Jackson Visiting Fellows Program

Jackson Visiting Fellows are distinguished practitioners invited to participate in an immersive multi-day program on the Yale campus, highlighting their extraordinary contributions to global affairs. They enrich the Jackson and broader university community through attending classes, giving public talks, and interacting with students and faculty through a variety of engaging events. 

Launched in 2019, the Jackson Visiting Fellows program strengthens connections between the Jackson Institute and centers of excellence across Yale University, integrates practitioners with scholars, and extends Jackson’s vibrant network of exceptional individuals deeply committed to global affairs. 


Visiting Fellows

Admiral James Stavridis | February 4-5, 2020

Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and Dean of the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, will visit Yale February 4-5, 2020. He will visit classes and give a public talk, “Challenges to American Military Power,” on February 4, 4:30pm. See the Jackson events calendar for full details.

Stavridis attended the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, and spent 37 years in the Navy, rising to the rank of 4-star Admiral. Among his many commands were four years as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, where he oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Balkans, and counter piracy off the coast of Africa. He also commanded US Southern Command in Miami, charged with military operations through Latin America for nearly three years. He was the longest serving Combatant Commander in recent US history. Following his military career, he served for five years as the 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

In the course of his career in the Navy, he served as senior military assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense. He led the Navy’s premier operational think tank for innovation, Deep Blue, immediately after the 9/11 attacks. He won the Battenberg Cup for commanding the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet and the Navy League John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational leadership, along with more than 50 US and international medals and decorations, including 28 from foreign nations. He also commanded a Destroyer Squadron and a Carrier Strike Group, both in combat. In 2016, he was vetted for Vice President by Secretary Hillary Clinton, and subsequently invited to Trump Tower to discuss a cabinet position with President Donald Trump.

He earned a PhD from The Fletcher School at Tufts, winning the Gullion prize as outstanding student in his class in 1983, as well as academic honors from the National and Naval War Colleges as a distinguished student. He speaks Spanish and French. Admiral Stavridis has published eight books on leadership, the oceans, maritime affairs, and Latin America, as well as hundreds of articles in leading journals. An active user of social networks, he has tens of thousands of connections on the social networks. His TED talk on 21st century security in 2012 has had over one million views. He tweeted the end of combat operations in the Libyan NATO intervention. His memoir of the NATO years, “The Accidental Admiral,” was released in 2014, and he had two books out in 2017: “The Leader’s Bookshelf: 50 Books That Make Us Better Leaders” and “Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the Oceans.”

He is currently an Operating Executive of The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm and is chair of the Board of Counselors of McLarty Associates, an international consulting firm. Admiral Stavridis is chair emeritus of the Board of the US Naval Institute, the professional association of the Nation’s sea services: Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. He is a monthly columnist for TIME Magazine and Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News.

Staffan de Mistura | October 22-23, 2019

Staffan de Mistura, former Undersecretary General of the UN and Special Representative for Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, visited Yale October 22-23, 2019. During his time at Yale, de Mistura spoke in six Global Affairs classes and gave a public talk to a standing-room-only audience in Horchow Hall. Read more about his visit

Staffan de Mistura, former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, served as Special Envoy for Syria of the United Nations Secretary-General from July 2014 to December 2018.  Prior to this assignment, he was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq (2007-2009) and in Afghanistan (2010-2011), and Italy’s Deputy Foreign Minister. During a career of over four decades with United Nations agencies, he served in numerous conflict zones, directing complex relief operations, food distributions and vaccination campaigns. In particular, he was posted in Sudan, Ethiopia, Albania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia.  He also held senior political and humanitarian assignments in Lebanon and Iraq, and served as Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme.  Mr. de Mistura is a national of Italy and Sweden. He speaks seven languages.