General Peter Pace | Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (2005-2007)

General Peter Pace

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (2005-2007)

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Charlotte, NC, US

General Peter Pace

General Peter Pace retired from active duty on October 1, 2007, after more than 40 years of service in the United States Marine Corps.

General Pace was sworn in as sixteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sep. 30, 2005. In this capacity, he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming Chairman, he served four years as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Pace holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served in either of these positions.

Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Teaneck, NJ, General Pace was commissioned in June 1967, following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Administration from George Washington University, attended the Harvard University Senior Executives in National and International Security program, and graduated from the National War College.

During his distinguished career, General Pace has held command at virtually every level, beginning as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Vietnam. He also served as Commanding Officer of 2
nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment; Commanding Officer of the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.; Deputy Commander, Marine Forces Somalia; Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Somalia; Director of Operations for the Joint Staff; Commander, U.S., Marine Forces Atlantic/Europe/South; and Commander in Chief, US
Southern Command.

In June, 2008, General Pace was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a President can bestow.

General Pace is currently serving on the Board of Directors of several corporate entities involved in management consulting, private equity, and cybersecurity. He has served on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, and the Secretary of Defense's Defense Policy Board. From 2008 to 2010, he served as leader-in-residence and the Poling Chair of Business and Government for the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, and as a Distinguished Visiting Research Scholar for Fordham University from 2011 to 2017. General Pace has recently been named the Colin Powell Chair for National Security Leadership, Character and Ethics at National Defense University. He donates his time to teach at this and numerous other professional military
education programs.

General Pace is associated with a number of charities focused on supporting the troops and their families, to include: He is Chairman of the Board for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity that provides scholarship bonds to children of Marines and Federal law enforcement personnel who were killed while serving our country. He is the senior military adviser to the President George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, which works to empower communities, military service organizations, businesses, and universities to support veterans and their families. He and his wife Lynne are longtime supporters of the Fisher House Foundation, which builds homes near VA and military medical centers, offering military families a place to stay while a loved one is receiving treatment; and they are both on the advisory board for Our Military Kids, an organization that supports children of deployed Guard and Reserve personnel with tutoring and enrichment activities.

General Pace and his wife, Lynne, have a son, Peter; a daughter, Tiffany; a daughter-in-law, Lynsey Olczak Pace; and three grandchildren, Linden, Hadley, and Holden Pace.

General Peter Pace
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Current: Non-Political Advice in a Very Political Environment

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General Peter Pace
Featured Keynote Programs

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is a term that both intrigues and alarms us, as we struggle to understand AI’s capabilities, opportunities, and risks. Artificial Intelligence – or machine learning – is no longer the stuff of science fiction movies. Its application in government agencies, corporate workspaces, and our own homes makes this technology very real. Siri and Alexa answer our questions, and over time, begin to anticipate our requests – even feed us ideas. Businesses use AI to analyze news articles or Twitter feeds that mention their products, collecting data to help adjust marketing or product development. Government agencies apply AI to make best use of limited resources.
AI is a technology – not a solution. Algorithms, math, and statistical analysis can be applied to complex problems to identify trends and patterns, making logical projections or forecasts, which empower us to make timely and informed decisions impacting our daily lives, the market economy, and national security. But who determines policy, and how do we ensure those rules are followed to safeguard intellectual property, personal privacy, and basic safety?
Drawing on his unparalleled access to IT innovations and expertise, combined with decades of experience in decision-making in the national security arena, General Pace shares what organizations should consider to take advantage of Artificial Intelligence, while assessing and mitigating its inherent risks.

Leading Up

While we all understand that the boss has a responsibility to lead an organization’s employees, rarely do we focus on the employees’ responsibility to lead the boss. In addition to mentoring and motivating their subordinates, truly effective leaders value the perspective of all members of the team, and encourage subordinates to lead up – to share information up the chain of command in a way that helps an organization’s leaders make timely, accurate decisions.

A master at serving many masters, Pace demonstrates how to think through the consequences of multiple competing priorities, see the bigger picture, and communicate that strategic analysis up the chain in a way that is clear, precise, and useful. In fact, Michael Useem, Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School devotes a chapter to Pace in his book, Leading Up, highlighting Pace’s efforts to reconcile the conflicting priorities of six bosses by keeping them well informed and challenging their instructions when necessary.

Amid today's fragile global economy, corporate restructuring is commonplace, as managers and leaders are continuously challenged to do more with less. In this inspiring discussion, General Pace shares insights and personal examples about leading in both directions, to include:

Embracing the job you didn’t want
Determining who ‘owns’ a decision - and then making it!
Navigating between the organization’s vision and your own personal goals
Speaking up in a way that challenges assumptions but not authority
Listening to subordinates and encouraging differing points of view
Checking your moral compass and preparing for ethical decisions before they arrive

Non-Political Advice in a Very Political Environment

A key ingredient to our system of government is civilian control of our military. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Pace was responsible for providing his unvarnished insights and best military advice to the Commander in Chief, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and when asked, the Congress of the United States. In a discussion that transcends any partisan political debate, General Pace explains the chain of command and the value of this civil/military relationship, demonstrating how non-political advice plays an important role in our government process, even in (especially in) a very political environment.

Using real-world examples from the perspective gained in senior most military leadership roles, General Pace adds valuable insight on how to approach challenges that are familiar to any organization. From navigating multiple military and national security proposals in response to the latest headlines, to the professional working relationship between the President, the National Security Council, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Pace shares “a day in the life” view, detailing what it’s like to provide strategic guidance on an organization with 2.4 million members, and a budget in excess of $700 billion dollars. Pace describes the DOD budget process, how priorities are addressed, and the impact of shortfalls or cost overruns. He makes recommendations to change the interagency process in order to more effectively and efficiently carry out the orders of the Commander in Chief.

“How does this apply to me?”

- Crisis du jour—how will your organization hold up in the wake of bad news? Do you have a crisis response plan that addresses the media attention as well as the longer term implications for the company’s culture and your ability to weather the storm?

- Departmental rivalries – how to use leadership’s clear vision to navigate beyond conflicting interests and stove piped perspectives; how to work inside a process while still presenting your case for change.

- A day in the life of the Chairman/CEO — the importance of time, mentors, access, meetings, responsibilities

- Prioritizing for budget shortfalls - The need to address competing priorities against a shrinking budget, and to be part of the solution, not just part of the discussion.

General Peter Pace
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