National Defense University (NDU) today welcomed Vice Admiral Frederick J. Roegge as its 16th president. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., presided over the change of presidency ceremony in which responsibility transferred from Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC, to Vice Admiral Roegge.
In discussing the unique strategic importance of “The Chairman’s University,” General Dunford stated, “Navigating today’s environment while preparing for an uncertain tomorrow requires strategic leaders that are not only technical experts, but individuals who can think broadly, critically, and creatively. That’s what NDU is all about. . . . Serving as a catalyst for strategic thought, and developing strategic leaders . . . who can build coalitions and integrate diverse perspectives to solve complex problems.”
Major General Padilla served as the 15th president of NDU for nearly three years, during which the University successfully accomplished its mission to develop joint warfighters and other national security leaders through rigorous academics, research, and engagement to serve the common defense. Reflecting on the University’s legacy and impact, Major General Padilla noted that, as an example of someone who leads from the front and “demonstrates absolute excellence at the tactical, operational, and strategic level . . . General Dunford personifies everything that we attempt to produce at NDU.” In educating students to ascend to that level, NDU “creates strategic advantage” and operates as a “national asset,” Major General Padilla continued.
Through this ceremony, Vice Admiral Roegge accepted responsibility to lead the University in pursuing the Chairman’s vision that NDU will create strategic advantage by developing joint warfighters and other national security leaders and forging relationships through whole-of-nations and whole-of-government educational programs, research, and engagement. Coming to NDU from his most recent assignment as Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, he observed “what NDU does every day is to make our students just as effective at launching ideas as launching ordnance. . . . And that makes a huge difference to our military, our whole of government, our nation and our allies around the world.”
NDU provides a hedge against uncertainty by developing leaders prepared to handle the Nation’s most difficult national security challenges in an increasingly unpredictable environment. History has shown that the best way to safeguard the Nation’s interests is by educating and developing leaders who are prepared to think critically, strategically, and creatively to produce innovative and holistic solutions.
As the premier institution for strategic leader development, NDU leverages a uniquely valuable combination of academic and research programs focused on national and international security, a diverse student body and faculty, partnerships across the security enterprise, and an advantageous location.
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