GENERAL PETER PACE Sixteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , United States Marine Corps (Retired)
April 11, 2012 in Military Speakers
General Peter Pace retired from active duty on October 1, 2007, after more than 40 years of service in the United States Marine Corps.
General Pace was sworn in as sixteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sep. 30, 2005. In this capacity, he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming Chairman, he served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Pace holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served in either of these positions.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Teaneck, NJ, General Pace was commissioned in June 1967, following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University, attended the Harvard University Senior Executives in National and International Security program, and graduated from the National War College.
During his distinguished career, General Pace has held command at virtually every level, beginning as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Vietnam. He also served as Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment; Commanding Officer of the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.; Deputy Commander, Marine Forces Somalia; Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Somalia; Director of Operations for the Joint Staff; Commander, U.S., Marine Forces Atlantic/Europe/South; and Commander in Chief, US Southern Command.
In June, 2008, General Pace was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a President can bestow.
General Pace is currently serving on the Board of Directors of several corporate entities involved in management consulting, private equity, and IT security. He served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, and on the Secretary of Defense’s Defense Policy Board. General Pace served as leader-in-residence and the Poling Chair of Business and Government, for the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. He is a Distinguished Visiting Research Scholar for Fordham University, and an Adjunct Faculty member of Georgetown University.
General Pace is associated with a number of charities focused on supporting the troops and their families, to include: He is Chairman of the Board for Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, an organization that provides training support and job placement services for disabled veterans interested in careers in the financial services industry. He is a long-standing member of the Board of Directors for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation – a charity that provides scholarship bonds to children of Marines or Federal law enforcement personnel who were killed while serving our country. He is a member of the USO World Board of Governors, and serves on the Advisory Board for Snowball Express, a charity focused on providing positive activities for children of our fallen military members. He and his wife Lynne are on the advisory board for Our Military Kids, an organization that supports children of deployed Guard and Reserve personnel with tutoring and enrichment activities.
Speech Topics Include
While we all understand that the boss has a responsibility to lead an organization’s employees, rarely do we focus on the employees’ responsibility to lead the boss. In addition to mentoring and motivating their subordinates, truly effective leaders value the perspective of all members of the team, and encourage subordinates to lead up – to share information up the chain of command in a way that helps an organization’s leaders make timely, accurate decisions.
A master at serving many masters, Pace demonstrates how to think through the consequences of multiple competing priorities, see the bigger picture, and communicate that strategic analysis up the chain in a way that is clear, precise, and useful. In fact, Michael Useem, Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School devotes a chapter to Pace in his book, Leading Up, highlighting Pace’s efforts to reconcile the conflicting priorities of six bosses by keeping them well informed and challenging their instructions when necessary.
Amid today’s fragile global economy, corporate restructuring is commonplace, as managers and leaders are continuously challenged to do more with less. In this inspiring discussion, General Pace shares insights and personal examples about leading in both directions, to include:
- Embracing the job you didn’t want
- Determining who ‘owns’ a decision – and then making it!
- Navigating between the organization’s vision and your own personal goals
- Speaking up in a way that challenges assumptions but not authority
- Listening to subordinates and encouraging differing points of view
- Checking your moral compass and preparing for ethical decisions before they arrive