James H. 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 is considered to be one of NATO's most experienced foreign policy advisors in the fields of maritime and joint expeditionary operations. He has served as POLAD in eighteen US and NATO exercises; as POLAD to the NATO Response Force exercise Steadfast Jaguar in Cape Verde and NATO Riga Summit mission in 2006; in a national capacity as POLAD to EUCOM Commander Joint Task Force Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah Conflict; to Commander US Naval Forces Europe during the August 2008 Russia-Georgia Conflict and as POLAD to STRIKFORNATO for four Baltic Host and two BALTOPs exercises to reassure Allies of NATO solidarity. 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 NATO-EU relations, and was one of the drafters of the Alliance Maritime Strategy. Prior to his appointment in Naples, Mr. Bergeron served as EUINATO 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 from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, Juris Doctor magna cum laude from the College of Law at Syracuse University and Master of Laws in European Union Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, as a British Foreign and Commonwealth Scholar. Following completion of the LL.M. in 1991, Mr. Bergeron joined the Faculty of Law at University College Dublin, Ireland, where he specialized in European Union law, European affairs, comparative antitrust, international law and jurisprudence. From 1991-2000 he 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 and S1. John's University College of Law, New York. 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 oflong standing. Mr. Bergeron entered the United States Navy in 1976. After two years of nuclear propulsion training, he served as a reactor operator onboard USS ULYSSES S. GRANT (SSBN 631) and USS HOUSTON (SSN 713) in Newport News, Virginia. In July 1982 he reported to Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon commissioning as an officer and completion of submarine and Poseidon missile schools, 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 several articles and book chapters on legal, political and international security topics, and is the editor, with Peter Fitzpatrick, of Europe's Other: European Law from Modernity to Post-Modernity (Ashgate 1998). 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 (IA!) Rome, National Defense University, Wilton Park and the Maritime Warfare School Halifax. He has had a long involvement with the American Bar Association, and currently serves as the ABA liaison to NATO, the International Maritime Organisation and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Personal decorations include the Meritorious and Superior Civilian Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, NATO Libya Medal and the Golden Badge of the Estonian Ministry of Defence. Interests include naval history, art, early music, political theory, and military strategy.