Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Army Spouse, Retired
Sheila Casey is the Chief Operating Officer of The Hill, the leading source of congressional news. Prior to joining The Hill in 1997, she was the Director of Finance at the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin, Texas. Additionally, Sheila spent 7 years at Grant Thornton, a national CPA firm, where she was an audit manager. She graduated with honors in accounting from the University of Colorado.
Sheila was a military spouse for over 41 years. She has lived throughout the United States, Europe and Egypt and had been an active member of military spouse organizations throughout her husband’s military career.
In addition to Blue Star Families, Sheila is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Military Families Association, a nonprofit organization that is the voice for military families, Parents as Teachers, The National Coalition on Domestic Violence, Snowball Express and the Washington Press Club Foundation. Additionally she is a member of the Board of Advisors for ThanksUSA, The Bob Woodruff Foundation, The Military Child Education Coalition, and the GI Film Festival.
She and her husband have two sons, Sean and Ryan, two wonderful daughters-in-law and six grandchildren.
Marine Corps Spouse
Kathy Roth-Douquet is the founder and chief executive officer of Blue Star Families, Inc. She currently lives in Stuttgart, Germany, with her husband and family. She is a noted author, advocate for military families, commentator, and a former Clinton White House and Pentagon appointee. She has been called a “spokesperson for military families” (Leatherneck Magazine), and her book AWOL, The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service and How It Hurts the Country (with Frank Schaeffer, HarperCollins) was widely lauded. Sen. John McCain called the book “a great service” to the country. Her current book is How Free People Move Mountains (HarperCollins, Sept. 2008) — it is a treatise on the joys and promise of engaging beyond oneself. Kathy Roth-Douquet is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Stars Families.
Connie Milstein, Esq.
Constance J. Milstein is an attorney and co-founder of Ogden CAP Properties, LLC, a premier real estate, hotel and property development and management firm. As an Ogden CAP principal, she assists in guiding the company’s operations in New York and Washington, DC, including overseeing the three-year renovation of The Jefferson, an historic Washington hotel and landmark. Ms. Milstein has translated her entrepreneurial skills and success into creating innovative and sustainable philanthropic projects, and her devotion to public-spirited causes such as job creation and education, medical research, the arts, and supporting veterans of the US Armed Forces and their families, is widely recognized.
In 2004, she founded Connie’s Corp., which operated Connie’s Bakery & General Store. The bakery was a socially responsible enterprise committed to empowering individuals who were homeless, unemployed or had special needs by giving them an opportunity to work and learn new culinary and business skills, with all profits going to charitable causes through her Foundation, Sweet Success. Ms. Milstein is a founding Board Member of Blue Star Families, the nation’s largest support organization for US military spouses and families. Connie’s Bakery and Blue Star Families are proud to host annual holiday events for wounded warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
Ms. Milstein believes no military veteran who wants to work should be unemployed. So in 2013, Foundation Sweet Success formed a joint venture with the newly-launched non-profit Dog Tag Bakery organization (DTB), based in Washington, DC, that will feature Connie’s baked goods. In addition to providing employment for disabled military veterans and their spouses, DTB - through a cooperative arrangement with the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University - will provide practical education and training in the culinary arts and entrepreneurship so participants can later pursue jobs and business ventures on their own. DTB will commence full operation in 2014 with a production, training and retail facility in Georgetown, Washington DC.
Staff Sgt. Charles Eggleston
U.S. Army, Retired
Staff Sergeant Charles Eggleston is recently retired from the U.S. Army. He was an active duty Army soldier and a Warrior in Transition (WIT) at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), where he received treatment for over three years. While at the WRAMC, he advocated for his fellow soldiers by fostering his desire to help his wounded comrades. Staff Sgt. Eggleston incurred several injuries during multiple tours in Iraq and as a result he is a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient.
Staff Sgt. Eggleston was a member of the Army for 16 years. During his tenure with the Army as a reservist, he served under the 11th Special Forces Group and the 818th Combat Support Brigade out of Fort Meade, Maryland. While in combat in Iraq, he served under the 107th Army Calvary Regiment, the 3rd Special Forces Group, the 25th Infantry Division, 11th ACR and the 17th Airborne Division. His civilian career has included working in IT communications for approximately 10 years with contracts for the Pentagon, White House Communications, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Postal Service. During this time, he served as a network engineer.
Staff Sgt. Eggleston graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Computer Engineering. He is a Microsoft and Cisco Engineer, President and CEO of Three Seven Consulting, Inc., a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business, and Maryland State Commander for the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Staff Sgt. Eggleston also serves on the boards of the Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA) and Voices for America's Troops, a division of the Military Officers Association of America.
Sherri Goodman, Esq.
Sherri Goodman is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of CNA, a non-profit research organization that provides analyses and solutions for national security leaders and public sector organizations. Known as an innovative and multidisciplinary leader, Ms. Goodman has been recognized for her work creating and overseeing a landmark project in her role as Executive Director of the Military Advisory Board for projects on National Security and the Threat of Climate Change and Powering America’s Defense: Energy & the Risks to National Security. She has played a key role in CNA’s corporate governance and client development. Additionally, she has managed all CNA’s legal matters and legislative affairs.
From 1993 to 2001, Ms. Goodman served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security). As the chief environmental, safety, and occupational health officer for the Department of Defense (DoD), she was responsible for over $5 billion in annual defense spending. She established the first environmental, safety and health performance metrics for the department and, as the nation’s largest energy user, directed its climate change efforts. Overseeing the President’s plan for revitalizing base closure communities, she ensured that 80% of base closure property became available for transfer and reuse. Ms. Goodman twice received the DoD medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Gold Medal from the National Defense Industrial Association, and the EPA’s Climate Change Award.
Sherri has practiced law with Goodwin Procter, serving as a member of the Litigation and Environmental Departments. She served on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, working for Committee Chairman Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA).
Ms. Goodman serves on the boards of the Atlantic Council of the U.S., including its Executive Committee, the Energy & Environmental Systems Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Marshall Legacy Institute, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of its Center for Preventive Action.
She has testified before numerous committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on climate change, energy security, national security and environmental security. She has appeared with the major news media, including NPR, CNN, ABC, NBC, BBC, Discovery’s Planet Green Channel, and This Week in Defense News.
Ms. Goodman received a J.D. from the Harvard Law School and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College.
Ms. Goodman is married to John Goodman. They have 3 children.
Laura Dempsey’s husband is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, and recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division (his second deployment). Laura is a civil rights attorney who is licensed in four states. She has worked as a child and family advocate for over ten years, and has helped to draft federal legislation to protect child victims of sex abuse.
Laura began writing about military family issues in 2005 and has served as a consultant to legislators and thought leaders on military family issues. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Huffington Post, and reprinted in dozens of military and civilian publications. Laura has been interviewed by NPR, and the Military Times and recently ended a term on the Military Officers' Association of America's currently serving spouse panel.
BSF Director & Treasurer
Scott Allen has 28 years of experience as an investment banker in international capital markets. He successfully built and managed client-focused teams selling cash bonds and structured financial products to hedge funds, asset managers, private banks and sovereign wealth funds across Europe, Russia, Middle East and Asia. Scott has had extensive involvement in emerging markets, including: macro-economic analysis, risk management / hedging strategies and investment products.
He lived and worked for 35 years in Asia and Europe, and he spent the last 12 years of his banking career working in London. Scott has an extensive network of investor clients throughout Europe, Middle East and Asia. He completed four years of high school education and earned his undergraduate degree in Japan where he returned to as a banker from 1986-1992 in Tokyo. Scott also served on U.S. merchant navy ships in Viet Nam in 1971 & 1973.
U.S. Army, Retired
Les Brownlee served as the Acting Secretary of the Army from 10 May 2003 until his resignation effective 2 December 2004. He became the 27th Under Secretary of the Army on 14 November 2001, following his nomination by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the United States Senate. From 10 May 2003 until 19 November 2004, he served as the Acting Secretary of the Army. As Under Secretary, Brownlee assisted the Secretary in fulfilling statutory responsibilities for recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training and mobilizing the United States Army and managing its $98.5 billion annual budget and more than 1.3 million active duty, National Guard, Army Reserve and civilian personnel.
Brownlee served on the Republican staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee beginning in January 1987, under both Senator Strom Thurmond and Senator John Warner. In March 1996, Brownlee was designated Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Armed Services by then Chairman, Sen. Thurmond. In January 1999, he was designated Staff Director for then Chairman, Sen. Warner, serving until November 2001 when he was confirmed as the Under Secretary of the Army.
From 1987 to 1996, he was a Professional Staff member responsible for Army and Marine Corps programs, special operations forces and drug interdiction policy and support. In addition, as Deputy Staff Director, he was deeply involved in policies and programs relating to ballistic missile defense, strategic deterrence and naval strategy, shipbuilding and weapons programs.
Brownlee is a retired Army colonel. He was commissioned in 1962 as a lieutenant in the infantry through the ROTC program at the University of Wyoming. He is a distinguished honor graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger Course, an honor graduate of both the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and the Command and General Staff College, and a graduate of the Army’s airborne course as well as the U.S. Army War College. Brownlee served two tours in Vietnam. During the last two and a half years of a four and a half year tour in the Pentagon, before retiring in 1984, he was Military Executive to Under Secretary of the Army James Ambrose.
His military decorations include the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart. He holds a masters degree in business administration from the University of Alabama
BSF Director, Secretary
Kate Howard is an international development consultant with experience in both the public and private sectors. Ms Howard advises on public policy, advocacy, and strategic development and consults on democratic and economic governance programs. Her past assignments include advisory roles in Afghanistan and Egypt where she mentored and trained on legislative and parliamentary development, aid effectiveness, donor coordination, and international conference planning. Her US government service included staff positions at the U.S. Senate, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ms. Howard also participated in OSCE international election observation missions.
She has helped organized international conferences in the United States, Germany, Turkey, and Egypt. Ms. Howard joined the Blue Star Families board of directors in June, 2011. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Mount Holyoke College, and she studied at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Sinclair S. Cooper
Sinclair Cooper is an Executive Vice President of Hunt Companies, and serves as the Co-President of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) division of Hunt. As Co-President of the PPP division, Mr. Cooper is responsible for targeting and executing the development of institutional PPP opportunities wherever they exist in the United States in addition to co-managing the Military Housing Privatization Initiative business. During his 23 year real estate development background; Sinclair has been involved in the analysis, planning, financing, development and construction of over 40 separate transactions, representing over 9,400 units of housing and 2,000,000 square feet of commercial/retail projects. These projects are collectively valued at over $2 Billion.
Hunt has worked successfully in PPPs for decades deploying its development, construction, financing and management resources on behalf of government agency partners. Hunt focuses on working with federal, state, and local agencies to structure appropriate procurement contracts which meet their objectives, devising financing strategies, and attracting investment capital to fund projects. Hunt provides a multifaceted skill set spanning all aspects of infrastructure project development and management, while reliably meeting commitments and fiduciary responsibilities.
Hunt and its affiliates have over $13 billion Assets Under Management. These assets include over 144,000 Multi-Family Housing units and 8.3 million square feet of commercial, industrial and retail properties. Mr. Cooper is a Board Member for Drexel University, the National Council for Public Private Partnerships, and the Philadelphia Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. He also serves on the advisory board for Goodwin College Property Management and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the DC Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Land Institute.
From 1995 to 2010, Mr. Cooper owned Falcon Properties, a self-managed, full service real estate development and construction management firm based in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Falcon has been directly involved in the financing, development and construction of approximately 3,000 units of housing in Alabama, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
As the Senior Vice President for The Michaels Development Company, Mr. Cooper managed various mixed-income housing ventures involving financing through the use of the HOPE VI Program, low-income tax credits, tax increment financing, historic tax credits, and various forms of bond financing. Sinclair was responsible for Michael’s development efforts in New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Florida and Louisiana, representing over 7,000 units of new housing valued at over $1.5 billion. Mr. Cooper was also responsible for the military housing privatization development project at Fort Leavenworth, comprised of 1,583 units and valued at $350 million.
Nominated by President Obama in February 2009 and confirmed by the US Senate in February 2010 as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Mr. Wilson served until March of 2012 (when he retired from government) as the principal communications advisor to the United States Secretary of Defense and United States Deputy Secretary of Defense. His portfolio included public information, internal information, all media and community relations, information training for the military, media analysis and communication strategy in support of Pentagon policies and activities. Mr. Wilson led a worldwide public affairs community (the US government’s largest) of several thousand military and civilian personnel.
Mr. Wilson has three times (1991, 2001 and 2012) been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Pentagon’s top civilian honor.
During his tenure as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Mr. Wilson was responsible for the development and implementation of Pentagon communication strategies and policies on issues including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, China, Egypt, the “Arab Spring”, the budget, DADT repeal, sexual assault prevention, weapons procurement, Wikileaks, NATO, export control reform, military commissions at Guantanamo, journalist safety on the battlefield, military families, wounded warriors, cyber security, post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, Libya, Syria, North Korea, Japan, Pakistan, nuclear posture review, missile defense, Yemen, Somalia, Arlington National Cemetery, Dover Mortuary, support of the arts (including the premiere of Wartorn and performances of The Great Game for military leaders), and counterterrorism, including communications in the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden. He also conceived and helped to implement the first-ever White House “state dinner” for Servicemembers, honoring men and women from all US states and territories and all Service branches who served on the battlefield in Iraq.
Mr. Wilson -- a native of Tucson, Arizona and a graduate of Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy -- previously served as Executive Vice President of the Howard Gilman Foundation, overseeing the development and implementation of the Foundation’s domestic and international policy programs at White Oak. He is also the immediate past President of The Leaders Project, the decade-long global successor generation leadership initiative which he co-founded in 2001 with former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen. He has convened and led global cross-disciplinary meetings on issues including energy security, health and macroeconomics, women as leaders of change and media and policy; a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings of U.S. thought leaders with counterparts from India, Russia, South Asia, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Muslim majority nations; and policy strategy sessions on domestic issues ranging from public diplomacy to foreign assistance to military families.
Mr. Wilson also conceived and organized the 2008 Cohen-Nunn Dialogues, a series of policy discussions on national issues led by former Secretary Cohen and former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn.
From 1997-1999, Mr. Wilson served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. He spent a year as National Political Director of the Democratic Leadership Council before returning to the Pentagon in the summer of 2000 to become Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, coordinating communications and long-range public affairs strategy on issues including defense reform, base closures, NATO expansion, and military quality of life. From 1993-97, Mr. Wilson served as Director of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs and as Senior Advisor to the Director for the U.S. Information Agency, where he coordinated negotiations to consolidate international broadcasting and led Administration efforts to prevent USIA consolidation with the State Department.
Mr. Wilson began his career as a Foreign Service Information Officer, serving at U.S. diplomatic posts in Naples, Rome, and London – the latter as press and information officer during the period of the Iran hostage crisis. He later served as foreign policy advisor to former U.S. Senator Gary Hart, and as head of the international relations office of the City of Phoenix
Mr. Wilson was the founding Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Diplomacy Collaborative at Harvard University and a co-founder of the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Initiative. He has also served as Vice President for Development for Business Executives for National Security (2001-2002) and has served on the Boards of Directors of Third Way, HDI, the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, The Howard Gilman Foundation and the National Security Network.
U.S. Army, Retired
Whit Cobb is the Senior Vice President & General Counsel of PAE, based in Arlington, Virginia. PAE provides expeditionary services to the U.S. government, international agencies, foreign governments, and companies on all seven continents. Whit is responsible for providing legal advice to PAE’s senior leadership on all aspects of the company’s business, leading the legal function, and maintaining the proper environment of compliance throughout the organization.
Mr. Cobb was the Vice President & Deputy General Counsel of BAE Systems, Inc. from January 2004 to January 2012. As the Deputy General Counsel, he provided legal counsel to the senior leadership of the company, primarily in the areas of government contracts, corporate law, compliance, employment, pension and other employee benefits, real estate, and information technology. He also assisted the General Counsel in managing the BAE Systems legal department.
Mr. Cobb served as the Deputy General Counsel (Legal Counsel) of the U.S. Department of Defense from 2001 until 2004. While at the Pentagon, he was the chief litigator for the Department of Defense and worked closely with the U.S. Department of Justice. He also supervised the military commissions process and criminal justice issues relating to the war on terrorism. His other responsibilities included overseeing legal services relating to personnel security and contractor security issues (including the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals), providing legal advice with respect to congressional inquiries, and supporting the DoD public affairs office.
Prior to his service with the Department of Defense, Mr. Cobb was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Jenner & Block, where he focused on litigation, government contracts, and telecommunications issues. Before joining Jenner & Block in 1996, he was the Judicial Fellow at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. From 1991 to 1995, he served on active duty in the United States Army as an attorney in the Army General Counsel’s Office, where he worked on intelligence and classified program issues. Immediately after law school, he clerked for Judge Thomas A. Clark of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Mr. Cobb is a native of Durham, North Carolina and a former Army brat. He graduated summa cum laude from Duke University, which he attended on an ROTC scholarship. Mr. Cobb, a 1990 graduate of Yale Law School, was Executive Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He is a former Chair of the Legal Committee of the Aerospace Industries Association.
Diane Linen Powell
Diane Linen Powell is a private investor and director of businesses and non-profits. As chair of the investment committee of the American Bible Society, she oversaw a diversified portfolio and achieved returns over 8 years that put ABS in the 97th percentile of endowment funds. She has also served on audit and finance committees of several boards. Diane consults on marketing and public relations to start up companies in diverse industries such as healthcare and Internet services.
For two decades, Ms. Powell owned and managed Des Plaines Publishing, the largest printer of ethnic newspapers in the Midwest. She successfully managed the company’s transition from publisher to printer/distributor. She sold the company in 2008.
Previously Ms. Powell was an executive with NBC responsible for publicity for programs such as Saturday Night Live and NIS (an all news radio network). She went on to Affiliate Relations and corporate vice presidencies, The International Family Channel (Executive Vice President for communications and investor relations – NYSE - IFE) and Lifescape Internet in Virginia. She also was an investment banker for Communications Equity Associates and had her Series 7 broker’s license.
Ms. Powell has a BA, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania; an MA from Sussex University, England, in communications; and an MBA from Harvard University.
She serves on the Dean’s International Council of the Harris School of Public Policy (University of Chicago). She completed the Harvard Business School Boot Camp for Non-Profit Boards last October. She is Vice President, Programs for the HBS Club of Greater Washington, D. C., member of the Wharton Club, The Grosvenor Society of National Geographic, and the Board of The Ah Haa School for the Arts in Telluride, Colorado.
Diane is married to Edward (Ned) Powell, a successful businessman who served as President and CEO of the USO, the premier organization supporting active military and their families, and previously as Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. She resides in Washington, D. C. and Telluride, Colorado.
Douglas E. (Doug) Belair is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Planning for BAE Systems, Inc., where he leads the development of strategies and initiatives to promote growth, both organic and through acquisition, for the U.S.-based sectors and across elements of the global company. In this role, which he assumed in January 2009, Belair also has responsibility for mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.
Belair began his career in 1979 with General Electric Defense Systems as a software engineer. He received his MBA from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University in 1987 and in 1993, when GE sold the Defense Systems Division to Lockheed Martin, Belair accepted a program management position with the new company. In this role, he developed an incremental modernization approach to upgrade a major weapon system over a ten-year period. As a result of his work, Belair received the inaugural Lockheed Martin Corporate Nova Award for Strategic Excellence.
In 1997, Lockheed Martin named Belair Technical Director and assigned him the responsibility for transforming military technologies into applications for the commercial marketplace. Over a two-year period, he successfully introduced liquid propellant technology into the automotive airbag industry and transferred computer-based diagnostics developed for the U.S. Navy into an automotive maintenance system for Chrysler Corporation.
In early 1999, Belair joined General Dynamics and accepted the challenge to build on his previous commercial successes at Chrysler. In June 2000, he directed a number of acquisitions and was named General Manager of TechSight, a commercial business unit selling electronic documentation and computer-based diagnostics technology to the airline and automotive markets.
Belair joined BAE Systems in 2002 and was named Vice President of the Undersea Warfare Division in February 2003, and President of Technology Solutions and Services (TSS) in June 2006. As President of TSS, Belair led more than 8,000 employees across 50 major locations to deliver technical solutions to customers for products at any point in their life-cycle, anywhere in the world. Belair lives in Germantown, Maryland with his wife Sue.
BSF Director Emeritus
Linda Hudson is the President & CEO of BAE Systems, Inc., the U.S.-based segment of BAE Systems plc that employs approximately 52,000 people across more than 130 sites in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Israel, Germany, Mexico, Switzerland and South Africa. BAE Systems, Inc. operates under a Special Security Agreement signed with the U.S. Department of Defense and had 2009 revenues of $19.4 billion.
Concurrently, she is an executive director of the BAE Systems, plc Board and a member of the Executive Committee, and she also serves on the BAE Systems, Inc. Board of Directors.
Hudson was previously President of BAE Systems' Land & Armaments operating group, a role she began in January 2007. Land & Armaments is the world's largest military vehicle and equipment business, with operations in South Africa, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Shortly after joining BAE Systems, Hudson led the acquisition of Armor Holdings, Inc., effectively doubling the size of the group's operations.
Prior to joining BAE Systems, she served for seven years as an officer and vice president of the General Dynamics Corporation, and she was the president of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in Charlotte, North Carolina. From August 1997 until May 1999, Hudson was vice president of business development at General Dynamics' corporate headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. In this position, she was responsible for developing and implementing new business growth strategies across the corporation. Hudson served as president of General Dynamics Ordnance Systems from April 1992 through July 1997. As the chief operating officer of this wholly-owned subsidiary, Hudson managed a broad range of products and operated government-owned manufacturing facilities. She led this organization during the ownership transition from Martin Marietta to Lockheed Martin and through its subsequent acquisition by General Dynamics.
In November 1985, Hudson joined Martin Marietta in Orlando, Florida, where she held a variety of positions including director of Air Defense Production Operations and program director of Electro Optical Systems. Hudson began her career in 1972 at the Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida, as a research and development engineer, specializing in satellite and communication systems. She progressed to a senior engineering position in Reliability Design Analysis and Component Failure Analysis. In 1976 she joined Ford Aerospace and Communications Corporation in Newport Beach, California. During her tenure at Ford Aerospace, she was a Reliability Engineering Manager, Division Quality Assurance Manager and Air Defense Systems Program Manager.
A graduate of the University of Florida, Hudson received her bachelor's degree with honors in Systems Engineering. She remains active in the alumni and athletic associations of the university and has served on advisory boards for the College of Engineering. Hudson has been retained by the U.S. Government as an expert on industrial base issues and defense reutilization. She has received numerous awards and recognition including NDIA's prestigious "Firepower Award" for her contributions to the defense of our country, and she became the first woman to receive the National Infantry Association's "Military Order of St. Maurice" in recognition of outstanding support of the U.S. Army Infantry.
Hudson has been active in all of the communities where she has lived. She received the Rising Star award in Burlington, Vermont, for her public service, and she was a finalist for Business Woman of the Year in Charlotte, North Carolina, recognizing her professional and community accomplishments. She currently serves on the USO Worldwide Board of Governors, the Association of the United States Army Council of Trustees, the Blue Star Families Board of Directors, and the advisory board for the Women in Engineering Program at the University of Maryland. She is a member of the North Carolina and Washington, DC chapters of the International Women's Forum, and she was invited to join C200, the premier global organization of women business leaders. In 2009 and 2010, Hudson was named one of Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.
U.S. Army, Retired
Oak Brook, IL
As Vice President of Government Relations for McDonald’s corporation, Steve leads the corporate government relations team which manages McDonald’s state, federal and international government activities. He is responsible for building and protecting the brand through shaping public policy.
Prior to joining McDonald’s in 2009, Steve was a successful lobbyist and attorney representing clients like the National Football League, American Legion and Bombardier Aerospace.
Steve has worked closely with senior government leadership including holding a position on President Obama’s transition team in 2008 and serving as deputy assistant to the President/Chief of staff under President Clinton. He also served as a senior legislative assistant and later Judiciary Committee Chief Counsel for Senator Arlen Spector.
Steve is a proud 25-year veteran, having achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. President Clinton also appointed Steve as a commissioner of the American Battle Monument Commission which was responsible for the construction of the World War II, and the Korean War Memorials on the National Mall.
Steve is a graduate of Princeton University as well as the Army’s Command & General Staff College and he received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law School. Steve and his wife Tanya have two children.