General C. Robert Kehler, USAF (Ret.)
Board Member since 2014
General C. Robert Kehler, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), is the former commander, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). In this role, he was directly responsible to the President and Secretary of Defense for the plans and operations of all U.S. forces conducting strategic deterrence, nuclear alert, and Department of Defense space, cyberspace, and associated operations. Previously, as commander of Air Force Space Command, he was responsible for the development, acquisition, and operation of the Air Force's space and missile systems. He retired from the Air Force on Jan. 1, 2014, after over 38 years of distinguished service.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel praised Gen. Kehler's uncompromising standards and tireless efforts to "build and maintain the space, cyber, and missile defense capabilities that USSTRATCOM needs for today's security environment" and dedication to maintaining a "safe, secure, ready, and effective nuclear deterrent force."
Over his career, Gen. Kehler served in a variety of important operational and staff assignments and was among the few to command at the squadron, group, wing, major command, and combatant command level. As commander of USSTRATCOM, his forces directly supported combat operations and participated in numerous global contingencies. He also directed the National Security Space Office where he integrated the activities of a number of space organizations on behalf of the Under Secretary of the Air Force and Director, National Reconnaissance Office. He was also assigned to the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Legislative Liaison, where he was point man on Capitol Hill for matters regarding the President's ICBM Modernization Program.
His military career began in the R.O.T.C. program at Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in education. In addition to his command and management training, he holds master's degrees in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College and in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. Gen. Kehler completed the Program for Executives at Carnegie Mellon University, the National Security Leadership Course at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and the program for senior executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Gen. Kehler's numerous awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the French Legion of Honour.