Expert Profile

Admiral - USN (Ret) James Stavridis
Position(s) Dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; Former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO

Adm.-USN (ret.) James Stavridis is an Associate Fellow within the Global Fellowship Initiative of the GCSP. A Florida native, James 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 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.

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

James has published five books on leadership, Latin America, ship handling, and innovation, as well as over a hundred articles in leading journals. An active user of social networks, he has thousands of followers on Twitterand friends on Facebook. His TED talk on 21st century security in 2012 has had over 300,000 views. He tweeted the end of combat operations in the Libyan NATO intervention.

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.

James is the 12th Dean at The Fletcher School, a post he assumed in the summer of 2013.