Michelle Howard Headshot

Michelle J. Howard


United States Navy

Michelle Howard served 35 years in the United States Navy. She led Sailors and Marines multiple times in her career as the Commander of: a ship, an Expeditionary Strike Group, Task Force, and a Naval theater. Operations in her career include NATO peacekeeping, West African Training Cruise, Indonesia Tsunami Relief operations, and the rescue of Maersk Alabama from Somali Pirates.

In 1999, Michelle became the first African American woman to command a ship in the Navy. In 2014, she became the first woman four-star Admiral in the Navy.

Michelle was the Shapiro Visiting Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University from 2018 to 2020. Michelle was the Chair of The Naming Commission from March 2020 to October 2022. The congressionally mandated Commission identified and made recommendations to remove, rename or modify Department of Defense Assets that commemorated the Confederacy or individuals who voluntarily served the Confederacy.

Content by Michelle J. Howard