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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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
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.