James Stavridis

Dean of The Fletcher School, Charles Francis Adams / Raytheon Dean's Chair

  • PhD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  • MALD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  • BS, U.S. Naval Academy


A Florida native, Jim Stavridis attended the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, and spent over thirty 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 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. 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. 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. Jim has published eight 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 had over 700,000 views. He tweeted the end of combat operations in the Libyan NATO intervention. His memoir of the NATO years, “The Accidental Admiral,” was released in October 2014, and he has two books out in 2017: “The Leader’s Bookshelf: 50 Books That Make Us Better Leaders” in March and “Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the Oceans” in June. Admiral Stavridis is also the Chair of the Board of the US Naval Institute, the professional association of the Nation’s sea services: Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. He is a monthly columnist for TIME Magazine and Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News. Jim is the 12th Dean at The Fletcher School, a post he assumed in the summer of 2013. He is happily married to Laura, and they have two daughters – one working at Google and the other a Registered Nurse, both married to physicians.

Professional Activities
  • Led U.S. Southern Command in Miami (2006-2009)
  • Served as Senior Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy
  • Served as Supreme Allied Commander, NATO and commander of U.S. European Commander (2009-2013)

Professional Associations
  • Board, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Chair of the Board, U.S. Naval Institute (2013-present)
  • Board, Atlantic Council

• “Preserving Ukraine’s Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do,” The Brookings Institution, February 2015, with Steven Pifer, Strobe Talbott, Ambassador Ivo Daalder, Michele Flournoy, Ambassador John Herbst, Jan Lodal, and General Charles Wald
• “Time for a U.S. Cyber Force,” Proceedings Magazine, January 2014 Vol. 140/1/1,331, with David Weinstein
• "Combat and Compassion," Frontiers in Development, pp. 50-60, Spring 2012, with Dr. Reuben Brigety
• “NATO’s Victory in Libya: The Right Way to Run an Intervention,” Foreign Affairs: pp. 2-7, No. 2, Vol 91, March/April 2012 (with Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder)
• “The 21st Century Force Multiplier: Public—Private Collaboration,” Washington Quarterly: pp. 7-20, Spring 2012, V. 25 No. 2, with Dr. Evelyn Farkas
• “Sailing the Cyber Sea,” Joint Force Quarterly: pp. 61-67, Issue 65, 2nd quarter 2012
• “Graveyard of Clichés,” An Ocean Away, Shipmate: p. 36, May-June 2011
• “Professionals Write: Whispers on a wall,” Marine Corps Gazette: p. 83, May 2011
• “The Comprehensive Approach in Afghanistan,” PRISM: Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 65-76, March 2011
• Preface in Jeffery E. Marshall’s “Skin in the game,” pp. ix-xi, NDU Press, February, 2011
• Viewpoint “Building Strategic Connections: Early investment pays future dividends,” per Concordiam: Volume 1, Issue 4, pp. 8-9, February 2011
• Foreword titled “The Arctic Ocean: Cooperation is Essential to Future Security in the Region,” in Paul Arthur Berkman’s Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean; Promoting Cooperation and Preventing Conflict. RUSI Whitehall Paper: September 30, 2010
• “Let Us Dare,” originally published in the Australian Defence Force Journal, Issue No. 181, 2010; reprint in USI Digest forthcoming September 2010 – February 2011
• “Taming the Outlaw Sea,” Naval War College Review: Volume 63, Number 4, pp.72-83, Autumn 2010 with Lieutenant Commander Richard E. LeBron, USN
• “The Long Road,” Turkish Policy Quarterly: Volume 9 Number 1, pp. 23-29, July 2010
• “Time,” An Ocean Away, Shipmate: p. 38, June 2010
• “Remembering Our Heroes – Past, Present, Future,” Special to the Tri-County Record – Admiral Praises Local Support for Troops. The Dongola Tri-County Record, Vol. 78, No. 44, May 27, 2010
• “Afghanistan: Monisäikeinen seinävaate,” Maanpuolustus, No. 93, pp. 37-41, March 2010
• “Strengthening the Bridge: Building Partnership Capacity,” Military Review: pp. 2-6, January-February 2010
• "An Intelligent Theater," Joint Force QUarterly: pp. 104-108, Issue 56, 1st quarter 2010
• “Let Us Dare,” Australian Defence Force Journal: Journal of the Australian Profession of Arms, Issue No. 181, pp. 72-77, 2010
• Ėditorial. “Un long chemin,” Le Journal du Parlement: Politique - Economie - Culture: pp. 1-2, Nouvelle Serie Nº 51, Inter-session 2010

• "The Accidental Admiral," Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1 October 2014
• Command At Sea, Sixth Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, Co-authored with Rear Admiral Robert Girrier, USN, December 15, 2010
• Partnership for the Americas: Western Hemisphere Strategy and U.S. Southern Command, National Defense University Press, November 2010
• Watch Officer’s Guide, Fifteenth Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, Co-authored with Captain Robert Girrier, April 30, 2007
• Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command, U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2007
• Division Officer’s Guide, Eleventh Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, Co-authored with Commander Robert Girrier, October 15, 2004
• Watch Officer’s Guide, Fourteenth Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2003
• Command at Sea, Fifth Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, Co-authored with Vice Admiral William P. Mack, USN (Ret.), 1998
• Division Officer’s Guide, Tenth Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1995
• Watch Officer’s Guide, Thirteenth Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1992
• Division Officer’s Guide, Ninth Edition, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, Co-authored with Captain J.V. Noel, USN (Ret.), 1988

• “It’s Time for a Formal U.S. Alliance with Israel,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 25 September 2015
• “Migrants and the Road to Character,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 12 September 2015
• “The Bio Revolution Is Nearer Than You Think,” Signal Magazine: Op-Ed, 1 September 2015
• “NATO's Circle of Ice and Fire,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 31 August 2015
• “Getting Ahead of the Problem,” The Cipher: Op-Ed, 25 August 2015
• “How to Pull Colombia Back From the Brink,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 7 August 2015
• “Incoming: A Maritime Nation Needs 21st Century Seapower,” Signal Magazine: Op-Ed, 1 August 2015
• “It's All About the Base,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 29 July 2015
• “How to Build a Relationship with Havana,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 22 July 2015
• “Incoming: The Great Wall of Sand,” Signal Magazine: Op-Ed, 1 July 2015
• “What to Do About an Imperial Iran,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 30 June 2015
• “What Russian Literature Tells Us About Vladimir Putin's World,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 2 June 2015
• “The Top Secret (Fake) Memo to Putin on How to Counter NATO’s Latest Move,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 16 June 2015
• “One Small Change to Fix Our Broken Political System,” Time: Op-Ed, 15 June 2015, with Michael Hayden and Stanley McChrystal
• “Thoughts for America's Next Top General,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 13 May 2015
• “Thank You for Your Service,” Signal Magazine: Op-Ed, 1 May 2015
• “The Arab NATO,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 9 April 2015
• “Five Ways to Reboot NATO,” Politico (Europe): Op-Ed, 20 April 2015
• “Everyone Needs Access to Cyber Threat Data,” The Hill: Op-Ed, 15 April 2015
• “How to End Drug Violence in Latin America,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 18 March 2015
• “Defending Italy from the Islamic State,” The Washington Post: Op-Ed, 12 March 2015
• “Advice for Incoming U.S. Navy Innovation Task Force,” Signal Magazine: Op-Ed, 1 March 2015
• “Make the Deal with Iran,” Politico Magazine: Op-Ed, 24 February 2015, with William J. Perry, Sean O’Keefe, and Joe R. Reeder
• “Syrian Ghosts,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 6 November 2015
• “The Perils and Promise of the Cables at the Bottom of the Oceans,” Signal Magazine: Op-Ed, 1 November 2015
• “A New Cold War Deep Under the Sea?,” The Huffington Post: Op-Ed, 28 October 2015
• “The Taliban’s Tet Offensive and the Attack on Kunduz, Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 20 October 2015
• “How Would Lawrence of Arabia Defeat the Islamic State?,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 15 October 2015
• “China’s 3,000-Acre Aircraft Carriers Could Change the Balance of Power in the Pacific,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 1 October 2015
• “All is Not Lost in Afghanistan,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 5 January 2015
• “Sisyphus Just Needs a Hand: How Washington Can Help Europe from Slipping Back Downhill,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 27 January 2015
• “Who is to Blame?,” Horizons Magazine: Op-Ed, 21 January 2015, with Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
• “What is a Cyber Attack?” Signal Magazine: Op-Ed, 1 January 2015
• “Obama's UN Speech had the Right Set of Recommendations,” The Boston Globe: Op-Ed, 24 September 2014
• “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Coalitions,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 15 September 2014
• “How To Dismantle ISIS,” The Guardian: Op-Ed, 10 September 2014
• “NATO Needs Strong Policy Against Cyber Threats,” The Boston Globe: Op-Ed, 22 August 2014, with Dave Weinstein
• “Why This Is the Right Time to Cooperate With Iran,” The Huffington Post: Op-Ed, 28 July 2014
• “Wake Up and Smell the Turkish Coffee,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 26 June 2014
• “What the President Meant to Say,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 28 May 2014
• “Hey Boss, a Little Help Here?,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 25 April 2014
• “The Seven Lessons of Counterinsurgency 101 in Ukraine,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 10 April 2014
• “Less Talk and More Action: Expand Women’s Corporate Leadership,” Time: Op-Ed, 8 March 2014, with Marcia Greenberg
• “Former NATO Commander Explains Ukraine Crisis,” Mashable.com: Op-Ed, 4 March 2014
• “NATO Needs to Move Now on Crimea,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 1 March 2014
• “The French Connection,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 10 February 2014
• “Opening Cuba and Closing Gitmo?,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 22 December 2014
• “Secretary of Defense Post not a Poisoned Chalice,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 2 December 2014
• “Soft Power as Vaccine Against Oppression,” Breaking Defense: Op-Ed, 25 November 2014, with Matthew Daniels
• “Vladimir Putin Hates The TTIP,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 19 November 2014
• “Advice for the Ice King,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 9 October 2014
• “NATO Can Assist Sweden's Undersea Search,” CNN: Op-Ed, 22 October 2014
• “Fighting Extremism Requires Foreign Aid,” The Daily Caller: Op-Ed, 21 October 2014, with General Anthony Zinni
• “How to Salvage France's Mistral Shipwreck,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 21 October 2014
• “The Dawning of the Age of Biology,” Financial Times: Soapbox, 19 January 2014
• “The Missing Piece in Ensuring Afghanistan's Peace,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 14 March 2014
• “Why the Nation Needs a U.S. Cyber Force,” The Boston Globe: Op-Ed, 29 September 2013
• “NATO Must Help Obama on Syria,” The New York Times: Op-Ed, 2 September 2013
• “The 15,000 Troop Option,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 14 August 2013
• “Flash Point in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 19 July 2013
• “37 Years in the Navy,” The Atlantic: Op-Ed, 1 July 2013
• “The New Triad,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 20 June 2013
• “Convergence.” Washington Post, OP-ED, Section A, 10 June, 2013
• “The Dark Side of Globalization,” The Washington Post: Op-Ed, 31 May 2013
• “Civilian 'Smart Power' Key to Real Victory,” USA Today: Op-Ed, 4 December 2013, with Anthony Zinni
• “Cool War Rising,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 16 December 2013
• “Divide and Conquer: Why Dual Authority at the NSA and Cyber Command Hurts U.S. Cybersecurity,” Foreign Affairs: Op-Ed, 23 October 2013, with Dave Weinstein
• “High North or High Tension?,” Foreign Policy: Op-Ed, 21 October 2013
• “NATO Success in Lybia,” OPED October 31, 2011 (with Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder) "Afghan Realities," International Herald Tribune: OPED, p. 9, September 25-26, 2010
• “Only These Three Steps Will Enable NATO to Stand Up to Putin,” The Huffington Post: Op-Ed, 2 September 2014, with Julian Lindley-French

  • Intrepid Freedom Award
  • Athenagoras Human Rights Award
  • Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow
  • Alfred Thayer Mahan Award
  • John Paul Jones Award
  • Arleigh Burke Award
  • 38 US and international military medals
  • Gullion Prize (Top in class), The Fletcher School, Tufts University

2012 Global TED Talk, "James Stavridis: A Navy Admiral's thoughts on global security"

Additional Information

Led U.S. Southern Command in Miami (2006-2009) | Served as Senior Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy | Served as Supreme Allied Commander, NATO and commander of U.S. European Commander (2009-2013)

Mailing Address
The Fletcher School, Tufts University, 160 Packard Ave, Medford, MA, 02155

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School Leadership


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