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National Security Advisor Announced as United States Merchant Marine Academy Commencement Speaker

Friday, May 10, 2024

National Security Advisor Announced as United States Merchant Marine Academy Commencement Speaker

KINGS POINT, NY — Today, the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) announced that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will deliver the 88th commencement address on Saturday, June 22.

“The United States Merchant Marine Academy is pleased to welcome National Security Advisor Sullivan as our commencement speaker,” said USMMA Superintendent Vice Admiral Joanna Nunan. “Mr. Sullivan’s address to the graduating class comes at a time when the U.S. Merchant Marine plays an exceptionally critical role in our national security, making his presence particularly meaningful.”

Jake Sullivan is the 28th Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In the Obama-Biden Administration, he served as Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to then-Vice President Biden, Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State, and Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During his time in government, Sullivan was a lead negotiator in the initial talks that paved the way for the Iran nuclear deal and played a key role in the U.S.-brokered negotiations that led to a ceasefire in Gaza in 2012. He also helped shape the Asia-Pacific rebalance strategy at both the State Department and the White House.

In the years following his service in the Obama-Biden administration, Sullivan was a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he helped conceive and design a bipartisan task force project on a foreign policy for the middle class. He also held teaching posts at Yale Law School, Dartmouth College, and the University of New Hampshire. He co-founded and co-chaired the advisory board for National Security Action, a nonprofit national security advocacy organization, and served on the advisory boards of a number of organizations involved in foreign policy and national security. Sullivan was a senior policy advisor on Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

He holds a BA in political science and international studies from Yale College; a Masters of Philosophy in International Relations from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar; and a JD from Yale Law School. He clerked for Judge Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He grew up as the second of five children in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a proud product of the Minneapolis public schools. He and his wife Maggie Goodlander have a permanent home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y, educates and graduates licensed merchant mariners and leaders of exemplary character who will serve America’s marine transportation and defense needs in peace and war. The U.S. Merchant Marine is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.

On the web: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy