November 3, 2015
DALLAS (SMU) – Retired four-star general and SMU alumnus Craig R. McKinley, a former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will speak on “Maintaining the Arsenal of Democracy” during the Tower Center’s eighth annual National Security Dinner from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom in the Umphrey Lee Center. The dinner will be preceded by a cocktail reception from 6:30-7 p.m. in the ballroom.
Since retiring from government in 2012, McKinley has become the president and CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association. His speech will reflect on the history of the United States’ military industrial complex and its anticipated role in defending the nation’s interests in the future.
“What future national security challenges will the U.S. face and how will industry prepare for that going forward?” asks Director of Studies for Tower Center for Political Studies Joshua Rovner. ”Will we be involved in more counterterrorism and low-level conflicts, or should we invest in the big industrial system for competition and conflict with great powers like China and Russia? We’ll hear the perspective from the industrial side, how do they view these issues.”
The event is free and open to the public, though RSVP’s are requested at email@example.com.
McKinley served as Chief of the National Guard Bureau while on the Join Chiefs of Staff. In this role, he advised the president, the secretary of defense, the National Security Council and the Department of Defense’s official channel of communication to the governors and to state adjutants general on all matters pertaining to the National Guard.
McKinley received his commission in 1974 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at SMU. He served numerous assignments in flying and operations, as well as command positions at group, wing, sector and field operating agency levels.
Among his military decorations are the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Air Force Achievement Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Combat Readiness Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters; and National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star.
McKinley holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from SMU and a master’s degree in management and economics from Webster College. He completed studies at the National War College, National Defense University, in 1995.
At a Glance
What: Gen. Craig R. McKinley (USAF, ret), president and CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association and SMU alumnus, will reflect on the military industrial complex’s history and its anticipated role in defending United States’ future interests during the Tower Center’s eighth annual National Security Dinner.
Who’s invited: The event is free and open to the public.
When: Cocktail reception 6:30-7 p.m., keynote dinner 7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12
RSVP: Please RSVP via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center
Sponsors: the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies and the Raytheon Company
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.