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Alexandria, Va. -The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) today announced its board of directors has unanimously selected retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, a distinguished military officer and seasoned private-sector business leader, as its new president and chief executive officer. The appointment is effective as of Jan. 4, 2016.
Atkins will succeed retired Navy Vice Adm. Norbert R. Ryan, who has led the association since 2002 and announced his retirement earlier in 2015.
In his new role at MOAA, Atkins will lead the more than 390,000 members of the nation's largest military service organization and fourth-largest veterans service organization in its advocacy mission on behalf of the entire uniformed services community.
Atkins has been the president of Chronicle Media, a large communications company providing print and digital media products in the Augusta, Ga., metro area, since his 2012 retirement from the Air Force.
“We are delighted to have someone with Lieutenant General Atkins' stature, leadership ability and business experience to assume the president and CEO position,” said retired Air Force Gen. Tony Robertson, chairman of MOAA's board of directors. He continued, “A strong, top-quality career force requires compensation and a benefits package that is commensurate with the extraordinary demands and sacrifices imposed upon it. Dana brings a proven track record of strategic military and corporate leadership that makes him the absolute right choice to lead MOAA and our advocacy efforts into the future.”
At the time of his retirement from the Air Force, Atkins, a Portland, Ore., native, served as the commander of Alaskan Command, Alaska NORAD Region, Joint Task Force Alaska and 11th Air Force at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
During his career in the Air Force, Atkins served as a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours in fighter aircraft, as vice commander of the 7th Air Force and U.S. Air Force Korea, as director of operations (J3) U.S. Pacific Command and as special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe during the air war over Serbia. During his career, he flew as a demonstration pilot for both the European A-10 demonstration team and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
Atkins earned his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Portland. He also holds two master's degrees, one in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and another in national security strategy from the National War College.
“I am honored by the confidence expressed in me by the MOAA board and to have the opportunity to continue serving the uniformed services, veterans and retirees and their families and surviving spouses,” said Atkins. “I look forward to working with the MOAA team and its partners in a time of great challenges. I see this opportunity as a natural intersection where my experience and passion can best serve the membership of MOAA.”
Atkins has taken an active role in his community, serving on the boards of directors for Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) Alliance for Fort Gordon, United Way of CSRA, University Health Care System, American Red Cross of Augusta and Augusta Warrior Project and on the developmental board for the Air Force Enlisted Village.
He and his wife, Laura, were the 2004 recipients of the General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award, which recognizes the wing commander and spouse whose contributions to the nation, the Air Force and the local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple. Atkins and his wife have two children, a son who served in the Air Force and is currently a student at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a daughter who earned her doctorate in education and teaches in Washington state.