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Contact Commencement  


Spring 2018 Speakers

Undergraduate Ceremonies

SATURDAY, MAY 12th 9:00 AM

Colonel Deborah J. Chase (Ret.) '76

Colonel Deborah J. Chase served in the U.S. Army for more than 27 years, earning the Legion of Merit award and gaining an enviable reputation as a leader in program management and acquisition at senior levels in the Department of Defense. She carried that expertise to the defense industry upon her retirement from the Army in 2005.

Colonel Chase enlisted as a private first class in air traffic control and held multiple positions of increasing responsibility during her military career. She was commissioned in the Signal Corps and transferred to Army Aviation upon completion of flight training. As director, aviation/intelligence, electronic warfare, and sensors, she led a 22-person team of acquisition professionals engaged in the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process for programs which comprised approximately 20 percent of the total Army obligation authority for R&D and procurement. She was rated as a pilot for both rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft.

Colonel Chase joined Raytheon, a major U.S. defense contractor and industrial corporation, in 2007, retiring last year as director of program management. In her most recent position she supported the vice president for NATO programs and CEO of the Thales/Raytheon joint venture located in France and who were responsible for providing integrated air defense and airspace management to as many as 11 nations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance. Her accomplishments in that role included leadership of an international, multi-functional team that completed the previously delayed NATO Air Command & Control System delivery to Germany and Belgium. Prior to moving to France, she was the program director for the team that designed, installed, and maintained the perimeter security system for the four major airports in the metro-New York City area. Colonel Chase was hired at Raytheon as product area director for a business element that provided command & control capabilities to the United States Multi-national Forces - Iraq and the Missile Defense Agency. Prior to joining Raytheon, Colonel Chase was a director of business development for BAE Systems, North America, a defense contractor based in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Recipient of West Chester University’s President’s Award in 2015, Colonel Chase joined the WCU Foundation board of trustees in 2013 and continues to serve the University in that capacity. As a student at West Chester, she was a member of lacrosse, field hockey, and swim teams and was selected for the University’s Sturzebecker Hall of Fame in 2013. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Health & Physical Education from West Chester University (1976); a Master of Science, Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (1989); and Master of Science, National Resource Strategy, from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University (2002).

Saturday, May 12th 2:00 PM

Mr. Jack Devine '62

Jack Devine is a 32-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served as the director of the CIA’s worldwide operations in the mid-1990s. In that role, he had supervisory authority over thousands of CIA employees involved in sensitive intelligence operations throughout the world. Mr. Devine also served as chief of the Latin American Division and headed the CIA’s Counternarcotics Center, which was responsible for working with U.S. and foreign law enforcement agencies in tracking worldwide narcotics organizations. During his tenure, the Medellín Cartel, a ruthless Colombian drug cartel, and one of its principal leaders, Pablo Escobar, met their demise. In all, his international resume includes postings to seven Latin American and European countries; in five of these countries, he served as CIA station chief.

In the mid-1980s, Mr. Devine headed the CIA’s Afghan Task Force, which successfully countered Soviet aggression in Afghanistan in what is popularly known as “Charlie Wilson’s War.” For his efforts, Mr. Devine was awarded the CIA’s Meritorious Officer Award, a recognition he received several times during his career. He was also the recipient of the Agency’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal.

A recognized expert in intelligence matters, Mr. Devine has written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The World Policy Journal, Politico, and The Atlantic Monthly. He has also made guest appearances on television and radio, including on CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CSPAN, Bloomberg News, History and Discovery channels, PBS, NPR, and ABC Radio. He has been a speaker at National Press Club events.

In the private sector, Mr. Devine is a founding partner and president of The Arkin Group LLC, which specializes in international crisis management and strategic intelligence. He currently serves on the advisory boards of Kohl’s cyber security group, Irongate Capital Advisors, and SAP National Security Services (NS2). He was a member of the Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A 1962 graduate of West Chester University, he holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Villanova University.

Mr. Devine’s book, Good Hunting! An American Spymaster’s Story, was published in 2014 and is a New York Times bestseller. It focuses on his Agency career and the role of covert action in the past and the future.


Mr. Chip Smith, '70, 'M'81

Chip Smith is president and a co-founder of Fedora Security Group, a security technology company with offices in Charlotte, New York, Tel Aviv, and London. Until recently, Mr. Smith served as the interim CEO of Action Target, a leading global supplier, manufacturer, and designer of superior shooting ranges and equipment for law enforcement, military, and commercial markets.

From 2000-2011, Mr. Smith was the chief security officer for the Bank of New York Mellon, a global leader in the financial markets. There, he directed a worldwide security program which encompassed the investigation and prevention of fraud-related activities and the physical protection of corporate assets, employees, customers, and executives.

Mr. Smith retired from the United States Secret Service after 24 years. He held a variety of positions in field offices and headquarters, culminating with his appointment as the special agent in charge of the New York Field Office, the Service’s largest and busiest office. During his career with the Service, Mr. Smith was assigned to both the Presidential and the Vice Presidential Protective Divisions and he served as special assistant to the United States Secretary of the Treasury. He was also security coordinator for several high-profile venues, including: the U.S. delegation attending the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, in 1992; the presidential inaugural activities of 1993; the dedication of the Holocaust Museum, in Washington, D.C., in 1994; and the visit of Pope John Paul II to New York in 1995. In 1996, he supervised the protective detail assigned to U.S. presidential candidate Robert Dole.

An honorary board member of the Marty Lyons Foundation, Mr. Smith also serves on several advisory boards, including the private equity firm Dubin Clark & Company, Inc. He is a member of the board of directors of Fedora Security and Action Target and previously served as chairman of the Bankers and Brokers Security Roundtable in New York City. Mr. Smith was a founding director of Argyle Security and served as chairman of Argyle’s compensation committee.

Mr. Smith holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Criminal Justice from West Chester University.

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