The commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence and GW graduate answered questions from students about leadership, ethics and diversity in the Navy.
Gary Crone, a George Washington University graduate student who recently completed a certificate in global public relations, has been worried about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected national security.
“National security doesn’t take a holiday during a pandemic,” he said.
So, Mr. Crone, M.P.S. ’19, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel with extensive experience in international affairs, was excited to hear firsthand how the Navy was completing its mission despite COVID-19 disruptions from Rear Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence and director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office.
Adm. Aeschbach, B.A. ’90, has more than 30 years of leadership in the Navy and is one of only nine women rear admirals.
In all, six students were selected for the Dec. 2 meet and greet, which was moderated by Elliott School Interim Dean Ilana Feldman. It took place before a virtual discussion about about leadership, ethics and diversity in the Navy featuring Adm. Aeschbach and Adm. Michelle Howard, Elliott School of International Affairs Shapiro Visiting Professor 2018-2020.
The event was hosted by the Elliott School’s LEAP program and the Security Policy Studies program.
Participants asked Adm. Aeschbach, who is a graduate of the Elliott School, about the qualities of a good leader, the challenges of being a woman in the military and improving military/civilian relationships.
Caroline Greenfield, a student pursing a master’s in law with a concentration in labor and employment who is currently an Air Force Judge Advocate General, said she was happy to hear from a woman leader.
“Women rising to the level of rear admiral is still relatively rare, numerically, in the services,” she said. “I was hoping to learn about her challenges, particularly from a gender perspective. I was interested in hearing from a female leader about her experiences.”