General C. Robert “Bob” Kehler, USAF (ret)
General Bob Kehler retired from the United States Air Force in December 2013 after almost 39 years of distinguished service. From January 2011 until November 2013 he served as the Commander, United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), where he was directly responsible to the Secretary of Defense and President for the plans and operations of all U. S. forces conducting strategic deterrence, nuclear alert, global strike, space, cyberspace and associated operations. While in command, he crafted and implemented policies and plans to deter strategic attacks against the U.S. and its key allies and led a joint team of over 160,000 military and civilian members conducting global deterrence operations while supporting combat actions in the Middle East and North Africa. General Kehler’s military career encompassed progressively important operational, command, staff, and joint assignments. Prior to commanding USSTRATCOM, the general commanded United States Air Force Space Command and two operational space wings conducting space launch, missile warning, and space control missions. He also commanded an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) squadron and group. At Air Force Space Command, he designed the Air Force’s inaugural blueprint, operating concept, organizational structure, and personnel program to meet rapidly growing cyberspace challenges.
General Kehler entered the Air Force in 1975 as a Distinguished Graduate of the Pennsylvania State University R.O.T.C. program, has master’s degrees in Public Administration and National Security and Strategic Studies, and completed executive development programs at Carnegie-Mellon University, Syracuse University, and Harvard University. His military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal (2 awards), Legion of Merit (3 awards), and the French Legion of Honor (Officer). General Kehler continues to offer his expertise as a consultant, non-executive corporate director of two international aerospace companies, and as a Trustee of the Mitre Corporation. He speaks widely on matters of national security and is highly sought for panels, studies, Congressional testimony, and workshops addressing the most compelling issues of national security in the 21st Century.
General Kehler was the S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies for academic year 2014-2015 and remains an Affiliate of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. He is a Senior Fellow of the National Defense University. A Distinguished Alumnus of the Pennsylvania State University, General Kehler and his wife have two married sons and a grandson. In his spare time Bob enjoys playing the guitar, swinging enthusiastically at a golf ball, and family activities.