René Carbone Bardorf was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs for Community and Public Outreach in November 2011. She is responsible for advising the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs on matters relating to outreach, community relations, and social media.
Ms. Bardorf recently served as the founding Executive Director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation partnering with award-winning journalist Bob Woodruff, to evolve an organization from a family fund focused on brain injuries to an independent, national non-profit positioned at the center of strategic challenges related to the reintegration of America's heroes from the stress of combat to positive, healthy and productive lives with their families. As Executive Director, she was responsible for driving positive social engagement by building the Foundation’s brands and engaging in social media to create a movement for change.In addition, Ms. Bardorf led her team in creating a venture-philanthropy model for grant-making that found and funded the most effective programs to address the wide spectrum of issues facing the troops. She developed strategic messaging that significantly shifted focus to non-partisan support for service members and implored the American public to take action and "Stand Up for Heroes.
Prior to the Bob Woodruff Foundation Ms. Bardorf served as the senior civilian advisor for injured support to the United States Marine Corps, she advised senior leaders within the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs on policy issues related to injured service members and their families. As a co-founder of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, she was instrumental in raising more than $10 million to provide emergency financial assistance for injured service members and their families.
Having worked in and outside of government, Ms. Bardorf is a recognized subject matter expert in military family readiness, and injured support. She has served on prestigious working groups and panels such as the Clinton Global Initiative - Veterans Employment Working Group, Comcast Corporation Social Media Seminar for Nonprofit Executives, Department of Defense Community and Public Outreach Leadership Roundtable, Jericho Project - Veterans Homelessness Advisory Council, West Point Global Leadership Conference, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the US House of Representatives, Veterans Affairs Committee Leadership Roundtable.
A frequent speaker and guest, she has appeared on Nightline, 60 Minutes, Hardball with Chris Matthews, NPR, Fox News, and CNN. She is recognized by the media as a credible expert and keeps a blog on the Huffington Post. René is the recipient of numerous awards and citations, including the George Alexander Congressional Volunteerism Award. She has attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program for Performance Measurements for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations, and has completed the Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education Program for Strategic Frameworks for Nonprofit Organizations. She was a participant at the United States Army War College’s National Security Seminar.