Ellyn Dunford

Director | Spouse of General Joseph Dunford Jr., USMC (Ret.), Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Recipient of the Blue Star Families Lifetime Achievement Award

Growing up in the Boston area, Mrs. Dunford graduated from Simmons College with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy and moved to northern Virginia, where she met her husband, Joe Dunford. They have been married for 38 years, through 20 homes, six states, three children and numerous deployments in peacetime and war. 

For almost 30 years she was a practicing physical therapist, first in trauma and acute care, followed by the majority of her time in pediatric care. The practice gave Mrs. Dunford much insight into issues facing EFMP families, children with educational special needs, and Wounded Warriors. Her role from 2015 to 2019 as spouse of the 19th CJCS has broadened her exposure to and work with non-profits and government agencies working on behalf of military members and their families.

Mrs. Dunford enjoys running and exercise, reading and volunteering, and most importantly, being Nana. Her volunteer efforts included various spouse clubs, advising military family service organizations and Family Readiness Programs. While General Dunford has retired from Active Duty service they both continue to support the efforts of various non-governmental organizations to serve and advocate for military families.