Admiral Joseph W. Prueher served as Ambassador to the People's Republic of China from November 1999 to May 2001. As Chief of the United States mission in China, he served two Presidents and was responsible for directing, coordinating and managing the activities of all United States Executive Branch activities in China. Prior to assuming duties in China, Admiral Prueher served as a lecturer and Senior Advisor to the Stanford-Harvard Preventive Defense Program and as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Naval Analysis.
Admiral Prueher completed thirty-five years of distinguished service in the United States Navy in May 1999. From February 1996 until then, he was the 17th Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC), the senior military commander of all the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force troops in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and their littoral areas. The largest military command in the world, CINCPAC spanned over half the earth's surface and included over 300,000 people. In this capacity, Admiral Prueher worked with Asia-Pacific civil and military leaders to promote collective security and cooperation in the area. From 1989 through 1995, Admiral Prueher served as Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis; Commander of Carrier Battle Group ONE based in San Diego; Commander of the U.S. Mediterranean Sixth Fleet and of NATO Striking Forces based in Gaeta, Italy; and as Vice Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon.
Foremost a carrier based attack pilot for his first 24 years of service, he also spent three years as a Navy Test Pilot at Patuxent River, MD. He has extensive flight and combat experience, with over 5600 flight hours and over 1000 carrier landings. He was qualified in 52 types of aircraft, held numerous senior tactical commands, including two carrier air wings, and led the formation of the Naval Strike Warfare Center in Fallon, NV.
Admiral Prueher hails from Nashville, TN, where he graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy. In 1964, he graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and later received a M.S. in International Relations from George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, RI. In addition to co-authoring the Performance Testing Manual used by naval test pilots for many years, he has published numerous articles on leadership, military readiness, and Pacific region security issues.
Admiral Prueher has received multiple military awards for combat flying as well as Naval and Joint Service. Additionally he has been decorated by the governments of Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia. Currently, in addition to speaking and consulting on international issues, he sits on the Board of Merrill Lynch, Emerson, New York Life, and several other corporate, educational, and civic boards.
His wife, Suzanne, and he currently reside in Virginia Beach, VA. Their daughter, Brooks Barwell, an urban planner, lives with her husband in Alexandria, VA. Their son, Joshua, a Naval Officer, and his wife live in Washington, DC.