Commander David Sears,
United States Navy (Retired)
For twenty years, Dave served in the most elite special operations force in the world, the US Navy SEALs. His leadership produced results in the most demanding and dynamic environments. A decorated veteran, he planned, led and executed hundreds of special operations missions in more than 40 countries on 5 continents. From the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq to the jungles of Colombia and the oceans of the world, Commander Sears was involved in some of the most significant and defining special operations missions of our time.
As a Troop Commander at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, he led the ground assault on an Iraqi paramilitary stronghold to conduct the first successful US prisoner of war rescue since WWII. Years later, in the jungles of Colombia, Commander Sears played a key role in the planning and execution of Operation JAQUE, the successful rescue of US and Colombian personnel held for over 5 years in captivity by the FARC.
His decorations include more than 35 campaign, unit and personal awards. He is also a Distinguished Graduate of the Naval Post Graduate School with a Master of Science in Defense Analysis. His master's thesis was a study of leadership, Xenophon's Anabasis: Lessons in Leadership.
Beyond his role as a tactical and operational leader, Dave led strategic efforts focused on solving major national security problems. His unique in depth assessments and planning influenced national security policy and subsequent resource decisions. He has briefed the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of the CIA, Director of the NSA, Director of National Intelligence, members of the National Security Council, as well as ambassadors, executive-level leaders at US combatant commands and foreign partner nations.