Gail H. McGinn '73

President, McGinn Consulting, LLC

Arlington, Va.

Trustee Gail H. McGinn '73, president of McGinn Consulting, LLC, based in Arlington, Va., and former administrator with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has dedicated her life to serving others while ensuring soldiers and their families receive proper support.

An expert in her field, McGinn's current work focuses on military family issues, foreign language education, wounded warrior matters and leadership training. In addition, she serves on the Board of Governors for the National Military Family Association. Before launching her consulting career, McGinn worked for 37 years with the DOD, most recently as deputy undersecretary of defense for plans.

While employed at the Pentagon, McGinn worked scrupulously to develop programs centered on military family support, child development, domestic violence prevention, and casualty and mortuary affairs policies. With the DOD, McGinn served as one of the highest ranking civilian women and was the senior career official responsible for policy oversight of the DOD's community quality of life program.

During her service, McGinn took part in the operation of a Department of Defense K-12 school system in the United States and overseas, as well as a commissary and military exchange system to supply groceries and goods to military personnel and their families located around the world. In addition, McGinn served as the senior language authority for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and worked to improve DOD foreign language capabilities. She also developed measures geared toward addressing sexual assault within the U.S. Armed Forces.

Throughout her remarkable career with the DOD, McGinn earned numerous honors, including three awards from the President of the United States, one of which is the highest award for federal service: the Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award. In 2009, McGinn also won the DOD Senior Professional Women's Association's Excellence in Leadership Award, which recognizes exemplary leadership, professionalism and advocacy in breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for women. In addition, she received the DOD Award for Distinguished Civilian Service.

Earlier in her career, McGinn was the director of program analysis and evaluation at the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center. Preceding that, McGinn worked on the U.S. Army staff and served on a special task force that inaugurated family programs in the Department of the Army. Her career also afforded her the opportunity to work abroad, including three years in Frankfurt, Germany.

McGinn received a bachelor's degree in psychology from William Smith in 1973. She graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. While at the Colleges, she was a member of the William Smith judicial board, the Echo and Pine yearbook and the Dean's List. McGinn went on to earn an Ed.M. from Boston University in 1980.

A dedicated member of the HWS community, McGinn currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees, including as chair of the academic affairs committee and as a member of the audit and compliance committee. In 2005, McGinn won the esteemed William Smith Alumna Achievement Award. In 2011, she was an invited lecturer for the Colleges' Professionals in Residence Series, giving a talk, "Civilian Careers in the U.S. Defense Department."


Madeline Rowe Buckley '15

Virginia Arundel
DeWees '16


Scott Keogh '91

Gail H. McGinn '73


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.