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Ray Mabus

Former U.S. Secretary of the Navy; Former Governor of Mississippi

Former U.S. Secretary of the Navy; Former Governor of Mississippi

Travels From Travels From:
Mississippi, USA
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Ray Mabus Biography

Ray Mabus has been Secretary of the US Navy, Governor, Ambassador and CEO.

Ray Mabus served as the 75th United States Secretary of the Navy from 2009 to 2017, the longest tenure as leader of the Navy and Marine Corps since World War I. As Secretary during President Obama’s Administration, he revolutionized the Navy and Marine Corps, opening all jobs to women, aggressively moving to alternative energy as a warfighting measure, building more than twice as many ships during his term than in the preceding eight years and developing the Gulf Coast Restoration Plan after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It was during his watch that Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden. Among many awards, he was chosen as one of the top fifty CEOs in America by GlassDoor, the only government person picked.

From 1988 to 1992, Mabus served as Governor of Mississippi, the youngest elected to that office in more than 150 years. Mississippi experienced record growth in jobs, education, tourism and exports.

Mabus was United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1994-1996. He was CEO of a public company from 2006-2007 leading it out of bankruptcy in less than a year while paying all creditors in full and saving equity.

Today, Mabus is Vice Chair of InStride, a public benefit education company, a director of Hilton, the founder of Mabus Group, a consulting organization and a board member or advisor to several other companies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Explorers Club, and the Screen Actors Guild. He serves on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund and Jose Andreas’ World Central Kitchen and the advisory board for the National Medal of Honor Museum. He has thrown out the first pitch at all 30 major league ballparks. He has stood on both poles and, during his life, has traveled to more than 190 countries and territories.

Secretary Mabus is a native of Ackerman, Mississippi, and received a Bachelor's Degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Mississippi, a Master's Degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a Law Degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Mabus served in the Navy as an officer aboard the cruiser USS Little Rock.

Ray Mabus Speaking Topics

  • Diversity is a Strength

    As Secretary, Mabus overruled the Marines and opened all ground combat (armor, artillery and infantry) jobs to women. He also pushed for and then implemented the repeal of “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.” The percentage of women at the Naval Academy was greatly increased and he brought NROTC back to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton. He also opened NROTC units at Rutgers and Arizona State, the two most diverse universities in the nation.

    If everyone looks the same, comes from similar backgrounds, thinks in like ways, then the military or other organization becomes predictable and a predictable military (or any other organization) is a defeatable military. The only qualify to get a job should be the ability to do the job, and gender, race, birthplace, who you love, gender identity, etc. become as irrelevant as eye color or who you root for in football.

  • Hard Lessons Learned in Leadership

    Mabus has been fortunate to be one of the very few people to have held top level jobs at the state, national and international level.

    In his first elected job, State Auditor of Mississippi, Mabus worked with the FBI in a sting operation, putting almost 15% of county officials in jail for corruption. As the youngest Governor of Mississippi in over 150 years, he passed one of the most comprehensive education acts in the nation.

    While Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mabus endured a terrorist attack. As a CEO of a public company in bankruptcy, he successfully led it out of bankruptcy in less than a year, paid all creditors in full, saved equity and raised several hundred million in new equity.

    During his time as Secretary of the Navy, Mabus opened all jobs to women and built more than twice as many ships as in the preceding eight years with a smaller top line.

    As Governor, Mabus oversaw a state employee workforce of 32,000 (100,000 if you count teachers). As Ambassador, he ran one of the largest US Embassies in the world. And as Secretary, was responsible for almost a million people, a $180 billion budget and global responsibilities.

    Along the way, there were lessons learned, many times the hard way, in leading people, communicating, setting priorities and dealing with many diverse constituencies (Congress, the White House, the Pentagon, the press, Sailors, Marines and the American people). These are invaluable and can be passed on in an easily understood way mainly by telling stories in each situation.

  • Climate Change as a National Security Issue

    If sea level rise isn’t arrested, the largest naval base in the world, Norfolk Virginia, will go under water in the foreseeable future. As storms, floods, and droughts get more frequent and more severe, unrest occurs in affected areas, and unrest can become chaos, and chaos can become conflict. As the Arctic melts, there will be many more opportunities for friction with states like Russia and China.

  • National Security from All Angles

    Mabus will touch on current events (the war in Ukraine; China threat) to climate change as a national security issue. During his time as Secretary of the Navy, he took the Navy and Marines substantially off fossil fuels as a war fighting measure.

    As the longest serving SecNav in 100 years, Mabus was deeply involved in nearly all national security topics and, on his watch, Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Ladin.

  • Other Topics Include

    • Leadership lessons (main topic of my talks at Harvard Business School as an Executive Fellow)

    • Geopolitical situations, especially Russia, China, South China Sea, Iran, North Korea, and US military posture/readiness War in Ukraine—military and humanitarian (on Board of World Central Kitchen which has provided over 1 million meals a day)

    • American military structure and capabilities

    • American political landscape

Ray Mabus Videos

  • Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus speaks at The National Press Club
  • Ray Mabus '75 on law school and leadership - YouTube
  • Ray Mabus Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Five Year ...

FAQs on booking Ray Mabus

  • How do I book Ray Mabus to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Ray Mabus for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Ray Mabus, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Ray Mabus or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Ray Mabus

    Speaking fees for Ray Mabus, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Ray Mabus are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Ray Mabus, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Ray Mabus speak about?

    Ray Mabus is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Climate Change, Diversity Speakers, Earth Day, Education, Environment, Foreign Policy, Government, International Relations, LGBTQ, Military, Navy, Political Speakers, Virtual Speakers.
  • Where does Ray Mabus travel from?

    Ray Mabus generally travels from Mississippi, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Ray Mabus’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Ray Mabus for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Ray Mabus for your next private or corporate function.
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Ray Mabus is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Diversity is a Strength, Hard Lessons Learned in Leadership, Climate Change as a National Security Issue, National Security from All Angles and Other Topics Include. The estimated speaking fee range to book Ray Mabus for your event is $20,000 - $30,000. Ray Mabus generally travels from MS, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Barbara Boxer, Van Jones, Ralph Nader, Marie Harf and John W. Nicholson Jr.. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Ray Mabus for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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