Reffett Associates Recruits President for the United States Army Historical Foundation

March 28, 2023 – After a nationwide search, Seattle, WA-based Reffett Associates has assisted in the recruitment of U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Burt Thompson as the new president of the United States Army Historical Foundation (AHF) in Washington, D.C. Managing director Eric Reffett led the assignment. He succeeds Roger Schultz, who has led the foundation since 2015. Eric Shinseki, chairman of the board of the AHF, praised Mr. Thompson as the right person to lead the AHF and the Museum of the United States Army into the future.  Mr. Thompson joins the AHF after a career in industry and the military. Most recently, he served as chief operating officer at Data Machines Corporation in Ashburn, VA, which specializes in cloud architectures, data analytics, DevSecOps, machine intelligence, and data science. Prior to that, Mr. Thompson was president of Proforma Screening Solutions, a company providing comprehensive background screening services for industry. Under his leadership Proforma grew by over 100 percent and was cited as one of Inc. 5000’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies. In addition, Mr. Thompson has served as course director, coach, and instructor for the U.S. Army and Navy general and flag officer transition courses, where he coaches senior leaders retiring from the military how to transition their skills into a civilian environment.

His final position before retirement from active duty in the U.S. Army was as deputy director of strategic plans and policy of USPACOM, where he led a number of initiatives supporting the President’s and DOD’s rebalance to the Pacific region. Mr. Thompson’s other assignments while on active duty included a series of command and staff assignments including tours in the Joint Staff J3 and J5, command of the 1st Brigade, 25 ID, and executive officer to undersecretary of the Army.  Mr. Thompson is active in veteran’s activities, serving as council member of the Virginia State Council, director of Defense and Veteran’s Affairs in addition to numerous veteran-focused volunteer positions in the community.

Related: Reffett Associates Seeks CEO for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington

The mission of the United States Army Historical Foundation is to honor the American Soldier by preserving and presenting the history and heritage of the United States Army. AHF is the official Foundation of the National Museum of the United States Army, responsible for fundraising, memberships, and operational and attractions management.  The foundation was established in 1983 as a member-based, charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Proven Recruiters 

Reffett Associates is a nationally recognized executive search firm. The boutique talent provider has extensive experience in retail and consumer packaged goods, private equity, commercial and federal services, government sectors, and associations and non-profits. Its team is made up of executives with tangible industry experience, possessing real world, relatable knowledge about the challenges executives face in managing talent in a competitive marketplace.

Reffett Associates Recruits First Woman Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy
Reffett Associates has assisted in the recruitment of rear admiral Joanna Nunan as the first woman superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, NY. She succeeds vice admiral Jack Buono. After announcing the appointment, transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg said Ms. Nunan is: “The right leader at the right time for the Merchant Marine Academy.” Eric Reffett, managing director, said: “After an intensive search across the maritime industry and academia, admiral Nunan rose to the top as the best candidate to lead the Merchant Marine Academy into the future.”

Dr. Eric Reffett joined the search firm after working for Booz Allen Hamilton and serving for over 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. He specializes in identifying and recruiting highly technical talent for a variety of government clients.

Searches for the Federal Government

Reffett Associates has been enlisted to help fill a series of key senior executive roles in technical and hard-to-fill positions for the federal government. Since 2022, Reffett has assisted the U.S. Army Material Command at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL with recruitments for three highly qualified expert (HQE) positions.

To be considered an HQE, individuals must possess “uncommon and recognized knowledge, skills, and experience in a field of expertise, and judgment that is accorded authority and status by peers or the public,” said the firm. HQEs are considered on par with senior executive service (SES) positions. HQE roles inside of the armed forces carry the status of a lieutenant general.

Reffett Associates also recently filled the position of provost for the Naval War College. This placement, said the firm, is the latest in a string of academic recruitment for the nation’s military institutions of higher learning including:

  • Chief Learning Officer of the Air Force for Air Education and Training Command
  • Dean of the Aerospace School of Medicine
  • President for the Naval Postgraduate School
  • Provost for the Naval Postgraduate School

Related: Reffett Associates Places Senior Advisor to Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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