The 16th Annual Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture with General Paul Nakasone '86

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The Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy & Civic Engagement


Gen. Paul Nakasone, a 1986 Saint John’s University graduate, four-star general and White Bear Lake, Minnesota native is currently serving as Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service.

Nakasone graduated from SJU with a degree in economics and received his commission in the Army through the ROTC program.

Nakasone has been a very active SJU alumnus, often hosting alumni and programs with the D.C. alumni chapter. In addition, during COVID, he commissioned two ROTC graduating classes, delivered the 2021 Saint John’s commencement address, received an honorary doctorate degree and was the recipient of an Alumni Achievement Award from SJU in 2016.

Nakasone has held command and staff positions across all levels of the Army with assignments in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Prior to assuming his present duties, Nakasone served as Chief of U.S. Army Cyber Command from October 2016 thru April 2018. Nakasone served twice as a staff officer on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Nakasone presented the approach taken by U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA in overcoming the evolving cyber challenges posed by the 2022 midterm elections and more broadly.

GEN Nakasone commanded the Cyber National Mission Force at U.S. Cyber Command. He has also commanded a company, battalion, and brigade, and served as the senior intelligence officer at the battalion, division and corps levels.

GEN Nakasone is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Command and General Staff College, and Defense Intelligence College. He holds graduate degrees from the U.S. Army War College, the National Defense Intelligence College, and the University of Southern California.

GEN Nakasone's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal (with three oak leaf clusters), Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal (with four oak leaf clusters), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Combat Action Badge, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge.

GEN Nakasone and his wife are the proud parents of four children, who form the nucleus of “Team Nakasone.”

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