G&A Podcast – Episode 2
2.7.18 – Admiral James Stavridis & Ambassador William Brownfield discuss their work together stemming the flow of cocaine to the US, the rescue of US hostages after 5 years of captivity by the FARC, and the transformation of Colombia. They also discuss the current situation in Venezuela and U.S. options.
Admiral James Stavridis: A Florida native, Jim Stavridis attended the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, and spent over thirty years in the Navy, rising to the rank of 4-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 piracy off the coast of Africa. He also commanded US Southern Command in Miami, charged with military operations through Latin America for nearly three years. He was the longest serving Combatant Commander in recent US history.
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. 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 US 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 PhD 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. He speaks Spanish and French. Jim has published eight 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 the social networks. His TED talk on 21st century security in 2012 has had over 700,000 views. He tweeted the end of combat operations in the Libyan NATO intervention. His memoir of the NATO years, “The Accidental Admiral,” was released in October 2014, and he has two books out in 2017: “The Leader’s Bookshelf: 50 Books That Make Us Better Leaders” in March and “Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the Oceans” in June.
Admiral Stavridis is also the Chair of the Board of the US Naval Institute, the professional association of the Nation’s sea services: Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. He is a monthly columnist for TIME Magazine and Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News. Jim is the 12th Dean at The Fletcher School, a post he assumed in the summer of 2013. He is happily married to Laura, and they have two daughters – one working at Google and the other a Registered Nurse, both married to physicians.
Ambassador William R. Brownfield: Bill Brownfield was promoted to the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service, in 2012. For the last seven years of his career, he was Assistant Secretary for Drugs and Law Enforcement (INL), running a portfolio of more than $4 billion in 80 countries administered by 5000 employees and contractors. His responsibilities ranged from police training and assistance in Afghanistan and Iraq, massive anti-drug efforts in Colombia and Mexico, crisis management in Central America, and police development in the Palestinian West Bank to maritime law enforcement in the South China Sea and stopping the flow of heroin/fentanyl into the United States. As Ambassador to Colombia, Brownfield ran an embassy of 4000 employees and $1 billion budget supporting an enormous range of military, security, law enforcement, economic and humanitarian programs with the Colombian government. In Venezuela, he led an embassy in constant crisis with the most adversarial government of any country in the Hemisphere, if not the world. As Ambassador to Chile, he managed a sophisticated relationship with a mature and stable government leading to the first U.S. free trade agreement in Latin America since NAFTA in 1993. Brownfield has United Nations experience in Geneva (humanitarian) and Vienna (drugs and crime). He was temporary Political Adviser to the U.S. Southern Command. He received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award and the Presidential Performance Award three times each. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the National War College. He attended the University of Texas
School of Law. He speaks Spanish and French. Brownfield is a native of the State of Texas. His wife, Kristie Kenney, is also a Career Ambassador and previous ambassador to Thailand, The Philippines, and Ecuador.