Walter Berbrick is the son and grandson of Navy Veterans and was raised washing dishes in the kitchen of his family’s small Italian restaurant, which still exists today. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Walter followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and enlisted in the Navy. On nights and weekends, he worked as a bartender in Newport and earned his master’s degree from Salve Regina University, where he returned as an adjunct professor. He then earned a commission as an intelligence officer, mostly focused on countering violent extremism. As a civil servant at the U.S. Naval War College, Walter worked to educate and bring leaders across our government together to identify threats to our country.
His collaborative approach to helping our country’s leaders prevent war and adapt to climate change led him to national security roles at the State Department and Pentagon. During the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Walter helped implement U.S. policies to improve coastal communities’ economic and living conditions, protect the environment, and address the impacts of climate change. As a senior policy adviser to the Secretary of the Navy, he led the development of the Department of the Navy’s first strategy for the Arctic region.
He has served the Rhode Island community as a volunteer with the American Red Cross during crises, including the distribution of safety supplies and vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.