International Women’s Day with the first woman PNWC, Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield

Mar 8, 2021

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are honoring Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield, who made history in August 2019 when she assumed command as the first woman President of the U.S. Naval War College (PNWC). She is the 57th president of the NWC and is in command of 375 faculty members – both military and civilian – and a staff of 312 at the graduate institution. Chatfield has led the college dutifully since 2019, and faced an especially challenging time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She guided the efforts as NWC transitioned all in residence students to a distance learning environment. Under her watch, any events including graduations, and scholarly events like the 2020 Newport Arctic Scholars initiative,The Future Warfighting Symposium, Senior Leadership Symposium, 3rd annual Genocide Studies Conference, and countless others have been successfully conducted virtually despite limitations. Her dedication and leadership during her time at the NWC earned her a second star in June 2020.

Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield is a native of Garden Grove, California, and a 1987 graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and French Language and Literature. She received her commission through Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) in 1988 and earned her wings of gold in 1989. Chatfield was awarded the Navy’s Political/Military (Pol-Mil) Scholarship and attended the Kennedy School of Government, receiving a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University in 1997. In 2009, she earned her doctorate of education from the University of San Diego.

Operationally, Chatfield flew the SH-3, CH-46D and MH-60S and deployed in helicopter detachments to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf supporting carrier strike group and amphibious ready group operations. Ashore, she participated in the Joint Staff/OSD Internship Program, augmenting the Joint Staff, Plans and Policy (J-5) Directorate, Central & Eastern European Branch; was assigned as deputy executive assistant to the chief of naval operations; was senior military assistant to the supreme allied commander Europe; and was the United States deputy military representative to the NATO Military Committee.

Naval War College Foundation CEO CAPT George E. Lang, Jr., USN (Ret.) writes: “It’s been an honor to work with and support Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield, the first female President of the U.S. Naval War College. A Fleet operator and naval helicopter pilot since 1989, she has commanded several military units, and is uniquely qualified with a doctorate of education to lead the world’s oldest and fully accredited graduate-level military institution of its kind.”

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