December 28, 2021

2 former federal employees join NPS Foundation Advisory Council

Desiree Dillehay

The Naval Postgraduate School Foundation added two Advisory Council members as of December 20. These two leaders have a broad range of expertise in supporting Department of Defense initiatives through education, research and development, and public-private partnerships.

The Hon. Dov Zakheim is Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Senior Fellow at the CNA Corporation, a federally funded think tank. Previously he was Senior Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton where he led the Firm’s support of U.S. Combatant Commanders worldwide. From 2001 to 2004 Zakheim served as the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Defense. Dr. Zakheim has served on numerous government, corporate, nonprofit and charitable boards, to include the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel and the Defense Business Board, which he established. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Center for The National Interest, and an executive advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations.

Vice Adm. Ronald Route retired from the U.S. Navy in 2008. He served in a civilian capacity as the president of the Naval Postgraduate School from 2013-2019, and holds a Master’s of Science in Operations Research from NPS. His significant active duty career assignments included Naval Inspector General, President of the Naval War College, and Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command and two tours on the Chief of Naval Operations staff, first as Director of the Politico-Military Affairs Division and later as Director of the Navy Programming Division. Route brings more than twenty years of senior leadership experience, with responsibilities in graduate education, program requirements and resources, international affairs, and research and development.

“The diverse experiences of the NPS Foundation Advisory Council members is vital to guiding the Foundation’s support and advocacy to the Naval Postgraduate School,” said retired Adm. Michael Mullen, chair of NPSF’s Advisory Council.

“Vice Admiral Route's extensive background with NPS coupled with his experience as a trusted Navy leader provides valuable insight into the needs of the students and faculty as well as to the importance of NPS' transformation and research initiatives to the larger DOD,” he added. “While Dr. Zakheim’s experience as both a senior DOD civilian and a senior executive in the defense industry will greatly enhance our impact to public-private partnerships with NPS and drive initiatives with DOD strategy in mind.”

The new members join the NPS Foundation at an exciting juncture for both the Foundation and the Naval Postgraduate School. The Foundation remains focused on the future opportunities and impact that the students and faculty on campus could have on U.S. national security priorities.

In 2021, the NPS Foundation deepened its corporate relationships with new research partners while seeing corporate partners like Xerox, TMGcore, Microsoft and AT&T deliver outcomes to NPS and the Department of the Navy. The NPS Foundation is also supporting the transformation of the Naval Postgraduate School by funding the schematic design of the Applied Design Center, a new facility that will better enable advanced research and collaboration in both classified and unclassified settings. Advocating for the Applied Design Center is a key priority of the Advisory Council. Empowered by a new vision for the organization and supported by a facility optimized to execute it, NPS’ students will create cognitive advantage for the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Nation for decades to come.

“These additions to our Advisory Council will broaden our connections and support the engine of innovation that prepares our nation to face the complex issues of today and tomorrow,” said Rich Patterson, NPS Foundation & Alumni Association CEO. Learn more about the NPSF Advisory Council at

About Naval Postgraduate School Foundation & Alumni Association

The Naval Postgraduate School Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing support and advocacy to the Naval Postgraduate School, our Nation's premier defense education and research institution. NPSF is at the intersection of engagement with students, alumni, faculty, the broader DOD, and industry in addressing challenges and identifying opportunities that advance the capabilities of the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and our allies. By funding defense innovation research, student and alumni programs, and NPS initiatives, NPSF lays the foundation for NPS to develop the leaders, technologies, and ideas our Nation needs to keep our service members safer abroad and us all safer at home.

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Desiree Dillehay

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