Mara Rudman and Charles Richard appointed Miller Center's Schlesinger Distinguished Professors

Mara Rudman and Charles Richard appointed Miller Center's Schlesinger Distinguished Professors

The experienced practitioners will conduct seminars and engage with faculty and students

U.S. Navy Admiral (Ret.) Charles A. Richard, the former commander of U.S. Strategic Command, and Mara Rudman, a former U.S. diplomat and Middle East expert, have been appointed as the next James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professors at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. 

In December 2022, Richard completed a distinguished career of more than 41 years in service to the nation. His final assignment was as commander of U.S. Strategic Command from November 2019 until his retirement, 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 colleagues to create smart strategies and find the path to turn ideas into action and action into results. She served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, including as deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. 

"We’re so fortunate to get two practitioners of the highest order, with such complementary skills and experiences," said William Antholis, Miller Center director and CEO. "Admiral Richard's former role as head of all our nuclear forces is a position for which Secretary Schlesinger would have had considerable appreciation, given his work as secretary of defense and secretary of energy. And Mara Rudman’s important role in finding bipartisan solutions to critical and multifaceted national security challenges is exactly in line with the broader perspective Secretary Schlesinger hoped this position would bring to the Miller Center and to UVA."

Charles A. (Chas) Richard

At STRATCOM, Richard oversaw the global command and control of all the nation’s nuclear forces to achieve the national security objective of strategic deterrence. He was responsible for more than 150,000 people conducting strategic deterrence and nuclear operations, nuclear command and control, global strike, missile defense, electromagnetic spectrum operations, and analysis and targeting.

Richard has a unique breadth and depth of operational and policy experience in undersea and strategic warfare. His flag assignments included commander, submarine forces, Norfolk, Virginia; deputy commander, U.S. Strategic Command; director of undersea warfare (OPNAV N97) at the Pentagon; deputy commander of Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike at U.S. Strategic Command; and commander of Submarine Group 10, Kings Bay, Georgia. 

His operational assignments were in submarines focusing on special missions, including command of USS Parche (SSN 683) and Submarine NR-1, then the U.S. Navy's only nuclear-powered, deep-submergence submarine. He also served aboard USS Portsmouth (SSN 707), USS Asheville (SSN 758), and USS Scranton (SSN 756). 

Richard's staff assignments included service as the executive assistant and naval aide to the under secretary of the Navy; chief of staff, Submarine Force Atlantic; and command of Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 17, Bangor, Washington. Other staff assignments included director of resources on the staff of the under secretary of defense for policy; squadron engineer on the staff of SUBRON-8; and duty on the staff of the deputy chief of naval operations (submarine warfare). He has also served as a member of the Chief of Naval Operations' Strategic Studies Group XXVIII, studying the integration of unmanned systems into naval force structure.

Richard is a native of Decatur, Alabama, and a 1982 graduate with honors from the University of Alabama. He earned master's degrees with honors from the Catholic University of America and the Naval War College. He retired from active duty in January 2023.

Mara Rudman 

Rudman was senior vice president for policy/projects at Business Executives for National Security, and led Quorum Strategies, a geopolitical strategic advisory firm. Additional government positions have included serving as deputy envoy and chief of staff for the Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace at the U.S. Department of State and assistant administrator for the Middle East at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Earlier in her career, she was chief counsel to the House Foreign Affairs Committee; she started her career working for her hometown member of Congress.

Rudman serves on the National Defense Strategy Commission, Howard University College of Arts and Sciences board of visitors, and as a faculty fellow at Georgetown University.

She has been a guest on numerous TV and radio shows and has written for and been quoted in various print publications. She received her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a law degree from Harvard Law School.


About the Schlesinger Distinguished Professorship

As the Schlesinger Distinguished Professors over the 2023-24 academic year, Richard and Rudman will participate in Miller Center conferences and events; engage with faculty and students across the University of Virginia; and contribute to the website and other Miller Center publications. 

The University of Virginia established the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professorship at the Miller Center in 2007 to bring public servants of great distinction to the University. Schlesinger served as secretary of defense and secretary of energy, in addition to holding leadership roles with the Central Intelligence Agency, Atomic Energy Commission, and numerous other government bodies during a distinguished career in public service. 

Building on Schlesinger’s interest in strategic matters, the Schlesinger Distinguished Professorship provides a unique opportunity for public servants who have experience with foreign policy and national security to participate as visiting faculty in programs at the Miller Center and engage with students at the University.