Skip Navigation
General Anthony Zinni (Ret. USMC)

General Anthony Zinni (Ret. USMC)

President, UCLA's Center for Middle East Development

General Zinni joined the Marine Corps in 1961 and was commissioned an infantry second lieutenant in 1965 upon graduation from Villanova University. He has held numerous command and staff assignments that include platoon, company, battalion, regimental, Marine expeditionary unit, and Marine expeditionary force command. His staff assignments included service in operations, training, special operations, counter-terrorism and manpower billets. He has also been a tactics and operations instructor at several Marine Corps schools and was selected as a fellow on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group. General Zinni's joint assignments include command of a joint task force and a unified command. He has also had several joint and combined staff billets at task force and unified command levels

His military service has taken him to over 70 countries including deployments to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Western Pacific, Northern Europe and Korea. He has also served tours in Okinawa and Germany. His operational experiences include two tours in Vietnam, emergency relief and security operations in the Philippines, Operation Provide Comfort in Turkey and northern Iraq, Operation Provide Hope in the former Soviet Union, Operations Restore Hope, Continue Hope, and United Shield in Somalia, Operations Resolute Response and Noble Response in. Kenya, Operations Desert Thunder, Desert Fox, Desert Viper, Desert Spring, Southern Watch and the Maritime Intercept Operations in the Persian Gulf, and Operation Infinite Reach against terrorist targets in the Central Region. He was involved in the planning and execution of Operation Proven Force and Operation Patriot Defender in support of the Gulf War and noncombatant evacuation operations in Liberia, Zaire, Sierra Leone, and Eritrea. He has also participated in presidential diplomatic missions to Somalia, Pakistan, and Ethiopia-Eritrea and State Department missions involving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and conflicts in Indonesia and the Philippines.

He has attended numerous military schools and courses including the Army Special Warfare School, the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and National War College. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Villanova University, a master's in international relations from Salvae Regina College, a master's in management and supervision from Central Michigan University, and honorary doctorate’s from William and Mary College and the Maine Maritime Academy.

General Zinni's awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; the Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; the Bronze Star with Combat "V" and gold star, the Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" and gold star; the Navy Achievement Medal with gold star; the Combat Action Ribbon; and personal decorations from South Vietnam, France, Italy, Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen, and Bahrain. He also holds 36 unit, service, and campaign awards. His civilian awards include the Papal Gold Cross of Honor, the Union League’s Abraham Lincoln Award, the Italic Studies Institute’s Global Peace Award, the Distinguished Sea Service Award from the Naval Order of the United States, the Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Chapman Award from the Marine Corps University Foundation, the Penn Club Award, the Marconi Award from the Order Sons of Italy of America, the St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal, the George P. Shultz Award for Public Service from the U.S. State Department, and the UNICO Grand Patriot Award.

He currently holds positions on several boards of directors and advisors of major U.S. companies and non-profit organizations. In addition he has held academic positions that include the Stanley Chair in Ethics at the Virginia Military Institute, the Nimitz Chair at the University of California-Berkeley, the Hofheimer Chair at the Joint Forces Staff College, the Harriman Professor of Government appointment and membership on the board of the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William and Mary, the board of Villanova University’s Center for Responsible Leadership and Governance, and the Weissberg Chair in International Studies at Beloit College. He has worked with the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the Henri Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva. He is President of UCLA’s Center for Middle East Development. He is also a Distinguished Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an Honorary Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also been appointed by the Governor as a member of the Virginia Commission on Military Bases.

General Zinni has co-authored a New York Times Best Seller book on his career with Tom Clancy entitled "Battle Ready".

To print this page, select "Print" from the File menu of your browser.