Preparing Boys for Life.

Headmaster John Nagl

Dr. John Nagl is the Ninth Headmaster of The Haverford School. He was previously the inaugural Minerva Research Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and also taught at West Point and Georgetown University. Dr. Nagl was a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Military Academy Class of 1988 who earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He was one of 20 Heads of School chosen as a Klingenstein Fellow at the Teacher's College of Columbia University in 2016. Dr. Nagl is also a Visiting Professor in the War Studies Department at Kings College of London, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.

Dr. Nagl was previously the President of the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C. He served on the Defense Policy Board and on the Reserve Forces Policy Board and testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Dr. Nagl served in the Army for 20 years, leading a tank platoon in Operation Desert Storm and serving as the operations officer of a tank battalion task force in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was the Alumnus of the Year of Creighton Preparatory High School in 2012.

Dr. Nagl is the author of Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War and Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife. He was on the writing team that produced the Counterinsurgency Field Manual. He has also been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on "The News Hour" with Jim Lehrer and "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart.

Preparing Boys for Life

Media featuring Headmaster John Nagl

I for one, echo the pledge of John Nagl, a former Army colonel, a Republican, and the headmaster of The Haverford School, who posted a photo of Capt. Humayun Khan's tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery on Facebook accompanied by these words: "His stone will stand in Arlington forever. My friends and I will defend it with everything we have." Read the article >

Headmaster John Nagl - The Haverford School

John A. Nagl, D.Phil.
Ninth Headmaster


  • B.S., United States Military Academy
  • M.Phil., St. John's College, Oxford University
  • D.Phil., St. Antony's College, Oxford University
  • M.M.A.S., United States Army Command and General Staff College

Strategic Vision

Read about Dr. Nagl's vision for the School in Progress and the Path Forward >


Blog posts by Headmaster John Nagl

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