The Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies operates as a center for teacher development, strategic thought, and education at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
of Johns Hopkins University.
The Philip Merrill Center explores the relationship between politics and the many kinds of military power—from the use of terror by small, non-state groups to the threatened use of nuclear weapons—aiming to promote dialogue and innovative research on pressing national security issues.
As a center for teacher development, it develops educational materials and provides opportunities for university and professional teachers to develop skills in this field. The capstone of this effort is the annual four-day pedagogical colloquium on teaching strategic studies at Basin Harbor, Vermont.
As a center for strategic thought, it focuses on the relationship between history and policy, bringing together practitioners, scholars, and journalists to explore issues of intellectual substance and practical consequence. The Merrill Center sponsors conferences and small seminars discussing contemporary security issues and leads the Hertog Summer Study that fosters strategic thinking on one of the broad challenges the United States faces today and will face in the future. The 2015 summer study explored strategies for the United States to compete with China over the next several decades.
As a center for education, it brings outside speakers to the SAIS community through the Alvin H. Bernstein Annual Lecture; the You Were There lecture series; and other lectures sponsored by the Merrill Center as well as organizing staff rides for military or civilian groups.
Since its founding in July 2004, following a generous gift from The Merrill Family Foundation, the Philip Merrill Center has been a primary resource to improve the quality of teaching in strategic studies and promote dialogue on major issues of the national security agenda.