Mr. John Sullivan

Professor of Practice

Influence Campaigns, Diplomacy, Political-Military Coordination, Film, Media

Areas of Interest:

Diplomacy (multinational and bilateral), pol / mil coordination, film / media

Mr. Sullivan began his government career in 1990 as a Public Diplomacy Officer in the United States Information Agency, where he Told America’s Story to the World by producing radio and television programs and engaging with media, universities, and opinion makers in assignments to Honduras, Guatemala, Chile, and Korea.  When USIA merged with the Department of State in 1999, Mr. Sullivan added the Multifunctional Skill Code, serving as the sub-Saharan Program Officer for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), as a State/Defense Exchange Officer in the Defense Department’s Office of Special Operations and Low-intensity Conflict, and, back at State, as a Regional Affairs Officer in the Secretary’s Office of Counterterrorism covering Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Iraq. 

Following a tour as the Press Attaché in Ukraine, he served as Director of the Office of Policy, Planning, and Coordination in INL.  He served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Task Force 5-35, and then as the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.  On return to the United States, he held the State Department Chair at the Marine Corps University and taught at the Marine Corps War College.  He then served as Senior Advisor to the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.  He completed his State Department service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Information Services.

Before his government service, Mr. Sullivan was a Reporter in the Los Angeles Bureau of the Yomiuri Shimbun, a salaryman with Sony in Osaka, and a Pinkerton Detective.  He also worked as crew and an extra on multiple films and commercials.  He has a Bacon Number of 2.

Mr. Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from UCLA and a Master of Fine Arts from the UCLA film school.  He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, the State Department Superior Honor Award, and multiple Meritorious Honor Awards.