General Jim Mattis, the Davies Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, is an expert on national security issues, especially strategy, innovation, the effective use of military force, and the Middle East. He heads a project on the gap between civil and military perspectives and is writing a book on leadership.
Before coming to Hoover, Jim was the commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM). While commanding CENTCOM from 2010 to 2013, he was responsible for military operations involving more than 200,000 US soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines in Afghanistan, Iraq, and eighteen other countries in the Middle East and south-central Asia.
General Mattis commanded at multiple levels in his forty-two-year career as a Marine. As a lieutenant, he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander in the Third Marine Division. As a captain, he commanded a rifle company and a weapons company in the First Marine Brigade.
As a major, he commanded Recruiting Station Portland, Oregon. As a lieutenant colonel, he commanded the First Battalion, Seventh Marines, one of Task Force Ripper's assault battalions in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. As a colonel, he commanded the Seventh Marines (Reinforced).
On becoming a brigadier general, he commanded first the First Marine Expeditionary Brigade and then Task Force 58, during Operation Enduring Freedom in southern Afghanistan. As a major general, he commanded the First Marine Division during the initial attack and subsequent stability operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He also served as a recruiter, commanded the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and was the executive secretary to Secretaries of Defense William Cohen and William Perry and the senior military assistant to Deputy Secretary of Defense Rudy De Leon.
In his first tour as a lieutenant general, Mattis commanded the Marine Corps Combat Development Command. Subsequently, he commanded the I Marine Expeditionary Force and served as the commander of US Marine Forces Central Command. From 2007 to 2009, he served as both NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation and Commander of the United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM).
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jim graduated from Central Washington State University in 1972. He is also a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the National War College.