It is with greatest sadness that we report the passing of our friend and colleague, David J. Doerge, a member of the American Political Science Association, the Academic Council on the United Nations System, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Associate Professor of Political Science at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who lost a protracted battle with melanoma cancer on July 26, 2013.
While his students at Mount Mercy will doubtlessly remember most his ebullient spirit, wit, humor, and restless intelligence, and his ability to bring the drama of world affairs to vibrant life in the classroom, his colleagues will also remember an analyst and intellect who was never satisfied with abstract formulas or conventional academic wisdom in confronting the international challenges of our times.
David’s restless mind was much in play from his earliest service as legislative aide to Senator John Culver in the mid-1970’s centered on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He attributed much of his political skepticism and appreciation for policy complexity to the influence of two of his Arizona State political theory professors, Don Wolf and Mark Reader. He took a hiatus from from Capitol Hill to take a master’s degree at Arizona State University, completed in 1978, then moved on to the University of Hawaii for doctoral studies. His colleagues there remember him as a spirited lampooner of facile policy formulations and grand theoretical claims. Doerge returned to Capitol Hill in 1980 as a staff analyst for the congressional Arms Control and Foreign Policy Caucus with additional service at the liberal Center for Defense Information policy lobby.
In 1983, Doerge left Washington to take a position as Director of Research at Iowa’s Stanley Foundation. In that capacity, David’s talent as convener of policy dialogue and skilled rapporteur were honed to perfection. In 1987 he was appointed as Vice-President of the Stanley Foundation, responsible for planning the Foundation’s many policy programs, serving as its ambassador-at-large to the foreign policy community in the beltway, beyond the beltway, and abroad. His extraordinary talent for engagement and building collaborative programs with other foreign policy organizations was well recognized. His many colleagues are sure to remember the stimulating sessions he led at Virginia’s Airlie House conference center during this period, especially those undertaken as part of the Foundation’s New American Global Dialogue in the 1990’s. They will also remember his skill in drafting reports and policy briefs advancing the insights and findings of these meetings.
In 2002 David joined the Political Science faculty at Mount Mercy College where his duties included oversight of the international studies and honors programs. He was appointed Chair of the Department of History, Politics and Justice in 2012. Until his death he maintained an active schedule of public speaking and policy writing with a special interest in the transformation of American foreign policy in post-Cold War era and the international role of the United Nations.
David Doerge is survived by his partner, Joni Rae Howland, daughter Hannah, of Austin, Texas, and his son, Louis, in Tucson, Arizona.
Dr, Stephen Mumme, Colorado State University*
Dr. Scott T. Moore, Colorado State University
*Corresponding author: Department of Political Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523. Tel. 970-472-1322; cell. 970-481-4125; fax. 970-491-2490; email: [email protected]