American Public University System Names National Security Expert Chair of Homeland Security, Public Safety Academic Programs

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Gwen Hall -- an internationally recognized national security expert and former Air Force Academy professor who holds a doctorate in national security studies -- is the new department chair for American Public University System's public sector and critical infrastructure academic department.

The department's homeland security degree program was one of the nation's first -- and remains one of the largest, with more than 900 students currently pursuing bachelor's and master's degrees. Overall, the University System ( ) serves more than 12,000 distance-learning students through its two institutions, American Military University and American Public University.

Hall has held leadership positions in homeland security and other areas for the public and private sectors and the military. Her most recent military assignment was chief of the Air Force national security policy division at the Pentagon. She designed and implemented the biological defense task force initiative.

"Our students will immediately benefit from Dr. Hall's incredible wealth of expertise," says Dr. Frank McCluskey, provost for the University System ( ). "We are pleased to have someone of Hall's caliber leading one of our most important programs."

"American Public University System has played a key role in educating those who serve and protect our country," says Hall. "I'm proud to be part of such an institution -- and look forward to taking the program to even greater levels."

Hall also is a senior director with Hicks & Associates, where she consults on homeland security issues for the federal government. As a staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives select committee on homeland security, she maintained a committee portfolio on issues that included nuclear proliferation, radiological and chemical weapons, counter proliferation and non- proliferation, and homeland defense.

Hall served for more than 28 years in the U.S. Air Force. She retired in 2002 as a lieutenant colonel. She served as director of the Combined Forces Air Component Commander's (CFACC) action group, based in Saudi Arabia. She recommended troop realignments prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Hall also held leadership positions and was a professor of political science at the Air Force Academy.

She has published numerous articles, including a nuclear weapons study that Department of Defense schools include in their programs. She earned her doctorate at the University of Maryland.

American Public University System offers more than 50 online degree programs preparing students for careers in homeland security, emergency management, national security, intelligence, public safety and more. The school is online at