Biography

My career includes more than 25 years as a Washington correspondent for the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Writing awards include a Pulitzer Prize. I was also Washington Bureau Chief for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I served two years in the Defense Department, rising to Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acting) for Public Affairs, and ten years as Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. I subsequently spent four years as a principal in a Park Avenue strategic communications firm. 

After earning a BA in government from Harvard and an MS in journalism from Columbia University, I served a short tour as a lieutenant in the field artillery, rising to the rank of captain in the Army Reserve before retiring. I am President of Strategic Vision LLC, a strategic communications consultancy.   At the same time I am an adjunct professor of Journalism at the University of Maryland teaching a seminar on writing commentaries and editorials.

As a correspondent, I broke a number of significant stories, including one, on the front page of the NY Times, on the secret bombing of Cambodia. I had frequent multi-week reporting assignments in the former Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East and the Far East, including five trips to Vietnam. I also authored three novels of foreign intrigue, Mayday Man (1990), Submerged Rage: The Hidden Grievance (2005), and The Acorn Dossier (2009).

At the Pentagon, in addition to duties as spokesman, I served on such substantive policy bodies as the Middle East Task Group, the Defense Energy Policy Council, and the SALT Box, dealing with Strategic Arms Limitation Talks policy issues. I also served on a panel of senior officials that recommended plans for overhaul of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  On leaving DOD, I was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award the Defense Department can bestow on a civilian. I also received a White House medal for work on the Y2K problem.

In addition, I helped the International Atomic Energy Agency write detailed guidelines for a sound public affairs operation for its 134 member nations and took part in a number of IAEA communications workshops in Europe and Latin America. At a European Nuclear Society conference in Malta, which I addressed in the spring of 2003, I was singled out for the honor of being made a Knight in the ancient order of St. John of Medina.

During my years as a Washington correspondent, I appeared on Washington Week in Review, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and the Jim Lehrer News Hour and spoke at Harvard and a number of other universities.  I’m written up in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in the World.”

I served on the Board of Editors of the Foreign Service Journal and I’ve been a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Gridiron Club of Washington, DC. I’m past president of the State Department Correspondents Association, the Overseas Writers Club and the Aviation/Space Writers Association.

Contact information: (o) 301-469-7655, (c) 301-802-8683, email wmbeecher1@verizon.net.

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