Dr. William J. Parker III
Dr. William J. Parker III
Board Member

Dr. William J. Parker III is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Defense University Foundation.

Immediately prior to joining the National Defense University Foundation, Dr. Parker served as the Chief Operating Officer at the EastWest Institute where he oversaw offices in New York, Brussels, Moscow and San Francisco. 

An award-winning author, Dr. Parker has published over fifty articles and co-authored the book Jihadist Strategic Communication. His 2016 book, Guaranteeing America’s Security in the Twenty-First Century, is considered a practitioners’ guide to U.S. national security. Dr. Parker is an accomplished speaker and frequent guest commentator in global media on issues of national security and the global economy. He has addressed the media in more than thirty nations, including such outlets as Fox News, Fox Business, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, Patriot Radio, Sputnik Radio, Voice of America and other live radio and television shows.

He appears in, and consulted on, the 2016 Discovery Channel documentary Sonic Sea, which received an Emmy Award for Best Nature Documentary in 2017. Known for his ability to explain complicated international issues clearly and concisely and to provide coherent solutions, Dr. Parker has lectured at renowned international venues including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Hague, the International Counter-Terror Symposium at Windsor Castle in London, Columbia University, Tufts University, Columbia Law School, New York University, Bard College, the College of Charleston, the Armed Forces Staff College and numerous other institutions worldwide.

Dr. Parker was a featured speaker at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in 2018, a featured panelist on Strategic Post Conflict Investment for the 2017 Concordia Global Summit in New York and a guest panelist and speaker at Bloomberg Investments in London in 2017. He is a life member and former Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Parker is also a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. 

He is a retired senior U.S. naval officer who 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 commanded three warships, and later, a squadron of warships. He was the 2009 recipient of the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership. He served as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Naval Surface Forces. In addition to multiple combat tours, he held the post of senior advisor and strategist with U.S. Embassies in Iraq and Pakistan.

Dr. Parker holds a Doctorate from George Mason University’s Department of Molecular and Microbiology, a Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he was the Arthur S. Moreau Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy, where he was a distinguished military graduate and class president. Dr. Parker is also a distinguished graduate from the National Defense University's Joint and Combined Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College.