Admiral joins Tech faculty

Photo courtesy of United States Navy

This year, Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld will join Tech as a faculty member.

Specifically, Winnefeld will become a part of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and will be designated as a Distinguished Professor. Additionally, he will be a senior fellow in the School’s Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy.

On July 31, Winnefeld retired from his post as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is the second-highest military position ranking in the country. Winnefeld, in fact, is a Tech alumnus, having graduated from Tech in 1978 with a degree in aerospace engineering.

Though he will be based out of the Georgia Tech Research Institute office near Washington D.C., Winnefeld will have an office at Tech’s main campus in Atlanta at the Ivan Allen College. Last year, he served on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.

“Returning in an even closer role will allow me to give back to the institution that gave me so much so long ago … especially given the extraordinarily high quality of senior leadership the Institute currently enjoys,” Winnefeld said.

Some of Winnefeld’s more recent experience includes his time serving as an instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as “Topgun.” According to Winnefeld, experience in military roles can be adapted by him to effectively teach students.

“People in uniform are constantly stretching their bounds and learning new skills,” Winnefeld said. “I believe I can apply that experience to the particular role I will play on campus and in Washington.”

Before working with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Winnefeld was the commander of the United States Northern Command as well as the North American Aerospace Defense Command. He also served as the commander of the United States 6th Fleet and the NATO Allied Joint Command, Lisbon.

Winnefeld also led a deployment of troops in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and was present for various combat operations associated with the military activity. These events followed the terrorist acts against the United States on September 11, 2001.

According to Winnefeld, the major goals for his professorship include utilizing his experiences in the field and in Washington D.C. at his new post at Tech.

“I hope to be able to augment in any way I can the incredibly rich learning opportunities provided by the superb full-time faculty at Georgia Tech,” Winnefeld said. “I do believe that there is value in exposing students and faculty to those who have deep, recent experience in activities that must draw on the kinds of education imparted at Tech.”

Winnefeld will begin his tenure at Tech this Fall semester.