Graduation 2016

The National Defense University’s graduation exercises were held on Thursday, June 9, at 9:30 a.m., in front of historic Roosevelt Hall at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Southwest Washington, DC. The university graduated 687 students. The College of International Security Affairs graduated 81 with a Certificate or Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies; 59 in the Counterterrorism concentration, and 22 in the South and Central Asia concentration. The Eisenhower School graduated 308 with a Certificate or Master of Science in National Resource Strategy. The Information Resources Management College graduated 91 with a Certificate or Master of Science in Government Information Leadership; 14 of those in the JPME II Cyberspace Strategies Pilot Program. The National War College graduated 207 with a Certificate or Master of Science in National Security Strategy.

General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., United States Marine Corps, 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was the graduation speaker. He serves as the nation’s highest-ranking military officer and is the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council. Prior to this, GEN Dunford served as the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps. He also previously served as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 2010 to 2012, and was Commander, International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces-Afghanistan from February 2013 to August 2014.

Degrees were conferred by NDU President, MajGen Frederick M. Padilla (USMC); NDU Provost, Dr. John W. Yaeger (CAPT, USN, Ret.); and the commandants and chancellors of the colleges:
Approximately 49 percent of the graduates are senior officers of the U.S. Armed Forces. Thirty-six percent of the graduates are either U.S. Federal Government civilians, or U.S. private sector civilians representing 39 organizations. Additionally, 104 international students from 65 countries make up 15 percent of the graduating class.

On June 2, at the U.S. Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C., an additional 44 CISA s
tudents earned a graduate degree after completing the 10-month Joint Special Operations Master of Arts (JSOMA) program. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) and Special Envoy/Coordinator of the Global Engagement Center at Department of State, Michael D. Lumpkin, gave the keynote address, providing advice for the students’ careers after graduation. Ambassador Wanda Nesbitt, NDU Senior Vice President, and CISA Chancellor Dr. Michael S. Bell conferred the students’ degrees. The class was significant in that it included Special Operators from all of the military services and from two international partners. Several Department of State students added an interagency flair to this year’s JSOMA graduating class. 

On Friday, June 10 at 10 a.m. at NDU's Joint Force Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, Va., 36 Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS) graduates received a Master of Science in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy.
MG John W. Charlton, USA, Vice Director for Joint Force Development, Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered the graduation address.  

NDU is a strategic national resource that prepares senior leaders to think and operate effectively at the highest levels of decision making in an increasingly dynamic, complex, and unpredictable international security environment. It does this by preparing them to understand, develop, and employ strategies that incorporate all elements of national power. This premiere senior leader development is made possible by NDU’s holistic approach and unique combination of curriculum, location, and student/faculty diversity. NDU graduates have developed an understanding of the canon of strategic theory, and are able to apply and creatively adapt this knowledge to current and future security challenges.

The social media hashtag for the event is #ndugrad. NDU broadcast the graduation ceremony via Livestream to interested friends and family who were not able to attend. Video of the McNair and JFSC ceremonies are available at