The Bob Woodruff Foundation is pleased to welcome Dr. Margaret Harrell as its new director of programs and partnerships. Harrell brings extensive leadership and expertise in military and veteran issues to the new position, in which she will be responsible for the oversight and execution of BWF’s charitable programs and their integration into the overall operations and strategy of the organization.
“The Bob Woodruff Foundation links together, supports, and helps improve innovative programs that address the continuing challenges of veterans and their families,” said Harrell. “I am excited to join the BWF team, increase our collective understanding of efficacy—which programs successfully address veterans’ challenges—and partner with those organizations to increase their impact.”
Harrell most recently served as executive director for force resiliency, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and was responsible for developing policies, providing oversight, and integrating activities pertaining to sexual assault prevention and response, suicide prevention, diversity management, equal opportunity, drug reduction, personnel safety, and for Department of Defense collaborative efforts with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“Meg is well-versed in the unique challenges facing today’s military and veteran community, and her established body of work emphasizes transparent analysis that translates into meaningful recommendations and decisions,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, executive director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “We’re eager to apply this rigor to our charitable investment decisions, as we continue to build our best-in-class team to carry out our mission.”
Prior to her appointment at OSD, Harrell was a senior social scientist and deputy director of the RAND Corporation’s Arroyo Center, where she researched military manpower and personnel, military families and quality of life, and veterans’ issues. She led or co-led projects addressing the health and wellness of veterans; resiliency of military families; and sexual assault prevention and response policy. Her research portfolio includes approximately 70 publications.
Concurrent with her time at RAND, Harrell served as a presidential appointee to the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, 2013-2014. Before that, Harrell served as a senior fellow and director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. She is a prior voting member of the Army Science Board, and has also briefed international audiences, testified before Congress, spoken extensively at conferences and guest lectured at the United States Military Academy.
Harrell holds a Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, from the University of Virginia, a Master of Science in systems analysis and management from the George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Virginia, where her dissertation focused on the role expectations for Army spouses.
Harrell resides in Lake Ridge, Va., with her husband, a U.S. Navy veteran.
About the Bob Woodruff Foundation: The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans. To date, BWF has invested more than $33 million to find, fund and shape programs that have empowered more than 2.5 million impacted veterans, service members and their families. For more information, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.