Dr. William J. Parker III

Dr. William J. Parker III

Dr. William J Parker III is an entrepreneur, inventor, and national security leader with over thirty-five years of experience in the maritime industry and international conflict resolution.

He is a retired senior naval officer who after retirement from the military served as the President and CEO of the EastWest Institute and National Defense University Foundation before founding Parker Maritime Technologies.

He holds a PhD from George Mason University’s Department of Molecular and Microbiology, an MPA from Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy where he was a distinguished military graduate and class president.

An award-winning author, Dr. Parker has published over thirty articles and co-authored the books Jihadist Strategic Communication and Guaranteeing America’s Security in the Twenty-First Century.

He appears in the 2016 Emmy-winning documentary, Sonic Sea.

Dr. Parker is an accomplished speaker and frequent guest commentator in the global media on issues of national security and the global economy. He has lectured at several dozen national and international venues to include: The Hague, The International Counter Terror Symposium at Windsor Castle in London, Columbia University, Tufts University, Columbia Law School, New York University, Harvard University, Bard College, the College of Charleston, the Armed Forces Staff College, Metropolitan State University-Denver, numerous Turkish, Russian, Armenian, Colombian, Chilean, and Mexican locations, and dozens of other colleges and universities worldwide. He has guest-lectured at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he is a life member and former military fellow.

Parker is a qualified military parachutist and Surface Warfare Officer with a long list of awards, including the Bronze Star, three Legions of Merit and the Department of State Meritorious Honor award.

During nearly three decades in uniform, he served as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Naval Surface Forces, commanded three warships, a squadron of warships and was the 2009 recipient of the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership. He was the U.S. Navy’s Military Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations. In addition to multiple combat tours, he held the post of senior advisor and strategist with the U.S. embassies in Iraq and Pakistan.

He is a life member of the American Society of Naval Engineers, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Explorers Club, National Defense Transportation Association, Surface Navy Association, Naval Historical Foundation, U.S. Naval Institute, Military Officers Association of America, New York Athletic Club, Harvard Club and the Army and Navy Club.

Executive Leadership Positions


  • PhD: George Mason University’s Department of Molecular and Microbiology.
  • MPA: Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government. Moreau Scholar.
  • Bachelor of Science: United States Air Force Academy; distinguished military graduate & class president.



  • Vice Admiral James Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership
  • Distinguished Military Graduate: U.S. Air Force Academy
  • Headmasters Trophy: Outstanding Academic, Military and Athletic Graduate


  • Moreau Scholar, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government
  • Military Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Class President, U.S. Air Force Academy


  • Emmy Award: Best Nature Documentary for Sonic Sea

Combat Operations

In addition to dozens of deployments at sea and on the ground, Dr. Parker was part of the following combat operations:

U.S. Government Awards, Decorations and Certifications

Parker has received the following awards and decorations (many numerous times) of the United States military:

  • Legion of Merit
  • Bronze Star
  • Joint Service Meritorious Service Medal
  • Navy Meritorious Service Medal
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal
  • Navy Commendation Medal
  • Department of State Meritorious Honor
  • Navy Achievement Medal
  • Joint Meritorious Unit Award
  • Navy Unit Commendation
  • Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • Navy “E” ribbon with Wreathed E device
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Navy Sea Service Deployment Medal
  • Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Medal
  • Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
  • Navy Expert Pistol Shot
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Other Major Qualifications and Certifications

  • Surface Warfare Officer Insignia
  • Military Parachutist
  • Command at Sea
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge
  • SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) School graduate and instructor
  • Steam Engineering Officer of the Watch
  • Diesel Engineering Officer of the Watch
  • Gas Turbine Engineering Officer of the Watch
  • Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
  • Search and Rescue Coordinator
  • Nuclear Weapon Security
  • Naval Ships Tactical Security
  • Open Ocean Parachute Recovery
  • Tactical Action Officer
  • Command Duty Officer
  • Ships Security Engagement Tactics
  • Licensed in Risk Assessment Methodology (RAMTM) by Sandia National Laboratories for Chemical, Water and Community
  • Operational Risk Management Trained and Experienced
  • Coast Guard Certified in Engineering, Security, Safety, and Environmental Safety
  • OSHA Safety in the Workplace Certification