Major General Mari K. Eder

Major General Mari K. Eder retired from the U.S. Army in May 2013 with 36 years of service to the nation. A Pennsylvania native, Maj. Gen. Eder grew up in Stoneboro, PA, graduating from Lakeview High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (Cum Laude, with honors) and Master of Arts degree in English from Edinboro University and a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA. She received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Edinboro in 2013. She is also a graduate of the advanced program in mass communications at the University of South Carolina and completed the Training with Industry Fellowship with Fleishman-Hilliard Public Relations in Washington, DC. Additionally, she is a graduate of senior executive and leadership programs at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan Flagler School of Business, the National Defense University, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In 2011, she received the Vatican award of the Knight, Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great from Pope Benedict XVI. There are about 200 people in the world who hold this chivalric knighthood. Now in her second term as Trustee with the U.S. Army War College
Foundation, she was elected to the Executive Committee in March, 2017 and serves as Board Secretary. She is the recipient of numerous civilian and military awards and recognitions. Her military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster) and the Meritorious Service Medal (with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters.) Maj. Gen. Eder was named an Honorary Member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps in 2011, an accolade only accorded to two other individuals previously. She was named to the Communications Hall of Fame at Edinboro University of PA in 2013 and inducted into the Army Public Affairs Hall of Fame in 2017 and became the fourth recipient of the prestigious Joe Galloway Lifetime Achievement Award. In May of 2018 she will be inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame at Lakeview High School, Stoneboro, PA.

Today, Maj. Gen. Eder consults, advises, and speaks frequently at colleges and universities on communications and leadership topics, including Syracuse University, Lander University, The University of Oklahoma, Georgia State University Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, North Carolina State University Poole School of Management, as part of the Distinguished Lecture series at the University of Minnesota School of Business in 2017, and others. In 2006 she was selected as the 28 th Annual Vernon C. Schranz Distinguished Lectureship Recipient at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She gave the keynote address at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Symposium’s inaugural women’s leadership forum in October, 2017.

Maj.Gen. Eder has an established record of scholarship, research, and publishing. Her book, Leading the Narrative: The Case for Strategic Communication, is used in a number of university communications courses. She is the author of numerous case studies and articles on military ethics, leadership, and strategic communications as well as two books of children’s stories.

Maj. Gen Eder commanded at every level in the Army, from platoon through division level. She was selected for progressively challenging positions culminating in several executive leadership assignments at the highest levels. She was the highest ranking woman officer in the Army Reserve at the time of her retirement. Her last assignment was as the first Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Joint and Special Troops Support Command, headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT. She previously served as the first full-time Deputy Chief of the Army Reserve, and developed the Reserve communications enterprise, including recruiting and marketing communications and legislative liaison, led the nationwide Army Reserve Ambassador Program, and guided public affairs, community relations, and family support programs. Prior to this assignment, she served on the Department of the Army Staff at the Pentagon as the first full-time Deputy Chief of Public Affairs, during the period of initial operations in Iraq. She has had additional joint experience, serving with the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was assigned as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs. There she directed theater media relations during Kosovo and at the inception of Operation Enduring Freedom. She served as Chief of Staff for the Reserve Forces Policy Board in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2002-2004.

As a civilian, she served as the Director of Public Affairs at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. There she built the Center’s strategic plan for marketing communications and taught the role of a free press in democratic societies to government officials from over 36 nations.

In addition to serving as an adjunct professor and lecturer at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, the NATO School, Sweden’s International Security Command and at Norway’s military Command and Staff Centre. She has led and spoken at communications and public diplomacy conferences in Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, and Jordan and at the National Defense University, the Army War College, and the Naval War College.

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