Donald Chisholm

Donald Chisholm

Stephen B. Luce Professor of Naval Strategy
Senior Associate of the Center of Irregular warfare and Armed Groups
Joint Military Operations
(401) 841-2328


Donald Chisholm is Professor of Operations in the Joint Military Operations Department of the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. He joined the Naval War College in June 2000. 
Professor Chisholm’s chief fields of interest include military history, organization theory, administrative behavior, policy analysis, and American political institutions. His published research has examined cognitive and organizational limits on rationality; organizational adaptation and innovation; organizational failure and reliability, particularly in high-risk technologies; and privatization of public activities. In past years his research focused on the organization of public transit services; naval personnel management; and public universities. More recently, his research has addressed Japanese surface suicide boats during WW II, amphibious operations during the Korean War, and naval leadership. He is presently researching American employment of irregular warfare against the Japanese during their World War II occupation of the Philippines.
In addition to numerous articles in professional journals, he has published two books: Waiting For Dead Men's Shoes: Origins and Development of the U.S. Navy’s Officer Personnel System, 1793-1941 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001), which received the 2001 Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Distinguished Contribution to Naval Literature; and Coordination Without Hierarchy: Informal Structures in Multiorganizational Systems (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989).
Professor Chisholm has been an invited lecturer at the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, undertaken research for the U.S. Urban Mass Transit Administration, trained mayors from the Philippines and public administrators from Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China, taught policy analysis for the Sultanate of Brunei, instructed U.S. federal administrators, and consulted with the Chicago Police Department.
Professor Chisholm earned his A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to the Naval War College, he taught at several places, including Michigan State University, University of California, San Diego, the Ohio State University, University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was a founding member of the School of Public Policy and Social Research.
A companion of the New York Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States.

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