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Admiral William McRaven to Keynote
2024 BIO Convention

April 30, 2024
Media Contact
Theresa Brady

Retired U.S. Navy (SEAL) Four-Star Admiral and the Former Chancellor of The University of Texas System, William McRaven, to Discuss Leadership, Global Events, and the National Security Importance of Biotechnology with BIO CEO, John Crowley

WASHINGTON - (April 30, 2024) – As recent global events have demonstrated, the world has become more challenging and American leadership is needed more at home and abroad than ever before, and that includes maintaining U.S. dominance in biotechnology innovation. Retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral, Navy SEAL, University Chancellor, best-selling author and world-renowned authority of leadership, William McRaven, will keynote the 2024 BIO International Convention, Wednesday, June 5, in San Diego. Admiral McRaven will be interviewed by John Crowley, CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) about the challenge of global events today and the implications for biotechnology as a national security imperative. McRaven will also share his insights on essential elements of leadership in managing complex organizations. 

Over the course of his distinguished military career, McRaven gained first-hand insight into the numerous threats facing the United States. “For more than a century, the United States has been the medicine chest to the world, providing life-saving vaccines, antibiotics, and therapeutics, saving millions of lives. In the face of diverse global threats, maintaining a robust biotech industry is paramount for safeguarding both the nation and our allies,” said McRaven.

“We are on the cusp of a golden age of biotechnology, and Admiral McRaven will highlight why it is a strategic imperative for the United States to bolster our biotechnology capabilities and foster innovation in order to safeguard our nation and global society,” said Crowley. “He brings unparalleled expertise and experience to the discussion on the intersection of biotechnology and national security.” 

Listed as one of the world’s greatest leaders by Forbes Magazine in 2015 and author of a #1 New York Times bestseller, McRaven is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral who served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command. In 2011, he received the title “Bullfrog,” an honor given to the Navy SEAL who has served the longest on active duty. McRaven dealt with every conceivable leadership challenge, including commanding critical combat operations that spanned the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Phillips, and the successful raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.
When McRaven retired in 2014, he had 37 years as a Navy SEAL under his belt, leading men and women at every level of the special operations community. He served as Chancellor to the entire University of Texas System, one of the nation’s largest and most respected systems of higher education, in the ensuing four years. 

McRaven is also the author of several books including New York Times Bestsellers Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life and Maybe the World and The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy).

The BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotech industry, gathering more than 15,000 leaders in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial, and environmental biotechnology products. The Convention will take place at the San Diego Convention Center from June 3 – 6, 2024.

Complimentary registration is available for media. Click here to register.


Admiral William H. McRaven
Admiral William H. McRaven is a retired U.S. Navy Four-Star admiral and the former Chancellor of the University of Texas System. During his time in the military, he commanded special operations forces at every level, eventually taking charge of the U.S. Special Operations Command. His career included combat during Desert Storm and both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He commanded the troops that captured Saddam Hussein and rescued Captain Phillips. McRaven is also credited with developing the plan and leading the Osama bin Laden mission in 2011.

As the Chancellor of the UT System, he led one of the nation’s largest and most respected systems of higher education. As the chief executive officer of the UT System, McRaven oversaw 14 institutions that educated 220,000 students, and employed 20,000 faculty and more than 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, and staff.

McRaven is a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy and has advised Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and other U.S. leaders on defense issues. He currently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the National Football Foundation, and the Board of Directors of ConocoPhillips.

McRaven has been recognized for his leadership numerous times. In 2011, he was the first runner-up for TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year.” In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named McRaven one of the nation’s “Top 10 Foreign Policy Experts.” In 2014, Politico magazine named McRaven one of the “Politico 50,” citing his leadership as instrumental in cutting though Washington bureaucracy. In 2015, he received the Intrepid Freedom Award for his distinguished service in defending the values of democracy. In 2016, McRaven was named the recipient of the Ambassador Richard M. Helms Award by the CIA Officers’ Memorial Foundation and in 2018, he received the Judge William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award for a lifetime of service to the nation.

McRaven graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 with a degree in Journalism and received his master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey in 1991.

McRaven is the author of several books including, SPEC OPS: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life and Maybe the World, based on his 2014 UT Commencement Speech that received worldwide attention, and Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, The Hero Code: Lessons Learned from Lives Well Lived. In 2023, he released The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy). An instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, the book draws on countless experiences from Admiral McRaven’s life, including navigating crises, management debates, organizational transitions, and ethical dilemmas, to provide readers with the most important leadership lessons he has learned over his forty years of service.


About BIO
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. Good Day BIO is the only daily newsletter at the intersection of biotech, politics and policy. Subscribe here.

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