|6th United States Secretary of Energy|
March 1, 1989 - January 20, 1993
|President||George H. W. Bush|
|Chair of the President's Commission on the HIV Epidemic|
October 8, 1987 - June 24, 1988
|Chief of Naval Operations|
June 30, 1982 - June 30, 1986
James David Watkins
March 7, 1927
Alhambra, California, United States
|Died||July 26, 2012 (aged 85)|
Alexandria, Virginia, United States
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||Sheila Jo McKinney (1950-1996)|
|Education||United States Naval Academy (BSc)|
Naval Postgraduate School (MSc)
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1945-1986|
|Commands||Chief of Naval Operations|
United States Pacific Fleet
United States Sixth Fleet
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)|
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star Medal ("V" Device)
Navy Commendation Medal
James David Watkins (March 7, 1927 - July 26, 2012) was a United States Navy admiral and former Chief of Naval Operations who served as the United States Secretary of Energy during the George H. W. Bush administration, also chairing U.S. government commissions on HIV/AIDS and ocean policy. Watkins also served on the boards of various companies and other nongovernmental organizations and as the co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative.
Watkins was born March 7, 1927 in Alhambra, California. His grandfather George Clinton Ward was president of Southern California Edison during the 1930s. His father, Edward Francis Watkins, owned the Southern California Winery Co. His mother, Louise Watkins, unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Senate in 1938; he described his mother as "a woman ahead of her time."
Watkins attended Webb School of California in Claremont, California; he subsequently graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1949 and received his master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1958.
Watkins spent 37 years in the United States Navy, serving on destroyers, cruisers and submarines, and shore assignments in personnel management. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat 'V' as a result of combat operations that occurred in May and June 1968, in the Gulf of Tonkin, while serving as executive officer of USS Long Beach. In those operations, the ship participated in events leading to the shoot-down of five North Vietnamese MiG aircraft, two by air intercept with her air controllers (1967), and three by long range surface-to-air missiles (first in US Naval history) (1967 and 1968). The longest kill was at eighty miles. 
Watkins married Sheila Jo McKinney in 1950. They had six children: Katherine Marie Watkins Coopersmith, RNCS; Laura Jo Watkins Kauffmann; Charles Lancaster Watkins; Susan Elizabeth Watkins, Reverend Monsignor James David Watkins, Ph.D., Catholic priest and pastor of Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church in northwest Washington D.C., and Edward Francis Watkins, Ph.D.
Watkins's ties to oceans as a graduate of the Naval Academy, a submariner and former Chief of Naval Operations, contributed to his commitment to ocean policy reform. When the Oceans Act of 2000 was passed, President George W. Bush established the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and appointed Watkins to chair the commission. The 16-member commission presented recommendations for a new and comprehensive national ocean policy. Their final report, "An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century", was released in 2004.
Concurrently, the Pew Charitable Trusts established the Pew Oceans Commission, which was led by President Bill Clinton's former Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. The 18-member group presented its own recommendations on ocean policy to Congress and the Administration. Their final report, "America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change", was released in 2003.
The two reports listed strikingly similar recommendations. As a result, Congress and the Administration began to recognize the importance of ocean policy reform. To further these recommendations, and to act as one unified force, the two commissions came together in 2004 to establish the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. Watkins co-chaired the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative with Leon Panetta, and was called on as an expert to advise and testify before Congress on ocean governance reform. He was also cited in the media as an expert on ocean issues and penned a number of opinion pieces calling for ocean reform that were published in national outlets.
On January 1st, 1985 as CNO, Watkins banned all beards in the Navy, except for health reasons when authorized by a commander following the advice of a medical officer.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Watkins as chairman of his President's Commission on the HIV Epidemic. Watkins surprised many AIDS-awareness advocates when his conservative panel unexpectedly recommended supporting antibias laws to protect HIV-positive people, on-demand treatment for drug addicts, and the speeding of AIDS-related research.
On June 27, 1989, Watkins announced the Ten-Point Plan to strengthen environmental protection and waste management activities at the United States Department of Energy's production, research, and testing facilities. In September 1989, he established the Modernization Review Committee to review the assumptions and recommendations of the 2010 Report. On November 9, 1989, Watkins established the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management within the Department of Energy. On August 15, 1990, Secretary Watkins announced plans to increase oil production and decrease consumption to counter Iraqi-Kuwaiti oil losses caused by the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait. On March 4, 1991, he transmitted the Administration's energy bill to the House and Senate. On May 10, 1992, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee he reported that, for the first time since 1945, the United States was not building any nuclear weapons.
Watkins was appointed to what would be the second Presidential commission to be known as the "Watkins Commission" when named Chairman of the United States Commission on Ocean Policy in 2001.
|Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Navy Distinguished Service Medal with two gold award stars|
|Army Distinguished Service Medal|
|Air Force Distinguished Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit with two award stars|
|Bronze Star Medal with Valor device|
|Navy Commendation Medal|
|Navy Unit Commendation with one bronze service star|
|Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation|
|Navy Expeditionary Medal|
|China Service Medal|
|World War II Victory Medal|
|Navy Occupation Service Medal|
|National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star|
|Korean Service Medal|
|Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze service stars|
|Order of National Security Merit, Tong-Il Medal (Republic of Korea)|
|Order of the Rising Sun (Japan)|
|Order of Naval Merit, Grand Officer (Brazil)|
|Korean Presidential Unit Citation (Republic of Korea)|
|United Nations Korea Medal|
|Vietnam Campaign Medal (Republic of Vietnam)|
Watkins also received decorations from Italy, France, Spain, Pakistan and Sweden.
In March 2001, Watkins was given the title of President Emeritus of the Consortium for Ocean Research and Education (CORE), and was awarded the Navy's Distinguished Public Award by the Secretary of the Navy. On April 21, 2005, the Naval Postgraduate Mechanical Engineering Building was renamed Watkins Hall, after Watkins. He was also a member of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Hall of Fame.
Watkins' positions within the United States Government include:
He has also served several non-Governmental roles: