Video On Demand

Lessons in Leadership and Risk with Admiral Sandy Winnefeld

July 19, 2023 • 2:00 – 2:30 pm EDT

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Please join the CSIS International Security Program for a conversation on Wednesday, July 19, at 2:00 p.m. with Admiral (ret.) James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld, Jr., former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Admiral Winnefeld and Dr. Seth G. Jones, senior vice president and director of the International Security Program, will discuss Admiral Winnefeld’s latest book — Sailing Upwind: Leadership and Risk from TopGun to the Situation Room — which outlines lessons from his distinguished career as a naval officer. 

Admiral Winnefeld graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in aerospace engineering and served for 37 years in the United States Navy. He instructed at the Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as Topgun, and served as senior aide-de-camp to General Colin L. Powell. He commanded a fighter squadron, the amphibious ship USS Cleveland, and the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. As a flag officer, he commanded a carrier strike group, two NATO commands, the United States Sixth Fleet, United States Northern Command, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD. He retired after serving as the ninth vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the United States’ number two ranking military officer. Admiral Winnefeld is a frequently published author and a director or advisory board member for companies operating in a broad spectrum of business sectors. He currently serves as distinguished professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech where he is a former chair of the advisory board, a member of the Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame, and an emeritus member of the Georgia Tech Foundation. He is a senior nonresident fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Admiral Winnefeld and his wife, Mary, are cochairs of SAFEProject.US, a national nonprofit committed to helping reverse the epidemic of drug overdose fatalities in the United States. He also co-hosts the podcast “The Adrenaline Zone.” 

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Sailing Upwind

Contact Information

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Seth G. Jones
Senior Vice President; Harold Brown Chair; and Director, International Security Program