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Lecturer in Military Affairs

Bill Rapp is a Lecturer in Military Affairs in the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School, the Faculty Chair of the Senior Executive program in National and International Security, and the Faculty Chair for the National Security Fellows program.  He joined the faculty at HKS in 2017 after serving more than 33 years as an active duty Army officer, retiring as a Major General.  During his career, he served over five years in Germany, a year in Japan, and three and half years in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He commanded an airborne engineer company in the First Gulf War, an engineer brigade in Iraq in 2005-6, and was Deputy Commander (Support) for US Forces in Afghanistan in 2011-12.   He was the Army’s senior liaison to the U.S. Congress, Commandant of the United States Military Academy, and most recently served as the Commandant of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  His research interests include civil-military relations and organizational leadership.  A graduate of West Point in 1984, he holds a Masters in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College and a Masters and PhD in Political Science from Stanford University. 



Civil-Military Relations

     “Ensuring Effective Military Voice,” Parameters 46(4) Winter 2017

     “Civil-Military Relations:  The Role of Military Leaders in Strategy Making,” Parameters 45(3) Autumn 2015


     “The Balance of Leadership in an Army at War,” Army Magazine 56(12) Dec2006.

East Asia

     “Past its Prime?  The Future of the US-Japan Alliance,” Parameters, 34(2) Summer 2004

     “Paths Diverging?  The Next Decade in the US-Japan Security Alliance,” Strategic Studies Institute Monograph, Jan 2004

Executive Education Programs

Transparent Engagement

Harvard Kennedy School is proud of its energetic involvement in the world. To better understand how to solve public problems by improving policy and leadership, we engage directly with policymakers, public leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses whose activities affect those problems. However, we recognize that such engagement can raise questions about perceived and potential conflicts of interest, so we disclose publicly the key professional activities of our faculty outside the Kennedy School.

Outside Professional Activities For William Rapp

US Army General Officer Education program, instructor on civil-military relations, 2017-present

Deloitte Corporation, instructor on leadership, 2018-present

Hearst Corporation, instructor on leadership, 2018-present

Wharton Business School Executive Education, adjunct faculty, 2018-present



Phone: 617-998-1565

Mailing Address

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138