Admiral William A. Owens is the Executive Chairman of Red Bison Advisory Group, a company which identifies opportunities with proven enterprises in China, the Middle East, and the United States. He was the long-time Chairman of CenturyLink Telecom, the third largest telecommunications company in the United States. Owens serves on the board of directors at Wipro Technologies and is a director of several private companies. He is on the boards of EastWest Institute, Seattle University, and the Center for Excellence in Education.
Until 2015, Owens was the Chairman and Senior Partner of AEA Investors Asia, in Hong Kong, and Vice Chairman of the NYSE for Asia. Owens has served on 26 public boards including Daimler, Eastern Airlines, British American Tobacco, Telstra, Nortel Networks, and Polycom. Owens was the CEO of Nortel Networks, CEO/Chairman of Teledesic LLC, and SAIC. and served on the boards of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Brookings Institution, and RAND Corporation.
Owens is a four-star US Navy veteran. He was Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second-ranking United States military officer. Owens, served as Commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet from 1990 to 1992, which included Operation Desert Storm and was senior military assistant to Secretaries of Defense (Cheney and Carlucci). He was a nuclear submariner, including tours as Commanding Officer of 3 submarines and duty in Vietnam.
Owens is a 1962 honor graduate of the United States Naval Academy, has a BA/MA from Oxford University, and an MBA from George Washington University. He has written more than 50 articles on national security and authored the book “High Seas.” His book, “Lifting the Fog of War,” was published in English and Mandarin.
Owens has received numerous awards: the “Légion d’Honneur” by France, and the highest awards given to foreigners by the countries of Indonesia and Sweden. He was one of The 50 Most Powerful People in Networking, one of the 100 Best US Board Members in 2011 and 2016, and the Intrepid Salute Award in recognition of his business achievements and support of important philanthropic activities. Owens is active in philanthropy to foster Chinese – American relations including dialogues between the most senior retired officers in the United States and Chinese militaries and similar dialogues between very senior economists.