William McRaven

William H. McRaven

William McRaven headshot

Bill McRaven began his service as eleventh Chancellor of The University of Texas System in January 2015. As Chancellor, he serves as the chief executive officer of the UT System, managing all operational aspects of the system and reporting to the UT Board of Regents. McRaven retired in August 2014 as a four-star admiral after 37 years as a Navy SEAL. His last assignment was as the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command during which time he led a force of 69,000 men and women with an annual budget of more than $10 billion.

As leader of the U.S. Special Operations Command, McRaven was responsible for conducting counter-terrorism operations worldwide as well as building reliable military partners through programs that stressed the rule of law, universal rights, civil liberties, and military professionalism.

In 2011, McRaven was the first runner-up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year and was subsequently selected by the Dallas Morning News as the 2011 Texan of the Year for his leadership of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

McRaven is also a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy. He served two years on the National Security Council Staff under President George W. Bush. As a three- and four-star admiral, he was routinely involved in national policy decisions during both the Bush and Obama administrations.

In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named McRaven one of the nation’s Top 10 Foreign Policy Experts and later he was selected as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2014, Politico magazine also named McRaven one of the Politico 50, citing his leadership as instrumental in cutting though Washington bureaucracy.

As the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, McRaven routinely engaged with the U.S. Congress. While other elements of the Department of Defense were reduced during sequestration, by working closely with Congress, McRaven was actually able to increase the size of the special operations force.

McRaven serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


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