May 26, 2009 — The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia has named Adm. Joseph W. Prueher, former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, as its James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor.
Throughout the 2009-10 academic year, Prueher will engage in and advise on Miller Center programs and activities, including forums, panels and conferences, and will write on foreign policy and national security matters with research support from the Miller Center. He will also serve as a speaker in Miller Center programs on topics within his expertise and experience, and serve as a guest lecturer for University classes.
"We look forward to working with Admiral Prueher next year," said Gerald L. Baliles, director of the Miller Center. "His wide-ranging experience in security, military and foreign policy matters makes him an important resource for the Miller Center, scholars, students and the University community."
Prueher is a consulting professor at Stanford University's Institute of International Studies and senior adviser on U.S.-China security matters for the Preventive Defense Project – a research collaboration between Stanford and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
He served as ambassador to the People's Republic of China for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush from 1999 to 2001, after completing a 35-year career in the U.S. Navy. As commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, the world's largest military command, he oversaw more than 300,000 people.
From 1989 through 1995, Prueher served as commandant of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis; commander of Carrier Battle Group One based in San Diego; commander of the U.S. Mediterranean Sixth Fleet and of NATO Striking Forces based in Italy; and as vice chief of naval operations in the Pentagon.
A 1964 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he received an M.S. in international relations from George Washington University and graduated from the Naval War College. He has extensive flight and combat experience, serving most of his naval career as a carrier-based attack pilot.
Prueher has received multiple military awards for combat flying and naval and joint service, and he has been honored by the governments of Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.
Prueher is a director of Bank of America, Emerson, New York Life, Fluor Corporation, and Dyncor International, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a trustee of the Nature Conservancy of Virginia. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Virginia Beach.
The James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professorship was created in 2007, building on Schlesinger's interest in strategic theory. It marks a strengthening of his ties to U.Va., where he taught economics from 1955 to 1963. Schlesinger went on to serve as secretary of defense and secretary of energy, in addition to holding leadership roles with the Central Intelligence Agency, Atomic Energy Agency and numerous other government bodies during a distinguished career in public service.
The Schlesinger Distinguished Professorship provides a unique opportunity for public servants who have experience with foreign policy and national security to participate as visiting faculty at the Miller Center, interact with students, and also engage in writing with research support from the Miller Center.
Founded in 1975, the Miller Center of Public Affairs is a leading nonpartisan public policy institution that aims to fulfill Thomas Jefferson's public service mission by serving as a national meeting place for engaged citizens, scholars, students, media representatives and government officials to research, reflect and report on issues of national importance to the governance of the United States, with special attention to the central role and history of the presidency.