Leadership

Wilma L Vaught
President Emeritus

Wilma L. Vaught

President

Phyllis J. Wilson 

Chief of Staff
Robin Johnson
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VP of Development
Marilla Cushman
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Memorial Director
Donna Houle
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Curator
Britta Granrud
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Director of Programs
Matt Leifer
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Director of Strategic Communications
Crystal Jackson
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Director of Finance
Matt Ryan
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Board of Directors

Espey (Ted) Browning, is the Chair of the Foundation Board’s Audit Committee

He currently serves as an Executive Lecturer in the College of Business at James Madison University. He has been a Partner at Ernst & Young, a Partner at Johnson Lambert, LLP, an Adjunct Professor at The College of William and Mary Raymond A. Mason School of Business, Montgomery College and the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. In addition to his support to the Women’s Memorial, Mr. Browning currently serves on the Joint Trial Board of the American Institute of CPAs. He has served on other boards and committees to include chairing the Professional Ethics Committee of the Maryland Association of CPAs. 

Mr. Browning is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He holds a BS in Accounting from Smith School of Business and an MS from the University of Maryland University College. He co-authored the United Way Guide to Implementation of New Accounting Standards as well as multiple articles on ethics and gifts-in-kind. 

Master Sergeant (Retired) Melissa Crane, USMC, is a member of the Foundation Board’s Audit Committee. 

Melissa entered the Marine Corps in 1982 and served in several key administrative positions to include with the Division Inspector General, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton and as Administrative Chief to the 12th and 13th Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps. She was later assigned as the Audit Chief and as the Assistant to the Director of the Marine Corps Non-Appropriated Fund Audit Service (MCNAFAS), Headquarters Marine Corps. She retired from the Marine Corps in 2003 after 21 years of service. 

She is currently with the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., and serves as the Assistant Director, Assurance and Financial Reporting. In this assignment she is responsible for providing financial support to the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters’ offices to include the Office of the Secretary, Executive Management, and the offices within the Under Secretary for Management. She has previously served as a Senior Auditor at the Department of Transportation and Auditor-In-Charge at the Department of Justice. Her other non-profit contributions include serving as the Treasurer for Young Marines. 

Mrs. Crane is a Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Government Auditing Professional. She holds master’s degrees in both Business Administration and Accounting. 

Brenda D. Davis is a member of the Foundation Board’s Finance and Investment Committee. 

She served in the United States Marine Corps from 1984 until 1990. While her military occupational specialty was Ground Supply, she also filled Training non-commissioned officer billets and several secondary billets. 

After her activeduty service, she continued her involvement with the Marine Corps by serving as a Key Volunteer. This affiliation propelled her into other volunteer arenas, including leadership positions in the Greater New Orleans Council of the Navy League, Joint Family Readiness Program, Joint Task Force Civil Support, and Marine Forces Reserve. Brenda joined the Marine Corps Family Team Building staff for Marine Forces Reserve (MFR) in 2011, traveling throughout the country facilitating Lifestyles, Insight, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills (LINKS) for families of Marines and life skills curriculum for the Marines, Sailors, and their family members serving within MFR. In 2014, she became the Family Readiness Officer for Marine Forces Reserve, executing the family readiness vision of the Commander, MFR. 

She also served as the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Coordinator for MFR, ensuring that deployed Reserve members and their families were given an opportunity to properly reintegrate. Brenda resigned her position in 2016 to assume a full-time volunteer role with the Young Marines, a national youth organization promoting teamwork, discipline, and leadership for youth between the ages of eight until graduation from high school. Their drug demand reduction mission and veterans support agenda are of particular interest to her. She assists with the execution of national events, mentors and advises program participants, develops curriculum, and facilitates both youth and adult volunteers. 

Major General (Retired) Jan Edmunds, USA, is the Foundation Board Chairwoman and heads the Board’s Development Committee. 

MG Edmunds served 32 years in the US Army as a logistician, culminating her career as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Headquarters Department of the Army. Other key general officer assignments included command of the 19th Theater Support Command in Korea, Command of the 13th Corps Support Command at Fort Hood, Texas, and Command of the Army War Reserve Support Command in Rock Island, IL. After retiring, she was Senior Vice President for Logistics and Services with Cypress International, consulting in the Defense and Aerospace market for 7 years. She continues to support clients part time. 

Her other activities include the Board Directors for BRTRC, a Defense professional services company; Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Old Dominion University’s Research Foundation; and former member of a Defense Science Board Task Force assessing options such as small modular reactors and other alternative energy sources for energy delivery at forward and remote operating bases. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Edinboro State University, an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology, and is a graduate of the US Army War College. She also holds a commercial pilot rating. 

Dr. Julie Englund is the Foundation Board Treasurer and Chair of the Board’s Finance and Investment Committee. 

She is a board member and active community volunteer with broad experience in higher education, public policy research organizations, and not-for-profits. 

Formerly, she was Executive Vice President and Secretary to the Board of Achieving the Dream, a non-profit dedicated to reforming practices in community colleges. She served as Chief Financial Officer of the National Academy of Sciences, Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration at The Catholic University, Dean for Administration at Harvard Law School, and Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration at The Brookings Institution, Senior Vice President for Finance, Administration, and Membership with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and Associate Vice President at Hood College. Her career also includes federal service. 

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Cedar Crest College and a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Wilson College where for nine years she served as the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Investment Subcommittee, member of the Executive Committee, and member and Treasurer of the Board of the Humane Society University. 

Julie earned a Masters of City Planning degree and a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University. Her BA degree, magna cum laude, is from Briarcliff College. She is the daughter of WWII military pilot Irene Englund, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). 

Brigadier General (Retired) Barbara A Goodwin, USAF, is the Foundation Board Secretary and a member of the Board’s Finance and Investment Committee. 

Her 30-year career as an Air Force officer and nurse provided numerous opportunities for experiences at all levels of organization and leadership positions, culminating with her  

selection as Chief, USAF Nurse Corps. In 1992, following retirement she joined the American Red Cross and was a member of the Blood Services department as a Collection Specialist until retiring in 2013. In addition, she earned credentials in the Travel and Tourism industry and continues to serve as a Travel counselor with a local agency in Maryland. 

Over the years, she has continued to be an active participant in community organizations with emphasis on Women and Veterans associations including Business and Professional Women’s Foundation; Military Officer Association of America (MOAA); a former director on the Board of the Air Force Retired Officers Corporation which oversees a Continuing Care Retirement Community (Falcons Landing), and local parish ministries. 

General Goodwin earned an MSN from the University of Colorado, BSN from the University of Pennsylvania and a Diploma in Nursing from the Boston City Hospital School of Nursing. She is a graduate of the Air War College. 

Rear Admiral (Retired) Nancy Lescavage, USN, is the Foundation Board Vice Chair and a member of the Board’s Governance Committee. 

Admiral Lescavage most recently served as the Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In this role, she planned and directed the policy, operations and execution of the Bureau of Facility Licensure and Certification and the Bureau of Community Program Licensure and Certification. 

She served on active duty in the United States Navy for over 35 years and rose to the rank of rear admiral while holding a variety of leadership, business, education, clinical and legislative liaison roles. Most notably, she was the 20th Director of the Navy Nurse Corps and was the Director of TRICARE Regional Office – West, overseeing managed care support contracts and an integrated health care delivery system covering 21 states and 2.7 million eligible TRICARE beneficiaries. 

Nancy earned her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania along with a Certificate of Management from the Wharton School of Business. She obtained a baccalaureate degree from the University of Maryland and a diploma in nursing from Saint Joseph Hospital in Reading, Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of numerous military, civic, academic and leadership awards including the Outstanding Federal Health Care Executive Award. 

Brigadier General (Retired) Eden Murrie, USAF, is a member of the Board’s Governance Committee. 

Her “day job” is the Chief Operating Officer of Operation Stand Down Tennessee a 501(c)(3) that focuses on helping Veterans and their families by engaging, equipping, and empowering them with a wide range of services, including employment assistance, VA benefits assistance, networking, housing, and more. 

General Murrie is the Board Chair for Rock The Street, Wall Street. She is also a board member for the Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes, Mission Getting to Next Foundation, Centerstone Military Services and the Davidson County Veterans Court Foundation. Additionally, she is an adviser for the Nashville YWCA Dress for Success program. 

Prior to her current position, General Murrie culminated a 29-year Air Force career as the Director of Air Force Services in Washington, D.C. As a member of the Air Force executive management team, she was responsible for the development and execution of a $2 billion portfolio of worldwide programs. She has senior executive experience including working on the National Security Staff for the White House, serving on the staff of a Member of Congress and leading multinational organizations. 

She is also a master navigator with over 2400 flying hours. Her flying career included serving as an instructor and evaluator in three different aircraft. She is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and has MAs in Political Science and National Security Strategy and an MBA from Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management. She has a Certificate from Georgetown University in Legislative Affairs; a Certificate from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy with a Certification in Fundraising Management and is a graduate of Harvard’s Executive Fellows Program. 

Mariah S. Sixkiller is a member of the Board’s Development Committee. 

She is Managing Partner of Sixkiller Consulting LLC, where she formulates public policy strategies for high profile private and non-profit clients with defense, veteran’s affairs, intelligence and foreign policy equities. 

From 2006 to 2014, Ms. Sixkiller was National Security Advisor to a senior leader in the House of Representatives. In that role, she advised her boss and other Members of Congress and helped manage committee activity related to foreign policy, defense, homeland security, and intelligence issues. 

Prior to that role, Ms. Sixkiller worked as a Senator’s foreign policy advisor, providing support on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in the Senator’s office, as well as for another Senator as her Director of Research. Earlier in her career, Ms. Sixkiller  

held a political appointment at the White House Office of Management and Budget and worked as a government affairs analyst in both the non-profit and private sectors. 

She is originally from Boston, graduated with honors from Brown University, and now splits her time between Seattle and Washington, D.C. 

Brigadier General (Retired) Allyson Solomon, MD ANG, is a member of the Board’s Governance Committee. 

An experienced non-profit leader, she is also President of the National Guard Youth Foundation. General Solomon served nearly 36 years as a member of the Air National Guard, as an enlisted woman and then as an officer. Among her many accomplishments as a trailblazer and leader, she was the first African American women to be appointed as a senior commander in the Maryland Air National Guard. In 2003, she became the first woman and the first African American woman to be promoted to Colonel in Maryland National Guard History.  

In 2006, General Solomon was selected to serve as the Chief of the General Officer Management Office at the National Guard Bureau, Washington, D.C. Reporting directly to the Chief, NGB, her office was responsible for managing the careers and training of over 350 general officers nationwide. Later, she become the first female and African American brigadier general, as well as the first female and African American assistant adjutant general, in the Maryland National Guard’s 374-year history. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she moved to Maryland with her family in 1971. She received a BA in Business Administration from Loyola University and an MA in Public Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. She has been recognized as a professional and role model by the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame for civic programs in the community. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.; the National Guard Association of the United States; and the National Guard Association of Maryland. 

Lieutenant Commander (Retired) Kimberly Torbert, USCG, is a member of the Board’s Development Committee. 

LCDR Torbert served over 27 years in the United States Coast Guard. She began her career as a Machinery Technician in 1989 and received her Commission in 2000 through the Coast Guard Reserve Direct Commission program. Her assignments have included all aspects of Coast Guard operations from force allocation to deployment operations. Additionally, she served as the primary liaison to the Department of Defense and Homeland Security, developing contingency operations for specialized force deployments and served as lead for the Atlantic Area Operations and Deployable Operations Group. 

Other assignments included Protocol Officer to the Commandant of the Coast Guard and External Affairs Officer at the Deployable Operations Group. LCDR Torbert holds a degree in Geology and Environmental Monitoring from the University of Hawaii,  

Winward Community College and a Bachelor’s in Business Management, Marketing and Related Support Services from American Military University. As an entrepreneur, she is co-owner of KinderBike, the leading U.S. manufacturer and innovator of quality run bikes. 

The Honorable Caryn Wagner is a member of the Board’s Governance Committee. 

She has over 35 years of experience in the intelligence, national and homeland security fields. She served at the intersection of national and homeland security as the Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, responsible for meeting the intelligence and information needs of the Department as well as of State, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement officials. 

Earlier in her career, Ms. Wagner, as the Deputy Director for Analysis and Production at the Defense Intelligence Agency, was responsible for intelligence analysis for the Department of Defense. She also served as the first Chief Financial Officer for the National Intelligence Program after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created in 1994. Prior to that, she served as the head of its smaller predecessor organization, the Intelligence Community Management Staff. Ms. Wagner served five years on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as a Sub-Committee Staff Director and as Committee Budget Director. She began her intelligence career as a Signals Intelligence officer in the United States Army, serving in Texas, Arizona and Germany. 

Ms. Wagner received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History from the College of William and Mary, and a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.