Kevin M. Donegan

Senior Advisor (Non-resident), International Security Project
Associated Programs: International Security Program

Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan (USN, ret.) served as commander of the U.S. Navy’s fifth fleet and commander of the 32-nation Combined Maritime Forces in the Middle East. In those roles, he led teams that planned and executed joint and combined combat, counterterrorism, and anti-piracy operations at sea and in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen. In the Pentagon, he served as deputy chief of the Navy for operations, strategy, and planning, leading the development of the U.S. Maritime Strategy and was the service lead for the Department of Defense strategic review, the guiding strategy for the Department of Defense. He was responsible for international relations and oversaw initiatives for accelerated learning and innovation across the Navy with a focus on implementing cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, and big data management. He led the Navy task force to rapidly assess damage and mitigate risks after a major national cybersecurity breach.

Vice Admiral Donegan was director of operations for U.S. Central Command, where he managed combat and other operations for all U.S. joint military forces in the Middle East. During his tenure he implemented the strategic plan to shift joint U.S. and coalition partners’ military operations from Iraq to Afghanistan and introduced innovative national cyber teams to counter terrorist messaging and enhance cyber support for operations. He commanded the U.S. aircraft carrier strike group based in Japan, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, an amphibious command ship, and an FA-18 strike fighter squadron. Vice Admiral Donegan has been a national security lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the U.S. Naval War College, and the University of Virginia. He was honored by the governments of Japan, Bahrain, and France for leadership and coalition team building.