Frank McKenzie Keynote Speaker
- Commander of the United States Central Command, 2019-22
- Executive Director of the Global and National Security Institute at the University of South Florida
- Executive Director of Cyber Florida, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity
Frank McKenzie's Biography
General (Ret) Kenneth F. “Frank” McKenzie, Jr was the Commander of the United States Central Command from 2019-22, and is a keynote speaker on international affairs and security, cybersecurity, and leadership, among other topics. He is Executive Director of the Global and National Security Institute at the University of South Florida, and Executive Director of Cyber Florida, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity.
He has commanded at the platoon, company, battalion, Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and component levels. As a lieutenant colonel, he commanded First Battalion, Sixth Marines. As the Commanding Officer of the 22d MEU (SOC), he led the MEU on combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq between 2004-06. Between 2006-07 he served as the Military Secretary to the 33rd and 34th Commandants of the Marine Corps.
In 2007, General McKenzie was promoted Brigadier General and served within the National Military Command Center on the Joint Staff as a Deputy Director of Operations. In June 2008, he became Director of the Chairman’s New Administration Transition Team (CNATT), where coordinated the Joint Staff and combatant commands as they prepared for and executed a wartime transition of administrations.
In 2009, he served in Kabul, Afghanistan as Deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) for Stability, reporting to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). After returning from Afghanistan in 2010, General McKenzie stepped into the role of Director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J-5) for the U.S. Central Command. In 2012, he reported to Headquarters Marine Corps, and served as the Marine Corps Representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review. Later, in 2014, he was promoted to Lieutenant General, assuming command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command.
In 2015, he was assigned to the Joint Staff to serve as the Director, J-5, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff. In 2017, he was named the Director, Joint Staff. General McKenzie was promoted to the grade of General and in 2019 assumed command of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). While at CENTCOM, he oversaw operations in October 2019 that removed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the leader of ISIS, and in 2022 that removed his successor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al Qurashi. In January 2020, he commanded the operation that removed Qaseem Soleimani from the battlefield. He also oversaw the successful reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq in 2022-2022, and commanded the final withdrawal of U.S. and coalition forces from Afghanistan in 2022. He relinquished command of CENTCOM and in April 2022, he retired from the Marine Corps, having completed 42 years of service.
General McKenzie is an honors graduate of the Armor Officer Advanced Course, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the School of Advanced Warfighting. He was named a CMC Fellow in 1999, and served as a Senior Military Fellow within the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. He has a master’s degree in teaching with a concentration in history.
Frank McKenzie's Speaking Topics
U.S. policy, commitments and action in the Middle East, Europe (Ukraine), and Asia
Leadership in the Face of Adversity
Leadership at the pinnacle: command at the intersection of policy and military operations
Cyber-Security - understanding the threat from our adversaries - -and what we can do about it
Conversations with (Ret) Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr.