Adm. William H. McRaven, USN (Ret.)
- National Security
- U.S. Current Events
Audience & Industry
- Colleges and Universities
- Senior Management Groups
Admiral William H. McRaven, a retired U.S. Navy Four-Star admiral, best-selling author and former Chancellor of the University of Texas System draws on his extraordinary experiences to offer audiences insight on U.S. foreign policy, the current geopolitical environment, authority amidst uncertainty, overcoming adversity and the determination to succeed.
McRaven is a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy and has advised Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders on defense issues. During his time in the military, he commanded special operations forces at every level, eventually taking charge of the U.S. Special Operations Command. His career included combat during Desert Storm and both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He commanded the troops that captured Saddam Hussein and rescued Captain Phillips. McRaven is also credited with developing the plan and leading the Osama bin Laden mission in 2011.
As the Chancellor of the UT System he led one of the nation’s largest and most respected systems of higher education. As the chief executive officer of the UT System, McRaven oversaw 14 institutions that educated 220,000 students and employed 20,000 faculty and more than 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, and staff.
McRaven has been recognized for his leadership numerous times. In 2011, he was the first runner-up for TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year.” In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named McRaven one of the nation’s “Top 10 Foreign Policy Experts.” In 2014, Politico magazine named McRaven one of the “Politico 50”, citing his leadership as instrumental in cutting though Washington bureaucracy. In 2015, he received the Intrepid Freedom Award for his distinguished service in defending the values of democracy. In 2016, McRaven was named the recipient of the Ambassador Richard M. Helms Award by the CIA Officers’ Memorial Foundation, and in 2018 he received the Judge William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award for a lifetime of service to the nation. He currently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the National Football Foundation.
McRaven is the author of three books including, SPEC OPS: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare and Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life and Maybe the World, based on his 2014 UT Commencement Speech that received worldwide attention. Using personal narratives drawn from his extraordinary experiences he imparts to his audiences lessons in team work, personal accountability, resilience and leadership. His third book, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, released in May 2019, is a remarkable memoir full of inspiring and action-packed stories from McRaven's life in the special operations world.
Keeping Up With Rapid Change
An Important Lesson in Crisis Management
UT Austin 2014 Commencement Address - Admiral William H. McRaven - Changing the Lives of 10 People
UT Austin 2014 Commencement Address - Admiral William H. McRaven - Start By Making Your Bed
Inaugural Communication and Leadership 1
Inaugural Communication and Leadership 2
Inaugural Communication and Leadership 3
Comments at the 2015 Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner
A Conversation with Admiral William H. McRaven, USN (Ret.)
Leadership and Risk Management: Taking Command
We had high hopes and expectations of Admiral McRaven as our 2019 Higher Ed Summit closing keynote speaker, and he completely surpassed all of them. Admiral McRaven has an authenticity and charisma that radiates from stage and his stories are woven with poignancy, humor, and inspiration. In addition to his talk being an exceptional one, he was also great to work with and took time to take photos with many participants. We highly recommend Admiral McRaven and would absolutely work with him again.
Traci DePuy, Director, Global Event Strategy, Salesforce.org
Admiral William H. McRaven was fantastic! All of our guests were on the edge of their seats listening to McRaven’s stories and life lessons he has learned from being a Navy SEAL and the Commander of US Special Operations. He is likeable, humble and a true American hero. He received a well-deserved standing ovation.
10 out of 10. People are raving about his performance.
Adm. William H. McRaven, USN (Ret.)
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World (opens in a new tab)
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