Deil S. Wright Lecture

Please join us for the 2012 Deil S. Wright Lecture with Secretary of the United States Navy Ray Mabus


Lecture: "Leadership in Service"

Date/Time: November 1, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

Location: Paul Green Theatre, 260 Country Club Road, UNC-Chapel Hill

Cost: The event is free and open to the public. The Deil S. Wright Lecture is sponsored by the MPA Alumni Association and Fidelity Investments.

Parking: For information about parking, visit or contact Becky Carter at the School of Government at 919.843.2556 or


About Ray Mabus


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Leadership in Service

Secretary of the US Navy Ray Mabus will present “Leadership in Service,” the 2012 Deil S. Wright Lecture, at 3:00 p.m. on November 1 at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Ray Mabus is the 75th secretary of the United States Navy. He leads America’s Navy and Marine Corps and is responsible for an annual budget in excess of $150 billion and almost 900,000 people. The secretary is responsible for conducting all the affairs of the Department of the Navy, including recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training, and mobilizing. Additionally, he oversees the construction, outfitting, and repair of naval ships, equipment and facilities, and is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that are consistent with the national security policies and objectives established by the President and the Secretary of Defense.

A Career of Service

Prior to joining the administration of President Barack Obama, Mabus served in a variety of top posts in government and the private sector. In 1987, Mabus was elected governor of Mississippi. As the youngest governor of Mississippi in more than 100 years at the time of his election, he stressed education and job creation. He passed B.E.S.T. (Better Education for Success Tomorrow), one of the most comprehensive education reform programs in America, and was named a Top Ten Education Governor by Fortune Magazine. He was appointed ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Clinton Administration in 1994. During his tenure as ambassador, a crisis with Iraq was successfully averted and Saudi Arabia officially abandoned the boycott of United States businesses that trade with Israel. He also was Chairman and CEO of Foamex, a large manufacturing company, which he led out of bankruptcy in less than nine months, paying all creditors in full and saving equity. Prior to becoming governor, Mabus was elected state auditor of Mississippi and served as an officer in the US Navy aboard the cruiser USS Little Rock.

In June 2010, President Obama asked Secretary Mabus to prepare a long-term recovery plan for the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  After extensive travel and many meetings, his report “America’s Gulf Coast: A Long-Term Recovery Plan After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill” was released in September 2010. The report was met with broad bipartisan support.

Secretary Mabus is a native of Ackerman, Mississippi, and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a law degree from Harvard Law School. 

He has been awarded the US Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, the US Army’s distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Martin Luther King Social Responsibility Award from the King Center in Atlanta, the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award, the King Abdul Aziz Award from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Mississippi Association of Educators’ Friend of Education Award.