William McRaven, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) | 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" podcastin September 2018.

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


Media MentionMay 12, 2019
Life lessons and war stories from Admiral William H. McRaven

CBS Sunday Morning profiled Adm. William McRaven in a piece called "Measure of a Man." McRaven shared parts of his story — as a Navy SEAL, a high school athlete, an admiral commanding the raid that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden, a national security adviser to President Obama, and the 2014 commencement speaker at The University of Texas at Austin. The piece also talked about McRaven's new memoir, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations

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Media MentionMay 9, 2019
NYT: By the Book: Adm. William H. McRaven

Adm. William McRaven, former University of Texas System chancellor, retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral and LBJ School professor in national security, talked with the New York Times about what he likes to read, books that have influenced him, great literary characters and heroes, books he'd recommend to young recruits and what he thinks should be presidential required reading.






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Media MentionOctober 25, 2018
McRaven and McCaul: National Security Dimensions of Global Food Insecurity

Global hunger is a major national security concern. A generation of hundreds of millions of malnourished, and physically and cognitively, stunted adults contributes to instability and fragility. Admiral McRaven and Congressman Michael McCaul discuss in this joint oped. 

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