Admiral Harry Harris, USN (Ret)
Former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea
He served 40 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring in June 2018. From May 2015 to May 2018, he commanded U.S. Pacific Command, now known as the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. The first Asian-American to hold 4-star rank in the U.S. Navy, he also commanded U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 6th Fleet, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Patrol Wing 1, and VP 46. He participated in Operations Desert Shield/Storm, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Willing Spirit, and Odyssey Dawn. A Naval Flight Officer, he has flown over 4400 hours, including over 400 combat hours.
His personal decorations include the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the CIA’s Agency Seal Medal and Ambassador’s Award, 2 Defense Distinguished Service Medals, and 2 Bronze Stars. He has been decorated by the governments of Australia, France, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea He is nationally recognized as a champion of diversity.
Harris was born in Japan, reared in Tennessee and Florida, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 where he was a varsity fencer. Awarded master’s degrees from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, he did post-graduate studies at Oxford and completed MIT’s Seminar 21 fellowship. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Council of American Ambassadors.