By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M Marketing & Communications
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the appointment of General Mark A. Welsh III as the new Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Welsh, currently the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, was appointed based on the recommendation of Texas A&M President Michael K. Young, Provost and Executive Vice President Karan L. Watson, as well as a search advisory committee. Welsh has announced an Air Force retirement date of July 1 and will assume his new position at the Bush School on August 15.
Welsh will succeed current Bush School Dean Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
“I could not be more pleased with, or thankful for, today’s announcement that General Mark Welsh will succeed Ryan Crocker as Dean of the Bush School,” says George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States and namesake of the Bush School. “Like Ryan, General Welsh has demonstrated uncommon leadership and an unwavering commitment to service throughout his distinguished career. I salute our wonderful partners at Texas A&M for making the absolute best decision for our students and faculty.”
Provost Watson says, “I am pleased that General Welsh will be bringing his vast experience and dedication in leading young people in service to our country through the military to the Bush School of Government and Public Service. I wish to thank the members of the search advisory committee, the faculty, staff and students of the Bush School, and the outstanding candidates whom we were able to attract.”
Welsh became the 20th Chief of Staff of the Air Force in August 2012, serving as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 664,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the General and other service chiefs function as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council, and the President. His most recent previous post was Commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Commander of NATO’s Air Command, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He also served as Associate Director of Military Affairs at the Central Intelligence Agency, and as Commandant of the United States Air Force Academy.
Welsh, who was born in San Antonio, says he and his wife, Betty, are thrilled to return to Texas. “Betty and I are incredibly excited about coming home to Texas, honored to join President Young and Provost Watson’s team at this great university, and privileged beyond belief to be associated with the remarkable faculty, staff and students of the Bush School. It was a thrill to even be considered for this position; being selected is a wonderful challenge! I’m so thankful for the tremendous standard Dean Ryan Crocker set during his tenure and excited about the future of the Bush School and Texas A&M University. I’ve got a lot to learn…I can’t wait to get started!”
Welsh earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a Master of Science degree in computer resource management from Webster University, and graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College, the Air War College, and the National War College. He was a fellow of Seminar XXI at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a fellow of the National Security Studies Program of Syracuse University and Johns Hopkins University, a fellow of Ukrainian Security Studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a fellow of the Pinnacle Course of the National Defense University, and a graduate of the General Manager Program at the Harvard Business School. He has received numerous awards and decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, and the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster.
Provost Watson expressed enormous gratitude on behalf of the university for Crocker’s service as Bush School dean. “I want to recognize Ambassador Ryan Crocker for his almost six years of service as dean,” she notes. “His commitment to the college and to Texas A&M University has been critical to advancing our mission of teaching, research and service. His leadership has helped increase the school’s outstanding reputation of offering new approaches to public service for a complex and changing future.”