This week, Stevens was honored to host Rear Admiral Christopher Parry CBE, who addressed the Stevens community as part of the Maritime Security Seminar Series.
Dr. Julie Pullen, director of the Maritime Security Laboratory at Stevens, introduced Parry and shared a brief biography of his extensive career. “We are delighted to have Christopher Parry join us today,” said Dr. Pullen. “We look forward to hearing his thoughts on this topic.”
Parry then took the stage and addressed the intimate crowd gathered in DeBaun Auditorium. With wit, candor and incredible knowledge and insight, Parry spoke to the rapt participants on the Risks, Challenges and Opportunities in the Maritime Environment.
Currently serving as a non‐executive director, consultant and specialist in advising major institutions, leading companies and banks about strategic forecasting, leadership and risk, as well as on security and geopolitical themes, Parry has written extensively on strategic, policy and transformational issues and contributed to all Defence options, cost studies and reviews since 1989. He is a Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, Chatham House and the Chartered Management Institute and a visiting lecturer at the University of Oxford and other universities in the UK, the US and Europe.
Parry took the audience through the risks and challenges, both current and future, in the maritime environment. Highlighting a wide variety of these, Parry clearly and eloquently described life at sea from a global perspective. He also addressed the opportunities, stating: “The next ten years will be quite lively.”
“The sea is the most undeveloped region of the planet,” Parry asserted. “People around the world are trying to secure its resources.”
After gaining a Masters degree in History at Jesus College, Oxford, Christopher Parry spent 35 years in the Royal Navy as a Seaman and as a Fleet Air Arm officer during which he commanded the destroyer HMS GLOUCESTER, the Maritime Warfare Centre and the assault ship HMS FEARLESS. Along with regular operational tours in Northern Ireland, the Gulf and the Falklands, he was mentioned in despatches during the Falklands War (for engaging and disabling an enemy submarine) and received the 1983 Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award from the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (for the rescue of 16 SAS troopers from a glacier in South Georgia). From 2001, as a Commodore, he was Director Operational Capability in the Ministry of Defence and then, between 2003 and 2005, commanded the UK’s Amphibious Task Group. As a Rear Admiral from 2005, he formed the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) and spent three years as its Director General. Here, he led and supervised the radical revision of all Armed Forces’ thinking and operational practices to reflect modern and emerging strategic conditions.