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About Excelsior College

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Commencement Speaker

Adm. Mike Mullen
Adm. Mike Mullen
U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Adm. Mike Mullen

Admiral Mike Mullen served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2007-2011). He was the principal military advisor to President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, as well as two secretaries of defense.

He led the military during a critical period of transition, overseeing the end of the combat mission in Iraq, and the development of a new military strategy for Afghanistan. He advocated for the rapid development and fielding of innovative technologies, championed emerging and enduring international partnerships, and advanced new methods for combating terrorism.

As Joint Chiefs Chairman, he spearheaded the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In addition, he successfully led the matrix, consensus-based, complex organizational model of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mullen has deep experience in leading change in complex organizations, executive development and succession planning, diversity implementation, crisis management, strategic planning, budget policy, congressional relations, risk management, technical innovation, and cybersecurity. He is widely recognized as an “honest broker” in his key leadership roles as the trusted advisor to both President Bush and President