Gail Harris

In 1973 Captain Gail Harris (March ’82), United States Navy (Retired) broke a 200 year old tradition becoming the first woman in Naval History to serve as an Intelligence Officer in a Navy combat job 20 years before federal laws changed making it a common occurrence. At her retirement in December 2001 she was the highest ranking African American female in the Navy. Her 28 year career in intelligence included hands-on leadership during every major conflict from the Cold War to El Salvador to Desert Storm to Kosovo and at the forefront of one of the Department of Defense’s newest challenges, Cyber Warfare. She writes a blog on defense topics for the Foreign Policy Association and her book A Woman’s War is available on The book was been chosen as an Editor’s Pick for 2010 by the Foreign Policy Association. Other career highlights: - Hand picked to lead intelligence support for the 1988 Olympics - While assigned to United States Strategic Command hand picked to provide intelligence support to United States Central Command’s Desert Fox operations and U.S. European Command’s operations in Kosovo. These efforts were much praised by European Command and called “masterful” by the Joint Staff.