Harry Harris, U.S. Ambassador-Nominee to the Republic of Korea

On May 19, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Admiral Harry Harris as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (ROK).

Admiral Harris currently commands the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM).  He is the first Asian-American to hold four-star rank in the U.S. Navy and the first to head USPACOM, a role he assumed in May 2015.  Prior to USPACOM, he commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet.  Other operational commands include the U.S. 6th Fleet, Striking and Support Forces NATO, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 1, and Patrol Squadron 46.

From 2011 to 2013, Admiral Harris served as the representative of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of State.  In this role, he traveled to over 80 countries with the Secretary and participated in most of the Secretary’s meetings with foreign leaders.  He also served as the U.S. Roadmap Monitor for the Mid-East Peace Process.

Admiral Harris’ personal decorations include the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, three Navy Distinguished Service Medals, three Defense Superior Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and the Air Medal.  He received the Republic of Korea’s Tong-il medal in 2014.  He has also been decorated by the governments of France, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

Admiral Harris was born in Japan and reared in Tennessee and Florida.  He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978.  He holds master’s degrees from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.  He also did post-graduate work at Oxford University and completed the Seminar 21 fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Admiral Harris’ father served in the U.S. Navy, and was a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War.  He was stationed in Korea and Japan after World War II until he retired in 1958.  Harris’ mother was Japanese.  She moved to Tennessee with her husband and young son in 1958 and became an American citizen in 1974.

Admiral Harris is married to Ms. Bruni Bradley, herself a career Naval officer.