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Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s 16th Supreme Allied Commander Europe and 15th Commander of the U.S. European Command (2009-2013), to speak at Whitworth’s President’s Leadership Forum Sept. 20

May 19, 2022


Whitworth University is pleased to announce retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s 16th Supreme Allied Commander Europe and 15th Commander of the U.S. European Command (2009-2013), will be the featured speaker at the university’s President’s Leadership Forum on Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center. Lunch will be served.

Admiral Stavridis is the longest-serving combatant commander in recent U.S. history. He is currently vice chair, Global Affairs of The Carlyle Group and chair of the Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees. 

“Given the state of the world, and particularly current events in Ukraine, Russia and Europe, which have tremendous human and global impact, perhaps no one can speak to the crisis and its ongoing effects more than Admiral Stavridis,” Whitworth President Scott McQuilkin says. “He possesses a wealth of firsthand knowledge about the region, the tensions, the leaders and the people. We greatly look forward to the insights he will share with the Inland Northwest community.”

Admiral Stavridis attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and spent 37 years in the Navy, rising to the rank of four-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 U.S. Southern Command in Miami, charged with military operations through Latin America for nearly three years. 

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 one-star rank to three-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 U.S. 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 Ph.D. 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. 

Admiral Stavridis has published 10 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 social networks. His TED talk on 21st century security in 2012 has close to 1 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 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.

Whitworth’s President’s Leadership Forum draws key national leaders to the Inland Northwest to provide wisdom and insight on a variety of contemporary issues. The event costs $60 per person or $600 for a corporate table (10 seats per table). Advance online registration is required. Please click here

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 


Rashel Rogers, events manager, institutional advancement, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4974 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or