Jan. 30, 2009
U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Michael T. Franken, a native of Sioux Center, Iowa, and a former Morningside College student, will speak on “Opportunities for a New Administration in a Troubled World” during a lecture at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, in the UPS Auditorium in Morningside College’s Lincoln Center, 3627 Peters Avenue. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Franken is deputy director of strategy, plans and policy for the U.S. Central Command and reports to U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. Central Command. In addition to developing strategy, plans and policy for the U.S. Central Command region, Franken also is involved in preparing and maintaining bilateral and multilateral operations and contingency plans.
U.S. Central Command is a joint military command with a region of responsibility that spans nearly 4.1 million square miles and 20 countries including Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon and Kuwait. Franken’s responsibilities for this region give him unique insights on formulating policy proposals, plans and strategies that counter extremism and promote regional stability and responsible governance.
Franken attended Morningside College from 1976 to 1978. He was a 1981 Navy ROTC distinguished graduate from the University of Nebraska with a degree in engineering. He is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School’s College of Physics, the Maritime Warfare Advanced Course at the Canadian War College, the Brookings Institute Legislative Affairs Program and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI.
Franken has served on numerous combat ships and commanded the USS Winston C. Churchill. His tours ashore have included seven positions with the U.S. Navy Fleet staffs in Washington, D.C., and on the East and West coasts. He also served for one year on Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s personal staff. Franken assumed his current position with the U.S. Central Command in July 2008.