland (Class of ’47). After graduation he served one year at sea before entering Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and earned a master’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics.