Giving Back to Military and Veterans

Innovation Task Force initiatives focus on military personnel and veterans

February 20, 2013

A wide range of educational programs for military personnel and veterans, graduate certificates in sustainability leadership and organizational ethics, executive education for international judges and expanded unpaid leave for employees are the phase five initiatives green-lighted for implementation by GW’s Innovation Task Force. Implementation planning for the new programs will begin in the coming months.

“We are very excited about the initiatives that have come from phase five,” said Dave Lawlor, senior associate vice president for finance and co-chairman of the ITF steering committee. “This round we are innovating service. With the huge focus on military and veterans, we have before us the chance to give back to members of the military in a very practical way. I am looking forward to seeing how these important initiatives develop and mature in the months ahead.”

According to Mr. Lawlor, GW’s mission to enhance educational programs for military personnel and veterans aligns perfectly with the university’s longtime tradition of service. “Surveying educational programs for military personnel and veterans, it became clear to us that competitive private institutions can do much more to meet their unique needs,” he said. “Those who have served our country deserve great attention and service as they pursue their educational and career goals, and GW is uniquely positioned to make a difference.”

The new initiatives, he says, will tailor all facets of the educational experience to “the unique experiences and background” of military personnel and veterans, offering students “concierge treatment” and enabling “success at every stage.”  

“We want to help them navigate the complex financial aid maze, thoughtfully assimilate them into university life and learning, and facilitate superior career planning, networking and placement,” Mr. Lawlor said.

President Steven Knapp has assembled a team of GW senior leaders to propel the vision into action, and a national search is underway to recruit a high-level leader to focus on military and veteran education and student services. Plans call for rolling out new undergraduate and graduate programs for military personnel and veterans at both the degree and certificate levels. The programs, which will begin debuting this fall, will be offered on select GW campuses, online, and potentially at military facilities domestically and internationally.

In addition to the military and veteran-focused programs, ITF phase five initiatives include:

  • Executive Education: Training for International Judges – A series of one-week seminars to share best practices on the processes and policies of American courts with judges from developing nations.
  • Organizational Ethics Certificate – An organizational ethics graduate certificate program with a focus on corporate responsibility, compliance and federal regulations.
  • Sustainability Leadership Certificate – A sustainability leadership graduate certificate focusing on federal employees and organizations with sustainability initiatives and personnel.
  • Expanded Unpaid Leave – A new policy allowing employees to take voluntary unpaid leave during low activity periods when business operations allow.

“After three years, the Exploration Team continues to bring exceptional opportunities to the ITF leadership,” Mr. Lawlor said. “We have some amazing talent across the university. I continue to be very grateful to those who have made ITF a great success.”