Retired U.S. Navy Adm. Charles A. Richard, the former commander of United States Strategic Command, and former U.S. diplomat and Middle East expert Mara Rudman have been appointed James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professors at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs.
In December, Richard completed more than 41 years in service with a last posting as commander of U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for one of 11 unified commands under the Department of Defense.
Rudman is the executive vice president for policy at American Progress, where she works with policy, advocacy and communications to create strategies. She served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, including as deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs.
As the Schlesinger Distinguished Professors for the 2023-24 academic year, Richard and Rudman will participate in Miller Center conferences and events, engage with faculty and students across the University, and contribute to the center’s website and other Miller Center publications.
Richard also will work with the Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy’s National Security Policy Center.
“I’m tremendously excited to have Adm. Richards with us at UVA,” said Phil Potter, director of the National Security Policy Center, said. “We have a strong cohort of students who are actively pursuing national security careers and will benefit from his vast experience in public service.
“In partnership with the Miller Center, we also plan to leverage Adm. Richard’s place as one of the nation’s leading strategic thinkers to produce a series of research projects and events focused on renewing the theoretical underpinnings of U.S. deterrence policy.”
Richard addressed ROTC cadets and midshipmen on Aug. 31, to engage with young service members at the beginning of their military careers.
“Of all the issues surrounding warfare, strategic deterrence is the most dependent upon academic input,” Richard said. “I can think of no better place than UVA to pursue this important work.”
The Schlesinger professorship was created in 2007 to bring public servants to the University. Schlesinger served as secretary of defense and secretary of energy and held leadership roles with the Central Intelligence Agency and Atomic Energy Commission in the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations.