James Henry Bergeron
Political Advisor to the Commander, Allied Maritime Command, NATO
Jim Bergeron assumed duties as Political Advisor to Commander, Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, United Kingdom on 1 September 2013. Previously the POLAD to Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO from July 2005 as a member of the US Government Service. He has served as POLAD in twenty US and NATO exercises; in a national capacity as POLAD to EUCOM Commander Joint Task Force Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah Conflict and to Commander US Naval Forces Europe during the August 2008 Russia-Georgia Conflict. From March until July 2011 he served as the Political Advisor to NATO’s CJTF Operation Unified Protector in support of UNSCR 1973 operations in Libya. He is regularly consulted on NATO maritime strategy, transformational issues and was one of the drafters of the Alliance Maritime Strategy. Prior to his appointment in Naples, Mr. Bergeron served as EU/NATO Policy Advisor on the Staff of Commander, US Naval Forces Europe, London.
Professor Bergeron entered the US government service following a career in academia. He holds a BA in History and English Literature from the University of the State of New York, MA in Political Science and Juris Doctor from the Syracuse University and Master of Laws in European Union Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Mr. Bergeron taught in the Faculty of Law at University College Dublin, Ireland, from 1991-2000 where he specialized in European Union law, comparative antitrust, international law and jurisprudence. He has held visiting appointments at the Nicolas Copernicus University, Torun, Jageillonian University, Krakow, Riga Graduate School of Law; Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Spain, St. John’s University College of Law, New York and as a Fellow at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law at Cambridge University. In 1993 he developed the draft Estonian Code of Military Justice under the US European Command’s military-to-military contacts program. Under the auspices of the European Commission he assisted in the revision of the Latvian Constitution from 1998-9 and training of Hungarian public prosecutors in EU law from 1999-2000. He served briefly on the Forward Studies Unit of the President of the European Commission.
His connections to the naval life are of long standing. Mr. Bergeron entered the United States Navy in 1976 and served as a reactor operator onboard USS ULYSSES S. GRANT (SSBN 631) and USS HOUSTON (SSN 713). Upon commissioning he served on USS GEORGE C. MARSHALL (SSBN 654) as Assistant Weapons Officer. This was followed by twenty-one years in the US Navy Reserve, supporting US Naval Forces Europe, US Embassy Dublin and Allied Forces Southern Command in the areas of politico-military analysis and advice, partnership engagement and security cooperation. Commander Bergeron retired from the Navy Reserve in October 2007.
Jim Bergeron has published widely on legal, political and international security topics. He has spoken at numerous institutions, defense colleges, universities and think tanks including the Center for Naval Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School Monterey, Chatham House, NATO Defense College, Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, RUSI, Institute for International Affairs (IAI) Rome, National Defense University, Wilton Park and Cambridge University. He has had a long involvement with the American Bar Association, and currently serves as the ABA liaison to NATO and Vice Chair of the European Law Committee. Personal decorations include the Meritorious and Superior Civilian Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, NATO Libya Medal, NATO Meritorious Service Medal and the Golden Badge of the Estonian Ministry of Defence.