Despite being forced to resign from his position as an international business associate to the United States National Intelligence Council in September 2013 due to accusations of conflict of interest, Georgetown professor Theodore H. Moran will maintain his position at the School of Foreign Service.
Moran had been an associate to the NIC for six years before his resignation. Currently, Moran holds the Marcus Wallenberg Chair in International Business in the School of Foreign Service. He also founded the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy and serves as a consultant to the United Nations and to the international business and financial communities.
Moran was asked to leave the NIC after James Clapper, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, received a complaint in a letter from Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.) about how Moran’s paid work with the International Advisory Council of Huawei compromised his ability to advise for Clapper’s office.
“It is inconceivable how someone serving on Huawei’s board would also be allowed to advise the intelligence community on foreign investments in the U.S,” Wolf wrote in his letter.
According to a Congressional report on U.S. National Security Issues Posed by Chinese Telecommunications released in 2012, the United States considers Huawei a security threat due to assertions that the telecommunications mega-corporation is linked to the People’s Liberation Army.
However, Moran told the Voice in an email that once he had been invited to join the International Advisory Council of Huawei in 2010, he promptly notified officials. “I immediately informed the NIC of the situation, as well as informed Huawei of my work for the U.S. NIC,” he wrote.
Moran additionally asserted that his dual employment was not a threat to U.S. national security, writing that he did not believe his relationship with Huawei “ever compromised” his ability to serve as an advisor to the NIC and that “both sides knew that if I uncovered serious signs of espionage on the part of Huawei, I would resign from Huawei and report it to the NIC.”
Wolf declined to comment on Moran’s resignation. The NIC did not respond to the Voice’s requests for comment by press time.
Moran wrote that he chose not to “make a fuss” due to his belief that he “was not going to win against Congressman Wolf.” He stated the events will not affect his role on campus and that “faculty and senior administrators at SFS and GU have been very supportive.”
Despite his dismissal from NIC, he will continue to serve on the International Advisory Council of Huawei, the experience of which Moran said will strengthen his teaching and research on the Georgetown campus.