Patrick Murphy

32nd Under Secretary of the Army, America’s First Iraq Veteran in Congress, Wharton Lecturer
The Honorable Patrick J. Murphy smirking in a suit with a red tie. The background show the American and Army flag
  • America’s first Iraq War veteran elected to U.S. Congress and later appointed by President Obama as the 32nd Under Secretary of the U.S. Army
  • Innovative military and business leader who, as Army Under Secretary, spearheaded a large-scale operational overhaul across the entire organization
  • Shares battle-tested lessons on leadership and outlines how organizations can align their purpose to their business goals to make a greater impact
  • A Wharton lecturer who advises top companies including Comcast, Nike, and Oracle on employee recruitment and retention after recruiting 120K Gen Z Americans to the U.S. Army, one of the biggest recruiting classes in the organization’s recent history.

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Secretary Patrick J. Murphy is a decorated combat veteran, vetrepreneur, board chairman, change agent, and the leading voice of the 9/11 Generation. America's first Iraq War veteran elected to the U.S. Congress and the 32nd Under Secretary of the U.S. Army, he is now a Wharton Business School lecturer, Emmy award-winning producer, and owner of more than 60 veteran-founded companies.

Murphy draws from his experiences as a leader in the unforgiving throes of combat, Congress, and the Pentagon to discuss how organizations and individuals can define and act on their purpose, and channel the grit it takes to win at any endeavor. He challenges audiences to dig deeper to unlock their potential and shares battle-tested lessons on leadership and using your business or platform to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Secretary Murphy served for eight years in the U.S. Army, including deployments to Baghdad and Bosnia. While in Baghdad as a JAG Corps attorney with the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division, Murphy worked to reconstruct the justice system and helped prosecute Sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, a lieutenant of Muqtada al-Sadr.

During his tenure as a two-term Member of Congress, Murphy tapped into his experiences on the battlefield to lead efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” pass a critical consumer protection measure to protect students from predatory credit cards, and introduced legislation to eliminate fraud in the U.S. healthcare system.

Passionate about entrepreneurship, Murphy has invested tens of millions directly to his fellow vetrepreneurs through Stony Lonesome Capital, a boutique venture capital firm investing in 49 veteran-owned companies. Secretary Murphy serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards including as a member of the board of directors for BAE systems, chairman of the Government Advisory Committee for Oracle Cerner Health, and several other privately held companies.

As the 32nd Under Secretary of the Army and Acting Secretary, he led management and operations for the department — a Fortune 2-sized organization and the nation’s second largest employer with over 1.3 million soldiers and civilian personnel, with a budget of more than $148 billion. Murphy’s focus on transforming the Army into a more innovative and diverse workforce led to an expansion of the Soldier for Life initiative, saving the Army $340 million in 2016 in UCX. Under Murphy’s leadership, the Army reached recruitment goals for the first time in five years with more than 120,000 “Gen Z” Americans hired, of which 42% were people of color and made up the most diverse graduating class in West Point history. Secretary Murphy developed unprecedented public-private partnerships generating more than $250 million in taxpayer savings.

A world class strategic communicator, he is the founder of an Emmy & CLIO award-winning strategic engagement and film production company, Taking the Hill LLC, specializing in gritty military and veteran projects of the 9/11 Generation. Television and film projects produced include: “Warrior Class” (TBD, 2023); “Cherry” (Apple/Russo Brothers, 2021); “Thank You For Your Service” (Dreamworks/Universal, 2017); and “Side by Side” (NBC, 2020). He was the host and executive producer for “Taking the Hill” (NBC 2011–2015) and “The Triumph Games” (CBS Sports, 2015–2016). He authored the book Taking the Hill (Henry Holt, 2008).  

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Speaker Video

The Honorable Patrick J. Murphy

Patrick Murphy's Battle-Tested Leadership Lessons

Increasing Access to Justice | LSC White House Forum 2016

The Common Traits of Impactful Leaders. As a decorated combat veteran, military leader, and statesman, the Honorable Patrick J. Murphy has forged a reputation for navigating his teams toward mission success. Drawing from his own experiences leading in highly complex environments on the battlefield and in business, and collaborating with our nation’s leaders, including President Barack Obama, Murphy outlines the common characteristics of leaders who consistently guide their organizations to success while contributing to the good of society. He shares hard-won lessons on leading through change, bringing the best of your people, and adopting a collective resilient mindset that will see your team through any challenge.

The Blueprint for Building a Purpose-Driven Organization. Throughout his distinguished career serving our country as a combat veteran, legislator, and business leader, the Honorable Patrick J. Murphy has remained committed to building purpose-driven teams centered on creating positive change both within and outside of their organizations. In this talk, Murphy underpins the steps any organization can take to establish their purpose and create intentional strategies for aligning their operations to their purpose on the path to achieving their goals. 

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