Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Kwinn, Jr. has been selected President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pat Tillman Foundation, it was announced Thursday.
Kwinn, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, served 25 years as an Army officer with extensive experience in strategic planning for both the Department of Defense and for several not-for-profit organizations. He also obtained a Master's Degree at the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in Management Science at the University of Texas.
The Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) was established in memory of the late NFL Arizona Cardinals player who set aside his football career and enlisted in the Army in 2002. He was a member of the elite Army Rangers and died in defense of his country in Afghanistan in 2004. The Foundation's mission is to invest in military veterans and their families though education and community. In 2008, the Foundation created the Tillman Military Scholars program which has issued more than $2.2M in scholarships to veterans and their dependents so they may continue their education on the undergraduate and graduate level. The Foundation, which overall has invested more than $4 million in educational resources, also provides developmental experiences for these Tillman Military Scholars to provide them with opportunities to advance and serve.
"It is a great honor to join the Tillman Foundation team and the decision to do so was simple," said Kwinn. "Pat inspired me as he did so many as an individual to emulate and follow because of his values of commitment and courage in answering the call to duty. Marie Tillman, the Board of Directors, the tremendous staff and the legions of volunteers have built a great organization to honor Pat's legacy as a scholar, a leader and a man of character. I greatly look forward to continuing and furthering our Foundation's mission."
Kwinn, 49, retired from the Army in 2009. He most recently directed long-term planning and outreach for the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA) in Aberdeen, Maryland.
"I am sure that Mike Kwinn will carry on the tremendous legacy left by Pat Tillman and assist with the great work being done by the Tillman Foundation," said Michael Bidwill, Cardinals team president and a member of the Board of Directors for the Pat Tillman Foundation.
Kwinn's non-profit experience includes being President for the Friends4Michael Foundation which was established and named after his 14 year old son who died of a brain tumor in 2003. He also has been President and a member of the Board of Directors for the Military Operations Research Society (MORS), the largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering operations research analysis in the support of leaders in the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.
"We are pleased to have Michael Kwinn join our already strong Foundation staff, " said Marie Tillman, Pat's widow and Chairperson of the Tillman Foundation. "We found him to be a person of unquestionable trust and integrity during the search process. We are confident that he will be able to lead us into a new era of service to both military families and the greater community. Michael has tremendous pride in his military background and we believe that he will help make the Tillman Scholars program even more significant and prestigious than it already is."
Kwinn and his wife Brigitte, also a West Point graduate, live in Monroe, N.Y. with their four daughters.
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