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Press Release | Dec. 20, 2013

General Powell Receives Honorary Doctorate from National Defense University

Contact: Daniel Magalotti
Acting Public Affairs Officer
National Defense University 

(Washington DC) Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, 
United States Army (Ret.), received an honorary degree of Doctor of National Security Affairs from 
National Defense University (NDU) on Wednesday 11 December at 1300 in Abraham Lincoln Hall 
Auditorium. Dr. John Yaeger, NDU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented the 
degree and introduced General Powell. 
General Powell began his military service when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant after 
graduating from the Army ROTC program at City College of New York in 1958. General Powell received 
a master’s degree from the National War College in 1976 and later served as President Reagan’s National 
Security Advisor from 1987-89 and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both Presidents Bush and 
Clinton from 1989-1993. During his tenure as Chairman, General Powell oversaw such operations as the 
intervention in Panama and Operation Desert Storm. 
Following his retirement in 1993, General Powell served as Secretary of State for President Bush from 
2001-2005. Aside from his government service, General Powell is the Honorary Chair of the Colin L. 
Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York and the founder of 
America’s Promise Alliance, an organization that seeks to give children the fundamental resources they 
need to succeed. 
General Powell’s numerous awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army 
Distinguished Service Medal, two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, and 
the Congressional Gold Medal, as well as induction into the French Legion of Honor and honorary 
knighthood by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. He was also previously inducted into the 
NDU National Hall of Fame in 2004. 
General Powell has been an avid supporter of National Defense University, telling guests at the dedication 
of the Richard A. Chilcoat International Student Center in January 2011 that “…we are going to make a 
better world for our people, a better world for promotion of individual liberty, by promotion of 
democracy, by helping people in need. One way to do that is to gather people from around the world and 
bring them to a place like NDU.” After receiving his honorary degree from NDU, General Powell 
addressed NDU students, faculty, and staff on the continued importance of the university. 
NDU is the premier national security institution focused on advanced joint warfighter 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 the 
National Defense University, please contact: Daniel Magalotti, Acting Public Affairs Officer, at 202-685-
3140 or; or visit