McRaven, William | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Master’s, Naval Postgraduate School
  • B.A., Journalism, The University of Texas
Teaching Areas
  • Intelligence and National Security
  • Leadership

William McRaven, former University of Texas System chancellor and retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral, joined the school as a professor in national security in 2018. As chancellor, he oversaw 14 institutions that educate 221,000 students and employ 20,000 faculty and more than 80,000 health care professionals, researchers and staff. As the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, McRaven led a force of 69,000 men and women and was responsible for conducting counter-terrorism operations worldwide. He is a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy and has advised presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders on defense issues. McRaven oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. His book, Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice, published in several languages, is considered a fundamental text on special operations strategy. He has received the Republic of France’s Legion d’Honneur, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association’s National Award and the National Intelligence Award. In 2016, McRaven was named the recipient of the Ambassador Richard M. Helms Award by the Central Intelligence Agency Officers Memorial Foundation.

Listen to Adm. McRaven with LBJ School Dean Angela Evans on the "Policy on Purpose" podcast in September 2018.

Media Expertise
  • National Security
  • International Security
  • Intelligence
  • Military affairs
  • Leadership


Media MentionMarch 19, 2020
The coronavirus has thrown us all in the mud

"Today, the coronavirus has thrown us all in the mud," writes Adm. William McRaven of the LBJ School, comparing the pandemic to training with the Navy SEALS. "We are cold, wet and miserable, and the dawn seems a long way off. But while we should not be cavalier about the dangers of this pandemic, neither should we feel hopeless and paralyzed with fear. Hope abounds."

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Media MentionFebruary 21, 2020
Opinion: If good men like Joe Maguire can’t speak the truth, we should be deeply afraid

Adm. William McRaven writes a powerful op-ed in the Washington Post defending Joe Maguire, the former acting director of national intelligence, who was fired by President Trump for giving classified testimony to House lawmakers that Russia wants to see Trump's reelection.

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Media MentionOctober 17, 2019
Opinion: Our republic is under attack from the president

In an op-ed for the New York Times, LBJ School Professor of National Security and retired four-star Admiral William McRaven argues that the United States may be in peril because of President Trump's actions, from assaults on the intelligence and law enforcement community to the State Department and the media. McRaven recounts two recent events that honored military and intelligence colleagues who sacrificed and put themselves on the line to defend the values of this country — and his concern over how the current commander-in-chief is affecting those values.

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