Rear Adm. Hugh W. Howard III is a native of Alexandria, Virginia. He is a 1990 graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in International Relations, and was a member on the Navy crew rowing team.
Howard is a SEAL naval officer who assumed command of Special Operations Command Central, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida in July of 2018 following assignment as assistant commander, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 2016 - 2018.
Howard has commanded at all levels of Special Operations, including service as commanding officer of Naval Special Warfare Development Group, from 2011-2013. He has multiple tours in command of joint task forces, and was among the first to deploy into Afghanistan following the attacks of September 11, 2001, and has deployed consistently since.
His joint interagency staff and policy experience includes director of operations for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Springfield, Virginia from 2015 - 2016. He also served as the deputy director for Global Operations, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Washington, District of Columbia and as director for Counterterrorism Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
His professional military education includes the Naval War College, Joint Special Operations University, and the Defense Language Institute. Howard is a graduate of Naval Special Warfare’s assessment, selection and training course (Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL Class 172).
He holds a Master of Science in National Security and Resource Strategy with a focus on space, and where he earned three Eisenhower School Commandant’s awards for excellence in writing from the Eisenhower School. He also holds a Global Executive MBA from TRIUM, jointly conferred by the London School of Economics and Political Science, HEC Paris School of Management, and New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Howard has commanded and served on teams whose combat contributions were recognized with five Presidential Unit Citations and two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards.
He is an active volunteer within the community, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an Eagle Scout.