Ferguson, Mark

ADM, USN (Ret)


Mark Ferguson is employed as a Senior Fellow for the National Defense University in support of the Pinnacle, Capstone, and Keystone programs. 

Admiral Ferguson culminated his 38 years of active-duty military service as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, serving concurrently as Commander, NATO Joint Force Command Naples, Italy.  During a period of dynamic change, he renewed a focus on high-end war fighting in Europe.  The forward deployment of four Aegis destroyers to Rota, Spain, the commissioning of the shore-based Aegis ballistic missile defense site in Romania, and the first Allied ballistic missile defense live-fire test in Europe were completed during his tenure.  As the operational commander of 4,800 Allied troops deployed to Kosovo and the NATO mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he directed NATO operational missions in the Balkans while working closely with the European Union.

Admiral Ferguson’s US command encompassed the SIXTH Fleet, with operational responsibilities for the eastern Atlantic and the waters surrounding Europe and Africa.  His focus on the security challenges in Africa required close cooperation with European, African, and South American partners to disrupt terrorist networks, deter illicit trafficking, and counter piracy and maritime crime.  He was also responsible for five naval bases and US naval personnel stationed throughout Europe and Africa.  

As Vice Chief of Naval Operations, he directed the actions of the Navy staff and served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group.  During a period of fiscal challenge, he led development of Navy actions to meet the requirements of the Budget Control Act and address the potential impacts of sequestration.  He led the organization, training and equipping of more than 680,000 active, reserve, and civilian personnel and provided oversight of the Navy’s $140 billion annual budget.

As Chief of Naval Personnel, Admiral Ferguson was responsible for recruiting, retention, and the training of 320,000 naval personnel.  He oversaw the force management policies and education programs for the US Navy with an annual budget over $30 billion.

Over his career as a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer, Admiral Ferguson operated in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, serving on cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers.  He commanded an Aegis-class destroyer as well as a destroyer squadron.  He also served as a special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe during Operation ALLIED FORCE, the NATO air campaign to end hostilities in Kosovo.  

Admiral Ferguson holds a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the Naval Postgraduate School.  He also graduated from the Air Command and Staff College.  He completed a National Security Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School and Leadership at the Peak at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs.  He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the Center for Naval Analyses.