Admiral (Ret) Michael T. Franken to Keynote Churchill Fellows Weekend
Vice Admiral (Ret) Michael T. Franken, the first Commander of the USS Winston S. Churchill, will deliver the Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lecture during Churchill Fellows Weekend on March 14-15.
Churchill Fellows Weekend 2020 Beyond the Iron Curtain: A New Blueprint for Security in Today's World
“For over 50 years, America's National Churchill Museum at Westminster College has honored annually leaders in academia, business and statecraft as we recognize Churchill Fellows,” says Timothy Riley, Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator of America's National Churchill Museum. “This year we do so by a special focus on Churchill and national security. Admiral Franken is well suited to share his experience and observations on the topic.”
Vice Adm. Michael T. Franken is from rural Iowa and graduated from the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska and from the College of Physics at the Naval Postgraduate School. He attended the Brookings Institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI program, the Darden School and various other executive education courses.
Franken’s previous flag assignments include service as the initial director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), special assistant to the director of the Navy Staff, the Joint Staff J5 (Strategic Plans and Policy) interim chief of staff, the Department of the Navy Chief of Legislative Affairs, command of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HoA) in Djibouti, Africa, and nearly three years as vice director, Strategy, Plans and Policy (J5) at U.S. Central Command.
His formative operational assignments were in guided missile destroyers. He was the first commanding officer of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) and served in USS King (DDG 41), USS Dahlgren (DDG 43) and USS Barry (DDG 52). As commodore, he commanded Destroyer Squadron 28 and Task Group 152.0 for the Eisenhower Strike Group.
Franken served as the U.S. Africa Command’s deputy for military operations. He was responsible to the commander for promoting the national security interests of the United States by strengthening the security capabilities of African nations, to include the conduct of military operations that create an environment conducive to development and responsible governance.
Ashore, Franken served in six operational staffs ranging from two readiness squadrons to a four-star fleet command. In Washington, D.C., he served two tours and a fellowship in congressional affairs for the Office of the Secretary of the Navy; in the Navy staff as the political-military chair in the Chief of Naval Operations’ (CNO) Executive Panel (N00K); in Information, Plans and Strategy’s (N3/N5) Deep Blue staff; in the Assessments Division (N81) in support of Navy’s representation in the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC); and in the Joint Staff’s Joint Operations Division (J5 and J33). He presented the worldwide orders book to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 2003 to 2005 and was the first military officer to serve as a legislative fellow for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
The Association of Churchill Fellows, founded in 1969, is an honorary society of people dedicated to the development and use of the National Churchill Museum at Westminster College. Past Fellows inductees included Churchill's grandson, Winston Churchill, Walter Cronkite; President Dwight D. Eisenhower; Sir David Cannadine, Lady Mary Soames; British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Sir Martin Gilbert, International Churchill Society Chairman Laurence Geller; and the Right Honorable Earl Mountbatten of Burma.