Dr. Margaret “Meg” Harrell is the Chief Program Officer at the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF). Prior to BWF, she was the Executive Director, Force Resiliency, for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and was responsible for the OSD offices and policy pertaining to sexual assault prevention and response, suicide prevention, diversity management, equal opportunity, drug reduction, and personnel safety. She was also responsible for Department of Defense collaborative efforts with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Prior to her Pentagon appointment, Dr. Harrell was a senior social scientist and Deputy Director of the RAND 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 officer career management; the promotion and management of generals and admirals; assignment policies for military women; 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, Dr. Harrell was a presidentially-appointed commissioner on the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, 2013-2014. From July 2011 to August 2012, Dr. Harrell was Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security, where her research focused on military veteran suicide prevention and response, veteran wellness, and veteran employment.
She is a prior voting member of the Army Science Board, and has briefed international audiences, testified before Congress, spoken extensively at conferences, and guest lectured at the United States Military Academy. She holds a B.A. with Distinction from the University of Virginia, a M.S. 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 military culture.
Harrell resides in Lake Ridge, Va., with her husband, a U.S. Navy veteran.