Meet the team
GEN David McKiernan (USA-RET)Sr. Advisor, Defense & Homeland Security Policy
As Senior Advisor to ADS Ventures, General David McKiernan (USA-Ret.) provides strategic counsel to clients on matters related to defense policy, homeland security and crisis management.
General David McKiernan (Gen. McKiernan) was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in 1972 and recently completed 37 years of extraordinary service. Throughout Gen. McKiernan's tenure as an Army officer, he completed assignments across the Continental US, Europe, Southwest and Central Asia, and Korea. Gen. McKiernan's long and distinguished career was capped by his service as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Afghanistan. During his time as General Officer between 1996-2009, Gen. McKiernan also served in joint, interagency and international settings with interpersonal contacts at, among others, the Presidential, Congressional and foreign service chief levels.
Selected as a General Officer in 1995, Gen. McKiernan was subsequently assigned to a wide variety of senior command and staff positions. Gen. McKiernan was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996 where he served as the intelligence and operations officer in a multinational headquarters that encompassed 35 nations. During that period, Gen. McKiernan's was responsible for leadership on both the tactical and senior diplomatic levels. Later, as the operations G3 for the US Army Europe, Gen. McKiernan's responsibilities included planning and coordinating operations for 62,000 US soldiers, NATO missions and theater engagement across Western Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Gen. McKiernan was named Commander, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, in 1999. In that capacity, McKiernan led an 18,000 soldier division, oversaw a multi-million dollar budget and trained in both complex service and joint environments. Gen. McKiernan departed Fort Hood in 2001 when he was promoted to Lieutenant General and reported to the Pentagon as the G3 operations officer for the entire US Army. Gen. McKiernan coordinated service commitments worldwide and prioritized the requirements of a multi-billion dollar budget. In 2002, he assumed command of US 3rd Army and the Coalition Forces Land Component Command of 160,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that attacked into Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein from power the following year.
After a brief period as the Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff for US Forces Command in Atlanta, GA , responsible for the training and readiness of all Army forces in the continental US, he was awarded his fourth star and selected as Commander US Army Europe. Gen. McKiernan served in this capacity from 2005-2008 as he led US Army training, readiness, engagement and operational activities in Europe, Russia and Africa. In 2008, Gen. McKiernan was selected by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to command the International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan.
General McKiernan commanded all US and ISAF personnel in Afghanistan from 2008-2009. In addition to overseeing combat operations, Gen. McKiernan interacted with Afghan leaders ranging from tribal elders to President Hamid Karzai and his government. In his capacity as Commander, ISAF, Gen. McKiernan led forces from 42 nations, supervised the growth of Afghan security forces, dealt routinely with Ambassadors, foreign heads of state and ministers and the Pakistani military.
Gen. McKiernan's operational experience spanned from platoon to large joint and multinational formations, interagency and international political-military coordination, Members of Congress, senior Administration officials, foreign governments and dignitaries and the populations of many countries. His first and foremost responsibility and loyalty, however, has been and will remain with the American men and women in uniform.
Gen. McKiernan retired from active service in the US Army in August 2009. He holds a BA in History from the College of William and Mary, MA in Public Administration from Shippensburg University and an honorary Doctorate in Public Service from the College of William and Mary. He and his wife, Carmen, have three grown children and a grandchild. Michelle manages a Cartier store in Las Vegas; Michael serves as an Army MP Lieutenant and recently returned from Afghanistan; and Stephanie graduated from the US Military Academy, West Point, majoring in Middle Eastern/Central Asian area studies and will attend graduate school at St Andrews, Scotland, next year. The McKiernan's reside in Marblehead, MA.