Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer took only four days to appoint a new president of the Naval War College, naming Rear Adm. Shoshana S. Chatfield as the 58th superintendent of the historic institution, according to a statement released Friday.
Because she’s the first woman to take the helm of the Newport, Rhode Island, school, Spencer called her Friday appointment “a historic choice.”
"She is the embodiment of the type of warrior-scholar we need now to lead this storied institution as it educates our next generation of leaders,” he added.
Chatfield, 53, replaces Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, who was removed from his post following accusations of mismanagement and inappropriate behavior — allegations he has strongly denied.
Spencer predicted Chatfield "will play a pivotal role in leading the War College as it integrates into the new Naval University system we are now establishing to foster a culture of continuous learning in the naval services.”
A career helicopter pilot, she previously commanded the Providers of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 5, the Island Knights of Guam’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 and Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Ashore, she led a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan’s Farah Province.
A native of Garden Grove, California, Chatfield is a 1987 graduate of Boston University. She was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1988 and was pinned as a naval aviator a year later.
Between 2001 and 2004 she served as an assistant professor of political science at the Air Force Academy.
She earned a Master of Public Administration degree in 1997 from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of San Diego a dozen years later.