Rear Adm. John Kirby, Chief of Information for the U.S. Navy, in conversation with Jamie Tarabay, Senior Writer, Al Jazeera America
Rear Adm. John Kirby
Rear Adm. Kirby grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in History. He holds a Master of Science degree in International Relations from Troy State University and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
He was commissioned in September 1986 after completing Officer Candidate School at Newport, R.I.
Currently serving as the U.S. Navy’s chief of information, Kirby is the principal spokesman for the Department of the Navy and provides strategic communication counsel to the secretary of the Navy and the chief of naval operations. He leads the Navy’s public affairs community consisting of more than 2,700 active and reserve officer, enlisted and civilian communication professionals.
Jamie Tarabay is Senior Staff Writer at Al Jazeera America. Australian by birth, she has lived and reported from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia and the U.S. for over 15 years. Her writing has appeared in National Journal, TheAtlantic.com, the AP and the quarterly, dispatch: Beyond Iraq. As Baghdad Bureau Chief for NPR News, her reporting on the Iraq war received the Alfred I duPont-Columbia University Award. She is the author of A Crazy Occupation: Eyewitness to the Intifada.
Rear Admiral John Kirby discusses the need to bridge the civilian-military divide. “I think it is important that those of us in uniform stay apolitical -- certainly politically aloof,” Kirby said. “But I also think it is critical that we stay politically astute.”