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It is fair to say that Admiral Mike Mullen has been forced by circumstances to think hard about almost every issue and every aspect of contemporary American foreign policy, as he served at the highest and most demanding level of governance. He has addressed the challenges of Russia and arms control, the assertive rising China, the nuclear dangers of North Korea and Iran, terrorism, regional instabilities, and cyberwarfare. His view has been wide-rangingly global, aware of technological and geopolitical changes of the 21st century, concerned with budgetary constraints, and sensitive to the subtleties of personnel requirements as well as weaponry. He knows the strategic and the need for global partnerships. He has been immersed in the political context of two presidencies, that of George W. Bush and Barack Obama; and he has had to work through the surge in Iraq, the departure of American troops from Iraq, and trying to build an Afghan fighting force in an unstable political environment.

Admiral Mullen’s career education included graduation from the United States Naval Academy, an M.S. degree from the Naval Postgraduate School, completion of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School, and formal preparations for a series of command and management responsibilities. He commanded three ships, a Cruiser-Destroyer Group, a Battle Group, and U.S. 2nd Fleet/NATO Strike Fleet Atlantic. His series of significant responsibilities culminated in four positions requiring the rank of full admiral: Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Commander of Allied Joint Forces, Naples, Chief of Naval Operations, and finally Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After his 43 year navy career, Admiral Mullen has continued as a serious student and observer of American foreign policy. He is a visiting professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs; and he continues the international contacts for which he is well known and which undergird his belief in the importance of the integration of international forces. Admiral Mullen is generally regarded as having been extraordinarily influential and comprehensive in his analyses.

Council members are most fortunate to be joined by one whose wisdom has been shaped by the demands and experience of high office and by an open and wide-ranging bent of mind. His views on contemporary American foreign policy should be most interesting and valuable.

It is an honor and privilege to welcome Admiral Mike Mullen to the Council.

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Baltimore, MD 21202

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