MIT’s SEMINAR XXI:  Politics, Perspectives, Paradigms Educating the Future Leadership of the Nation
Jul 23, 2019 12:00 PM
Captain Jake Stewart, Co-Founder Seminar XXI
MIT’s SEMINAR XXI: Politics, Perspectives, Paradigms Educating the Future Leadership of the Nation

Captain Jake Stewart graduated from Georgia Tech with a BS in physics and was commissioned in the Navy in April 1962.  He served in executive and command positions in Atlantic and Pacific Fleet destroyers and commanded the destroyer USS Stribling (DD-867).

In operational tours at sea, Stewart participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US response to the North Korean seizure of the USS Pueblo and the 1969 shoot-down of a Navy reconnaissance aircraft with the loss of 31 lives. In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, his ship led the USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) battle group into the Bay of Bengal to give military weight to President Nixon’s intention of “tilting toward Pakistan” and to influence the Indian government’s further aspirations in South Asia. Captain Stewart made two deployments to Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin.

Ashore, Stewart did graduate research at Stanford University’s High Energy Physics Lab and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). He earned a Ph.D from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California in Elementary Particle Physics.  His first Pentagon tour in Navy Systems Analyses ended with a Federal Executive Fellowship to the Brookings Institution. Later, Captain Stewart was a senior staffer at the National Security Council (NSC), the White House in the Carter Administration, under Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Returning to the Pentagon, Stewart directed the Chief of Naval Operations’s “think tank,” and was the Navy’s Long Range Planner. He was temporarily assigned as special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he drafted the final five minute portion of President Reagan’s address to the nation about the Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”). His next duty assignment was in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as Assistant Under Secretary of Defense/Acquisition, for Planning and Analysis.

Upon retirement from the Navy in 1987, Stewart joined the federal government’s Senior Executive Service (SES) at the Department of Energy (DOE). While at DOE, he conducted significant managerial reviews for several DOE secretaries: The Future of the DOE National Laboratory System; DOE/EPA Post-Manhattan Atomic Bomb Clean Up; and the issue of the permanent disposal of high level radio active waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

In 1985 Stewart co-founded Seminar XXI, an experimental educational program for future US leadership in the national security community. In September 2019, Seminar XXI will convene its 34th academic class. Represented in the class of 2019-2020, are Fellows from all military services, the intelligence community, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Departments of State, Homeland Security, Energy, USAID, the national laboratories, and non-governmental organizations (e.g., Mercy Corps, Save the Children, International Committee of the Red Cross).