News from NDU

News | Sept. 23, 2014

NDU Welcomes First Chief Operating Officer

Major General Robert C. "Rob" Kane (USAF, retired) joins the leadership of National Defense University (NDU) this week, as the university’s first Chief Operating Officer. 

As COO, Kane will lead all direct operational aspects of the university, including information technology services, human resources, facilities management, and budget.  He also will have oversight of travel, continuity of operations, and policies pertaining to the administration of these university programs. 

Kane is well acquainted with professional military education institutions, having served as the Commandant of the U.S. Air Force’s senior military school, the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama from 2010-2011.  During his 33-year military career, he gained extensive leadership experience in strategic planning, program and operations management, international partnerships, government relations, acquisition, risk management and compliance, transportation, and logistics.  NDU will benefit from his strong organizational and team-building skills, along with continuous process improvement expertise. 

“I’m honored to be joining the National Defense University team and look forward to working with leadership and staff to provide effective and efficient operations that support our vital educational mission,” said Kane.  “I appreciate the challenges and opportunities we will face together and the privilege of serving this prestigious university.”

Kane’s final active duty assignment was as Director of Global Reach Programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, where he oversaw strategic planning and trade space analysis for the USAF’s $53 billion portfolio of more than 2,500 cargo, air refueling, special operations, training and executive airlift aircraft.  He possesses extensive international experience from assignments in Iraq, Turkey, Korea, and Germany, including leading international teams and negotiations, and managing host-nation government and community relations programs.  In Iraq during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, he served as commanding general of the Coalition Air Force Transition Team.  He also served as commander of the 86th Airlift Wing and Kaiserslautern Military Community at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.  As a command pilot, he logged more than 4,200 hours in a variety of aircraft.

“It is an honor to have Rob Kane on board,” said Ambassador Wanda L. Nesbitt, Interim President of National Defense University.  “I’m confident he will contribute greatly to NDU, our colleges and research centers, and our vital educational mission that enhances the effectiveness of our joint, interagency, and international community.”

NDU is the premier national security institution focused on advanced joint education, leader development, and scholarship.  The University provides rigorous Joint Professional Military Education to members of the U.S. armed forces and select others in order to develop leaders who have the ability to operate and creatively think in an unpredictable and complex world.  For more information about NDU, please contact:  Mark Phillips at or (202) 685-3140.