2 tapped for Naval Academy board

Bush nominates admiral, Harvard official for seats

March 09, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

WASHINGTON - President Bush nominated yesterday the former commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe to serve as a member of the Naval Academy's Board of Visitors and a top Harvard University official to another term.

Retired Adm. Leighton Smith Jr., a 1962 academy graduate who once served as commander in chief of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe, is a new nominee to the board; current member J. Bonnie Newman, executive dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, is being nominated to another term on the advisory board.

Both have been nominated to three-year terms; Senate confirmation is required.

The academy's 15-member board is part watchdog, part adviser. Its investigations and annual reports to the president have carried great weight over the years in shaping the school's goals and policies.

Smith, a naval aviator who flew more than 280 combat missions in North Vietnam and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, would replace departing board member Charles S. Robb, the former Democratic senator from Virginia, a Naval Academy spokeswoman said.

Smith, who was appointed to four-star rank in April 1994, served as commander-in-chief of Allied Forces Southern Europe, a NATO command position, in which he led operations in Bosnia. In December 1995, he also assumed command of the NATO-led Implementation Force there. He relinquished his commands in July 1996 and retired that year.

He also was chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Naval Academy Alumni Association.

Newman, of North Hampton, N.H., has been a member of the academy's Board of Visitors since March 2002. She has held positions in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

In 1983, Reagan nominated Newman as assistant secretary of Commerce for Economic Development where she served with Secretary Malcolm Baldridge. From 1989 to 1991, she oversaw all administrative operations for the White House and executive office of the president during the transition and Bush administration.

Newman served as the interim dean of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire from 1998 to 1999, and was the university's dean of students from 1972 to 1978.

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