Naval Postgraduate School Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture SGL

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Welcome to the Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture series!

Guest speakers are an integral part of the student-learning experience at the Naval Postgraduate School. The Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture (SGL) series exposes students to prominent speakers, recognized as distinguished leaders in their fields of expertise.

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The goal of the SGL series is to complement the broad range of NPS curricula with compelling speakers who expand our thinking and challenge our assumptions to existing issues inspiring us to consider new possibilities and potential futures. SGLs are scheduled at regular intervals throughout the year, typically on Tuesdays at 1500 in King Hall. The Dean of Students has overall responsibility for the coordination and execution of the lecture series. 

To the extent possible, nominations for speakers come from the NPS student body. The student-led President’s Board for Student Affairs plays a key leadership role in the process in order to facilitate dialogue on potential topics of interest and guests students want to invite.  Nominations must meet certain criteria to promote higher levels of thinking and generate insights on current issues, emerging technologies and possible solutions to security challenges that enhance student success and the NPS mission.

Past speakers have included high-level U.S. and international government and military leaders, industry executives, futurists, recognized authors and thought leaders.

With the permission of each guest lecturer, NPS makes every effort to share the knowledge and benefit of speakers via livestream or post-event recorded videos. 

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Ambassador Harry Harris

November 17, 2020  |  3:00 p.m. (pacific)  |  Virtual Navy Guest Lecture (V-SGL)

Lecture Topic: Critical Allies: The U.S. / Republic of Korea Alliance

U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Harry Harris is the first Asian-American to hold four-star rank in the U.S. Navy and the first to head U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), now known as the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), from May, 2015 to May, 2018. He was nominated by President Trump on May 23, 2018 and confirmed by the United States Senate on June 28, 2018. Prior to USPACOM, he commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet. From 2011 to 2013, Ambassador Harris served as the representative of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of State. In this role, he traveled to over 80 countries with the Secretary and participated in most of the Secretary’s meetings with foreign leaders. 


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Lt. Gen. John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan

October 13, 2020 | 10:00 a.m (pacific) | Virtual Navy Guest Lecture (V-SGL)

Lecture Topic: Harnessing AI for National Security

Lt. Gen. John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan retired from active duty August 1st 2020 and was the inaugural Director, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, Office of the Department of Defense responsible for accelerating the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scaling the department-wide impact of AI, and synchronizing AI activities to expand joint force advantages. Lt. Gen. Shanahan received his commission in 1984 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at the University of Michigan. He served in a variety of flying, staff and command assignments, including as the Director for Defense Intelligence (Warfighter Support), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. He was also the Director of the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (Project Maven), where he established and led the department’s AI pathfinder fielding program charged with accelerating, augmenting, and automating intelligence collection and analysis.


Nand Mulchandani

October 13, 2020 | 10:00 a.m (pacific) | Virtual Navy Guest Lecture (V-SGL)

Lecture Topic: Harnessing AI for National Security

Nand Mulchandani serves as the Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. Mulchandani brings more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry as a serial entrepreneur and senior executive in the enterprise infrastructure and security software industries to his service in the government to help transform the Department of Defense in adopting next-generation AI and software technologies.  Mulchandani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Mathematics from Cornell University, a Master in Science in Management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


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Read the story: Artificial Intelligence Leaders Discuss AI for National Security in NPS' Latest Guest Lecture


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For more NPS videos, please visit our official YouTube channel.

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October 13- Lt. Gen. John N.T. "Jack" Shanahan, Inaugural Director, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, Office of the Department of Defense

October 13- Nand Mulchandani, Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center 

August 25- Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, geologist and a former NASA astronaut

July 21- Retired General Keith B. Alexander, USA, Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA) and Chief of the Central Security Service (CHCSS) and was the first Commander to lead the United States Cyber Command

July 21- Retired Vice Admiral Jan E. Tighe, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare and 66th Director of Naval Intelligence

June 23- Admiral William H. McRaven, USN, U.S. Special Operations Command

May 19- Retired Admiral Michael G. Mullen, USN, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

January 23- Gen. Richard Clarke, USA, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)



August 20- Honorable Mr.  James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development and Acquisition (ASN (RD&A))

July 23- Gen. Stephen Lyons, USA, Commander, US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM)

July 9- Adm. James Winnefeld, USN (retired), Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

April 9- Vice Adm. Paul Sullivan, USN (retired), Former Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)

March 5- Adm. John Richardson, USN, Chief of Naval Operations

February 26- Dr. Toshi Yoshihara, Professor

January 9- Mr. Peter Singer, Strategist for the New America Foundation and Contributing Editor for Popular Science Magazine



October 30- Mr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google

October 1- Mr. Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe

August 15- Mr. Ross Perot Jr, Chairman of the Perot Group

March 5- Dr.  Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google

February 1- Honorable Mr. Richard Spencer, SECDEF

January 23- Adm. Michael Mullen, USN (retired), Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff



December 20- Adm. Michael S. Rogers, USN, Commander, US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM)/ Director of the National Security Agency

December 1- Gen. Robert Neller, USMC, 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps

November 21- Ambassador Reuben Brigety, Dean, Elliott School of Int'l Affairs, George Washington University

October 10- Rear Adm.  Tony Kurta, USN (retired), Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD (P&R))

August 10- Honorable Mr. Leon Panetta, Former SECDEF, Former Director of the CIA, Former White House Chief of Staff

July 25- Adm. Philip S. Davidson, Commander, US Fleet Forces Command (USFF)

July 11- Capt. Jeff Bacon, USN (retired), Illustrator, Broadside and Greenside cartoons

May 18- Gen. John E.  Hyten, USAF, Commander, US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM)

May 2- Vice Adm. William Brown, USN, Director for Logistics (J4), Joint Staff

April 18- Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, USMC, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command; Commander, Marine Corps Forces Strategic Command, and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration

March 7- Ms. Leanne Caret, Executive Vice President, The Boeing Company

March 2- Adm. Harry Harris Jr., USN, Commander, US Pacific Command (USPACOM)

February 14- Vice Adm. Patricia Tracey, USN (retired), Former Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET)

January 24- Dr. David Chu, President and CEO of the Institute for Defense Analyses

January 17- Mr.  Karl Eikenberry, Former Ambassador to Afghanistan

January 5- Honorable Dr. Robert Gates, Former SECDEF



May 10- Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast, USAF, Commander, Air Education and Training Command

October 18- Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

April 19- Capt. Paul Rinn, USN (retired), Former Commanding Officer, USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58)

February 16- Mr. Mark Ward, Career Minister in Department of State/ Current Director of the Syrian Transition Assistance and Response Team (START)

February 9- Honorable Mr. Richard Danzig, Former SECNAV



October 15- Rear Adm. James J. Shannon, USN, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for International Programs (DASN(IP))

October 6- Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, USN (retired), Former Director, National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO)

August 11- Vice Adm. Michael C. Vitale, USN (retired), Former Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) 

July 14- Gen. Stanley McChrystal, USA (retired), Former Commanding Officer, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)

May 12- Mr. Mark Dankberg, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ViaSat

April 3- Adm. Michelle Howard, USN, 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations

February 4- Adm. Michael S. Rogers, USN, Commander, US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM)/ Director of the National Security Agency



October 6- Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, USMC, Commanding General, US Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC)

August 12- Lt. Gen. David K. Heebner, USA (retired), Former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff

April 4- Mr. Stephen Dubner, Economist/Author

April 4- Dr. Steven Levitt, Economist/Author

April 3- Adm. Harry Harris Jr., USN, Commander, US Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)

March 19- Gen. John F. Kelly, USMC, Commander, US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)

February 12- Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III, USN, 37th Vice Chief of Naval Operations



November 20- Vice Adm. Bill Moran, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations

June 4- Rear Adm. Terence E. “Terry” McKnight, USN (retired), Former Commanding Officer, Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151)

February 9- Capt. Paul Rinn, USN (retired), Vice President, Whitney, Brown & Bradley (WBB) consulting firm

January 15- Capt. David Marquet, USN (retired), Author / Speaker



November 27- Mr. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, National Editor of the Washington Post

November 13- Lt. Col. James G. Zumwalt, USMC (retired), Public Speaker, Author

October 16- Capt. Frank Castellano, USN, Former Commanding Officer, USS Bainbridge (DDG 96)

September 25- Mr. Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense

June 7- Adm. William McRaven, USN, Commander, US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)

May 22- Mr. Manfred Lange, Chief of Staff, SHAPE

May 15- Dr. Fenton Carey, Technical Specialist at ATPCO, Washington DC

May 10- Honorable Mr. Robert O. Work, 31st Under Secretary of the Navy

May 8- Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., USAF, Commander, Air Education and Training Command

April 17- Mr. Kevin Freeman, CFA, CEO Freeman Global Investment Counsel

April 3- Cmdr. Kirk Lippold, USN (retired), Professional Speaker/Commanding Officer, USS Cole (DDG 67) during Yemen attack

March 8- Dr. Michael Griffin, Professor/Consultant, Former NASA Administrator

February 28- Mr. Yaron Brook, President and Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute

February 24- Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Georgia Senator - Republican

February 16- Adm. Mark E. Ferguson, III, USN, 37th Vice Chief of Naval Operations



August 29- Honorable Mr. Ray Mabus, SECNAV

August 23- Honorable Mr. Leon Panetta, SECDEF 

August 16- Dr. David Kilcullen, Counterinsurgency

August 9- Honorable Mr. Zachary Lemnios, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E))

July 26- Capt. Wayne Porter, USN, Special Strategic Assistant to Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Adm. Mike Mullen

July 12- Rear Adm. Greg Smith, USN, Former US Central Command (CENTCOM) Public Affairs Officer

May 31- Mr. Phil Dyer, Co-Founder of the VICTORY Success System for Military Veterans. Entrepreneur

March 29- Ms. Gould, Independent Research Scholar/Author

March 29- Mr. Fitzgerald, Independent Research Scholar/Author

March 8- Ms. Mary Ann Davidson, Chief of Security, Oracle Corp.

February 24- Gen. Stéphane Abrial, French Air Force, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation

February 15- Mr. Peter Singer, Fellow and Director 21st Century Defense Initiative Brookings Institute

February 1- Capt. Alan G. Poindexter, USN, NPS Dean of Students

January 18- Provost Leonard Ferrari, NPS Provost

January 11- Mr. Anthony Shaffer, External Communications Director, Center for Advanced Defense Studies



November 30- Mr. Craig Duehring, Former Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs

October 26- Mr. Thomas Barnett, Senior Managing Director, Enterra Solutions LLC

September 7- Dr. Ron Ross, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) senior computer scientist and information security researcher

August 24- Dr. Radford Langston, Principal, Langston Associates

August 17- Mr. Richard Clarke, Former National Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism, Security, Global Affairs, and Cyber Warfare

August 3- Capt. Paul Rinn, USN (retired), Former Commanding Officer, USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58)

July 20- Mr. Phil Midland, President, IHS International, LC

May 18- Dr. Brenda Shaffer, Professor, School of Political Science and Department of Asian Studies at the University of Haifa

May 13- Gen. George W. Casey Jr., USA, 36th Chief of Staff of US Army

April 20- Dr. Amory Lovins, Chairman/Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute

March 30- Gen. James T. Conway, USMC, 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps

February 18- Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), South Carolina Senator - Republican

February 18- Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Georgia Senator - Republican

February 1- Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN, Commander, US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)



November 17- Gen. John P. Jumper, USAF (retired), Former Chief of Staff of the US Air Force

November 10- Mr. Phil Dyer, Co-Founder of the VICTORY Success System for Military Veterans. Entrepreneur

November 3- Mr. Michael Gordon, Military Correspondent, New York Times

October 27- Ambassador Ryan Crocker, US Ambassador to Iraq

October 13- Dr. Richard Muller, Professor of Physics, UC Berkeley

September 29- Maj. Gen. Gregg F. Martin, USA, Commandant of the US Army War College

July 21- Dr. Thomas Fingar, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis

May 12- Mr. Greg Mortenson, American Humanitarian, professional speaker, writer and former mountaineer

April 21- Brig. Gen. Richard M. Lake, USMC, Deputy Director of National Clandestine Service for Community Human Intelligence, CIA

March 10- Mr. David Wennergren, Assistant Deputy Chief Management Officer (DoD)

February 10- Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, USA, Director, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIDO)

January 13- Maj. Gen. Thomas A. Benes, USMC, Former Director, Expeditionary Warfare Division (OPNAV N85)



November 25- Dr. Walter Jones, Executive Director, Office of Naval Research

October 28- Rear Adm. James M. Hart, USN, Commander, Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA)

October 14- Rear Adm. W. G. “Jerry” Ellis, USN, NPS Professor and Undersea Warfare Chair

September 29- Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN, Commander, US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)

September 4- Adm. Eric T. Olson, USN, Eighth Commander of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)

September 3- Gen. James Mattis, USMC, Commander, US Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM)

August 26- Mr. W. David Schwaderer, Author

August 19- Mr. Alexander Karsner, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

July 22- Lt. Gen. Eugene D. Santarelli, USAF (retired), Former Vice Commander, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AF Base, Hawaii

July 15- Mr. Steve Blank, Entrepreneur and Academician in high tech industry

June 3- Col. Thomas Hammes, USMC (retired), A specialist in counter-insurgency warfare

May 27- Senator Dr. Gary Hart (D-CO), Former Colorado Senator – Democrat ('75-'87)

May 20- Dr. Charles McQueary, Director, Operational Test & Evaluation, with SECDEF at the DoD

May 13- Gen. Bruce Carlson, USAF, Director, National Reconnaissance Office

April 29- Mr. Leonard Demi, President of the Defense Committee of the Albanian Parliament

April 1- Vice Adm. H. Denby Starling, II, USN, Commander, Naval Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM)

March 11- Mr. Mario Mancuso, Former Under Secretary of Commerce of the United States

February 19- Col. Terry Ebbert, USMC (retired), Director of Homeland Security for New Orleans

February 12- Adm. Bobby R. Inman, USN (retired), Former Deputy Director of the CIA

February 5- Brig. Gen. Michael M. Brogan, USMC, Commanding General, Training Command, MCB Quantico