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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Adm. Stavridis, USN (Ret.) Oct 13 2021-text

Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Vice Chair, Global Affairs and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Oct 12, 2021  |  3:00 p.m. (pacific)  |  Virtual |  SECNAV Guest Lecture (SGL)

Lecture Topic:  Weapons of Mass Disruption: A Conversation with Admiral James Stavridis on the Future Force, Geopolitics and Leadership

Moderated by:  Dr. John Arquilla, NPS Professor Emeritus and author or “Bitskrieg: The New Challenge of Cyberwarfare”

Admiral James Stavridis is Vice Chair, Global Affairs of The Carlyle Group and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation, following five years as the 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  A retired 4-star officer in the U.S. Navy, he led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander with responsibility for Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans, Syria, counter piracy, and cyber security.  He also served as Commander of U.S. Southern Command, with responsibility for all military operations in Latin America from 2006-2009.  He earned more than 50 medals, including 28 from foreign nations in his 37-year military career.

Earlier in his military career he commanded the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet, winning the Battenberg Cup, as well as a squadron of destroyers and a carrier strike group – all in combat.  In 2016, he was vetted for Vice President by Hillary Clinton and subsequently invited to Trump Tower to discuss a cabinet position in the Trump Administration.

Admiral Stavridis earned a PhD in international relations and has published ten books and hundreds of articles in leading journals around the world, including the recent novel “2034: A Novel of the Next World War,” which was a New York Times bestseller.  His 2012 TED talk on global security has close to one million views.  Admiral Stavridis is a contributing editor for TIME Magazine and Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News.

Author of: “2034: A Novel of the Next World War”

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Congressman Adam Smith text July 13 2021

Congressman Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee

July 13, 2021  |  2:00 p.m. (pacific)  |  SECNAV Guest Lecture (SGL)

Lecture Topic: Advancing our Defense Technological Leadership

Congressman Adam Smith serves as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and represents the 9th district of the State of Washington. Having served on the House Armed Services Committee since he started in Congress, Congressman Smith formerly chaired the Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces (ALF), which had jurisdiction over all Army and nearly all Air Force acquisition programs. Prior to serving as Chair of ALF, Congressman Smith chaired the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, which oversaw the United States Special Operations Forces and counter-terrorism policy, among other critical areas. Adam has also previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Given his current and previous committee assignments and extensive travel, Congressman Smith has unique insights into today’s foremost national security issues throughout the Middle East, including the war in Afghanistan, as well as Northern Africa and our larger efforts to stop the spread of violent extremist groups and their ideology around the globe.  

Congressman Smith’s guest lecture will focus on how we can address the challenges of Great Power Competition by leveraging America’s strength in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and 5G communications in combination with the defense-focused graduate education and applied research at NPS to accelerate solutions to operational forces and develop military leaders educated to employ them.

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Rear Admiral Lorin Selby image MAY 7 2021






Rear Admiral Lorin Selby text MAY 7 2021

Rear Admiral Lorin C. Selby, U.S. Navy, Chief of Naval Research

May 25, 2021  |  noon (pacific)  |  Virtual Navy Guest Lecture (V-SGL)

Lecture Topic: Re-Imagining the Future Force

Rear Adm. Lorin C. Selby is the 26th Chief of Naval Research and commander of the Naval Research Enterprise, which includes the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Naval Research LaboratoryONR-Global and PMR-51. Selby graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in nuclear engineering and earned his commission through the Navy’s Reserve Officers Training Corps program. He also holds a Master of Science in nuclear engineering and a Nuclear Engineer degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His shipboard tours include USS Puffer (SSN 652), USS Pogy (SSN 647) and USS Connecticut (SSN 22) and command of USS Greeneville (SSN 772). Ashore, Selby’s staff assignments include deputy director of the Navy’s liaison office to the U.S. House of Representatives; Submarine Platforms and Strategic Programs branch head; and program manager for both the Submarine Imaging and Electronic Warfare Systems and Advanced Undersea Systems.

As a flag officer, Selby served as commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center, then as the Navy’s chief engineer and the Naval Sea Systems Command deputy commander for Ship Design, Integration and Naval Engineering before assuming his current role as Chief of Naval Research overseeing the annual investment of all basic, applied and advance technology development research for the Department of the Navy, a $2 billion portfolio. 

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July 15 - HASC Chairman Talks Defense Innovation, Technological Leadership During Visit and Lecture at NPS

June 2 -  Future Force: Naval Research Chief Discusses Disruptive Technologies During Latest V-SGL

April 30 -  Pentagon’s Senior Climate Advisor Delivers Talk on Security, Climate Change in Latest SGL

April 29 -  Missile Defense Agency Chief Discusses Technology, Education, Mission During Virtual SGL

March 15 -  Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Discusses Quantum Reform of the Metric System

February 1 -  Former USSTRATCOM and Pacific Fleet Commander Cecil Haney Talks Great Power Competition During Latest SGL

January 27 -  NPS Welcomes Retired Vice Adm. Edward Moore Jr. Into Hall of Fame


November 20 -  Ambassador Harris Discusses U.S./ROK Alliance, Statesmanship During NPS Virtual Lecture

October 15 - Artificial Intelligence Leaders Discuss AI for National Security in NPS' Latest Guest Lecture

June 27 - Astronaut, Aquanaut Shares Unconventional Leadership Journey During NPS Virtual Lecture

June 24- Lessons in Leadership from Admiral Bill McRaven

May 21- Former CNO Mullen Talks Leadership, National Security Challenges in a Post-COVID-19 World

January 23- USSOCOM Commander Explores NPS with Emphasis on Innovation and Industry Partnerships


OCT 20- Kennedy Space Center Director Shares NASA’s Future of Exploration During Latest SGL

OCT 3- Adobe CEO Narayen Talks Change During NPS Guest Lecture

MAR 6- Asia expert Yoshihara analyzes Chinese sea power during latest SGL

JAN 17- Strategist Peter Singer Offers a Glimpse Into the Future During Latest SGL


AUG 27- Ross Perot Jr. Offers Unique Perspective During Latest SGL

FEB 2- SECNAV76 Shares His Vision for the Future of NPS


NOV 18- Ambassador Reuben Brigety II Discusses Foreign Policy, Student Responsibilities During SGL

OCT 13- DOD’s Personnel and Readiness Chief Offers Latest SGL

MAR 16- Boeing Executive Offers Industry’s Perspective on Leadership During SGL

MAR 6- PACOM Chief Offers Inso-Asia-Pacific Update During Latest SGL

FEB 6- Former Ambassador to Afghanistan Offers Unique Perspective on China During Latest SGL

JAN 9- Former Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert Gates Offers First SGL of the Year


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

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July 13 - Congressman Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee

May 25 - Rear Admiral Lorin C. Selby, U.S. Navy, Chief of Naval Research

April 27- Mr. Joseph Bryan, Senior Advisor on Climate to the Secretary of Defense

April 13- Vice Admiral Jon A. Hill, Director, Missile Defense Agency

February 16- Dr. William D. Phillips, Nobel Laureate and Legendary Quantum Physicist

January 26- Admiral Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Navy (retired), Former Commander (USSTRATCOM)



November 17- Ambassador Harry Harris, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea

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