JUMP Welcomes Retired Naval Officer Christopher Rodeman as New Director
On September 4, retired Naval Officer Christopher Rodeman began his new role as JUMP’s Director. Rodeman served in the Navy for 30 years, including eight years in Japan, finishing his career at the Pentagon as Director of the Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel.
“We’re pleased to welcome Chris to the JUMP team,” said Amb. James Zumwalt, CEO of Sasakawa USA. “Chris’ genuine enthusiasm for Japan and its culture paired with his leadership experience in the military makes him an ideal fit for this role.”
In tandem with his role at JUMP, Rodeman was also named a Research Fellow at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA. In that position, he will help plan the organization’s Tabletop Exercises and the Sasakawa USA Annual Security Forum.
During his Navy career, Rodeman served in a wide range of assignments at sea and ashore, with an emphasis on aviation and the Asia-Pacific region. Before coming to Washington, DC, he was the Commanding Officer of U. S. Naval Air Facility Misawa. In that role, he was the Navy’s senior representative in the northern third of Japan and coordinated recovery efforts following the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
A naval aviator, he deployed aboard the aircraft carriers Theodore Roosevelt, Saratoga, Abraham Lincoln, and Kitty Hawk, and took part in numerous operations and exercises including Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, Southern Watch, RIMPAC, Talisman Sabre, Cobra Gold, AnnualEX, Valiant Shield, and Malabar. Ultimately, he commanded a helicopter squadron aboard the Navy’s only forward-deployed carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.
Ashore, Rodeman was Special Assistant to the Commander, Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO) in Naples, Italy, and Director of the Commander’s Initiatives Group at U. S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A graduate of Purdue University, he holds a master’s degree in Far East and Pacific Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Additionally, he is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and later taught strategy and policy as an Assistant Professor at the National War College in Washington, DC.
His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and strike and flight Air Medals. He is a three-time recipient of the Sikorsky “S” award for life-saving rescue missions and was the 2007 Daedalians Navy Aviator of the Year.