ADM (ret.) Michael G. Mullen
17th Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff
Admiral Mike Mullen is President of MGM Consulting which provides counsel to global clients on issues related to geo-political developments, national security interests and strategic leadership.
He served as the 28th Chief of Naval Operations from 2005-2007 and as the 17th Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff for Presidents Bush and Obama from 2007 to 2011. He led the military during a critical time of change and transition.
Admiral Mullen advanced the rapid fielding of innovative technologies, championed emerging and enduring global partnerships, and promoted new methods for countering terrorism. He spearheaded the elimination of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, ushering for the first time in US military history the open service of gay and lesbian men and women.
Admiral Mullen is a Distinguished Graduate of the US Naval Academy and a Distinguished Graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School, a Distinguished Alumni of Harvard Business School, a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves as a Trustee at Caltech. Since his retirement from the United States Navy in November 2011 after 43 years of honorable service, Admiral Mullen joined the corporate boards of General Motors from 2013-2018 and Sprint from 2013-2019. He continues to serve on numerous boards to include Bloomberg Philanthropies, CALTECH, Naval Academy Foundation, Naval Postgraduate School Foundation, Harvard Business School and a wide array of non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the growth, development, recovery, and transition of military veterans and their families.
Additionally, he taught National Security Decision Making and Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University from 2012-2018 and continues to teach advanced ethics and leadership at the US Naval Academy.
Congressman Joe Courtney
US House of Representatives, Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee
Congressman Joe Courtney was elected in 2006 to represent the Second Congressional District of Connecticut in the House of Representatives. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, and House Education and Labor Committee.
Congressman Courtney is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. According to a review by House Historians Office, Courtney is the first known member from Connecticut to lead a naval oversight panel in the House of Representatives since 1873, when Stephen W. Kellogg of Waterbury served as Chair of the Committee on Expenditures in the Navy Department in the 42nd Congress (1871-1873).
As a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, Congressman Courtney has worked to strengthen our nation's defense by leading the call for increased submarine production. When Courtney arrived in Congress, Electric Boat was facing significant workforce reductions, and, for the first time in 50 years, was not actively designing the next generation of submarine. Because of funding secured by Courtney through his committee work, the men and women of Electric Boat have been building two submarines per year since 2011. In addition, Courtney has secured critical resources for new design and engineering work on the replacement for the OHIO-class submarine, which has added thousands of jobs in southeastern Connecticut. This design and engineering work prompted Electric Boat to expand into the former Pfizer building in New London to accommodate its growing workforce.
Additionally, Congressman Courtney secured over $100 million federal funding outside the President's budget for SUBASE New London. This investment will ensure that New England's largest military installation will have an enduring mission for years to come. In recognition of his work, Courtney was awarded "The Distinguished Public Service Award" from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the highest civilian honor the Navy confers.
Since his swearing-in, Congressman Courtney has distinguished himself as a tireless advocate for both our nation's veterans and our men and women in uniform. He successfully fought to expand the Montgomery GI Bill for post-9/11 veterans and their families, and led the fight to extend TRICARE benefits to dependents under age 26. Congressman Courtney also fought and won support for an 18-unit supportive housing facility for homeless and at-risk veterans in Jewett City. He also partnered with Senator John McCain to introduce the Post-9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act to help members of the military transition into the teaching profession. In recognition of his efforts on behalf of veterans, Congressman Courtney has been awarded the Connecticut National Guard's highest honor, the Meritorious Service Award. He has also earned recognition from veterans organizations, including the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, which named him Legislator of the Year in 2009.