Admiral James Watkins U.S. Navy (retired)
President of the Joint Oceanographic Institutes and the Ocean Drilling Program
Live Web cast September 28, 2000 1 p.m. ET

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James Watkins
Admiral James D. Watkins has spent the past seven years as president of the Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI), in Washington, D.C. The JOI institutions collectively represents the world's ocean research institutions and has been at the forefront of coordinating the international collaborative research programs in deep ocean sampling since 1976.

Adm. Watkins also serves as president of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE), a group dedicated to help provide an effective and unified voice, at the national level, in support of institutions, public and private, that make up the U.S. ocean science and technology community.

Prior to his work at JOI and CORE, Adm. Watkins served under President George Bush as the sixth Secretary of Energy (1989-1993) and as Chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic (AIDS) (1987-1988). As Secretary, he helped to develop the first comprehensive National Energy Strategy.

Adm. Watkins was born in California on March 7, 1927, and is a 1949 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He served on destroyers, cruisers and submarines, as well as in various shore assignments, including three in personnel management. Adm. Watkins received his Master's degree in mechanical engineering in 1958, and completed a reactor engineering course at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He became the twenty-second Chief of Naval Operations as selected by President Ronald Reagan in 1982. His tours as a flag officer included Chief of Naval Personnel, Commander of the Sixth Fleet, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, and Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet. He has been decorated with several Distinguished Service and Legion of Merit medals as well as the Bronze Star with combat "V."

Adm. Watkins has also been decorated by many foreign nations, including Brazil, Korea, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Pakistan and Sweden. He was also inducted as a Knight of Malta, an international order of leading Catholic laymen dedicated to humanitarian service, in June 1983.