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Keynote Speakers

Dean Lee

Vice Admiral, United States Coast Guard (Retired)

William Dean Lee joined Harkcon Academy following a distinguished 35 year career in the U.S. Coast Guard, rising to the rank of Vice Admiral.  He retired from service in 2016 following his final assignment as Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, overseeing a force of 21,000 active duty personnel conducting all Coast Guard missions from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across 40 states, the Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean.

In addition to his duties at Atlantic Area, he served as Commander, Defense Force East and provided Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders.  He also concurrently served as Director, Department of Homeland Security Joint Task Force East, responsible for oversight of the joint interagency Maritime Counter Narcotics and Alien Migration mission.  During the period 2014 – 2016, elements of his Task Force interdicted 8,000 illegal migrants, arrested 340 smugglers, and seized 100 metric tons of illicit drugs valued at $2.9 billion.

Dean’s previous Flag assignments include command of the Deployable Operations Group (a specialized element of 3,700 fast-responders who deploy worldwide for maritime counterterrorism, antiterrorism, other law enforcement missions and hazardous material spill responses); Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District overseeing all Coast Guard forces within the Central Atlantic region; and Deputy for Operation Policy and Capabilities at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC.  In total, Dean served fourteen tours of duty, seven of those as Commanding Officer.


Following his distinguished military career, Dean now serves on the Board of Directors for HELINET, a privately held company in Van Nuys, California.  He also serves as an Honorary Professor of Military Science at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA.

Dean is a native of Richmond, Virginia who graduated from the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979, and attained a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Development from George Washington University in 1988.  He and his wife Mary have two grown children and one grandchild.


Request a session with Dean!

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