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Three Alumni Join VMI Foundation's Board of Trustees

John Adams
John D. Adams, '96
S. Read Hanmer, Jr. '55
Robert L. McDowell, '68

Walton M. Jeffress, Jr. ’68, the president of the VMI Foundation has announced that three alumni--John D. Adams ’96, S. Read Hanmer, Jr. ’55, and Robert L. McDowell ’68—had become full voting members of the VMI Foundation’s Board of Trustees (previously, they had been alternates).

    A Distinguished Graduate in Economics and the regimental executive officer in his first-class year, John D. Adams ’96 served in the U.S. Navy until 2000, when he entered the University of Virginia School of Law. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for Judge David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 2003 to 2004. Two years later, he clerked for Associate Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court, after which he received an appointment as an Associate Counsel to the President of the United States. After leaving the White House in 2008, Adams served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Virginia, managing a wide array of federal cases.

    In June 2010, Adams joined the Government, Regulatory and Criminal Investigations Department of McGuireWoods LLP. A partner in the firm, his practice focuses on litigation at the trial and appellate level, with a particular focus on matters arising out of government and criminal investigations. He also leads McGuireWoods' recruiting efforts and has served as an adjunct professor of Appellate and Trial Advocacy at the University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams School of Law.

    In 2012, the national legal publication Chambers USA named Adams a "Leader in the Field" for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations. Virginia Business magazine named him one of Virginia’s “Legal Elite," and Thomson Reuters named him a Virginia Super Lawyer and a “Rising Star” in the field of White Collar Defense, Civil Litigation Defense, and Appellate.

    Stephen Read Hanmer, Jr. ‘55 majored in Physics and was a Distinguished Military Graduate. After VMI, Hanmer served for more than two decades as a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1977 as a Colonel. His service included command of a heavy artillery battalion in Vietnam and a tour as Associate Professor of Fluid Mechanics at the U.S. Military Academy.

    He began his civil service career as Nuclear Plans Officer in the U.S. Mission to NATO from 1978 to 1981. He was the U.S. Representative to NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group Staff Group, and later was the U.S. Representative to the Defense Planning Committee. From 1981 through February 1984, Hanmer was the Director of the Pentagon’s Office of Theater Nuclear Forces Policy.

    From 1985 to 1987, he was as the Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) talks between the United States and the Soviet Union and, later, the Deputy U.S. START Negotiator. Subsequently, Hanmer was the Chief U.S. Negotiator for Strategic Offensive Arms in the U.S.-Soviet negotiations on Nuclear and Space Arms from January 1988 to June 1989. From 1989 to 1993, Hanmer served as the Deputy Director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). Hanmer also served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy.

    He is a consultant in the field of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and arms control and frequently lectures on arms control and disarmament. In the 2002-2003 academic year, Hanmer held VMI’s Mary Moody Northen Chair, teaching in the Department of International Studies and Politics.

    Hanmer holds M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California. Recently, he has been the President of the Saint Andrew’s Society of Washington D.C. and Commander of the American Legion’s Augustus P. Gardiner Post Number 18. In 2005, he led the Class of 1955’s 50th Reunion Fund Campaign, an effort that raised a record-setting $12.1 million. He also is the Class of 1955’s class agent.

    As a cadet, Robert L. McDowell ’68 was a Dean’s List Economics major and counted the VMI Firefighters among his extracurricular activities. McDowell spent his entire professional career involved with information technology, beginning with his eight years of service in the U.S. Air Force and another seven years in the financial services industry. In 1983, he became a partner in the consulting firm Ernst & Young, where he founded and managed its Strategic Business Systems practice.

    In 1990, McDowell joined Microsoft, establishing Microsoft Consulting Services. In 1995, he became vice president of its Enterprise Customer Unit, and, from 1996 through 2000, he was as vice president for enterprise business relationships. In 2000, he became vice president of Worldwide Services, for both consulting and product support. Two years later, McDowell became Vice President for Information Worker Business Value. He retired from Microsoft in 2012.

    He has written prolifically on information technology. His articles have appeared in such publications as Fortune, InformationWeek, and Computerworld, and he wrote two books on applying technology to business: Driving Digital (2001) and In Search of Business Value: Ensuring a Return on Your Technology Investment (2010). He has been a member of the Virginia Commission on Information Technology and often lectures at professional association meetings, universities, and technology conferences.

    McDowell has been a director of Visio Corporation, Entevo Corporation, and the International Advisory Board of Scottish Enterprise. He holds a M.S. in Business Administration from Boston University. McDowell is a director of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability in U.S. higher education.

    His previous service to VMI includes two years on the VMI Foundation’s Board of Trustees (1999 to 2001) and, from 2001 to 2009, on the Institute’s Board of Visitors. In 1997, McDowell and his wife, Melissa, established the Andrew L. McDowell Scholarship in Economics and Business in honor of McDowell’s father.

    “These three men bring decades of experience in various fields to the Board, “said Jeffress. “They also share a desire to serve the Institute and to ensure that it continues the progress it has enjoyed in the past decade and a half.”