William F McDonald


Professor and Chair
Chairperson, Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences; and, Co-Director, Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure at the Law Center


Department of Sociology
General profile



+1 202-687-3689




209-05 Car Barn


William F. McDonald is Professor, Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Co- Director, Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure at the Law Center. He is also a member of the faculties of the American Studies Program and the Liberal Studies Program. He has served in the following capacities: Chairperson of the Department of Sociology; member of the Main Campus Institutional Research Board; Vice President and Secretary of the University Faculty Senate; and Recording Secretary of the University Committee on Rank and Tenure.

His scholarship on crime and the administration of criminal justice covers virtually all dimensions of those topics including victims, illegal immigrants, police, prosecutors, defense counsel, courts, pre-trial processes, sentencing, globalization and international cooperation. His two current areas of interest are: the immigration-crime-justice nexus and transnational law enforcement cooperation.

Major publications include: Immigration, Crime and Justice, (Emerald/ JAI Press, 2009); Crime and Law Enforcement in the Global Village, (Anderson, 1997); Plea Bargaining: Critical Issues and Common Practices (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985); The Defense Counsel (Sage, 1983); Plea Bargaining with J.A.Cramer ( D.C. Heath, 1980); The Prosecutor (Sage, 1979); Criminal Justice and the Victim (Sage, 1976); Immigration, Crime and Justice (Elsevier, 2008). For excellence in scholarship related to victims of crime, he was awarded the Stephen Schafer Award of the National Organization of Victim Assistance in 1979.

Formerly on the faculty of Florida State University, he earned his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. In the same year he joined Georgetown University’s Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure at the Law Center as a Senior Researcher and began teaching a course in the Sociology Department which had just been established. Subsequently that appointment was expanded into a tenure tack position as the Department grew. His courses include: criminology; sociology of criminal justice; methods of social research; social statistics; social stratification; 19th and 20th century American civilization; and introductory sociology.

He has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the Netherlands, a Vocational Rehabilitation Administration fellowship and two Visiting Fellowships to the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. He has served as an external reviewer/ consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Institute of Justice. He has been either the principal investigator or a senior research participant in research projects awarded to Georgetown University for a total of about $2 million.


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  • D.Crim. (1970) University of California, Berkeley, Criminology


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