Dr. James L. Lepse became National Defense University's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in early December 2022 after serving as the Eisenhower School's Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs since June 2018. He previously served as the Eisenhower School's Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Planning.
As the Eisenhower School's Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs, Dr. Lepse guided the planning, implementation, execution, and evaluation of all academic programs, as well as all matters related to faculty, teaching, engagement, service, professional development, and research. In the Associate Dean position, he was the Dean of Faculty’s primary deputy on a variety of issues related to curriculum and faculty matters, including ensuring the integration, balance, and currency of the curriculum as it is executed by the academic departments and faculty.
While serving at the Eisenhower School, Dean Lepse has taught several different courses related to national security and resource strategy, and has been engaged in the full spectrum of curriculum design, development, execution, and evaluation. Prior to assuming his position as the Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Planning in October 2016, Dr. Lepse served as the Chair of the Defense Strategy, Acquisition, and Resourcing (DSAR) Department. Additionally, he has served for more than ten years in several key Eisenhower School leadership positions, including three different academic departments. Besides leading academic departments, Dr. Lepse has also previously served as the Director of the Supply Chain Management Concentration and as the Faculty Leader for three different Industry Studies (Electronics, Agribusiness, and Organic Industrial Base).
After graduating from Saint Olaf College, Northfield, MN with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics, he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy. After 27 years of naval service, he retired from active duty at the rank of Captain. Dr. Lepse’s graduate education includes a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Administration/Public Affairs from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), a Master of Science degree in Applied Economics from the Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Business Administration degree from The Ohio State University, a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF). Additionally, he has completed executive education programs at several business schools.
Dr. Lepse is a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps and has achieved Level III acquisition certifications in both Program Management and Information Technology.