The Military Family Experience 2021: Path to Recovery graphic image

The Military Family Experience 2021:

Path to Recovery

A four-panel virtual event full of discussion, collaboration, and insight.

MARCH 30 - 31, 2021

Join us for a special virtual event featuring a range of experts highlighting the foremost issues impacting military families. In-depth conversations will focus on social determinants of health, equitable recovery, impact on women, and much more.

Learn more about the annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey here.

Speakers

Special Message

Brianna Keilar

Anchor, CNN Right Now

LTG Jody Daniels

Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General

Congressman Sanford Bishop

Congressman from Georgia

Senator Thom Tillis

Senator of North Carolina

Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston

16th Sergeant Major of the Army

Senator Tim Kaine

Senator of Virginia

Senator Richard Blumenthal

Senator of Connecticut

Hollyanne Milley

Spouse of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley

Brianna Keilar

Anchor, CNN Right Now

Brianna Keilar is the anchor of CNN Right Now. The show airs weekdays at 1:00 p.m. She is also the author of Home Front, a column that focuses on military families in hopes of bridging the military-civilian divide. Previously, Keilar was CNN's senior Washington correspondent, responsible for covering important stories on politics, policy and breaking news in Washington. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Keilar served as the lead reporter covering Hillary Clinton and the Democratic field. She also serves as the network's primary fill-in anchor for The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.Previously, Keilar served as senior White House correspondent for CNN, reporting on the Obama administration from the nation's capital and from around the world. In this post she covered several key stories for the network from the government shutdown to Obamacare, for which she earned a 2014 Aldo Beckman Memorial Award from the White House Correspondents' Association. In addition, during America's Choice 2012 coverage, Keilar reported on President Obama's campaign, the Democratic National Convention, and contributed to the network's Emmy Award-winning election night coverage.Prior to covering the White House, Keilar served as a congressional correspondent, responsible for covering the activities of both the U.S. House and Senate. For her fall 2008 coverage of the $700 billion bank bailout, she was awarded the National Press Foundation's Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress. Prior to covering Congress, Keilar served as a general assignment correspondent for the network, reporting on a wide-range of stories, including the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, where she was the first CNN correspondent on the ground.Keilar first joined the network in 2006 as a correspondent for CNN Newsource, where she provided breaking news coverage and reported from the nation's capital for approximately 800 CNN Newsource partner stations. She joined Newsource from CBS News where she served as an anchor, reporter and producer for a CBS newscast that aired on mtvU, MTV's college network. She was also a fill-in anchor on CBS News' overnight newscast, Up to the Minute, and a freelance reporter for CBS Evening News Weekend Edition.Prior to working for CBS, Keilar was a general assignment reporter in Yakima, Wash., for the CNN and CBS affiliate, KIMA-TV. During that same time, she also worked in radio as a morning show personality and weekend news reader. Keilar began her journalism career as a production assistant and intern at KTVU-TV, a CNN and FOX affiliate in San Francisco.Keilar graduated Phi Beta Kappa with bachelor's degrees in mass communications and psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

LTG Jody Daniels

Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General

Panel:Impact on Women: Female Service Members & Military SpousesLt. Gen. Jody J. Daniels assumed the role of Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command, on July 28, 2020.Daniels most recently served as the Commanding General of the 88th Readiness Division headquartered at Fort Snelling, Minn., and Fort McCoy, Wis. She has more than 36 years of active and reserve military service.Her other recent assignments include Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Forces Command; Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff Intelligence, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2; Deputy Director and Director, Intelligence and Knowledge Development Directorate for U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany; dual-hatted as the Commanding General, 87th Army Reserve Support Command (East), Birmingham, Ala., and Deputy Commanding General, Support, for First Army Division East, Fort Meade, Md.; and Assistant Chief of Staff for U.S. Africa Command. Daniels also served as Commander of the Theater Support Command, which consisted of 11 Military Intelligence battalions, and in numerous military leadership positions including command of a Military Intelligence company in Korea, a basic training battalion in New Jersey, and a Military Intelligence group in Massachusetts. She completed Civil Affairs deployment to Kosovo as well as a deployment to Iraq where she served as the Chief of Plans and Integration and then as the Director for Intelligence for the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq.In her civilian career, Daniels was the Director of Advanced Programs for Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Laboratories (LM ATL). Prior to that, she was the Director of the Contextual Systems Laboratory and was a manager and engineer in LM ATL’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She has served on the Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) Information Science and Technology (ISAT) Review Board, on the ISAT Steering Committee, and Drexel University's Computer Science Department Advisory Board.Daniels holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics (Computer Science) from Carnegie Mellon University, a M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and a M.S. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. She is a native of Rolla, Mo. and is married to Col. (Ret.) John McCarthy.

Congressman Sanford Bishop

Congressman from Georgia

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. is the Chairman of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. In addition, he serves on the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee and is Vice Chair on the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. He has represented the Second Congressional District of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. As an appropriator and legislator he seeks to use the legislative process to create a better quality of life for all citizens by promoting jobs and a stronger, more diversified economy; opportunities for rural areas; better education; safe and secure communities; a clean environment; affordable and accessible health care; sustainable agriculture; energy independence; and a strong national defense -- all within the context of a balanced budget.

Senator Thom Tillis

Senator of North Carolina

Early Life: Thom was born into a working-class family with his father and mother and five siblings. During his childhood, his family was frequently forced to relocate depending on where his parents could find work. After graduating from high school, Thom was unable to afford college, so he took a job as a warehouse records clerk earning minimum wage. He knows firsthand how difficult it is to raise a family while attending school at night, struggling to make ends meet.Professional Career:Through hard work and dedication, Thom quickly moved up the corporate ladder, earning his degree at 36 and becoming a top-level executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. Thom’s 29-year private sector career in technology and management consulting provided him with a deep understanding of policy-making and the management of complex organizations.Public Service:Fueled by a desire to make a difference in his local community, Thom’s involvement in public service began by serving as the PTA president of his daughter’s high school and as a member of the Town of Cornelius Board of Commissioners. In 2006, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives and was selected by his peers to serve as Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2014. As Speaker, Thom played an instrumental role in enacting job-creating policies and reforming North Carolina’s tax and regulatory codes. Thom was elected as U.S. Senator in 2014 and he has focused on pragmatic solutions and delivering results for North Carolina.Family Life:Thom lives with his wife Susan in Huntersville, North Carolina, and they are the proud parents of two grown children and two granddaughters.

Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston

16th Sergeant Major of the Army

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston was sworn in as the 16th Sergeant Major of the Army on Aug. 9, 2019. Grinston has held every enlisted leadership position in artillery, ranging from cannon crewmember to command sergeant major.As the sergeant major of the Army, Grinston is the Army chief of staff's personal adviser on matters affecting the enlisted force. He devotes the majority of his time traveling throughout the Army to observe training and interact with Soldiers and their Families. He sits on a variety of councils and boards that make decisions affecting enlisted Soldiers and their Families and routinely invited to testify before Congress. Grinston is the public face of the U.S. Army's Noncommissioned Officer Corps, representing the NCO Corps to the American people in the media and through business and community engagements.Grinston is a native of Jasper, Alabama, and enlisted in the Army in October 1987. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training as an artilleryman at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Grinston’s deployments include Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve, Enduring Freedom, and Kosovo. As the 1st Infantry Division command sergeant major, Grinston served as the senior enlisted leader for the Army’s first deployment of a division headquarters in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. He also served as the I Corps command sergeant major, and as the command sergeant major for U.S. Army Forces Command. Grinston’s military education includes all levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System. He is a graduate of Ranger School, Airborne School, Drill Sergeant School, Air Assault School, How the Army Runs Course, the Equal Opportunity Leaders Course and the Keystone Course. Grinston holds a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College. His awards and decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2nd award), Bronze Star Medal with Valor (2nd award), the Bronze Star medal (3rd award). He has earned the Ranger tab, Master Parachutist badge, Air Assault badge, Drill Sergeant Identification badge, and the Combat Action Badge.Grinston is married and has two children.

Senator Tim Kaine

Senator of Virginia

Senator Tim Kaine was elected to the Senate in 2012 and serves on the Armed Services; Budget; Foreign Relations; and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees. Tim has made boosting job opportunities for everyone a top priority. As co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, Tim focuses on expanding access to job-training programs to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the modern economy. Tim has also led successful efforts in the Senate to reduce unemployment for military families and veterans.As a Senator from one of the states most closely connected to the military and the father of a Marine, Tim is focused on crafting smart defense strategy and reducing the risk of unnecessary war. He works to ensure that the military has the resources it needs to keep the country safe andthat servicemembers and veterans receive the benefits and care they have earned. He has also been the leading voice against Presidents starting wars without a vote by Congress.Tim believes that health care is a right, not something reserved just for those who can afford it, and has consistently pushed for reforms to expand access to quality care. This includes legislation to give Americans more options for affordable health insurance and to combat the opioid abuse epidemic.Tim grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop in Kansas City. His parents taught him the value of hard work and showed him how small businesses and technical skills strengthen this country every day. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he started his public service career by running a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. He trained teenagers to become carpenters and welders, equipping them with skills to lift up themselves and their communities.He was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city councilmember and then Mayor of Richmond. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006. He is married to Anne Holton, who served as Virginia Secretary of Education from 2014 until 2016 and as the Interim President of George Mason University from 2019 until 2020; she now teaches education policy at GMU. They both revel in the adventures of their three grown children and live in the same Northside Richmond neighborhood where they moved as newlyweds more than 30 years ago.

Senator Richard Blumenthal

Senator of Connecticut

Originally sworn in on January 5, 2011, Richard Blumenthal is serving his second term as a United States Senator from the State of Connecticut.Senator Blumenthal served an unprecedented five terms as Connecticut’s Attorney General, fighting for people against large and powerful special interests. His aggressive law enforcement for consumer protection, environmental stewardship, labor rights, and personal privacy has helped reshape the role of state attorneys general nationwide, and resulted in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars for Connecticut taxpayers and consumers each year.A key player in the national fight against Big Tobacco, he helped bring an end to deceptive marketing aimed at children – a victory significantly lowering youth smoking rates, and compelling a multi-billion dollar settlement for Connecticut taxpayers. He also helped lead a coalition of all 50 states that culminated in historic agreements with social networking sites to better protect children from Internet predators.As Attorney General, he advocated for reforms in the health insurance industry to assure critical health care coverage and lower pharmaceutical drug prices. He has worked relentlessly to eradicate corruption in state government and make state contracting accountable, fair, honest, and transparent.His vigorous investigation and legal action against insurance industry abuses has successfully forced financial restitution and reform, compelled greater disclosure by insurers and brokers to consumers, and recovered millions of dollars for the state, municipalities, and individuals. He has successfully fought unfair utility rate charges, air pollution causing acid rain, general environmental wrongdoing, as well as a wide array of consumer scams and frauds.Senator Blumenthal has personally argued several major cases in court, including his successful effort to uphold the Connecticut sex offender registry in the Supreme Court. He has fought and sued the federal government for failing to follow or enforce environmental laws and energy statutes, as well as imposing multimillion dollar unfunded mandates on local taxpayers under the No Child Left Behind Act.From 1977 to 1981, Senator Blumenthal served as a U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, prosecuting drug trafficking, organized and white collar crime, civil rights violations, consumer fraud, and environmental pollution. He served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1984 to 1987, and the Connecticut State Senate from 1987 to 1990. As a volunteer attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Senator Blumenthal saved the life of an innocent, wrongly convicted death row inmate who came within hours of execution.Prior to his position as U.S. Attorney, Senator Blumenthal also served as Administrative Assistant to U.S. Senator Abraham A. Ribicoff, aide to former U.S. Senator Daniel P. Moynihan when Moynihan was Assistant to the President of the United States, and law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun.Senator Blumenthal graduated from Harvard College (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude), and Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. From 1970 to 1976 he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.Senator Blumenthal lives in Connecticut with his wife, Cynthia, and their four children.

Hollyanne Milley

Spouse of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley

Hollyanne Milley was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been a nurse for 33 years, spending 18 years as a critical care nurse in hospital intensive care units and emergency rooms. During the last 15 years she has specialized in cardiac nursing, and is currently a cardiac nurse in Northern Virginia.Hollyanne has frequently volunteered with Remote Area Medical in the Appalachian Mountains, and supported approximately 3000 people in need who cannot afford medical care, with other doctors, dentists, and nurses.
She also serves as a Red Cross Disaster Volunteer, assisting people and communities suffering from natural disasters, fires, and floods. She volunteered at the West Texas explosion site, and provided food and shelter to victims of the Fort Hood shooting as part of the Red Cross effort. At her local Red Cross Chapter she served as a triage nurse for victims of the Texas and Florida hurricanes.Hollyanne has served as a Senior Advisor for many organizations, including the Red Cross, United Service Organizations (USO), Parent/School Liaison, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Easter Seals, and Army Emergency Relief, to name a few. While her husband was deployed she was also a liaison at Walter Reed, greeting all wounded 101st soldiers on arrival. Hollyanne has served as a Family Readiness Group leader at all levels of command. She always seeks opportunities to conduct community outreach and has done so with several organizations.General Milley and Hollyanne have been married for more than 35 years, and have two children.

Participants

Harriet Dominique

Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity, Inclusion, and Corporate Responsibility Officer, USAA

Amy Goyer

Family and Caregiving Expert, AARP

Mike O’Hanlon

Senior Fellow and Director of Research in Foreign Policy, Brookings Institute

Rob McCartney, MSW

CEO, The Barry Robinson Center

The Honorable Kayla M. Williams

Assistant Secretary, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs

Rosalinda Vasquez Maury

Director of Applied Research and Analytics, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), Syracuse University

Shelley Kimball, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Research and Program Evaluation, Military Family Advisory Network

Corinn Elmore, Ph.D.

Military Child Psychologist, Walter Reed Hospital

BGen, USMC (Ret) Marcela Monahan

Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton

Michael J. Meese, Ph.D., BG (Ret.), U.S. Army

President, AAFMAA

Jim Sims

Command Sergeant Major, US Army (Ret), former Army Materiel Command, Command Sergeant Major

Kaleth O. Wright

CEO, Air Force Aid Society

Dr. Terry Adirim

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs

Rebecca I. Porter, Ph.D.

President and CEO, Military Child Education Coalition

Kara Oakley, Esq.

Chairwoman, Tricare for Kids Coalition

Patricia Lester, M.D.

Nathanson Family Professor of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine; Director, Division of Population Behavioral Health; Director, UCLA's Nathanson Family Resilience Center

J. Michael Haynie, Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, Syracuse University

Jennifer Dane

Executive Director, Modern Military Association of America

BGen Lorna Mahlock

C4 & DEPUTY DEPT OF THE NAVY CIO OF THE MARINE CORPS, Director

Harriet Dominique

Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity, Inclusion, and Corporate Responsibility Officer, USAA

Panel:The Lived Experience of Diverse Families & Implications for CommandHarriet Dominique grew up rooted in values instilled by her parents: humility, faith, and service. Today, she draws upon those values to lead Diversity, Inclusion, and philanthropic strategies, including related investments, engagements, data and analytics, reporting, and oversight of communications for USAA, a $40B net worth, 36,000-employee financial services Fortune 100 company. She serves as USAA’s Chief Diversity, Inclusion, and Corporate Responsibility Officer, President of The USAA Foundation, Inc., and President of The USAA Educational Foundation. She also serves as Regional Vice President of the Downtown San Antonio Campus, a 1,600 personnel organization. With the purpose “to lead and inspire actions that improve lives in the military and our local communities,” Harriet leads high-performing teams that are dedicated to elevating equity and inclusion, improving military family resiliency, increasing investments in military philanthropy across the nation, and strengthening local communities where USAA employees live and work. Harriet began at USAA in 1989 as an entry-level call center representative and has held a wide variety of leadership positions. She strives to narrow divides between communities in hopes of a more inclusive and inspired society.

Amy Goyer

Family and Caregiving Expert, AARP

Panel:Impact on Women: Female Service Members & Military SpousesAmy Goyer, author of Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and is a nationally known writer, speaker and consultant specializing in caregiving and family issues. Amy serves as AARP's national family and caregiving expert, columnist, and spokesperson, and moderates AARP’s Facebook Family Caregivers Discussion Group. Her columns and caregiving YouTube series share her personal caregiving journey as well as practical, actionable tips for caregivers. An often quoted, recognized media authority with 35 years of experience in the field of aging, Amy’s work is the perfect fusion of her professional and personal experience. She is a passionate champion for family caregivers and has been one her entire adult life, caring for her grandparents, parents and sisters. Amy’s grandfather served in WWI, WWII and the Korean War and her father served in WWII and the Korean War.

Mike O’Hanlon

Senior Fellow and Director of Research in Foreign Policy, Brookings Institute

Panel:The Lived Experience of Diverse Families & Implications for CommandsMichael O'Hanlon is a senior fellow, and director of research, in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in U.S. defense strategy, the use of military force, and American national security policy. He co-directs the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology; the Defense Industrial Base working group; and the Africa Security Initiative within the Foreign Policy program, as well. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown universities, a professional lecturer at George Washington University, and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. O’Hanlon was also a member of the external advisory board at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2011-12.O’Hanlon’s latest books include “The Senkaku Paradox: Risking Great Power War over Limited Stakes” (Brookings Institution Press, 2019); “Beyond NATO: A New Security Architecture for Eastern Europe” (Brookings Institution Press, 2017); “The Future of Land Warfare” (Brookings Institution Press, 2015); and “Strategic Reassurance and Resolve: U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century” (with Jim Steinberg, Princeton University Press, 2014). Previously, he wrote “Bending History: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy” (with Martin Indyk and Kenneth Lieberthal, Brookings Institution Press, 2012); “A Skeptic’s Case for Nuclear Disarmament” (Brookings Institution Press, 2010); “The Science of War” (Princeton University Press, 2009); “Crisis on the Korean Peninsula” (with Mike Mochizuki, McGraw-Hill, 2003); “Winning Ugly: NATO’s War to Save Kosovo” (with Ivo Daalder, Brookings Institution Press, 2000); and “Technological Change and the Future of Warfare” (Brookings Institution Press, 2000), among other books.O’Hanlon has written several hundred op-eds in newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, USA Today, and Pakistan’s Dawn paper. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Survival, Washington Quarterly, Joint Forces Quarterly, and International Security, among other publications. O’Hanlon has appeared on television or spoken on the radio some 4,000 times since September 11, 2001. In 2021, O'Hanlon was named one of Washingtonian's "Most Influential People" in national security and defense.O'Hanlon was an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office from 1989 to 1994. He also worked previously at the Institute for Defense Analyses. His doctorate from Princeton is in public and international affairs; his bachelor's and master's degrees, also from Princeton, are in the physical sciences. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Congo/Kinshasa (the former Zaire) from 1982-84, where he taught college and high school physics in French. Earlier, he worked on a dairy farm in Upstate New York, where he grew up, and attempted (unsuccessfully) with a team of Princeton experimental physicists in the “Gravity Group” to disprove Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

Rob McCartney, MSW

CEO, The Barry Robinson Center

Facilitator:Military Children’s Mental HealthRobert E. McCartney MSW, “Rob,” is the Chief Executive Officer for The Barry Robinson Center,a behavioral health system in Norfolk,Virginia,anchored by a 72-bed residential treatment center. Over the past six years,Rob has led The Barry Robinson Center’s residential program’s transition from a typical residential treatment center to a premier program whose primary mission is to help military-connected children and their families heal. Since 2013The Barry Robinson Center has provided care to over 500 military children, adolescents and their families from over 35 states and 4 countries. Rob will tell you,“We don’t get it right all the time,but we do get it right most of the time. Go look at the smiles.”As the son of a CPA and a Professor of Nursing,Rob says he was destined to become a social worker. He started his journey of helping young people while in college, working at a juvenile detention facility. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University,Rob took time off to see the United States,but after several years of what his mother called “wander lust,” he returned to Michigan State to earn his Masters in Social Work.The first half of his career was clinically focused working in a variety of settings including foster care, residential, hospitals, and outpatient, serving clients from age 5 to age 85. Those that know Rob will tell you he has never truly grown up and that is why he always migrates back to working with children. The second half of his career Rob has focused on clinical and operational leadership. He has served as a Clinical Supervisor, Executive Director, Regional Director of Operations, Chief Operations Officer and Chief Executive Director. Rob has experienced success in starting up new programs and turning around struggling programs. He credits this success to the teams he has been able to develop. “I hire good people and try to stay out of their way.”Rob’s professional life has been strongly influenced by his personal life–father of two boys, divorced, remarried, stepfather to two girls the same age as his sons, “The Brady Bunch without Alice,” and now “Papa.”Knowing he and Shirley (his wife) would have four kids in college at the same time,Rob moved to administration. The influence of family followed Rob to The Barry Robinson Center. Rob’s two grandchildren’s father is a Marine. When Rob assumed leadership at The Barry Robinson Center,one of his goals was to have a program good enough for his grandkids. He believes he has succeeded. He tells parents,“Kid tested.Grandparent approved.”In summary,one of Rob’s colleagues says it best:“Rob is a compassionate leader who puts the clinical needs of the children and families first. He has strong operational skills and can become laser focused when needed. We have been successful because of his leadership.”

The Honorable Kayla M. Williams

Assistant Secretary, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs

Panel:Impact on Women: Female Service Members & Military SpousesThe Honorable Kayla M. Williams assumed the duties of the Assistant Secretary, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs (OPIA) on January 20, 2021, at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Prior to that, she was a Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) focused on issues facing Veterans, military readiness, and civil-military relations. Ms. Williams provides executive level oversight and direction to OPIA’s team of up to 95 employees who help to build and maintain public confidence in VA by developing, routinely updating and communicating the Department’s key messages to many audiences through media relations, public affairs, intergovernmental affairs, outreach and Veteran engagement to reach Veterans and their families, and other stakeholders. OPIA is designated as the enterprise policy and functional coordinator of internal employee and external communications to ensure consistent messaging and to be the unified voice of the Department.Ms. Williams has a distinguished career as a leader focusing on policies, programs, and support related to Veterans and their families. Previously, Ms. Williams served as the Director of the Center for Women Veterans at VA, where she was the primary adviser to the Secretary on department policies, programs, and legislation affecting women Veterans. Ms. Williams previously spent eight years at the RAND Corporation conducting qualitative and quantitative research on military and Veteran policies and programs.Ms. Williams was enlisted for five years as an Arabic linguist, serving in a Military Intelligence company of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). She is the author of the memoirs Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army and Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War about her military service and her family's journey from war trauma to healing. She is the former chair of the Department of Labor Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach; a former member of the Army Education Advisory Committee and VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; and recipient of recognitions including 2013 White House Woman Veteran Champion of Change and 2017 We Are the Mighty 25 Veterans to Watch.

Rosalinda Vasquez Maury

Director of Applied Research and Analytics, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), Syracuse University

Panel:Impact on Women: Female Service Members & Military SpousesRosalinda Vasquez Maury serves as the Director of Applied Research and Analytics at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. She works on a diverse research portfolio that reflects the range of social, economic, and wellness challenges that may affect transitioning service members, veterans, or their families.She hasworked on numerous research efforts including workforce readiness as it relates to transitioning service members and veterans in the civilian labor force, career preferences, financial readiness, job matching and employer perspectives on retention and workplace performance, factors impacting veteran and military families business owners,and service members experiences in higher education. Maury’s research has received external funding from multiple federal awards and foundations, including the National Science Foundation and a Google Impact Award; is featured in numerous publication; and has presented at various professional conferences.Maury holds a master’s of science and bachelor’s degrees in psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Shelley Kimball, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Research and Program Evaluation, Military Family Advisory Network

Panel:The Impossible Choice: Housing, Schools & Financial StabilityAs the research director for the Military Family Advisory Network, Shelley Kimball, Ph.D., gathers the real-life experience of military families. MFAN then uses that data to develop programming and advise on policy that serves military families.She has presented MFAN’s research at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Pentagon, where it has been used to shape policy affecting military families.She was awarded the Coast Guard’s Public Service Commendation and the Swivel Shot Award for her service to military families.Dr. Kimball has been a researcher for 20 years. She teaches qualitative research methods and media law at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is a Coast Guard spouse, an Army sister, and an Air Force daughter. In her spare time, she serves as the chair of the Coast Guard Arlington Ladies.

Corinn Elmore, Ph.D.

Military Child Psychologist, Walter Reed Hospital

Panel:Military Children’s Mental HealthCorinn Elmore, Ph.D., is a pediatric psychologist at Walter Reed National Military Hospital where she pioneered the first integrated behavioral health service in the pediatric primary care medical home. In this role, Dr. Elmore provides consultation to pediatricians and patients in managing behavior with children in military families. Dr. Elmore also serves as Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics Department of the F. Edward Herbert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland. She is certified in several evidenced-based practices, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Dr. Elmore holds a master’s degree in family therapy from the Family Institute at Northwestern University and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Loyola University Chicago. She has published several articles and books on parenting, culturally relevant practices, and integrated care.

BGen, USMC (Ret) Marcela Monahan

Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton

Panel:Impact on Women: Female Service Members & Military SpousesGeneral Monahan supports clients in business development and strategic growth efforts, using her significant expertise and experience in military doctrine, force readiness and security requirements integration, as well as capacity building and sustainment programs and international relations. A native Spanish speaker, she delivers strong industry and military experience in strategic and risk assessments, foreign military sales, U.S. Marine Corps and joint capability program priorities, as well as force support, warfighting and logistics arenas.In her 31 year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, General Monahan served in several key Command and Staff positions, including Assistant Chief of Staff, G-7 Engineer for Multi-National Force-West in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, Director, Joint Capabilities Assessment & Integration Division, where she supported the Assistant Commandant in identifying and setting USMC, Joint and Combatant Commander capability and programmatic priorities and recommendations, as well as Assistant Deputy Commandant, Combat Development & Integration, focused on developing fully integrated Marine Corps warfighting capabilities; including doctrine, organization, training and education, materiel, leadership, personnel, and facilities to enable the Marine Corps to field combat ready forces. At retirement General Monahan was serving as Director, Manpower Management, directing personnel actions, implementing Marine Corps plans and policies, and conducting analysis, planning and budgeting, in order to staff and maintain the 190K Force.In addition to her Marine Corps career, General Monahan has held various other commercial positions, amongst them in DRS Technologies, AM General, The Spectrum Group, Strategic Resilience Group, Motive International and Amazon. General Monahan served as Director of Business Development for Latin America for AM General, developing and growing sustained business and markets by working with senior Latin American political and military leadership todevelop country-level and multi-national tactical mobility programs with life-cycle operational integration, interoperability and sustainment. General Monahan also previously served as Deputy Program Manager for Tactical Communications and Network Solutions for DRS Technologies, where she managed several CONUS and OCONUS programs spanning Multi-National Force-Iraq, Army Sustainment Command, Joint Telemedicine, Defense Communications and Transition Systems, and Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, while leading compliance management and proposal teams. At Amazon, her operations leadership emphasis was focused on Fulfillment Center operations, positioning and empowering a transition from“build a machine” to “build a Team” ethos.Marcela is proud to have joined Booz Allen Hamilton’s Navy Marine Corps Team in July 2019.

Michael J. Meese, Ph.D., BG (Ret.), U.S. Army

President, AAFMAA

Panel:The Impossible Choice: Housing, Schools & Financial StabilityBG (Ret.) Michael Meese is the President of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA), a nonprofit association headquartered at Fort Myer that supports the military and veterans with insurance, financial planning, investments, mortgages, and other benefits. He is a leader in military and veterans issues, including chairing the 2016-2017 Transition Team for the Department of Veterans Affairs.Michael retired from the United States Army as a Brigadier General in 2013, having concluded his 32-year career teaching economics and national security courses while serving as the Professor and Head of the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy.  He has written numerous articles and two books: the Armed Forces Guide to Personal Financial Planning and American National Security. He served in a variety of strategic political-military positions, including deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Bosnia for a total of 31 months, and was the Executive Director of the Secretary of the Army’s Transition Team in 2005.  He is a graduate of the National War College, U.S. Military Academy, and earned his Ph.D., MPA, and M.A. from Princeton University.

Jim Sims

Command Sergeant Major, US Army (Ret), former Army Materiel Command, Command Sergeant Major

Panel:The Lived Experience of Diverse Families & Implications for CommandsJames K. Sims retired as a Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army. Under his tutelage, he has accumulated over 33 years of active military service, which included more than 5 combat deployments. During his position as Command Sergeant Major, James never shied away from his duties and in fact, ensured that they were executed on every level. This included culminating as the former Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Commanding General of the Army Materiel Command, a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and the Army’s Senior Enlisted Logistician. His extensive strategic leadership and logistics experience afforded him the ability to align personnel and resources with organizational initiatives. These initiatives delivered top-notch supply chain management and distribution solutions to improve standards in productivity, efficiency, and quality. James is the first Command Sergeant Major in the history of the Quartermaster Corps to rise from private E-1 to E-9 at the four-star level. His notable assignments ranged from 3rd U.S. Infantry “Old Guard”, 82nd Airborne Division, and 7th Special Forces Group.

Kaleth O. Wright

CEO, Air Force Aid Society

Panel:The Lived Experience of Diverse Families & Implications for CommandsKaleth O. Wright is an organizational leadership consultant, executive coach and professional speaker with an outstanding track record of helping organizations to achieve peak performance through training and mentoring executives in the art of servant leadership and motivating multi-generational teams across cultures and geographies.He currently serves as the CEO of the Air Force Aid Society where he guides a team that provides $20 million USD per year in emergency financial assistance, scholarships and community programs to service members and their families. He is a thought leader in diversity, resilience and leadership with mastery in the use of interpersonal and mass communications via social media where he currently hosts the Blueprint Leadership Podcast and The New Normal Web Series.Wright, a 32-year Veteran of the United States Air Force, served as the 18th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force representing the highest enlisted level of leadership where he provided direction and represented the interests of the enlisted force to the American public and to leaders at all levels of government. He also served as the personal advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, and proper utilization and progress of the force impacting nearly 600,000 airmen around the world. During his career, Wright led at every level to include squadron, group, wing, air expeditionary task force, Numbered Air Force and deployed in support of OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM as well as OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.As a dynamic and engaging speaker, Wright has delivered over 200 keynote addresses to audiences of all sizes around the world. He has accumulated over 10,000 hours teaching, coaching and providing leadership expertise to individuals and audiences at all levels of leadership ranging from first-line supervisors to c-suite executives. Wright championed international leadership development programs for 17 partner nations and worked with Congress on legislative affairs to enhance quality of life policies and programs for service members and their families.Wright earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Maryland’s global campus and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He studied executive leadership in distinguished programs at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Center for Public Leadership, Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business, Howard University’s School of Business as well as the Center For Creative Leadership and the Department of Defense National Defense University. He was a recognized as one of the Mighty 25 by the “We Are the Mighty” in 2020 for his exceptional leadership and military service. Wright’s commitment to education and advancement was also recognized in 2020 by Waldorf University who dedicated the “Kaleth O. Wright Excellence in Leadership Scholarship”, a 4-year award for military members, in his honor.

Dr. Terry Adirim

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs

Panel: The Impossible Choice: Housing, Schools & Financial StabilityTerry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and is currently serving as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) for Health Affairs. As the Acting ASD, Adirim is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness for all Department of Defense health and force health protection policies, programs, and activities.Previously, Adirim was Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Professor of Pediatrics and Chair of the Department of Integrated Medical Sciences at the Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida. In her role as Senior Associate Dean, she was responsible for providing leadership over the College of Medicine’s clinical enterprise including providing vision, strategy and oversight of patient care, clinical translational research activities and the FAU Medicine faculty practice. As Department Chair, Adirim was responsible for providing leadership, mentoring and strategy for a department comprised of approximately 80 core faculty and 1,100 affiliate, community-based faculty members representing a spectrum of medical specialties.Prior to FAU, Dr. Adirim served as the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Services Policy and Oversight in the Department of Defense, providing leadership over the Military Health System (MHS) policies and programs. The MHS is a large $50 billion integrated health system composed of 50 hospitals and hundreds of clinics world-wide and the TRICARE Health Plan serving 9.6 million beneficiaries. She maintains an adjunct academic appointment as Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda Maryland. Previously, Adirim worked in senior leader policy positions at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and academic medicine. She continued to practice pediatric emergency medicine for over 25 years.Adirim earned her M.D. with research distinction at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine, pediatrics residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship training at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC and Primary Care Sports Medicine fellowship training at DeWitt Army Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia/Children’s National Medical Center. She has more than 200 journal publications, editorials, oral presentations and invited keynote speaking engagements.

Rebecca I. Porter, Ph.D.

President and CEO, Military Child Education Coalition

PANEL:
The Impossible Choice: Housing, Schools & Financial Stability
 
Colonel (Retired) Rebecca I. “Becky” Porter is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Military Child Education Coalition, since September 2019. During her 38 years of enlisted and commissioned service in the National Guard, US Army Reserves, and Regular Army, Dr. Porter served in numerous leadership and staff positions. The highlights of her staff positions include serving as an Operations Officer in the Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison, Special Assistant (for Army Well-Being) to the Chief of Staff of the Army; and Director of Psychological Health for the United States Army. She commanded at numerous levels, from Platoon Leader as a Military Police Officer to Public Health Command-Europe at the culmination of her military career.Dr. Porter is a longstanding volunteer with the Military Child Education Coalition. She has conducted trainings, participated in Community Convenings, and served on the speaker’s bureau for the organization. She is a founding member of MCEC’s Science Advisory Board and has published articles on the education, advocacy, and policy needs of military children. Dr. Porter is a 1983 Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Washington. She holds a Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Chapman University, a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University, and a Masters of Science in National Security and Strategic Studies from the National War College. With more than three decades of military service, Dr. Porter is a Diplomate in clinical health psychology, a fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit. Dr. Porter’s awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Military Psychology, the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal (six awards). She also holds the Surgeon General’s “A” Proficiency Designator as recognition of her significant contributions to the Army Medical Department.

Kara Oakley, Esq.

Chairwoman, Tricare for Kids Coalition

PANEL: Military Children’s Mental HealthKara is the principal of Oakley Capitol Consulting, LLC, focusing on public policy, strategy and advocacy.Having devoted much of her career to representation of children’s hospitals, she has expertise in child health policy and healthcare financing. Kara has positioned children’s hospitals to thrive in a complex Department of Defense health care system, improved children's health coverage and access to care, and accomplished millions of dollars in reimbursement improvements and recoupment of underpayments.Kara is proud of legislative accomplishments such as crafting the seminal legislation to improve military healthcare for children, Tricare for Kids, and shepherding it through Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act; ensuring concurrent hospice coverage for children of military families; and improving access and coverage of respite care and other critical services for families impacted by complex, chronic and disabling conditions.Always a problem-solver, Kara appreciates the challenges inherent in politics and policy. She excels in identifying common ground and crafting innovative approaches, such as community partnerships and strategic alliances, to achieve goals.Kara founded and leads the Tricare for Kids Coalition of stakeholders working to improve healthcare and support services for children of military and veteran families.A graduate of the University of Tennessee and Florida State University College of Law with honors, Kara cheers the Volunteers and Seminoles to victory from her home in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.

Patricia Lester, M.D.

Nathanson Family Professor of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine; Director, Division of Population Behavioral Health; Director, UCLA's Nathanson Family Resilience Center

PANEL:
Military Children’s Mental Health
 
Dr. Patricia Lester is the Nathanson Family Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Division of Population Behavioral Health, and Director of the Nathanson Family Resilience Center at UCLA. Her research and clinical work have been dedicated to development, evaluation, & implementation of family centered prevention and treatment for families facing impact of military deployments, traumatic events, and parental illness.
 
She co-developed the family-centered preventive intervention Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS) which was designed to promote resilience and mitigate stress in children and families facing adversities. Over the last 12 years, she has led the successful large-scale implementation of FOCUS as a public health continuum of preventive services to support military families facing transitions for the Department of Defense.

J. Michael Haynie, Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, Syracuse University

CO-HOST:
Impact on Women: Female Service Members & Military Spouses
 
Dr. Mike Haynie is the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Syracuse University (SU) and is responsible for a diverse portfolio of academic programs, centers, and innovation initiatives that include the University’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs as well as Government and Community Relations, and University College.
 
In 2018, Syracuse University named Haynie a University Professor, the most senior rank awarded to faculty. As the Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship, Haynie also leads SU’s robust portfolio of entrepreneurship and cross-campus innovation programs, while at the same time serving as the founding Executive Director of Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). Before beginning his academic career, Haynie served 14 years as an officer in the United States Air Force.

Jennifer Dane

Executive Director, Modern Military Association of America

PANEL:
The Lived Experience of Diverse Families & Implications for Command
 
Jennifer Dane is a veteran of the United States Air Force who served as an intelligence analyst focused on geopolitical relations, terrorism, and threat vulnerability issues. Jennifer currently serves as the Executive Director of the Modern Military Association of America - the nation’s largest non-profit organization working to advance fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community.She has earned a diversity and inclusion certificate from Cornell University, an associate degree in Intelligence Studies from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Bethel University, a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University, and a Master of Arts in Educational Policy from The Ohio State University.Jennifer also has a wide range of diversity, equity, and inclusion, consultancy and training experience having worked with the Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Uber, Synchrony, Capgemini, HBO Max NBCComcast, the National Diversity Council, and various organizations and people. She is passionate about her commitment to leaving the world a better place than it was before she was born.

BGen Lorna Mahlock

C4 & DEPUTY DEPT OF THE NAVY CIO OF THE MARINE CORPS, Director

Panel:Impact on Women: Female Service Members & Military SpousesBrigadier General Lorna Mahlock is the Assistant Deputy Commandant for Information, Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) leading the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Marine Corps.Prior to her current assignment, she served as Deputy Director, Headquarters Marine Corps Plans, Policy and Operations and Commanding Officer, Marine Air Control Group 18, Okinawa, Japan.Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she immigrated to Brooklyn, New York and enlisted in the Marine Corps. She was selected for the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program, graduated from Marquette University and was commissioned in December 1991.Designated as an Air Traffic Control Officer, she earned certifications as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)Tower Local Controller and a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Instructor. She has commanded and led at various levels globally and in combat including but not limited to: Air Traffic Control Detachment Commander; Executive Officer - 1st Stinger Battery;Director - Marine Corps Instructional Management School; Air Control Officer - G3 Future Operations 1st Marine Aircraft Wing; Company Commander - Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and IRAQI FREEDOM 01; Operations and Executive Officer - IRAQI FREEDOM 02; Director - Marine Air Command and Control System Experimental; Commanding Officer - IRAQI FREEDOM 08;Information Management Officer; J3 Land Operations Lead and Division Executive Officer,Headquarters European Command; Marine Corps Office of Legislative Affairs and Assistant Chief of Staff G6, Deputy Director of Operations, Plans Policy and Operations, (PP&O) Headquarters United States Marine Corps.She holds a Masters Degree in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma at Norman; a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies with distinction from the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island; a Masters in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College and a Masters Certificate in Information Operations from the Naval Post Graduate School. She also is a graduate of the United Kingdom Defense College Higher Command and Staff.Brigadier General Mahlock’s personal awards include Legion of Merit; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

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