Proven leader will head the Foundation at critical new juncture
Today the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation announced that Michael “Rod” Rodriguez has been named the Foundation’s CEO and President. Rodriguez returns to the position of leading the Foundation which he held from March 2018 to September 2020 before taking a leave of absence for a personal matter and overseas deployment.
Rodriguez is a retired Special Forces Green Beret with ten deployments, from his first to Somalia with the 10th Mountain Division in 1993, to several deployments with 7th Special Forces Group while in uniform, to a recently completed deployment to Somalia in the summer of 2021. His last assignment as a Green Beret was as a Sniper Instructor at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (Range 37). After 21 years of continuous service, he was medically retired for numerous injuries he received while in service to our great nation.
“Our Board is united that Rod’s experience in the Global War on Terrorism and demonstrated leadership and coalition-building skills make him the right person at the right time to lead the Foundation going forward,” Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation Board Chairman Ted Skokos said. “Rod has proven his passion for building a Memorial since the organization’s earliest days, and we are glad to have him leading the way as we enter a crucial new period of planning and funding it.”
“I am humbled and honored that the Board of Directors has chosen me to once again help lead the Foundation in accomplishing its mission to construct a GWOT Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.,” said Rodriguez.
“Seeing this Memorial come to fruition is part of my life’s mission, and I will continue to strive alongside all of our allies to make it happen.”
“Rod genuinely understands the burdens and hopes of Gold Star families, veterans, and veteran family members who have been impacted by the Global War on Terrorism,” said retired Command Sergeant Major Isaia Vimoto, a GWOT Veteran and Gold Star Father. “Gold Star families and veterans can have confidence that he will do an outstanding job spearheading the Foundation’s efforts to honor all who have served and sacrificed in the Global War on Terrorism. I am honored to call him my brother and stand beside him.”
The Board also expressed appreciation for outgoing CEO and President Marina Jackman. “We thank Marina for her hard work in steering the organization through a critical period. During her tenure, the Foundation boosted its public profile, raised millions of dollars, and achieved an essential legislative victory in securing congressional authorization for a Memorial on the National Mall,” said Board Vice Chair Ken Hersh.
About Michael Rodriguez:
Michael “Rod” Rodriguez comes from a military family. Both his grandfathers served during World War II, and his father is a Vietnam veteran. His eldest son is currently serving with the 82nd Airborne Division and has deployed to the same regions of Afghanistan as Rod. Rodriguez has been an outspoken advocate for veterans and their families and often speaks publicly on the need to increase understanding between the civilian and military communities. A hobbyist metalworker and blacksmith, Rodriguez is a passionate advocate for the power of art to heal and inspire. Most importantly, he is a proud grandfather, father, and hermano to many.