General Vincent K. Brooks
Distinguished Senior Fellow | Asia Policy Program
Vincent K. Brooks is a career Army officer who retired from active duty in January 2019 as the four-star general in command of over 650,000 Koreans and Americans under arms.
General Brooks, who goes by “Vince,” is a 1980 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the first class to include women, and he led the 4,000 cadets as the cadet brigade commander or “First Captain.” A history-maker, Brooks is the first African American to have been chosen for this paramount position, and he was the first cadet to lead the student body when women were in all four classes (freshman or “plebe” to senior or “first classman”). He is also the eighth African American in history to attain the military’s top rank – four-star general in the United States Army.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; a Master of Military Art and Science from the prestigious U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; was a National Security Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government; and also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from the New England School of Law as well as an honorary Doctor of Humanities from New England Law | Boston.
Widely respected as a speaker and leader of cohesive, innovative organizations, within and beyond the military, his areas of expertise are: leadership in complex organizations, crisis leadership, and building cohesive trust-based teams, national security, policy, strategy, international relations, military operations, combating terrorism and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, diversity and inclusion. He is a combat veteran and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
In retirement, General Brooks is a Director of the Gary Sinise Foundation; a visiting Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Texas, with both the Clements Center for National Security and also the Strauss Center for International Security and Law; an Executive Fellow with the Institute for Defense and Business; and the President of VKB Solutions LLC.
Vince is from a career military family and claims Alexandria, Virginia as home given the long roots in maternal and paternal branches of the family tree. Vince is married to Carol P. Brooks, MA, DSc. a retired Physical Therapist and currently an adult Educator. The two reside in Austin, Texas.
His appointment is in conjunction with the Clements Center.