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Gail Harris

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5 out of 5

Highest Ranking African American Woman in the US Navy

Gail Harris

Speaker RatingSpeaker RatingSpeaker RatingSpeaker RatingSpeaker Rating
5 out of 5

Highest Ranking African American Woman in the US Navy

Travels From Travels From:
Colorado, USA
Speaking Fee Speaking Fee:

Gail Harris Biography

In 1973, Captain Gail Harris of the United States Navy (Retired) broke a 200-year-old tradition, becoming the first woman in Naval History to serve as an Intelligence Officer in a Navy combat job 20 years before federal laws changed making it a common occurrence.

Harris was the first female or first African American for every job assignment and was frequently hand selected for challenging jobs based on her outstanding performance. In August 1988, she was pulled from her Hawaiian assignment 18 months early and sent to South Korea to head up the Defense Department intelligence support for the 1988 Olympics; a task that involved extensive coordination with U.S. and South Korean military, intelligence and civil agencies. She was also hand selected by the Director of Naval Intelligence and Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command to till an interim position as Acting Naval Attaché, Egypt, thereby becoming the first female to serve as a military attaché in a Middle Eastern Country.

From April 1996 – August 1999, Harris was assigned to United States Strategic Command where she was handpicked to fill a new position of Deputy Joint Intelligence Center Commander (military equivalent of a news organization publishing books, magazine and newspaper articles and developing televised news spots). Of note, she was again requested by name to assist United States Central Command’s Desert Fox Operation. Her organization provided support for 415 air launched cruise missile strikes versus 100 Iraqi targets. In support of U.S. European Command’s Allied Force operations, her organization provided support for 300+ targets. These efforts were much praised by European Command and called “masterful” by the Joint Staff.

For her last assignment, she was chosen to be the Department of Defense (DoD) lead for developing and designing the role the Intelligence Community would play in Cyber Operations.

At Harris's retirement in December 2001, she was the highest ranking African American female in the Navy. Her 28-year career in intelligence included hands-on leadership during every major conflict from the Cold War to El Salvador to Desert Storm to Kosovo and at the forefront of one of the Department of Defense’s newest challenges, Cyber Warfare. Since her retirement she has worked in the Defense Industry as an Intelligence Subject Matter Expert, written blogs for the Foreign Policy Association and Lima Charlie News, hosted a weekly R&B radio show on KDUR, is writing a Broadway musical, and is an in-demand speaker. Her book "A Woman’s War" was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for 2010 by the Foreign Policy Association.

She was a Senior Fellow at the George Washington Center For Cyber and Homeland Security (2015 – 2017 Class). Since September 2019, she has been studying music at Julliard through their Extension Division. In the summer of 2023, she was selected to write two new compositions that were performed at a two weeklong concert event in Narnia, Italy.

Commenting on her career, Captain Harris stated: "I am honored that my ceiling became the next generation’s floor."

Gail Harris Speaking Topics

  • Bloom Where You're Planted

    Have you ever found yourself in a dead end job? Have you ever thought your career was over? Numerous times I was given what was considered an "insignificant" job. I share with the audience techniques I used to turn a desert experience into an oasis and develop win-win solutions for both my organization and my career.

  • How to Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot in the Workplace

    Did it ever occur to you that perhaps the reason you were passed over for a promotion, fired, or constantly in the dog house at work is because of personal flaws? During this talk I cover how I learned to stop shooting myself in the foot and master job techniques that allowed me to finally succeed in the workplace.

  • Is the U.S. in for a Cyber Pearl Harbor?

    Could a well orchestrated cyber attack bring America down to its knees? Are our power grids, telecommunications, and banking and transportation infrastructures at risk? Cyber warfare is already being used throughout the world. In April and May of 2007 the nation of Estonia suffered a cyber attack that bought the nation's government, banks, media and other institutions to a standstill. The Russian attack against the Republic of Georgia last year was preceded by a cyber attack that took several key government web sites down. Our own government is defending against thousands of cyber attacks each year. Knowledge is power. What we need to know to prevent a cyber nightmare.

  • Why Change Can't Wait

    Central Premise: Diversity is not just an ethnic minority vs. white or male vs. female issue. White males now make up 36% of the population and are rightly concerned about achieving their goals in a rapidly changing environment. Within the next 50 years, Hispanics will make up 24% of population, African Americans 15%, and Asians 9%. Currently 1 of every 2 job seekers is a woman. Diversity is really about leveling the playing field so everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve their life and work place goals.

  • Take Command and Win

    Her success tools are in demand everywhere. Intelligence, leadership skills, and work ethic — they all stand out in a non-stop series of career "firsts." She was the first woman, and often the first African-American, in every major military post she held. Recently retired, Captain Gail Harris, USN (ret.), was the highest ranking African-American female in the U.S. Navy.

    Pursuit of excellence in performance — through hard work fired by courage and persistence — sets the stage for a gripping presentation. Harris earned her stripes in the pressure-cooker of the intelligence community. Her wealth of leadership skills, tested in the rough waters of the real world, will equip any professional audience for their best effort: Here's how get the most from yourself and from those around you, against all odds.

Gail Harris Videos

  • Legendary Capt. Gail Harris interviewed by Chuck Nice for Lima ...
  • Captain Gail Harris - Take Command and Win

FAQs on booking Gail Harris

  • How do I book Gail Harris to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Gail Harris 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 Gail Harris, 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 Gail Harris or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Gail Harris

    Speaking fees for Gail Harris, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Gail Harris are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Gail Harris, 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 Gail Harris speak about?

  • Where does Gail Harris travel from?

    Gail Harris generally travels from Colorado, 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 Gail Harris’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Gail Harris 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 Gail Harris for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Gail Harris or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Gail Harris is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Bloom Where You're Planted, How to Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot in the Workplace, Is the U.S. in for a Cyber Pearl Harbor?, Why Change Can't Wait and Take Command and Win. The estimated speaking fee range to book Gail Harris for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Gail Harris generally travels from CO, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Monica Pearson, Shoshana Johnson, Kristie Kennedy, Amelia Rose Earhart and Jasmine Crowe-Houston. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Gail Harris for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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