Gen. Lori Robinson Named UNH Commencement Speaker

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Gen. Lori Robinson ‘81, the highest-ranking female general in U.S. history, will deliver the University of New Hampshire commencement address Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Photo: © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence: Sgt. Pete Gammie)

Alumna is first woman to lead a U.S. Armed Forces major combatant command

Gen. Lori Robinson ’81, the first woman to lead a major combatant command in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces, will deliver UNH’s commencement address on May 20.

In 2016 Robinson took over as commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) after entering the Air Force more than 30 years earlier through the ROTC program at UNH. NORAD conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning in defense of North America. Established after the Sept. 11 attacks, USNORTHCOM partners to conduct homeland defense, civil support and security cooperation to defend and secure the U.S. and its interests.

Prior to taking command of NORAD and USNORTHCOM, Robinson had been serving as commander of the Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii. Robinson also was the air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command and executive director of Pacific air combat operations staff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

In addition, Robinson commanded an operations group, a training wing, an air control wing and deployed as vice commander of the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing, leading more than 2,000 airmen in operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM.

She has served as an Air Force Fellow at the Brookings Institution and at the Pentagon as director of the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Executive Action Group.

Robinson has received the Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Aerial Achievement Medal, among others.

Robinson graduated from the College of Liberal Arts in 1981.

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