On Monday, June 12, Philip M. Bilden’s extraordinary term as Chairman of the Naval War College Foundation (NWCF) concluded. At the end of the annual June Board of Trustees meeting, Philip passed the gavel to long-time friend and Vice Chairman, Daniel E. Holland III. A Life Member since 2009, Philip became a Trustee in 2012. During that time, he identified the need for expanded cybersecurity research and created The Bilden Endowment Fund for the Admiral James R. Hogg Cyber & Innovation Policy Institute. He subsequently served as Chairman of the Center for Cyber Conflict Studies Task Force. Devoted to the missions of the NWCF and the U.S. Naval War College (USNWC), Philip assumed the position of Vice Chairman in 2017 and later became Chairman in 2020, steering the Foundation through the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic while strengthening the organization’s financial foundation and building a capable and qualified staff.
As Chairman, Philip strove to professionalize the Foundation staff with a C-suite leadership team experienced in military operations, higher education, and fundraising. He recruited new board members from across the country to expand national awareness of the Foundation. Additionally, Philip established the Senior Advisory Committee, comprised of retired three- and four-star admirals, to enhance the Foundation’s coordination with senior levels of the Navy in relation to USNWC support, priorities, and focus. Philip leaves the Foundation in a strong position with a clear vision for the future, thanks to the development and implementation of our 2022 -2027 Strategic Plan, the first articulated and adopted since 2009.
Under Philip’s leadership, the Foundation received over $20 million in new major gifts and increased the value of the investment portfolio by 11%, bringing the total value in excess of $60 million. His steadfast leadership also resulted in the funding of the College’s sixth Endowed Chair, the TCSass Chair in Maritime Irregular Warfare and Maritime Special Operations, and significant investment toward endowing a seventh chair in Arctic Studies. Philip led by example through his boundless generosity. He and his wife Patricia are Chairman’s Circle and Admiral Stephen B. Luce Admirals Society Members for their consistent annual giving and total giving of nearly $700,000.
Philip embodies the mission of the Foundation to educate today, secure tomorrow. We are eternally grateful for his leadership and the expertise he has shared with the NWCF for more than a decade. His patriotic dedication to the NWCF and USNWC is unmatched and we thank him for his continued service to the USNWC, NWCF, the U.S. Navy, and our great Nation.
We congratulate Philip on a job well done and look forward to a continued close relationship with him as Chairman Emeritus Philip Bilden.