Clark A. Murdock

Clark A. Murdock
  • Clark Murdock is senior adviser for the Defense and National Security Group at CSIS and director of the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI). Joining CSIS in January 2001, Murdock has completed studies on a wide range of defense and national security issues, including strategic planning, defense policy and governance, and U.S. nuclear weapons strategy and policy. He directed the four-phase study on Defense Department reform, Beyond Goldwater-Nichols: USG and Defense Reform for a New Strategic Era, which released reports in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008. Murdock is currently leading several “track two” dialogues on nuclear policy issues—one involving the United States, United Kingdom, and France, and the other involving the United States, South Korea, and Japan. He has also recently completed studies on methodological approaches to building force-planning constructs and on nuclear posture implications of U.S. extended deterrence and assurance. He is the principal author of Improving the Practice of National Security Strategy: A New Approach for the Post–Cold War World (CSIS, 2004) and The Department of Defense and the Nuclear Mission in the 21st Century (CSIS, 2008). He also coauthored Revitalizing the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent (CSIS, 2002) and Nuclear Weapons in 21st Century U.S. National Security (AAAS, 2008).

    Before joining CSIS, Murdock taught military strategy, the national security process, and military innovation at the National War College. Prior to that, from 1995 to 2000, he served in the Office of the Air Force Chief of Staff, where, as deputy special assistant to the chief for long range planning, he helped develop a strategic vision for the 2020 Air Force. Then, as deputy director for strategic planning, he institutionalized the Air Force’s strategic planning process and spearheaded the development of new planning products. Before joining the Air Force Chief of Staff’s Office, he was special assistant to the under secretary of the Air Force, providing analytic support to the secretary and under secretary on broad issues of concern, including the future of air power and Air Force missions. Before joining the Air Force, Murdock served in the Department of Defense, where he headed the Policy Planning Staff in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and held responsibility for mid- to long-range analysis and planning on strategy and defense policy issues. Prior to joining the Department of Defense, he served for several years on the House Armed Services Committee as a professional staff member and as a senior policy adviser to then-Chairman Les Aspin. Murdock’s experience in defense planning and policy also includes service on the National Security Council as senior director for Africa affairs and in multiple roles in the Central Intelligence Agency. Before turning to government service, Murdock taught for 10 years at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is an honors graduate of Swarthmore College and holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.