John William Nason (1905-2001) was a 1926 graduate of Carleton, professor at and president of Swarthmore, president of the Foreign Policy Association, and the fifth president of Carleton College, serving from 1962-1970.
Following the World War II, Nason became heavily involved with attempts to educate the general populace on foreign policy. He developed a United National Council and a World Affairs Council in Philadelphia. His work on these councils soon became his passion, and he eventually left Swarthmore to head the Foreign Policy Association in New York.
In his first year at the Foreign Policy Association, Nason began the Great Decisions program, which continues to this day. Great Decisions publishes a Briefing Book annually that is designed to put global affairs in context and promote discussion of foreign affairs topics.