Craig Mullaney

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Craig Mullaney

Craig Michael Mullaney (born 1968/1969) is a United States Army veteran and author of The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education (Penguin Press).[1]

He was Senior Vice President of Content, Strategy and Operations at Ustream from 2011-13.[2] He also served as Senior Policy Advisor working for the United States Agency for International Development. He currently works on Strategic Partner Development at Facebook.

Early life, education and family[edit]

Raised in a Roman Catholic blue-collar family in Rhode Island, Mullaney was the Bishop Hendricken High School valedictorian and was selected for nomination to the U.S. Military Academy in 1996. While a cadet, Mullaney double-majored in French and History, served as the cadet brigade operations officer in his senior year, and completed over 400 jumps as a nationally ranked member of West Point's sport-parachute team. He graduated second in the West Point Class of 2000.[3]

Mullaney attended Lincoln College, Oxford (2000-02) as a Rhodes Scholar.[4] He earned a Master of Science degree in Economic and Diplomatic History and a Master of Studies degree in Historical Research.[citation needed]


Mullaney married Tomoko Hosaka, a journalist with The Associated Press. He was previously married to Dr. Meena Seshamani, a medical doctor.[5] They met at Oxford where Seshamani was a PhD Marshall Scholar and he was a Rhodes Scholar.[6]

Military career[edit]

Prior to arriving at Oxford, Mullaney completed Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia, a grueling nine-week course designed to test small-unit leadership by simulating combat stress through strenuous tactical exercises. When Mullaney returned to the United States in 2002, he completed additional infantry training and joined the 10th Mountain Division, which had recently returned from Afghanistan.

In 2003, Mullaney served as an infantry officer with the 10th Mountain Division as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where he led a rifle platoon along the hostile border with Pakistan.[7]

His platoon operated along the entire spectrum of combat operations—from humanitarian assistance to full-scale combined arms against al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. His platoon was the most decorated in Afghanistan during its tour and was commended in person by General Richard Myers, General John Abizaid, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He was recognized with the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal for Valor, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.[citation needed]

After his tour in Afghanistan, Mullaney served in the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), in Arlington, Virginia. At this elite ceremonial unit, he planned portions of the 2005 Presidential Inauguration, marched in reviews for foreign dignitaries, and managed a team of Pentagon-funded software engineers developing management software for small units in the Army.[citation needed]

In the summer of 2005, Mullaney joined the faculty of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, as a history instructor and Army Exchange Officer. He designed and taught an undergraduate course on the history of the U.S. Navy and American foreign policy. He left the Army in 2008 upon completion of his tour at the Naval Academy.[citation needed]

Public service[edit]

Mullaney was on the national security staff of Barack Obama's presidential campaign,[8][9] and served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Defense Transition Team under co-chairs Michele Flournoy and Dr. John P. White.[10]

He worked as the Principal Director for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia for the Department of Defense from May 2009 to April 2010.[11] In April 2010, he was appointed as a senior advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan issues to the United States Agency for International Development.[12]


Mullaney wrote The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education, an autobiographical look at preparing for the responsibility of leading men in combat and the hard-won lessons of that experience.[13]

New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin noted the "searing detail" of the Afghanistan combat description, and concluded that the memoir's "impact" comes from its account of "the inner journey of a man who is at first eager to learn as much as he can from service and scholarship. Later on he learns from his mistakes."[13]


  1. ^ "The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education (9781594202025): Craig M. Mullaney: Books". Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  2. ^ Dickinson, Boonsri (March 12, 2012). "Military Experience Helped This Vet Run Operations at Video Startup Ustream". Business Insider. 
  3. ^ Stanton, Mike (March 15, 2009). "At 31, Rhode Islander Craig Mullaney has learned the price of a salute". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Rhodes Trust Chooses 32 As Scholars". The New York Times. 1999-12-06. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  5. ^ "Meena Seshamani, MD, PhD". 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  6. ^ WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Meena Seshamani, Craig Mullaney, The New York Times, May 8, 2005.
  7. ^ "Craig M. Mullaney - About Craig - Bio". 2014-03-17. Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  8. ^ Mazzetti, Mark; Schmitt, Eric (October 31, 2008). "McCain and Obama Advisers Briefed on Deteriorating Afghan War". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  9. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (January 31, 2009). "After Campaign Push, Obama Cultivates Military". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  10. ^ Obama-Biden Transition: Agency Review Teams,; accessed November 1, 2016.
  11. ^ Foreign Policy (2009). Names: DoD, OVP; retrieved June 20, 2009.
  12. ^ "Names: Craig Mullaney to USAID | Foreign Policy". 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  13. ^ a b Maslin, Janet (February 26, 2009). "The Battlefield Can Be an Unforgiving Teacher". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 

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