Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced, Oct. 10, that Dr. Ann Elisabeth Rondeau, retired Vice Adm., will serve as the next president of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Spencer made the announcement during an all-hands call with NPS students, faculty and staff where he praised Rondeau for her proven experience as an educator.
“Admiral Rondeau brings with her an unparalleled record of leadership and achievement as a university president, change agent, officer and leader,” said Spencer. “At every level, she’s been a champion for students, teachers, and cutting-edge research, and I am confident she is the right person to build on the great evolutionary work that’s been done so far to take this institution, and the naval enterprise it serves, to the next level.”
Rondeau, a 38-year Navy veteran, currently serves as president of the College of DuPage, a two-year community college network serving more than 28,000 students in Illinois, and previously served as president of National Defense University. For NPS, she becomes the 49th individual to serve as the university’s president/superintendent over its long history of defense-relevant graduate education and research.
“This opportunity to serve and help lead the Naval Postgraduate School is a privilege and honor,” said Rondeau. “NPS is a brilliant place where individual and collective genius come together in teaching, learning and exploration, resulting in the premiere educational research institution in all of DOD.
“Secretary Spencer’s Intent and strategic vision for NPS is loud and clear, strong and validating,” she continued. “His guidance is a clarion call for excellence, intellectual heft and engagement, and strategic positioning and impact. With the clear support of Secretary Spencer, the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, as well as the treasure in talent and dedication by the NPS community, we will take this university to the next level of effect.”
Rondeau will replace current NPS President, retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route, following the completion of his five-year term at the helm of the institution. Spencer took the opportunity during his address to recognize Route for an exemplary five years of leadership at the university, presenting him with the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest award the Secretary can present to a civilian employee.
“Admiral Route has been the much-needed steadying hand as NPS regained its position as a pre-eminent educational and research enterprise,” said Spencer. “His leadership as an educator, businessman and officer will live on in the achievements of all of those students lucky enough to have benefited by his experience.”
“It has truly been an honor to serve as President of the Naval Postgraduate School, an institution that I have held in the highest regard since I was a student here in the operations research program,” said Route proudly.
“Throughout my career on active duty, I witnessed graduates from this university return to their demanding jobs well prepared to be leaders and experts,” he continued. “Over the past five years, it has been my privilege to witness first-hand how this institution’s students and faculty work together to achieve this, while simultaneously driving innovation and change in our Navy and the Department of Defense.
“To these students, past and present, and to our excellent faculty and dedicated staff, I express my sincerest appreciation and thanks, and I look forward to seeing this institution continue to thrive in the years ahead,” he added.
Rondeau expressed her own appreciation for the leadership Route has provided the institution.
“I am indebted to President Route for the leadership he has provided that will allow us to now design, plan for, and execute toward our shared vision of intellectual leadership for the naval services and for the nation,” she said.
As Spencer concluded his announcement with the university’s team, he reiterated his vision for the institution and encouraged its students, faculty and staff to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them.
“The amalgamation of top tier leadership, faculty and students at NPS produces the foundation the Navy needs to foster professional education and relevant research for national security. Today’s research will lead to the capabilities of tomorrow,” Spencer said.
“I am proud to have this premier institution within the Navy-Marine Corps team,” he continued. “And I’m excited about working to ensure that NPS continues to grow its reputation as an elite institution by attracting the best faculty, the best students, the best research opportunities, and the best industry and academic partnerships.”