ADMIRAL MICHAEL G. MULLEN USN (RET.)
Honorary Doctor of Engineering | News Release
Admiral Mullen graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968, and received a master of science degree in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
He served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, from 2007 until 2011. He was the principal military adviser to President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, as well as two Secretaries of Defense.
He led the military during a critical period of transition, overseeing the end of the combat mission in Iraq and the development of a new military strategy for Afghanistan. He advocated for the rapid development and fielding of innovative technologies, championed emerging and enduring international partnerships, and advanced new methods for combating terrorism all of which directly culminated in the operation which targeted Osama bin Laden.
As Joint Chiefs Chairman, he spearheaded the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In addition, he successfully led the matrix, consensus-based, complex organizational model of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Mullen has deep experience in leading change in complex organizations, executive development and succession planning, diversity implementation, crisis management, strategic planning, budget policy, congressional relations, risk management, technical innovation, and cybersecurity. He and his wife, Deborah, remain staunch advocates of veterans and their families on a broad range of issues including drawing public attention and institutional focus to the challenges of post-traumatic stress, combat-related brain injury, military suicide, care of the wounded, and veteran homelessness.
Prior to becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Mullen commanded at every level in the Navy, including three ships, an aircraft carrier battle group, and a fleet. His final four-star command was in Europe for NATO. His fleet experience culminated in his assignment as the Navy’s highest ranking officer, the 28th Chief of Naval Operations, from 2005 until 2007.
2013 President’s Commencement Colloquy