Gen. Anthony C. Zinni
United States Marine Corps (retired)
"From the Battlefield to the Negotiating Table:
Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, former commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command, was the final speaker in the 2003-2004 Joan B. Kroc Distinguished Lecture Series. Gen. Zinni spoke about the prevention of deadly conflict based on his experience in military, diplomatic and humanitarian missions as a Marine Corps officer, special envoy to the Middle East and State Department envoy in troubled regions around the world.
Gen. Zinni joined the Marine Corps in 1961 and was commissioned an Infantry 2nd Lt. in 1965 upon graduation from Villanova University. He has held numerous command and staff assignments that include platoon, company, battalion, regimental, Marine expeditionary unit and Marine expeditionary force command. His staff assignments included service in operations, training, special operations, counter-terrorism and manpower billets. He has also been a tactics and operations instructor at several Marine Corps schools and was selected as a fellow on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group. Gen. Zinni's joint assignments include command of a joint task force and a unified command. He has also had several joint and combined staff billets at task force and unified command levels.
Gen. Zinni has made deployments to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Western Pacific, Northern Europe and Korea. He has also served tours in Okinawa and Germany. His operational experiences include two tours in Vietnam; emergency relief and security operations in the Philippines; Operation Provide Comfort in Turkey and northern Iraq; Operation Provide Hope in the former Soviet Union; Operations Restore Hope, Continue Hope and United Shield in Somalia; Operations Resolute Response and Noble Response in Kenya; Operations Desert Thunder, Desert Fox, Desert Viper, Desert Spring, Southern Watch and the Maritime Intercept Operations in the Persian Gulf; and Operation Infinite Reach against terrorist targets in the Central Region. He was involved in the planning and execution of Operation Proven Force and Operation Patriot Defender in support of the Gulf War and noncombatant evacuation operations in Liberia, Zaire, Sierra Leone and Eritrea. He has also participated in presidential diplomatic missions to Somalia, Pakistan and Ethiopia-Eritrea and State Department missions involving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and conflicts in Indonesia.
He has attended numerous military schools and courses including the National War College. He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics, a master's degree in International Relations, a master's degree in Management and Supervision, and honorary doctorates from William and Mary College and the Maine Maritime Academy.
Gen. Zinni's awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Bronze Star with Combat "V" and gold star; Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal with gold star; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" and gold star; Navy Achievement Medal with gold star; Combat Action Ribbon; and personal decorations from South Vietnam, France, Italy, Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen and Bahrain. He also holds 36 unit, service and campaign awards. His civilian awards include the Papal Gold Cross of Honor, tUnion League's Abraham Lincoln Award, Italic Studies Institute's Global Peace Award, Distinguished Sea Service Award from the Naval Order of the United States, Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Chapman Award from the Marine Corps University Foundation, Penn Club Award, and St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal.
He currently holds positions on several Boards of Directors of major U.S. companies. In addition he has held academic positions that include the Stanley Chair in Ethics at the Virginia Military Institute, Nimitz Chair at the University of California, Berkeley, Hofheimer Chair at the Joint Forces Staff College, and Harriman Professor of Government appointment and membership on the board of the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William and Mary. He has worked with the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and the Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva. He is also a distinguished advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Updated on 4/15/2004