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DoD names new chief of family, MWR programs

Jul. 22, 2013 - 04:30PM   |  
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A former broadcast journalist has been named to oversee DoD’s family and morale, welfare and recreation programs.

Rosemary Freitas Williams took over in mid-July as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy — overseeing family programs, child development and youth programs, military spouse career programs, the voluntary education program for military personnel, tuition assistance, MWR, commissaries and exchanges, casualty and mortuary affairs, and other programs.

The job was held previously by Robert Gordon III, who resigned in July 2012 after two years to take a position in the private sector. Since then, Charles Milam has served as acting deputy assistant secretary.

Williams most recently served as a vice president at Reingold, Inc., a social marketing and strategic communications firm, where she was responsible for media relations and oversight of the company’s public awareness campaigns, focusing on issues affecting veteran and military communities, according to biographical information provided on DoD’s website.

Williams also worked in the public sector as director for communication and public liaison for the Office of Personnel Management, and before that, as senior adviser for strategic communications to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. In that position, she was VA’s representative to the White House Council on Military Families.

In her 25 years in broadcast journalism, her awards include the Edward R. Murrow Award for a documentary on apartheid in South Africa, and a National Emmy Award for team coverage of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

She was involved in a number of network start-ups, including MSNBC, where she served as executive producer of news.

Williams is the author of “Maritime Annapolis — a History of Watermen, Sail & Midshipmen.”

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