Chairman Welcomes New National Defense University President
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 10, 2009 If anyone can build on the achievements of the National Defense University’s outgoing president, it’s her successor, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said during a change-of-command ceremony here today.
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passes the colors to Navy Vice Adm. Ann E. Rondeau at the National Defense University change-of-presidency ceremony in Washington, D.C., July 10, 2009. Rondeau relieved Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Frances C. Wilson, left, as the 13th president of the university. DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen officiated as Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Frances C. Wilson passed command of the institution to Navy Vice Adm. Ann E. Rondeau in a brief ceremony at Fort McNair, where the university is located.
“I’ve charged her to … expand on what Fran has advanced here by inventing a new whole-of-government approach to education in the future of public service,” Mullen said. “[I’ve asked her] to reach out deeper and farther and wider, not just to partners we have, but to those we would like to have to make this university not only about preserving our national defense, but also about pursuing our national security.
“Just a reminder Ann, you have an office call with me a week from Tuesday,” he joked.
Those are tall orders considering Wilson’s accomplishments. During her three-year tenure as president, she established the Institute for National Security Ethics and Leadership, the Center for Joint and Strategic Logistics Excellence and laid out the university’s first formal strategic plan, among other undertakings.
Before Wilson officially handed the reins to Rondeau, Mullen thanked her for her stalwart leadership of the institution.
“I know I speak for the entire staff and faculty of [the National Defense University], as well as the military interagency and international leadership gathered here today, when I say that you will truly be missed,” Mullen said. “We thank you for your commitment and your principled leadership, [and] we thank you for caring about the future of public service.”
Wilson, in turn, thanked her colleagues and family before welcoming her successor.
“It has been an honor, privilege, and a pleasure to serve with each of you,” she said. “Ann, you are about to assume stewardship of a tremendous institution. You will find it uniquely engaging, stimulating, challenging, and ultimately very satisfying.”
After accepting the university’s flag from Mullen in a symbolic transfer of authority, Rondeau expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the institution’s president.
“On this day I thank you for this privilege of service, for the friends and the mentors, and for all of you who are part of this knowledgeable community,” she said. “Gratitude and thank you to Lieutenant General Fran Wilson [who has] made my job that much better, because we can take it from here … based upon the honorable and good decisions which you have made.”
Rondeau last served as the deputy commander of U.S. Transportation Command. She holds a degree in history from Eisenhower College, a master’s degree in comparative government from Georgetown University, and is pursuing a doctoral degree from Northern Illinois University. This is in addition to holding subspecialty qualifications in political-military affairs, operational intelligence, operations analysis, strategy and planning and military transportation.