Vice Admiral Robert Parker retired after serving for 39 years with the United States Coast Guard, culminating with 4 years as the Atlantic Area Commander. Parker was the first USCG officer to lead the Operations Directorate at U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), service that included the rescue of U.S. hostages in Colombia in 2008, and the U.S. military support to USAID after the Haiti Earthquake.
Parker's USCG career included over 12 years of sea duty, and a 2 year tour in Monrovia, Liberia. He is an expert in maritime repsonse and interagency operations and deeply conversant in Department of Defense operations.
Parker holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College. He is a 1979 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy. Parker also completed a 10-month National Security Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
He currently resides in the Pacific Northwest and divides his time between consulting, philanthropy and family and leisure pursuits. This work includes pro bono and paid work for the Department of Homeland Security centers of excellence under the DHS University Programs.
Parker's awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, the 9-11 Medal, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and various other personal and unit awards.