Kirstjen Nielsen Appointed to the National Defense University Foundation Board

Kirstjen Nielsen Appointed to the National Defense University Foundation Board
Press Release

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Eugenia Gardner

Kirstjen Nielsen

Kirstjen Nielsen Appointed to the National Defense University Foundation Board 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 4th, 2023 - The National Defense University (NDU) Foundation announced the appointment of Kirstjen M. Nielsen to the NDU Foundation Board of Directors. Ms. Nielsen is a national security expert who served as the sixth Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and as the Service Secretary for the U.S. Coast Guard

Secretary Nielsen is an internationally recognized leader on security issues critical to our nation’s highest priorities, including enterprise risk, resiliency, cybersecurity, and emerging threats. As an attorney, public servant, and successful entrepreneur, she brings over two decades of domestic and international experience in the homeland and national security sectors. 

Ms. Nielsen has advised governments, private sector companies, international organizations, and NGOs throughout her impressive career. “Secretary Nielsen’s deep experience stands at the crossroads of policy, strategy and operations,” said Rob Spring, NDU Foundation Board Chairman. “Her perspective on new and emerging threats to the homeland, government mission requirements, and new technology applications for the public and private security spectrum will enhance the Foundation’s ability to support NDU students and faculty. We are proud to welcome her to the NDU Foundation Board,” he continued. 

“The NDU Foundation plays an important role in creating innovative and strategic leaders who are essential to managing the ever-changing terrain of national security,” said Ms. Nielsen. “I am proud to join the Board in ensuring the continued tradition of excellence and mission success of the National Defense University.” 

Ms. Nielsen is President and Founder of Lighthouse Strategies a technology consultancy. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the Global and National Security Institute at the University of South Florida, as a Board Member of the Global Resilience Federation, and as an Editorial Board member of Homeland Security Today. She co-chairs working groups on cyber and critical infrastructure security for the bipartisan Homeland Security Experts Group. Ms. Nielsen also sits on the Advisory Boards of several emerging technology companies as well as a variety of boards promoting government, nonprofit, and private sector security collaboration. She holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

About the National Defense University Foundation

The NDU Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused exclusively on supporting the education and leadership development of national defense, security, and peacekeeping professionals studying at the National Defense University (NDU)., located at Ft. Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C. The Foundation provides NDU with vital resources to protect our democracy and ensure peace by educating and developing agile leaders prepared to think critically and operate strategically in an increasingly dynamic, complex, and unpredictable international security environment. Learn more at

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