The State University of New York Board of Trustees today unanimously appointed Rear Admiral Wendi Carpenter, USN, president of SUNY Maritime College. Admiral Carpenter is currently serving as the Commander of the Navy’s Warfare Development Command. The SUNY Board of Trustees voted on her appointment at a special meeting held on Thursday, June 30, 2011. Rear Admiral Carpenter is the first woman to serve as president of SUNY Maritime College.

Speaking of the newly appointed SUNY Maritime College president, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said, “Admiral Carpenter’s 30-plus years of naval experience and leadership make her ideally suited to be the next president of SUNY Maritime, where she is certain to enhance the college’s national reputation for excellence in academic, athletic, and leadership training. Admiral Carpenter is among the Navy’s elite, and she will be an outstanding addition to the SUNY leadership team.”

Carpenter was among the first women to be designated as a naval aviator. Graduating from flight school at the top of her class, she was selected for immediate duty as the first selectively retained graduate instructor pilot in the T-44 advanced multi-engine pipeline. In 2005, she became the Navy’s first woman aviator promoted to the rank of admiral.

College Council and Search Committee Chair Timothea Larr said, “Our extensive national search produced a strong pool of candidates from higher education, the Navy, and the maritime industry, all of which was a reflection of SUNY Maritime College’s recognized reputation for excellence. Admiral Carpenter emerged as an outstanding model of leadership and accomplishment. The search committee was highly impressed with Admiral Carpenter’s demonstrated record of leadership and significant executive accomplishments, as well as her training background and graduate studies. She will advance SUNY Maritime College’s vision of being first and foremost in international maritime education, training, and research.”

Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, said, “I applaud the selection of RADM Carpenter to head SUNY Maritime. She brings extraordinary experience and perspective from her many assignments in the U.S. Navy.”

Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, who has been tapped as the Navy’s next Chief of Naval Operations, said, “I have had the honor and privilege of serving with Admiral Wendi Carpenter for several years. She has a unique combination of intellect, leadership, and management. Wendi is among our most innovative and insightful Flag Officers. I predict great things at SUNY under her leadership.”

Admiral Carpenter said, “SUNY Maritime College is a unique campus that offers students some of the strongest, most competitive programs and training in the country. I am delighted to be considered for this position and grateful to Chancellor Zimpher, Chairwoman Larr, and the search committee for their confidence in my ability to serve as Maritime president. I look forward to putting my 30-plus years of Naval experience in many different areas of executive leadership into practice at SUNY Maritime College.”

Outgoing Maritime President Admiral John Craine said, “It has been an honor serving The State University of New York and Maritime College, and I am delighted to be turning over leadership to Admiral Wendi Carpenter. I have the utmost confidence that she will thrive as president and truly support and encourage the outstanding work of the students, faculty, and staff of this wonderful institution.”

About Rear Admiral Wendi B. Carpenter


Rear Admiral Wendi B. Carpenter is the daughter of an Air Force veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Raised throughout the United States, she graduated from the University of Georgia in 1976 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology.

Carpenter was commissioned in 1978 through Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla., and in July 1979 was designated a Naval Aviator. Graduating at the top of her class, she was assigned as the Navy’s first selectively retained graduate instructor pilot (SERGRAD) in the T-44 aircraft at VT-31, NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1981, she was ordered to sea duty with the “Ironmen” of VQ-3, NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, where she served as a mission commander, aircraft commander, and instructor pilot in the EC-130 F/G/Q aircraft. Carpenter deployed throughout the Pacific, western United States, and Alaska in support of the nation’s strategic nuclear triad. She completed a shore tour as an aviation assignments officer in Washington, D.C, and, in 1985, accepted a Reserve component commission.

Carpenter has held a total of five commands at the commander, captain, and flag level in the areas of logistics, training, and aviation in fleet, joint, and coalition operations, giving her a unique warfighting perspective. She has also completed numerous fleet and shore staff assignments.

Carpenter has accepted numerous recalls to active duty, including her current assignment. In June 2008, she assumed command of Navy Warfare Development Command where she and her team work to deliver capability for Navy, joint, and coalition forces through concept generation and development, doctrine, modeling and simulation, and experimentation.

Previous flag assignments include deputy commander, Navy Region Southeast; acting director, OPNAV N31 (Information, Plans, and Security); vice director, Standing Joint Forces HQ, U.S. Joint Forces Command; and deputy commander, Second Fleet. She has represented the United States in a number of coalition and NATO forums in Europe and Africa.

Carpenter has pursued graduate studies in marketing and holds a master of arts in international relations from Salve Regina University. She is a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College and completed Capstone 06-02, as well as executive programs in business, strategic planning, and innovation at National Defense University, Defense Acquisition University, University of North Carolina Business School, Chapel Hill, and Babson College. She has accumulated over 3,500 military flight hours.

Carpenter’s awards include Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (3), Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (5), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit awards. She is most proud of the FY01 DON CIO Award for “e-Business” in government, which was won by the 75-member team she led as Commanding Officer, DCNO N4, Fleet Readiness and Logistics.

About SUNY Maritime College

The first maritime school in the country, SUNY Maritime College couples its academic programs with a structured cadet life in the regiment for both men and women. SUNY Maritime offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, 20 varsity athletic teams, Summer Sea Terms to Europe aboard the training ship Empire State VI, five ROTC options, and US Coast Guard license and intern programs. SUNY Maritime prepares students for careers in the maritime industry, government, military, and private industry. Recent graduates of the college have benefited from nearly 100 percent job placement.

Source: Suny Maritime College

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