Rear Adm. James Shannon, a native of San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1981. Education beyond the Naval Academy includes a Master of Science degree (Communication Systems Management) from the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California, and a Master of Arts from the College of Naval Warfare, Newport, Rhode Island. Shannon is also a National Security Management Fellow of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, New York.
Shannon’s operational experience includes service in the U.S. 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th Fleets on board seven commands afloat including a logistic ship, patrol hydrofoil, destroyers, frigates and an Aegis cruiser. He commanded USS Estocin (FFG 15) while in support of Operation UNITAS and Operation Noble Eagle.
Shannon is a member of the Acquisition Corps. He led a variety of projects and programs, including the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM); Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA); shipboard training systems; and Naval Open Architecture.
After promotion to flag rank in 2008, Shannon commanded the Naval Surface Warfare Center and its approximate 16,000 member working capital funded workforce with headquarters in Washington, D.C. This assignment included the significant additional duties as executive manager for all Department of Defense Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technology and Training, and Single Manager for Counter Radio-controlled improvised explosive device Electronic Warfare (CREW) systems while in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Between December 2011 and July 2013, he served as deputy commander (Surface Warfare), Naval Sea Systems Command, SEA-21, overseeing programs associated with all non-nuclear in-service surface ship maintenance and modernization.
Shannon has significant experience ashore on the following staffs: Surface Warfare Officers School, the Joint Staff (J6) and the Navy Secretariat.
In August 2013, he assumed duty as deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for International Programs/director, Navy International Programs.
He is Level III-certified in program management from the Defense Acquisition University, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.