Professor Thompson, an authority on corruption, taught International Politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy from 1967 to 1999. He had a D.Phil. from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes, Danforth, and Woodrow Wilson Scholar. He graduated summa cum laude from Stanford University in 1963 and attended Phillips Academy, Andover. In 1975 he was a White House Fellow at the Defense Department, and entered the Reagan Administration as Associate Director, U.S. Information Agency, and also chaired many interdepartmental groups therein, including the ‘Democracy Initiative.’ In 1985, he was the first director appointed by Reagan to form the United States Institute of Peace, and continued to hold that position throughout Bush and Clinton administrations. He was the co-author (with Nicholas Thompson) of ‘The Baobab and the Mango Tree: comparative aspects of Asian and African Development’ (New York, St. Martin’s, 2000) which focuses on the comparative effects of corruption in developing areas. His previous books include ‘The Philippines in Crisis’ (1992), ‘Ghana’s Foreign Policy’ (1969), ‘Lessons of Vietnam’ (1976), and ‘The Third World’ (1983).
Dr. Thompson maintained residences in Washington, Boston, and the Philippines, and maintained a farm in Virginia. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Metropolitan Club (Washington), and The Country Club (Boston). He was Chairman of the Institute for Institutional Development-Burma, and of the Washington International Studies Council.