Retired Vice Admiral Charles L. Munns will be the keynote speaker for the USC Aiken Class of 2018's commencement ceremony in the Convocation Center May 9.
He is a member of the South Carolina Commission for Higher Education, who is staunchly committed to public higher education at all levels and understands the transformative impact obtaining a baccalaureate degree can have on graduates and their families.
In addition to the SCCHE, Munns is also an ex-officio member of the Aiken Partnership Board.
He served for 34 years in the U.S. Navy's most high-profile and challenging positions. In his last assignment for the Navy, he was commander of the U.S. Submarine Force, which included all U.S. submarines worldwide.
As a submarine officer, he spent his career preserving the nation's security, operating its nuclear submarine reactors and safeguarding its nuclear weapons. He has also led a large Department of Defense acquisition program, serving as program manager for the $7 billion Navy Marine Corps Intranet project. This brought secure, cost-effective, modern computing to the Department of the Navy. It is the largest corporate intranet in the world and is used by U.S. Navy employees worldwide.
Munns also served as commander of NATO submarines, working with all NATO member countries to provide safe and effective submarine policies and procedures.
Although he retired from active duty as a naval officer in 2007, Munns continues to serve the U.S. Department of Defense as a special advisor to the U.S. Strategic Command. Additionally, he serves as president of Munns Advisement LLC and a special advisor to ASM - International Materials Information Society.
He was president and chief executive officer of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC from 2007 through 2009. In this position, he assembled a team that won a Department of Energy contract. After facilitating a seamless transition, he led the company that would go on to operate the Department of Energy site in a safe, effective and efficient manner, employing more than 9,000 people with an annual budget of $2 billion.
While at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, he partnered closely with the University of South Carolina Aiken to help establish emerging programs relevant to meeting national security and next-generation workforce demands. He continues to collaborate with the university on a variety of initiatives, particularly those related to cybersecurity, engineering and environmental remediation.
Munns has also served as chairman of the board for the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness.