Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
Strategic Leaders Academy
Doug Wilson served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs – the Pentagon’s senior spokesman and communications strategist – during President Obama’s first term, playing key communication roles on all major national security and foreign policy issues, including Iraq, Afghanistan, China, NATO, counterterrorism and the defense budget. He has served in senior communications positions for US Defense Secretaries William Cohen, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta and has three times been awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Pentagon’s highest civilian honor.
Wilson previously served as Board Member and Executive Vice President of the Howard Gilman Foundation, overseeing domestic and international policy programs at White Oak, including seminal successor-generation leadership conferences on India, Russia, the Pacific Rim, Europe, Islamic societies, women as leaders of change, public diplomacy, and military families. He also served as senior foreign policy advisor to former US Sen. Gary Hart and as a communications consultant to Microsoft and Boeing.
A former Foreign Service officer, Wilson served as Political Director of the Democratic Leadership Council, USIA’s Congressional Director, a Vice President of The Cohen Group and Business Executives for National Security, Founding Chair of the Harvard Public Diplomacy Collaborative, co-founder of the US-Muslim Engagement Initiative and strategic communications consultant for such companies as Boeing and Microsoft. A former director on the boards of Blue Star Families, National Security Network, Third Way and HDI, he is now Chair of the Board of Advisors at the Truman National Security Project/Center for National Policy and serves on the Advisory Board of America Abroad Media. He is co-founder of Vets Community Connections, a nationwide initiative designed to involve many more Americans in community reintegration for returning veterans and their families.
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