STEM Fireside Chat: Cyber Security with ADM Michelle Howard ’82 USN ret

November 12, 2020 @ 16:00 – 17:30

USNA Women’s SIG STEM committee is presenting a bi-monthly fireside chat series featuring USNA Alumnae in STEM careers.  Thursday, November 12th 2020 will feature Adm Michelle Howard ’82, USN Ret.

Register HERE. This chat will start at 1600 Pacific Time, an hour earlier than previous chats to enable midshipmen participation.

Michelle Howard '82, Adm USN, ret

Michelle J. Howard ’82,  Admiral, U.S. Navy, Retired


Michelle J. Howard served 35 years in the United States Navy.  She led Sailors and Marines multiple times in her career as the Commander of:  a ship, an Expeditionary Strike Group, Task Force, and a Naval theater. Her last command was from 2016 to 2017 as U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa. She simultaneously led NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples with oversight of missions from the Western Balkans to Iraq.  Operations in her career include: NATO peacekeeping, West African Training Cruise, Indonesia Tsunami Relief operations, and the rescue of Maersk Alabama from Somali Pirates.  Michelle J. Howard is a Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.


In 1999 Michelle J. Howard became the first African American woman to command a ship in the Navy. Michelle was the first female USNA graduate to reach flag rank and was the first admiral from the class of 1982. In 2014, she was the first woman to become a four-star Admiral in the U.S. Navy and the first woman to be appointed to the position of Vice Chief of Naval Operations (number two in a Military Service).  She is the first African American woman to reach the rank of three-star and four-stars in the Armed Forces.

Michelle J. Howard was the Shapiro Visiting Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University from 2018 to 2020.  She taught courses on cyber and policy.


  • U. S. Naval Academy, Bachelor of Science 1982
  • U. S. Army Command and General Staff College, Masters Military Arts and Science (History) 1998


  • Women of Color (STEM) Career Achievement 2008
  • Dominion Power Strong Men and Women Excellence in Leadership 2009
  • USO Military Woman of the Year 2011
  • NAACP Chairman’s Image Award 2013
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund National Hero Award 2014
  • Annie Oakley Society 2015
  • French Legion of Honor 2015
  • Order of Naval Merit Brazil 2017
  • Atlantic Council Distinguished Military Leadership Award 2017
  • KPMG Inspire Greatness Award 2018
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Armed Forces Award 2019

Honorary Degrees

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2015
  • American Public University 2015
  • North Carolina State University 2016


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