Serve First, Lead Second, and Be Humble—Leadership in Apathetic Times

Samson Stevens’ presentation examines the importance of the oath of office for military and public service professionals, calling for renewed respect for service across sectors. He discusses the challenges faced by government organizations, including staffing shortages and societal changes, and emphasizes the importance of creating work environments that are fulfilling, which will impact levels of retention and increase organizational success.

About the Speaker

As the Chief of Atlantic Area Intelligence, USCG, Samson C. Stevens Sr. leads the efforts of 330 intelligence professionals across 5 COCOMs and throughout five Coast Guard Districts, 26 Sectors, 13 air stations, and the Maritime Intelligence Fusion Center Atlantic. As the Senior Intelligence Officer he oversees the service’s intelligence programs to drive theater and tactical intelligence operations enabling Service and Department missions. He is responsible for integrating Service policy and oversight of collection activities, analysis and production, geospatial intelligence, counterintelligence, cryptology and critical information technology and security functions throughout Atlantic Area.

Prior to Atlantic Area Intelligence, Captain Stevens served as Commander, Sector Virginia, where he led 1,100 Coast Guard women and men, among 13 field commands to conduct Coast Guard missions in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s waters and offshore. Captain Stevens has 29 years of experience in a broad array of operational, intelligence, joint, and staff assignments to include: Coast Guard Cutter MALLOW; the National Drug Intelligence Center; Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Design and Engineering Standards and Office of Standards Evaluation and Development; Chief, Contingency Preparedness and Force Readiness, Sector Delaware Bay; Liaison Officer to U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Joint Staff; and Executive Officer, Maritime Intelligence Fusion Center Pacific. Prior to his service at Sector Virginia, he served as the Special Assistant to the 25th Commandant of the Coast Guard, ADM Paul Zukunft, where he was responsible for the daily and long-term administration of the Commandant’s strategic priorities.

A 1995 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He later earned a Master of Science degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and a Master of Arts degree in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, MI (2001). He also earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI, (2011) and an Intelligence Community Graduate Certificate from the National Intelligence University in Washington, DC (2016). In 2023, he graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security Executive Leaders Program. Captain Stevens’ decorations include Coast Guard Meritorious Service, Coast Guard Commendation, and Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Commendation, and several Unit and Service awards.

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