JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 16, 2016 -- The Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Michael S. Linnington to the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective July 18, 2016. Mr. Linnington is joining WWP from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), where he was appointed Director by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in 2015. His decorated 35-year military career includes three tours in combat operations and key command positions in numerous assignments around the world.
As permanent CEO of WWP, Mr. Linnington will oversee the organization's day-to-day operations and set the strategic vision to guide the organization forward. He will be responsible for ensuring that WWP's free, direct programs and services continue to have the greatest possible impact on the more than 100,000 warriors, WWP Alumni, caretakers and families who rely on the organization's life-changing services. He will be based at WWP's headquarters in Jacksonville and will report to the WWP Board of Directors.
'Mike's extensive military experience and proven leadership credentials make him the perfect candidate to lead WWP,' said Anthony Odierno, Chairman of the WWP Board of Directors. 'Mike understands the unique needs of our nation's veteran community, is a collaborative team-builder, and is deeply committed to fulfilling our mission of honoring and empowering Wounded Warriors. I am excited for WWP's path forward under his leadership.'
'I have long held the utmost respect and appreciation for Wounded Warrior Project's vital mission, and I am excited to join them as CEO,' said Mr. Linnington. 'When our wounded veterans return home from combat, they rely on WWP and the organization's dedicated team to provide necessary physical and mental health services, as well as economic empowerment and engagement programs that make a meaningful impact on their lives, and the lives of their families and caregivers. Being part of an organization committed to this important mission is a sacred duty and solemn responsibility. I look forward to working with the entire WWP team, including interim Chief Operating Officer Major General Charlie Fletcher and the Board of Directors to continue to serve our nation's bravest.'
While serving as Director of DPAA, Mr. Linnington led the U.S. government's efforts to research, investigate, recover and identify our nation's missing/unaccounted for personnel from our nation's past conflicts. Prior to his retirement from U.S. Army as a Lieutenant General, Mr. Linnington served as the Military Deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) and as the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington/Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region. He also held General Officer positions of responsibility as Deputy Commanding General at Fort Benning, Ga.; Commandant of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; and Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Policy for the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC) in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Mr. Linnington's combat tours include command of the Third Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is an Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder and Ranger qualified officer, and earned the Expert Infantryman's Badge and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. Mr. Linnington graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, N. Y. He earned a master's degree in Applied Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master's degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College.
In conjunction with Mr. Linnington's appointment, interim Chief Operating Officer Major General Charlie Fletcher has agreed to remain with the organization during a transition period. The WWP Board of Directors also announced that it expects to add up to four additional members to the Board by the end of the year. The organization remains dedicated to ensuring that WWP maintains its lifetime commitment to serving our nation's injured veterans.
WWP's Board worked closely with Korn Ferry, an executive search advisory firm, as part of the CEO search process.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.