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Lt. Gen. Frances C. Wilson, EdD, USMC (Ret)

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Appointed July 2013Fran Wilson, BOV

Dr. Fran Wilson is a past President, National Defense University (NDU). She is a veteran of nearly 37 years of service in the United States Marine Corps retiring as a Lt. Gen. in September 2009. As President of NDU, she was a member ex-officio of the Board of Directors, United States Institute of Peace. Prior to this assignment, she was the Commandant, Industrial College of the Armed Forces where she was recognized by the French Minister of Defense for her work with the French Center for Higher Education in Armaments (CHEAr). As a field grade officer, she served as a Company Officer, Brigade of Midshipmen and an assistant professor in the Professional Development Department at the U.S. Naval Academy. She commanded 4th Recruit Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, and later commanded Camp H.M. Smith and Headquarters & Service Battalion, Marine Forces Pacific. During her tour as Secretary, Joint Staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff, she was selected for Brigadier General and assumed command of Marine Corps Base Quantico. Her next assignment was Commanding General, 3rd Force Service Support Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa. Before heading to the NDU campus, she was Director, Manpower Management Division, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps. 

Since retirement, she has been engaged in various activities with organizations in the Virginia Tidewater area. She is an appointed member of the City of Virginia Beach Mayor’s Military Economic Development Advisory Committee, and was appointed by the Governor and served two years on the Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees. She was Chairman, Board of Directors, USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia, and Vice President, Board of Directors, Hampton Roads World Affairs Council. She was appointed by the Secretary as a member of the Department of Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service in July 2012, serving as its Chair from Oct 2014 until the expiration of her term in July 2016.  For her service, she was presented the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. 

She is a Michigan State University graduate, has earned four Master degrees, and holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California. She has completed several military school curricula to include a Federal Executive Fellowship with the Brookings Institution. She has also completed Harvard University’s JFK School of Government’s Senior Executive Course in National and International Security and Naval Post Graduate School’s Revolution in Business Practices.