July 12, 2024

Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, United States Navy (Ret.), will be the Honorary Chairman of the Sons of Italy’s Foundation 31st National Education & Leadership Awards Gala.   Admiral Giambastiani is a retired United States Navy admiral who served for 37 years and was the seventh Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2005 to 2007.

Born in Canastota, New York, Admiral Giambastiani attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1970 with leadership distinction. He was then assigned to the nuclear submarine force aboard the USS Puffer (SSN-652) and was the 1973 winner of the Fleet Commander’s Junior Officer Submarine Shiphandling Competition. He then commanded NR-1 Deep Submergence Craft—the Navy’s only nuclear-powered deep-diving ocean engineering and research submarine—and the USS Richard B. Russell (SSN-687).

Admiral Giambastiani also served as Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 12; Commander, Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force; and Commander, Anti-Submarine and Reconnaissance Forces Atlantic. He was the Director of Submarine Warfare Division, Senior Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In 2002, he assumed command of the U.S. Joint Forces Command and then became NATO’s first Supreme Allied Commander Transformation.

In 2005, Admiral Giambastiani was appointed the seventh Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the third naval officer to hold the position. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2007. During his highly decorated military service, Admiral Giambastiani received 12 Distinguished Service medals. He most proud, however, of his 19 unit awards because they recognize the accomplishments of the entire team.

Admiral Giambastiani is the first Honorary Chairman of the NELA Gala.

“My family on both sides are Italian-Americans. On my father’s side, my great grandfather came to America from Lucca in Tuscany in 1870’s. His son, my grandmother and father were all born in New York City or Northern New Jersey. On my mother’s side both my grandfather and grandmother came from Montemarciano in the Marche region in the early 1900’s. Although they lived a short distance from one another in Italy, they never met until living in Canastota, NY. These were all hard working Italians-Americans who instilled strong family values, a sense of the heart and soul of American exceptionalism and burning desire to have their children and grandchildren educated to the highest levels.”

The Gals is will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. This year’s gala celebrates Sicily, and will feature an online auction, cocktail hour, dinner, music, dancing, Venetian hour and more!

The Sons of Italy Foundation will be honoring  the Vivian Cardia, Bruno Ciacciarelli, The Frank & Angela Donio Family, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Raymond Palumbo, and f the SIF’s national scholarship recipients — chosen through a highly rigorous and competitive process — will be showcased.

The NELA Gala is the SIF’s most important fund-raising and public affairs event, highlighting the foundation’s commitment to educational excellence, leadership and the betterment of society. To date, the NELA Gala has helped the SIF raise more than $164 million for education, medical research, disaster relief, cultural preservation, veterans’ causes, and other special projects, with nearly $62 million in scholarships awarded.