CNA Board of Trustees


Roderick K. von Lipsey

Board Chair, Board of Trustees

Roderick von Lipsey is a Managing Director at UBS Financial Services, Inc. and a twenty-year veteran of Wall Street, having served in both management and production assignments. Prior to founding the UBS Private Wealth Management practice in Washington DC, Rod was a Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and former Chief Operating Officer of Investment Management Services in New York. During his career in finance, he has been recognized by Barron's, Forbes, Shook Research and the National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices for leadership in the investment advisory business. His market analysis and views continue to be sought after, and he has appeared on numerous financial media to include the Associated Press, Bloomberg TV and Radio, CNBC, Kiplinger, USA Today, US News, the Washington Post, and Yahoo Finance.

Prior to his career on Wall Street, Rod served twenty years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. During a distinguished military career which included fleet combat assignments as an F/A-18 fighter pilot and weapons tactics instructor, his Washington DC-area assignments included service as Director, National Security Council; Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow; White House Fellow and Special Assistant for Foreign and Security Policy to the Chief of Staff to the President; and Senior Aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His operational awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat "V".

He holds a BS degree from the US Naval Academy ('80) and an MA from The Catholic University of America, and is co-author and editor of the book, Breaking the Cycle: A Framework for Conflict Intervention (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997).

Rod is an active mentor in many personal and professional circles and a committed philanthropist, having served as trustee and advisor for a number of domestic and international not-for-profit organizations.

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Lieutenant General Robert R. Blackman, Jr., USMC (Ret.)

Lieutenant General Blackman was commissioned into the Marine Corps from Cornell University in 1970. Key assignments over 37 years of active service include command of 3d Battalion, 8th Marines; G-3 Operations Officer for MARCENT (Forward) during Desert Shield and Desert Storm; Executive Officer to the Commander, U.S. Central Command; Commander, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit; Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy; President of the Marine Corps University; Commanding General, 2d Marine Division; Director, Resources and Assessment, U.S. Central Command; Chief of Staff of the Coalition Forces Land Component Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom; Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force: and Commander, Marine Corps Forces Command.

After leaving active service, Lieutenant General Blackman served with the Marine Corps’ Marine Air-Ground Task Force Training Program and Joint Warfighting Center advising and mentoring operational commanders and staffs. He joined the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation as President and CEO in March 2011.

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Vice Admiral William R. Burke, USN (Ret.)

Vice Admiral William Burke is the Chief Maritime Officer for the Carnival Corporation & plc. He joined Carnival Corporation in December 2013. Burke graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering and completed his MBA at Marymount University and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy at the National War College. He is a graduate of MIT Seminar 21 Program in International Politics.

He served on five submarines including command of USS Toledo and commanded Submarine Squadron Two. His Washington, D.C. assignments included tours in Navy Office of Legislative Affairs, JCS directorate for Combating Terrorism, Navy Warfighting Assessments Branch and as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. His flag assignments included Command of Logistics Group Western Pacific in Singapore, Director of the Assessment Division (N81), and Director of the Navy Quadrennial Defense Review (N00X). He served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4) and his final assignment was as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (N9).

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Admiral Mark Ferguson, USN (Ret.)

Admiral Mark Ferguson, USN (ret.), served as Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa and Vice Chief of Naval Operation, culminating his 38 years of service as a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer. He is presently an independent defense consultant advising on cyber defense, congressional and regulatory affairs, strategic planning, and operations management. He is a senior advisor to NATO and serves on the board of directors for Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation and VSE Corporation. Admiral Ferguson holds a master’s degree in computer science from the Naval Postgraduate School.

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Professor Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, Ph.D.

Odest Chadwicke Jenkins is a professor of computer science and engineering and associate director of the Robotics Institute at the University of Michigan. From 2004 to 2015, he served on the computer science faculty of Brown University. His research addresses problems in interactive robotics and human-robot interaction, primarily focused on mobile manipulation, robot perception and robot learning from demonstration. His research often intersects topics in computer vision, machine learning and computer animation. He has been recognized as a Sloan Research Fellow and has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and Young Investigator awards from the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation.

Prof. Jenkins is currently editor-in-chief of the journal ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is an alumnus of the Defense Science Study Group, where he was a member from 2018 to 2019.

Prof. Jenkins earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics at Alma College in 1996, his Master of Science in Computer Science at Georgia Tech in 1998 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California in 2003.

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Vice Admiral David C. Johnson, USN (Ret.)

Vice Admiral David Johnson is the Vice President of Strategy for the Integrated Mission Systems Segment. In this position, he oversees the front end of the Segment business – Strategy, Business Development, Systems Engineering, and Programs. He is responsible for building the Segment’s Strategic Growth Plan, aligning the effort across the four Sectors within IMS and finding synergies with the four Segments in L3Harris. He provides the direction and alignment of pursuits with programs and aligns the use of IRaD to support the strategy across the Segment.

Dave Johnson completed a distinguished 36-year career in the U.S. Navy. He most recently served as the Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, where he had responsibility for all Navy and Marine Corps programs and development for maritime, ground, aviation, space and C4I systems. Prior assignments included PEO Submarines, Deputy Commander Naval Sea Systems Command for Undersea Technology, Commander Naval Undersea Warfare Center, major program manager for Virginia Class Submarines, and various assignments in ship design, construction, maintenance, modernization and technology development.

Dave graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He also holds a naval engineering degree and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has received various personal and campaign awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal with one gold star.

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Dr. Katherine A.W. McGrady

Dr. Katherine McGrady is President and Chief Executive Officer, CNA, which operates the Institute for Public Research and the Center for Naval Analyses, a federally-funded research and development center (FFRDC) that pioneered the field of operations analysis in support of the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Dr. McGrady began her career with CNA as an analyst in 1988. As the field representative to the Commander of Marine Forces Central Command and Commander, I Marine Expeditionary Force, she served in the Persian Gulf during the first Iraq war (Desert Shield and Desert Storm). Dr. McGrady received the Department of Navy’s Superior Public Service Award for her contributions during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. She also deployed as part of the Unified Task Force to Mogadishu, Somalia.

Subsequent assignments led to her selection as Vice President and Director, Integrated Systems and Operations (ISO) Division, where she led a team focused on issues at the interface between the Navy and Marine Corps, including analysis of expeditionary systems, logistics, operations and tactics, and training for expeditionary operations. Simultaneously, she directed CNA’s Marine Corps Program, where she developed the annual research program and was the primary interface between CNA and the senior Marine Corps leadership.

From 2004 through 2009 Dr. McGrady held a variety of positions at CNA: In 2004, she became CNA’s Senior Vice President for Research; in 2006, she was promoted to Executive Vice President; in June 2009, she was appointed CNA’s first Chief Operating Officer. In that role, she was responsible for the execution of CNA’s strategy and business processes, assuring consistency of policy and approach across the organization, and maintaining an environment of accountability and high research performance.

Dr. McGrady earned her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Macromolecular Science and Engineering (Polymer Chemistry) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, and a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Smith College, Northampton, MA.

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Vice Admiral Peter V. Neffenger, USCG (Ret.)

Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger was appointed in 2015 by President Obama to lead the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a position he held until January 2017. Prior to this he enjoyed a distinguished 34-year career in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he served as the 29th Vice Commandant, the head of Coast Guard global operations, and most notably as the Deputy National Incident Commander for the 2010 BP Gulf oil spill, the largest and most complex in U.S. history. He is a recognized expert in leadership and crisis management. When he took the helm of the TSA, the agency’s challenges were substantial and numerous. His subsequent transformation of the organization led to his being named one of the 25 most influential business travel executives of 2016 by Business Travel News.

He is Chairman of the U.S. Board of Directors for Smartmatic, Corporation, the world's largest election security technology company; serves on numerous advisory boards; is a member of the Baldwin Wallace University Board of Trustees; holds an MPA from Harvard University; an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College; an MA in Business Management from Central Michigan University, and a BA from Baldwin Wallace University. He is a two-time recipient of the Department of Homeland Security's Distinguished Service Medal and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute, and an Instructor in Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a joint venture of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School.

He is the Managing Principal of Neffenger Consulting, LLC, an independent consulting business.

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Ambassador Wanda Nesbitt

Ambassador Nesbitt retired from the Department of State in December 2019 with the rank of Career Minister following 38 years of service. She was also Senior Vice President of the National Defense University from November 2013 to July 2016. Her last State Department assignment was Dean of the School of Language Studies, where she oversaw the delivery of training in 60 languages to over 2,000 foreign affairs professionals annually. She continues to contribute in her retirement, evaluating applicants for the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth program.

Amb. Nesbitt served as U.S. ambassador to three countries: Namibia, Côte d'Ivoire and Madagascar. She was widely recognized during her foreign service career for her commitment to fairness, promoting democratic principles and good governance. At the National Defense University, Amb. Nesbitt inspired the creation of a talent management system to replace an antiquated model. The new system was enthusiastically adopted. As the leadership liaison for the employee affinity group Executive Women at State, she was a mentor and role model for dozens of aspiring women.

Amb. Nesbitt holds a bachelor’s degree in French and International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College. She is the recipient of several awards, including three Presidential Awards for Meritorious Service and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award.

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The Honorable Sarah Sewall, Ph.D.

Sarah Sewall is In-Q-Tel’s Executive Vice President for Policy, bringing decades of experience in government and academia to help IQT inform the policy debate. Dr. Sewall served as the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, responsible for issues ranging from counterterrorism to refugees. She served on the Defense Policy Board under Secretaries Gates and Hagel. During the Clinton Administration, she was the inaugural Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance. She served for six years as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

Dr. Sewall taught on the Harvard Kennedy School faculty for a decade, where she also directed the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. She worked closely with the U.S. military to advance civilian protection during military operations and develop doctrine to prevent civilian harm. She was Minerva Chair at the Naval War College and the Speyer Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She graduated from Harvard College and received her doctorate from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

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