HONOLULU–Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Dan “Fig” Leaf retired as the Director of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Friday with a ceremony highlighting his five years at the Center.
During the ceremony, Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, presented Leaf with a nomination for the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service award. The award highlights Leaf’s leadership, through which “he expanded DKI APCSS’ influence in Indo-Asia-Pacific security and led an engagement with Burma’s emerging democracy as the lead organization for the Department of Defense. His relationship with senior Vietnamese leaders resulted in a stronger US-Vietnam strategic partnership.”
Upon receiving the award, Leaf responded, “I thank all of you for ‘what I did’ because I didn’t do it all alone. Every time you heard ‘he’ in the citation or letter, it’s us…’we’…as a family. For that reason, I can’t be saddened. I feel good about leaving because the time is right, the institution is right, we’ve got a great interim leader, and we are a tremendous team. This is what good organizations do….How can you be sad about all the great work we’ve gotten to do together and the great work that will continue? It will continue. I have no doubt about that.”
Leaf joined the Center in January 2012. He spearheaded the Women, Peace, Security (WPS) initiative which has led DoD’s efforts under the Women, Peace, and Security National Action Plan. DKI APCSS is committed to fostering an inclusive security sector through engagement and executive education of security practitioners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region. Under his leadership, the Center also expanded its Security Sector Development program that focuses on effective and accountable security sector governance.
Prior to APCSS, he worked in the defense industry as vice president of full spectrum initiatives at Northrop Grumman Information Systems. Formerly the Deputy Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Leaf retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2008 after more than 33 years of service. A native of Shawano, Wis., he earned a BA in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned his commission as a distinguished graduate of the university’s Air Force ROTC program in 1974. He earned a master’s degree in military art & science from the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College where he also served as a member of the faculty. He was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2009 through 2011. Leaf was a command pilot with more than 3,600 flight hours, including F-15 and F-16 combat missions.
U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James Hartsell is serving as the interim director until a new director is selected.
For more photos of the event, go to the DKI APCSS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DKIAPCSS
DKI APCSS is a Department of Defense institute that addresses regional and global factors impacting the Asia-Pacific security environment. Military and civilian representatives from the United States and Asia-Pacific nations participate in a comprehensive program of executive education, professional exchanges and outreach events, both in Hawaii and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
The Center supports the U.S. Pacific Command by developing and sustaining relationships among security practitioners and national security establishments throughout the region. DKI APCSS’ mission is to build capacities and communities of interest by educating, connecting and empowering security practitioners to advance Asia-Pacific security. It is one of the Department of Defense’s five regional security studies centers.
Since opening in 1995, more than11,000 alumni representing over 122 countries and territories have attended DKI APCSS courses and workshops.