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Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)
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Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

Decorated Admiral and archetype of exemplary leadership addressing security concerns in a technologically transforming world.

16th Supreme Allied Commander, NATO; Vice Chair, Global Affairs and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group; New York Times Bestselling Author

Expertise In:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Risk Management
  • National Security
  • China

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Corporations
  • Senior Management Groups
  • The Finance Industry
  • The Professional Services Industry

A distinguished leader and longest-serving global combatant commander in recent American military history, James Stavridis provides answers and strategies to address the most pressing global affairs challenges.

A Florida native, Jim Stavridis attended the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, and spent 37 years in the Navy, rising to the rank of 4-star Admiral.  Among his many commands were four years as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, where he oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Balkans, and counter piracy off the coast of Africa.  He also commanded US Southern Command in Miami, charged with military operations through Latin America for nearly three years.  He was the longest serving Combatant Commander in recent US history.  Following his military career, he served for five years as the 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

In the course of his career in the Navy, he served as senior military assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense.  He led the Navy’s premier operational think tank for innovation, Deep Blue, immediately after the 9/11 attacks.  Admiral Stavridis was promoted directly from 1-star rank to 3-star rank in 2004.

He won the Battenberg Cup for commanding the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet and the Navy League John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational leadership, along with more than 50 US and international medals and decorations, including 28 from foreign nations. He also commanded a Destroyer Squadron and a Carrier Strike Group, both in combat.

In 2016, he was vetted for Vice President by Secretary Hillary Clinton, and subsequently invited to Trump Tower to discuss a cabinet position with President Donald Trump.

He earned a PhD from The Fletcher School at Tufts, winning the Gullion prize as outstanding student in his class in 1983, as well as academic honors from the National and Naval War Colleges as a distinguished student.  He speaks Spanish and French.

Admiral Stavridis has published ten books on leadership, the oceans, maritime affairs, and Latin America, as well as hundreds of articles in leading journals.  An active user of social networks, he has tens of thousands of connections on the social networks.  His TED talk on 21st century security in 2012 has close to one million views.  He tweeted the end of combat operations in the Libyan NATO intervention.  His two most recent books are “Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character” in 2019 and the novel “2034: A Novel of the Next World War” in 2021, which was a New York Times bestseller.

Admiral Stavridis is a contributing editor for TIME Magazine and Chief International Security and Diplomacy Analyst for NBC News. 

Featured Videos

Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)'s Speech Topics

Leadership and Geopolitics in the Time of Coronavirus

Drawing on his decades of experience globally, Admiral Stavridis describes the leadership tools necessary to work through this crisis. The leadership lessons are applicable from the White House to Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, as enterprises seek the right path forward and think through new business practices and even personnel systems to select post-crisis leaders. He will also describe the geopolitics of a new emerging global security environment and how the virus will affect not only the US, but China, Russian, Europe, and emerging markets. In particular, the Admiral emphasizes changes in the cybersecurity environment that will evolve in a world that is more digitally dependent than ever. Typically a 30 minute presentation with 30 minutes for questions, it adapts perfectly to virtual systems in a tight 60 minute presentation.

Coronavirus and Geopolitics - What are the Implications?

In this presentation, Admiral Stavridis draws on his multiple operational experiences dealing with medical crises, including both Ebola in West Africa and Cholera in Haiti to discuss the role of our military in responding to this world-threatening pandemic. He will discuss historical precedents, including the notorious Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919 and the deadly Avian Flu of 1997, which had a 60% mortality rate. Most importantly, he will put the pandemic into a global economic and geopolitical perspective, discussing how this will impact the trajectory of China, the turbulence in the Middle East, and economic development in Africa and Latin America. Audiences will leave with broad ideas to respond positively and better prepare for future biological events.

Beyond the Horizon: 21st Century Global Security and Risk

After nearly 10 years at the four-star level as a global combatant commander and senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Admiral James Stavridis gives a global overview of the risks, opportunities and strategies for successfully creating a secure nation, government and business community. This tour d’horizon is very effective for business audiences investing worldwide.    

The Secret to Being an Effective Leader

Based on James Stavridis’ nearly four decades of military service, he advocates a unique model of “leader as servant.” He believes in the power of people and shares with audiences specific ways to unlock their strength through positive reinforcement and innovative incentive systems. In particular, he helps audiences leverage lessons learned from their own experiences, understand how to identify role models, and gain insight into leadership strategies from other cultures—both the positives and negatives.    

Sailing the Cyber Sea: The New Realities of 21st Century Cybersecurity

Emerging security concerns will be addressed in the future with a combination of cyber capabilities, unmanned vehicles and drones, and special operations forces. In particular, the reach and function of cyber tools will change how we view the world and keep ourselves safe in it. Admiral James Stavridis lays out the future of 21st century security tools that are very nontraditional in their reach and application. He describes for audiences how the world of international defense is fundamentally changing before our eyes, and how that will impact business, personal life and the global marketplace.   

China and the USA: How the 20th Century Unfolds

Admiral Stavridis, an expert on China who spent over half his career in the Pacific Fleet, takes audiences through the history and culture of China and describes how the US and China have emerged as the two crucial superpowers of the 21st century. He describes the ongoing conflict between the nations in trade, tariffs, intellectual property, global influence and the "hotspot" of the South China Sea. The Admiral then lays out a prescription for avoiding a conflict with China in the decades ahead, with predictions of the evolution of the global landscape as it will be influenced by the US-China relationship. A must see experience to understand the big issues ahead for the world.   

Unlocking the Middle East and the Role of Israel

Based on decades of experience in the Middle East and Levant, Admiral Stavridis walks the audience around the region with deep emphasis on Israel.  He has personally met with all the key leaders of Israel from the Prime Minister to all the recent Chiefs of Defense and many Knesset members.  As the Commander of NATO, he was charged with the NATO-Israel relationship, and as Commander of US European Command, he went frequently to Israel and was responsible to the President and Secretary of Defense for the US-Israeli military relationship.  His perceptions on the future of Israel and the entire region are powerful and grounded in deep experience. 

Business Consulting from Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.): Take Command of Your Future

Bringing in a business consultant can challenge you and your organization to think differently about your business. Whether you are a new leader seeking a renewed vision for your company or a seasoned C-Suite executive exploring new trends in the marketplace, they provide the deep, strategic insights and much-needed perspective to help you make confident and profitable decisions.

James Stavridis, named a “Renaissance Admiral” by The New York Times, is a visionary leader and the longest-serving global combatant commander in recent American military. He’s widely recognized for his paramount expertise in strategy, tactics, diplomacy, national security, and strategic communications. His persistence and promotion of durable partnerships among nations have been critical in establishing the U.S. military as a solid and highly effective unit of intelligence and manpower. Adm. Stavridis will share poignant lessons with your executive leadership team on how to address your company's most pressing challenges and take command of your future.

His advisory topics include:

  • Crisis Management 
  • Cultivating Innovation and Creativity 
  • Cyber Security Solutions
  • Global Opportunities
  • Leadership 
  • Leveraging Media and Communications
  • Risk Management Planning
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Understanding Emerging Markets

Works by Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

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Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

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