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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Videos of Frank McKenzie

NBC News | General Who Oversaw Afghanistan Withdrawal Says Mission Was 'Doomed From The Start'
NBC News | General Who Oversaw Afghanistan Withdrawal Says Mission Was 'Doomed From The Start'

Articles, Media & Podcasts

Check Frank McKenzie's speaking fees and availability

    Sending your message…

    Please wait, this can take a moment

    Message sent…


    Please provide your details and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible.

    We can only respond to requests for professional speaking engagements. We are unable to respond to requests for autographs, shoutouts and personalized messages.

    Discover other speakers

    mike wigston
    Mike Wigston Speaker
    Mike Wigston
    Chief of the Air Staff for the Royal Air Force (2019 - 2023)
    Ulrike Franke Speaker
    Ulrike Franke
    Expert on European defence policy & the use of new technologies in warfare
    Julian Hitch Speaker
    Julian Hitch
    Master of Wing Tsun, Former Director of Well-Being at Leon Restaurants
    Mark Carleton-Smith header image
    Mark Carleton-Smith Speaker
    Mark Carleton-Smith
    Head of the British Army
    Simon Harmer
    Simon Harmer Speaker
    Simon Harmer
    Combat Medical Technician in the British Army
    Maria Witchell_Adventure
    Maria Witchell Speaker
    Maria Witchell
    Polar Explorer, ex-Special Forces Army officer, MI5 operative and former professional kidnap & ransom negotiator
    Tammy Smith Speaker
    Tammy Smith
    The US military’s first openly LGBT General/Flag officer
    Louis Rudd
    Louis Rudd Speaker
    Louis Rudd
    Leadership, resilience and endurance expert
    David V. Gioe Speaker
    David V. Gioe
    Professor of Intelligence & International Security in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London
    Hasard Lee Speaker
    Hasard Lee
    F-35 Stealth Fighter Pilot, International Bestselling Author, and Keynote Speaker