AUSA’s Thought Leaders webinar series—an extension of our Thought Leaders podcast— focuses on senior military leaders and contemporary military authors, Thought Leaders seeks to educate the public on critical issues affecting land forces and strategy.

Please join us on Tuesday, 8 April 2021 at 1400 to hear a presentation by Dr. James Helis, Director, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP).

Thursday April 8, 2021, starting at 2:00 PM EDT
GEN Carter F. Ham, U.S. Army Retired
AUSA President & Chief Executive Officer
General Ham is the president and chief executive officer of the Association of the United States Army. He is an experienced leader who has led at every level from platoon to geographic combatant command. He is also a member of a very small group of Army senior leaders who have risen from private to four-star general.

General Ham served as an enlisted infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division before attending John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Graduating in 1976 as a distinguished military graduate, his service has taken him to Italy, Germany, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Macedonia, Qatar, Iraq and, uniquely among Army leaders, to over 40 African countries in addition to a number of diverse assignments within the United States.

He commanded the First Infantry Division, the legendary Big Red One, before assuming duties as director for operations on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon where he oversaw all global operations. His first four-star command was as commanding general, U.S. Army Europe. Then in 2011, he became just the second commander of United States Africa Command where he led all U.S. military activities on the African continent ranging from combat operations in Libya to hostage rescue operations in Somalia as well as training and security assistance activities across 54 complex and diverse African nations.

General Ham retired in June of 2013 after nearly 38 years of service. Immediately prior to joining the staff at AUSA, he served as the chairman of the National Commission on the Future of the Army, an eight-member panel tasked by the Congress with making recommendations on the size, force structure and capabilities of the Total Army.

He resides with his wife, Christi, in Arlington, Virginia.
Dr. James Helis
Director, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP), Ready and Resilient, G-1 Washington, DC
Dr. Helis was appointed to the Senior Executive Service on 3 March 2019. He is currently serving as the Director of the Army Resilience Directorate. In this capacity, he establishes effective strategies, develops plans, and formulates policies for continued improvement of ARD programs. Dr. Helis works with Army and Department of Defense Senior Leaders to develop and execute short-term strategies and long-term initiatives to satisfy changing needs in a dynamic, evolving environment supporting Soldiers and Army Families. Prior to this assignment, he served as the National Security Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Transportation, Washington, DC. In this capacity he advised the Assistant Secretary on the role of the Department of Transportation pertaining to national security objectives Additionally, Dr. Helis served as the Superintendent to the United States Merchant Marine Academy for six years. As the Chief Executive Officer for one of America’s finest academies, he was responsible for the effective execution of a comprehensive four-year leadership program for cadets’ commission as an officer in one of the US Armed Forces.

Career Chronology
Mar 19 - Current: Director, Army Resilience Directorate, HQDA, DCS, G-1, Pentagon, Washington, DC
Oct 18 - Mar 19: National Security Counselor to the Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs, Washington, DC
Jul 12 - Oct 18: Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY
Jan 09 – Jul 12: Chairman, Department of National Security and Strategy, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
Jul 08 – Dec 08: NATO International Security Assistance Force, Kabul, Afghanistan
Jun 04 – Jun 08: Chairman, Department of National Security and Strategy, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barrack, PA
May 02 – Jun 04: Director, Military History and Strategy, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
Jun 79 – Jun 09: Infantry Officer, United States Army

Doctor of Philosophy, International Relations, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 2006
Master of Arts, Political Science, University of Pennsylvania, 1990
Bachelor of Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1979

Significant Training
U.S. Army Senior Service College Fellow, Queen’s University Centre for International Relations, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Master of Military Art and Science, School of Advance Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth. Kansas

Major Publications
“An Exit Interview with General David G. McKiernan,” Senior Leader Debriefing Program, US Army Military History Institute, 2011.
“Multilateralism and Unilateralism” in US Army War College Guide to National Security Issues, Volume Ii: National Security Policy and Strategy, ed. J. Boone Bartholomees, Strategic Studies Institute, June 2008.
“Haiti: A Study in Canadian-American Cooperation in The Western Hemisphere,” in Over Here and Over There: Canada-US Defence Cooperation in an Era of Interoperability, ed. David G. Haglund, Queen’s Quarterly 2001.
“Air Assault Forces in the Counter-Penetration Role,” School of Advance Military Studies Monograph, 1992
“Do the CINC Still Have a Job? Operational Command in Operations Short War,” School of Advanced Military Studies Monograph, 1992

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