James George Stavridis (born February 15, 1955) is a retired United States Navy admiral, currently an Operating Executive with The Carlyle Group  and Chair of the Board of Counselors at McLarty Associates. In August 2018, he stepped down as the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, a graduate school for international affairs. Stavridis serves as the chief international diplomacy and national security analyst for NBC News in New York. He is also chairman of the board of the U.S. Naval Institute  and a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
In June 2018, when Tufts announced that Stavridis would be stepping down as Fletcher Dean, Tuft's president and provost lauded him in a joint statement calling him a "dynamic leader, a wonderful partner, and a prolific scholar."
Stavridis graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1976. While in the Navy, Stavridis served as the commander, U.S. Southern Command (2006 to 2009) and commander, U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (2009 to 2013), the first Navy officer to have held these positions. Stavridis earned a Ph.D and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1984, where he won the Gullion Prize.
Stavridis retired from the Navy in 2013 after thirty-seven years of service and became dean of The Fletcher School in the summer 2013. His book The Accidental Admiral, describing his time in the Navy, was published in October 2014. His book "The Leader's Bookshelf," published in 2017, describing the top 50 books that inspire better leadership was a #1 best seller in Amazon's "Literary Bibliography and Indexes" category. A second book published in 2017 is called "Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World's Oceans, published by Penguin Press. Shortly after publication, "Sea Power" was Amazon.com's number one bestseller in the national security and naval/military history categories. It opened at #9 on the Washington Post non-fiction bestseller list. He is an associate fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and a member of the Inter-American Dialogue.
He was considered as a potential vice-presidential running mate by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016 and as a possible U.S. Secretary of State by President-elect Donald Trump in the fall of 2016.
James G. Stavridis
|Birth name||James George Stavridis|
|Born||February 15, 1955|
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1976–2013|
|Commands held||Supreme Allied Commander Europe|
U.S. European Command
U.S. Southern Command
|Awards|| Defense Distinguished Service Medal|
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Stavridis was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, son of Shirley Anne (Schaffer) and Paul George Stavridis. His father was a U.S. Marine Corps colonel who served in three major U.S. wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Stavridis is married to Laura Hall, author of Navy Spouses Guide. His paternal grandparents were Asia Minor Greeks, born and raised in Western Anatolia, who emigrated to the United States. His mother's family was Pennsylvania Dutch (German).
In his 2008 book, Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command, Stavridis wrote:
In the early 1920's, my grandfather, a short, stocky Greek schoolteacher named Dimitrios Stavridis, was expelled from Turkey as part of 'ethnic cleansing' (read pogrom) directed against Greeks living in the remains of the Ottoman Empire. He barely escaped with his life in a small boat crossing the Aegean Sea to Athens and thence to Ellis Island. His brother was not so lucky and was killed by the Turks as part of the violence directed at the Greek minority.
A NATO exercise off the coast of modern Turkey was the "most amazing historical irony [he] could imagine," and prompted Stavridis to write of his grandfather: "His grandson, who speaks barely a few words of Greek, returns in command of a billion-dollar destroyer to the very city—Smyrna, now called İzmir—from which he sailed in a refugee craft all those years ago."
Stavridis is a 1976 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a career surface warfare officer and served at sea in aircraft carriers, cruisers, and destroyers. After serving with distinction as Operations Officer on the newly commissioned USS Valley Forge, Stavridis commanded destroyer USS Barry from 1993 to 1995, completing deployments to Haiti, Bosnia, and the Persian Gulf. Barry won the Battenberg Cup as the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet under his command. In 1998, he commanded Destroyer Squadron 21 and deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1998, winning the Navy League's John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership.
From 2002 to 2004, Stavridis commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Persian Gulf in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Afterwards, as Vice Admiral, Stavridis served as senior military assistant to the United States Secretary of Defense. On October 19, 2006, he became the first Navy officer to command the United States Southern Command in Miami, Florida. In July 2009, he became Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). He retired as SACEUR in 2013.
Ashore, Stavridis served as a strategic and long range planner on the staffs of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the start of the "Global War on Terror", he was selected as the director of the Navy Operations Group, Deep Blue, USA. He has also served as the executive assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and the senior military assistant to the United States Secretary of Defense.
Stavridis has long advocated the use of "smart power," which he defines as the balance of hard and soft power taken together. In numerous articles and speeches, he has advocated creating security in the 21st century by building bridges, not walls. Stavridis has stressed the need to connect international, inter-agency, and public-private actors to build security, lining all of them with effective strategic communications. His message was articulated in his book "Partnership for the Americas", which was published by the NDU Press and was based on his time as Commander of the U.S. Southern Command from 2006-2009. The book was summarized in his 2012 Ted Global talk in Scotland, which has been viewed more than 700,000 times online.
Based on an anonymous complaint, in early 2011 the DOD Inspector General began investigating allegations that ADM Stavridis "engaged in misconduct relating to official and unofficial travel and other matters." He was subsequently the subject of a May 3, 2012, report by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense and was later absolved of wrongdoing by the Secretary of the Navy on September 11, 2012. In a Memorandum for the Record, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus wrote that Stavridis: "has consistently demonstrated himself to be a model naval officer and a devoted public servant whose motivation is to do that which is necessary and appropriate to advance the interests of the United States." Mabus concluded that "I have determined that ADM Stavridis never attempted to use his public office for private gain nor did he commit personal misconduct."
Stavridis earned a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy in 1983, and a PhD in International Relations in 1984, from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he won the Gullion Prize as outstanding student. Stavridis is also 1992 distinguished graduate of the United States National War College.
Stavridis was appointed dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University on July 1, 2013. He frequently publishes his thoughts, opinions and analyses in myriad publications, including Foreign Policy, Huffington World Post, TIME Magazine (where he is a monthly columnist), and the United States Naval Institute's magazine, Proceedings.
As dean, Stavridis initiated a strategic planning process, invited several high level speakers to the campus, and is focusing thematically on the Arctic, the role of women in international relations, synthetic biology and its impact on foreign affairs, cyber, and the role of online media and social networks in public diplomacy.
He is also a board member of Michael Baker International.
Since leaving active duty, Stavridis has frequently appeared on major broadcast and cable television networks to comment on national security and foreign policy matters. He often commented on CNN, Fox News, BBC and Bloomberg, and is a frequent op-ed contributor in Foreign Policy and the Nikkei Asian Review.
Tufts University had a remote television studio installed on the campus of The Fletcher School so that Stavridis and other faculty and administrators could easily make themselves available to the international media. In August 2016 NBC News named Stavridis as their "chief international security and diplomacy analyst." Also in August 2016, according to Stavridis' official Twitter account, he began a monthly column for Time.com. The first column was about a "grand bargain" with Russia.
Stavridis has also been a public speaker – among his many appearances are multiple appearances at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Munich Security Conference  in 2013, and lectures at Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, The University of Texas at Arlington, and many other universities.
Stavridis has given numerous commencement and graduation addresses around the country at universities such as the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 2008, the University of Miami in 2011, Dickinson College in 2017, and California State Maritime and Norwich University in 2018.
On July 12, 2016, The New York Times and other media organizations reported that Stavridis was being vetted by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign as a possible vice presidential running mate on the Democratic ticket. The Washington Post summarized Stavridis' qualifications in a short video. Publications like the Navy Times cited his NATO leadership as pluses. An article in Politico called him "Hillary's Anti-Trump." Stavridis was quoted in that article as joking: "My name is too long for a bumper sticker." Eventually, Clinton selected Tim Kaine.
On December 8, 2016, Stavridis went to Trump Tower in New York City to meet with President-elect Donald Trump. Following the meeting, Stavridis told reporters that they had discussed world events, cybersecurity and other matters. Press accounts suggested he was under consideration for Secretary of State or Director of National Intelligence. On December 14, 2016, however, in an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Stavridis said that he would not be taking a position in the Trump administration.
Stavridis has received the following awards and decorations of the United States military.
|Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Navy Distinguished Service Medal|
|Defense Superior Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit with four gold award stars|
|Meritorious Service Medal with two gold award stars|
|Joint Service Commendation Medal|
|Navy Commendation Medal with three gold award stars|
|Navy Achievement Medal|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster|
|Navy Unit Commendation|
|Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with 2 bronze service stars|
|Navy "E" Ribbon w/ Wreathed Battle E device|
|Navy Expeditionary Medal|
|National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars|
|Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one bronze service stars|
|Southwest Asia Service Medal with one bronze service star|
|Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|Armed Forces Service Medal with two bronze service stars|
|Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one silver and two bronze service stars|
|Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze service star|
|Navy Expert Rifleman Medal|
|Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal|
Commander's degree, National Order of the Legion of Honour of France
Grand Cross Order of the Crown (Belgium)
Grand Cross Order of the Phoenix (Greece)
Commendation Ministry of Defense: "Cross of Merit and Honour First Class" (Greece)
Estonian Order of the Cross of the Eagle First Class
Order of Merit of the Italian Republic Knight Grand Cross of the Republic
Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Knight Commander's Cross with Star
Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
The Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit (Poland)
Order of Duke Trpimir (Croatia)
Cross of Commander of the Order for Merits to Lithuania
Investiture Medal of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Order of Naval Merit (Argentina)
Order of Naval Merit in the degree of Grand Officer (Brazil)
Cruz de la Victoria (Chile)
Order of Naval Merit Admiral Padilla (Colombia)
Order of the Peruvian Cross of Naval Merit in the rank of Grand Cross along with a White Ribbon (Peru)
The Emblem of Honor of the General Staff of Romania
Medal of Honorary Recognition of Latvia
Military Merit Grand Cross Medal of the Portuguese Republic
Order of Vakhtang Gorgasali - I Rank (Georgia)
Albanian Medal of Gratitude
Slovenian Medal for multinational cooperation 1st grade
Navy National Defense Cross (Guatemala)
Grand Cross (Dominican Republic)
NATO Meritorious Service Medal
NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Stavridis has received an array of other awards and honors, including the following (listed by date conferred):
| Combatant Commander of United States Southern Command
| Combatant Commander of United States European Command
| Supreme Allied Commander Europe|
Stephen W. Bosworth
| Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=270".