Our Team

Adm. James Stavridis (Ret.)

Admiral James Stavridis is one of the most broadly accomplished Naval Officers in recent U.S. history. In his over thirty years of service, he rose to the rank of four-star Admiral and held some of the most prestigious commands around the world.

He most recently served for four years as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and the Commander of United States European Command from 2009-2013. Following his military career, Admiral Stavridis served as the 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

As the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, from 2009 to 2013, Admiral Stavridis oversaw coalition military operations in Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans, Iraq, as well as counter-piracy missions off the coast of Africa and significant cyber activity. In addition to these responsibilities, he served as Commander of the United States European Command, overseeing 100,000 Department of Defense employees in 51 countries, including Israel and Russia.

Prior to his role as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, Admiral Stavridis was Commander of the United States Southern Command from 2006 to 2009, making him the longest serving Combatant Commander in recent U.S. history. He was responsible for thousands of troops stationed across Latin American and the Caribbean and helped reshape the organization into an interagency, private-public model of “smart power”.

In the course of his Naval career, Admiral Stavridis served as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense. He was a strategic and long-range planner in the offices of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also led the Navy’s premier operational think tank for innovation, “Deep Blue”, immediately following the attacks of 9/11.

Admiral Stavridis is a recipient of the Battenberg Cup for commanding the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet, as well as the Navy League John Paul Jones Award for inspirational leadership. He has earned more than 50 U.S. and international medals and decorations, including 28 from foreign nations.

Admiral Stavridis is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, earning a B.S. in Literature in 1976. He earned a PhD and MALD in International Relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University in 1984. While at Tufts, he was awarded the Gullion Prize as the top student in his class. His current focus is on geopolitics, cyber, innovation, the arctic, and leadership. His TED Talk on smart power has received over 600,000 views.