ADM Paul Zukunft, USCG (ret.)
Paul served as the 25th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard from 2014 – 2018. During his tenure as Commandant he forged a strategy-driven approach to forge alliances among partner nations in Central and South America and across federal, state, local and tribal entities to combat transnational criminal organizations traﬃcking illicit drugs; initiate combined operations and establish an Arctic Coast Guard Forum comprised of the 8 Arctic Council nations to address the prescient issues as sea ice retreats in the Arctic domain; revitalize diversity across the work force; share best practices across the military, federal and commercial maritime sectors to advance cyber security; and facilitate more than $4.6 trillion in U.S. maritime commerce on an annual basis.
This strategic approach combined with 4 consecutive years of clean financial audit opinions (and the only Armed Service to do so) culminated in the highest ever appropriation for the Coast Guard to modernize its fleet and upgrade aging infrastructure.
Paul’s 41 years of active duty service and 8 commands to include three Coast Guard cutters spanned the globe and the Service has emerged as the gold standard for promoting maritime safety and security.
In 2010, Paul served as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – the largest spill in U.S. history, where he directed over 47,000 first responders, a flotilla of more than 6,700 vessels and over 120 aircraft.
Paul is a 1977 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and has master’s degrees from Webster University in management and the U.S. Naval War College in international aﬀairs and strategic studies. He is a graduate of the executive seminar at the Asia Pacific Center for Strategic Studies and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government National Preparedness Leadership seminar.
Paul currently serves on the strategic advisory board of Liquid Robotics – a subsidiary of Boeing Corporation; the Climate and Security Advisory Board at the Wilson Center; the board of the Honolulu Council of the Navy League; the Military Aﬀairs Council for the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce; and along with his wife, Fran, as the military ambassadors for the USO’s United through Reading program. He is also president of “Paul Zukunft – Worldwide Maritime Consulting, LLC” and is a frequent speaker among the policy shaping think tanks.
Paul is an avid cyclist and has been blessed with an amazing wife, two daughters, one son and 5 adorable grandchildren.