ADM Harry B. Harris Jr., USN (Ret.)
Admiral Harry Harris served as Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, from 2013 to 2015 and then as Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, until his retirement from the Navy in 2018. He subsequently was appointed U.S. ambassador to South Korea, serving until January 2021.
A 1978 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Admiral Harris was designated as a naval flight officer (NFO) in 1979. He commanded Patrol Squadron 46, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 1, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, the U.S. 6th Fleet, and Striking and Support Forces NATO. He has served in every geographic combatant command region and participated in Operations Earnest Will, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Willing Spirit, and Odyssey Dawn. Admiral Harris’ staff assignments include three tours on the Navy staff, including Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Communication Networks. He also served as the Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2011–13. In this capacity he traveled globally as the Chairman’s personal representative to the Secretary of State.
Admiral Harris has logged 4,400 flight hours, including more than 400 combat hours, in maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. Prior to his retirement, he was the Navy’s “Gray Owl,” the NFO who had held this designation for the longest period, and the “Old Goat,” the longest-serving Naval Academy graduate still on active duty.
He holds a master’s of public administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a master’s degree in national security studies from Georgetown University. He was also an MIT Seminar 21 fellow for the 1999–2000 class.