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Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership

Mr. Alvin Townley

Mr. Alvin Townley

Senior Fellow

Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership
U.S. Naval Academy
201-E Luce Hall (Mail Stop 7-J), 112 Cooper Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5022

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Alvin Townley

Best-selling New York Times-reviewed author and Emmy-winning storyteller Alvin Townley has traveled to five continents and four deployed aircraft carriers to discover inspiring stories of leadership and courage. His adventures have taken him into Wall Street board rooms and through the halls of Congress, along the Great Wall of China and to the Arabian Sea, inside the Hanoi Hilton and across South Sudan, through Australian reefs and to multiple North American summits.

St. Martin’s Press and Scholastic published his five nationally-acclaimed books. Reviews came from The New York Times, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, and others. Defense Secretary Robert Gates penned a foreword. Alvin was also part of the team behind the award-winning PBS film Jeremiah.

His landmark book Defiant shares the story of the eleven leading U.S. POWs in Hanoi – including Jim Stockdale ’47, Jeremiah Denton ’47, and Bob Shumaker ’56 – and their extraordinary wives, who launched the POW-MIA movement at home. Through these heroic men and women, Alvin tells an unmatched story of leadership, devotion, and resilience. His fellowship has a particular focus on marking the 50th Anniversary of the POWs’ homecoming in 2023.

He has talked life and leadership with icons from Justice Stephen Breyer and Michael Bloomberg to Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 and Louie Zamperini of Unbroken. CNN, FOX, and NPR have featured his expertise, and he has spoken about purpose and character at venues including The White House, Delta Air Lines, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and the USS Stockdale.

An Eagle Scout and NCAA athlete, Alvin graduated from Washington & Lee University, where he served on the university’s student government and honor council. He studied politics and economics in Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris, and London before working in Congress, managing global strategy for an 85,000-person firm, and leading external affairs for a Grammy- and Tony-winning national arts center.

In 2021, he became the founding executive director of the SkillPointe Foundation, which grants scholarships for skills training nationwide; early partners include The Home Depot, NetJets, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the board of the Global Village Project, an internationally-recognized school for refugee girls and acts as an advisor to KinectAir, a disruptive software aviation company.

A Georgia Author of the Year, Alvin lives outside his hometown of Atlanta, close to the rivers and trails he loves to enjoy with his family. He is currently at work on his sixth book, Father-Daughter.


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